How the cross became Christianity’s most popular symbol

Throughout the world, images of the cross adorn the walls and steeples of churches. For some Christians, the cross is part of their daily attire worn around their necks. Sometimes the cross even adorns the body of a Christian in permanent ink. In Egypt, among other countries, for example, Christians wear a tattoo of the cross on their wrists. And for some Christians, each year during the beginning of Lent, they receive the cross on their foreheads in ash. Clearly, today the cross is accepted as the most popular symbol of Christianity. But, interestingly, most scholars believe that early Christians did not use the cross as an image of their religion because crucifixion evoked the shameful death of a slave or criminal.1

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