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This Day in History

World History

Wednesday, May 20, 0325. :   Emperor Constantine convenes the first Ecumenical Council in Nicaea

     The First Council of Nicaea, convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in on 20 May AD 325, was the first ecumenical conference of bishops of the Christian Church. The purpose of the council, also called a synod, was to resolve disagreements in the Church of Alexandria. Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to freely allow Christianity, opened the Council with the entreaty to "remove the causes of dissension among you and to establish peace." The Council of Nicaea was historically significant because it was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

It was at the Council that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed was adopted, now known as simply the Nicene creed, and the most widely accepted creed in the Christian church. With the creation of the Nicene Creed, a precedent was established for subsequent general councils to create a statement of belief and canons which was intended to become orthodox for all Christians. It would serve to unify the Church and provide a clear guideline over matters of dispute regarding the practice of Christianity throughout the known world.

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