The Catholic Church is not a religion but a church. Many people mistake it for a religion.
The contemporary Catholic Church says that it is the continuation of the early Christian community established by Jesus.
During the life time of Jesus, he founded a one community system for all believers.
Peter was the head of the early Christian community after Jesus death. And in the history of the Catholic Church, Peter is the first pop.
From this grounds it is widely believed that the Catholic Church is the first church of Christ.
The early Christian community established to bring unity and to serve God as deserved. As the community grows bigger, some other members then broke out to form other churches. But all those ones are small churches compared to Catholic Church, the founding church of Christ.
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