History of Christianity -- how did it all start? Christianity started about 2000 years ago in Judea (present-day Israel) with Jesus Christ and His faithful group of disciples. During this period, Judea was a cross-cultural mecca of bustling cities and farms. The emperor of Rome was the ruler. The Jews at that time hated Roman rule -- it was but another reminder of the historical oppression they faced as a people. The polytheistic cultural beliefs of Rome were also pagan and intrusive to Jewish life. Some Jews saw that their only hope was to conform to this change. Others became religious zealots who formed pockets of guerilla resistance against Rome. Still others withdrew themselves into the Judean wilderness to study the Jewish law and wait for the eventual coming of their promised Messiah (savior).