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The cross is the central symbol for Christians, not only as the instrument of the world's salvation by the crucified Christ, but also as the constant witness that one cannot be Christians unless they live with the cross as the very content of their lives in this world. ''If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me'' ([[Gospel of Mark|Mark]] 8:34).
===Sign of the cross===
For these reasons Christians place upon themselves the [[sign of the cross]]. The Orthodox place their first two fingers and thumb together to form a sign of the Triune God and cross themselves from the head to the breast and from shoulder to shoulder, right to left. This shows that the cross is the inspiration, power and indeed the very content of Christians life; and that one’s mind, heart and strength must be given to the love of God and man.
In certain parts of Central and Eastern Europe, the triple bar cross with a slanted footrest may indicate that a given church is an Orthodox one, while a triple bar cross with a horizontal footrest indicates that a given church is a [[Eastern Rite Catholic|Byzantine Rite]], or Greek Catholic, one.