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The Jerusalem Council was a dispute in the very early church, culminating in a hearing by the Apostles and elders in the church whether or not circumcision was required to become part of the Christian Church. In Antioch, Pharisee converts insisted that Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, in order to be considered Christians. Paul and Barnabas fiercely contested this matter in front of a collective body of Apostles and church leaders. Both Simon Peter and James were in favor of all Gentile converts in faith being accepted into the church.

The final decision was that only three constraints should be placed on Gentile converts to be accepted into the church: abstention from idolatry, from blood and strangled animals and from sexual immorality. The decision was written in a letter that Paul distributed among the churches.

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