The Apostolic Church
The primitive Christian movement largely exists as a persecuted clandestine movement throughout the Roman Empire until the beginning of the fourth century CE when the new emperor Constantine (r.306-337) decriminalizes, legalizes, privileges and then aligns Christianity as the new religion of the Roman Empire. These changes culminate in the gathering of the churches leaders in council at Nicea (324-25) and the promulgation of the unique orthodox Christian perspective in a series of statements, most notably the Nicene Creed which is added to the liturgy of most Christian churches. The movement's organization is focused in three ancient metropolitan centers in the East (Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria), a new center at the Roman Empire's capital (Constantinople), and the major Western center (Rome). The churches at Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Rome were named patriarchates at Nicea in 325, and Constantinople recognized in 381.