Christianity is one of the three Abrahamic faiths, religions that can trace themselves to Abraham, along with Judaism and Islam.
Christianity is made truly distinctive from the other world religions by the person of Jesus of Nazareth, a historical person who claimed to be the Son of God. No other major world religion is founded by a person who makes a similar claim.
Many faiths have prophets who show a way to God, but Jesus claims to be the way and points to God, His Father, through himself.
‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.’ John 14:6-7
Jesus' central claim to be the Son of God still challenges those who would want to consider Him just a prophet or a moral teacher. As C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia books, put it in 'Mere Christianity':
‘A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse … let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.’
The Catholic Church can trace its foundation back to Jesus and the Early Church through what is known as ‘apostolic succession’.
‘The apostles … chose successors for their ministry: the bishops. To this day, the successors of the apostles exercise the authority conferred by Jesus: They govern and teach and celebrate the liturgy.’ YOUCAT, 92
This is also why the Catholic Church has a Pope, who can be traced all the way back to Peter, the disciple of Jesus, on whom Jesus chose to found His Church on.
‘Preeminent once again among the Twelve was Peter, on whom Jesus bestowed special authority: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Mt 16:18). From Peter’s special role among the apostles developed the papal ministry.’ YOUCAT 92