Christian symbolism

Christian symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork or events, by Christianity. It invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas.

The symbolism of the early Church was characterized by being understood by initiates only,[1] while after the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire during the 4th century more recognizable symbols entered in use. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world.[2]

Only a minority of Christian denominations have practiced Aniconism, or the avoidance or prohibition of types of images. These include early Jewish Christians sects, as well as some modern denominations such as Baptists[which?] that prefer to some extent not to use figures in their symbols due to the Decalogue's prohibition of idolatry.