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Modern Symbols of Christianity

By Editorial Staff

Christian symbolsby Info Guru Paul Seaburn

Many of the most recognizable symbols of Christianity date back the time of Jesus and the early Christian church.

They were often used by Christians to secretly identify each other while avoiding persecution. Many of the symbols, like the cross and the olive branch, are still popular today. Modern Christians have created new symbols as well as adapted some older one to reflect modern faith, tastes and customs. Here are some popular modern symbols of Christianity.

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10. Ichthys


Yes, the Ichthys fish symbol dates back to ancient Greece and was one of the first symbols of the Christian church, but it has been modified so often and used by so many different groups that it deserves to be included as a modern symbol. Next to the hood ornament, it’s probably the most popular attachment on cars.

9. Pineapple


The pineapple was unknown to European until Columbus brought the fruit back from the Caribbean islands where it was both a food and a fertility symbol. When it was brought back by ships, it became a symbol of hospitality and was adopted by Christians as an emblem of welcoming and acceptance.

8. Pelican


While not as popular among Christians as the dove, the pelican has become a modern symbol for martyrdom and the Passion of Christ. Its meaning comes from the belief that a mother pelican will do anything for her young, including piercing her own skin to provide blood when no other food is available.

7. Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was not just the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, he was also a world leader who helped end communism in his Polish homeland and a world traveler who touched billions of people. Pope Francis has John Paul II on a fast track to sainthood and his face is a popular symbol in many Catholic homes and on religious pendants and rosaries.



The question “What would Jesus do?” became popular among U.S. Christians in the 1990s and its abbreviation “WWJD” still appears on everything from bracelets to bumper stickers.

5. Romans 1:16

Romans 1:16

While not as popular as “John 3:16,” “Romans 1:16” is becoming a popular symbol. For those who study the Bible, the quote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes,” is used to symbolize spreading the message of Jesus.

4. Jesus On Board

Jesus On Board

The yellow “Baby on Board” sign became popular in the mid 1980s and spawned a variety of imitators, the most popular being the “Jesus on Board” sign. While the “baby” version is seldom seen anymore, “Jesus on Board” still appears frequently on signs, bumper stickers and other novelty items.

3. Peace Sign

Peace Sign

The circular peace symbol was designed in 1958 for the British nuclear disarmament movement was adopted by hippies in the 1960s, along with the V hand gesture. The peace symbol continues to be popular among Christians and the V hand gesture is frequently used in Catholic mass services as an exchange of a “sign of peace.”

2. In God We Trust

In God We Trust

“In God We Trust” is really a stealth Christian symbol that we’re exposed to virtually every day. It first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and has appeared on all U.S. paper currency since 1957. It was adopted as an alternate motto of the United States in 1956 and is the motto of the state of Florida.

1. John 3:16

John 3:16

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Attend any modern sporting event and you’re sure to see someone holding a sign that reads “John 3:16.” The full Bible quote, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” has been called the most famous Bible verse and the “3:16” is an easy abbreviation.


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