Early Christians used a wide variety of symbols to express their faith. At times, these symbols provided a sort of secret language among believers. When a Christian met a stranger, he could draw one-half of the ichthys or 'fish' and wait to see if the stranger would complete the drawing. Christian symbols include the Chi-Rho, Alpha and Omega, anchor, fish, cross, dove, six-point star, pelican and others.


The fish is a symbol once used by early Christians to identify fellow believers.

The fish or Ichthys was used by early Christians a secret symbol. Ichthys is the greek word for ‘fish.’ The Greek letters ἸΧΘΥΣ (ichthys) translate into English as ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.' During times of religious persecution, this simple sign was a way for Christians to identify fellow believers. The 'Jesus Fish' on cars became popular in the 1970’s as a symbol used by witnessing Christians, the symbol can be seen prominently displayed on keychains and bumper stickers.

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*Mary Helen Marigza is a lifelong United Methodist, a past missionary with the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, and a current member of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Marigza created a set of Christian Symbols out of recycled church window glass to tell people about the meaning behind common religious symbols.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.

Contact is Joe Iovino.  

This video was first posted on March 16, 2021.


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