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ΙΧΘΥΣ (ikh-thoos) - is a greek word that simply means "fish".

The Greek spelling for ichthus is ΙΧΘΥΣ - Iota, Chi, Theta, Upsilon, and Sigma.
The English translation is IXOYE.
The five Greek letters stand for the words meaning, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." 
The Greek rendering is, "Iesous Christos, Theou Uios, Soter".

This symbol was used primarily amongst Christians of the early church years (1st and 2nd century A.D.) The symbol was introduced from Alexandria, Egypt; which at the time, was a very heavily populated seaport. It was the port in which many goods were brought over from the European continent. Because of this, it was first used by the peoples of the sea as a symbol of a familiar deity, in this case, Jesus Christ.

The symbol was later used as a means of identifying or acknowledging a fellow believer in Christ without the need for any verbal communication being exchanged. Why was this necessary?

During the reign of Emperor Nero (54 A.D.- 68 A.D.), and throughout the reign of subsequent evil emperors of the Roman Empire, Christians were commonly persecuted, tortured, and put to death because of their faith in Christ Jesus. Emperor Nero himself personally despised Christians. He blamed them for the great fire of A.D. 64 which burned nearly half of Rome. It was during Nero's persecutions that both Peter and Paul are thought to have perished.

Spread throughout the empire, Roman soldiers were stationed everywhere to keep order and to act as police. This included keeping a watchful eye on the happenings of the daily lives of the people. Often times, when a soldier spotted a Christian, he would report it to his superiors who in turn would be ordered to arrest the Christian and to be brought in for interrogation. The Christian would then be harassed and tortured in order for them to recant and to submit to the many polytheistic religions of Rome. In most cases death would be the final end.

In order to prevent this unnecessary capture and persecution, Christians would often draw an ichthus in the dirt, mud, sand, or on the walls of caves to let another Christian know that he too was a fellow believer of Christ and that it was safe to talk about their faith without the fear of being turned in.

It wasn't until around 307 A.D. under the reign of Constantine that Christians were no longer persecuted. During his reign (307 A.D. - 337 A.D.) he declared Christianity as the official religion of the state which was a direct result of his own conversion to Christianity, although his perspective of Christianity was somewhat polluted with pagan ideology. Nevertheless, Christians, in general, were spared from persecution - at least for the time being. Shortly after the Constantine dynasty ended, a successor, Julian the Apostate (360 A.D. - 363 A.D.), would later reinstate the pagan religions of Rome as the state religion and the protection of Christians was nullified.

ICHTUS YOUTH MINISTRY is the youth arm of Immanuel Fellowship. We believe that we exist to make our lives fully dedicated to Jesus Christ and His word, the Bible, and that we need to share what Jesus has done in our lives. The following illustrations also help us to understand what ICHTUS is:

You are that ICHTUS. We want our lives to become like the Lord. So that when people see us they see Jesus in our lives.

Direction. In one movie showing the first century Christians, the symbol of ><> was used to point out where the fellow Christians gathered. So we also need to point to others who Jesus is; that He is the Son of God who will give us new life.

School of Fish. Fishes survive in the wild ocean by going together in groups. It is the same with our Christianity, with this world of temptation, we survive when we are together. We have fellowship that will encourage us to continue serving God.

Net. The best way to catch many fishes at the same time is through a net. With Ichtus you will find small groups that will help you grow in your relationship with God and bring others into a caring barkada.