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12 Different kinds of crosses and their meanings

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Discover the differences between Byzantine, Celtic, Latin, and Coptic crosses (and eight more variations!)

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Due to the simplicity of its design, cross-shaped incisions go back into deep prehistory. We find crosses in  petroglyphs in European cult caves, and numerous variants of the simple cross mark all around Northern Africa and other areas of the Mediterranean. In fact, the cross is a symbol that can be found in many different cultures and religions. But there is no doubt it is the central symbol of Christianity. In the early third century, Clement of Alexandria already referred to it as “the Lord’s sign.”

However, not all crosses are the same. In fact, the universal symbol of Christianity has plenty of variations based on historical facts, cultural differences, and the unique expressions of faith of Christian communities.

Visit the slideshow below to discover some of the most common cross designs in Christianity. 

 

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