In his Wednesday Catechesis Pope Benedict dispels the contemporary misunderstanding that the Christian faith is a Eurpopean religion

the Pope remarked how "it is widely believed today that Christianity is a European religion which subsequently exported that continent's culture to other countries. But the truth is much more complex."

"The roots of the Christian religion," the Pope explained, "are in the Old Testament, hence in Jerusalem and the Semitic world. And Christianity constantly draws nourishment from these Old Testament roots. The spread of Christianity in the early centuries was directed both westwards - to the Greco-Latin world where it later inspired European culture - and eastwards to Persia and India, where it contributed to the formation of a specific culture, in Semitic languages and with its own identity."

( link [])