Early Christian Religion

1340 Words6 Pages
In the beginning of the Christian religion, the church and its followers endured the wrath of Roman leaders. The Christian religion itself, endured though this dreadful time of persecution. During this time, the events and people actions will result in martyrs and followers having extraordinary historical and theological consequences for this new religion on the rise. If anything, the persecution started the speedy development and spread of Christianity.

The persecution of Christians begins with the start of the religion itself. The Christian religion was formed in Palestine, which is a humble stretch of land on the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Jesus, a Jew, was born in a small corner of the Roman Empire. Although very little is known of his early life. He spoke before crowds of people, teaching and instructing, but also chose twelve disciples whom he taught privately. They eagerly followed him, believing him to be the long-awaited Messiah who would usher in the kingdom of God on earth. Although, Jesus himself was later crucified, his famous twelve Apostles carried on his teachings. Eleven of the original twelve died due to the persecution of emperors, reaffirming the tremendous dislike for Christianity from the beginning.

Starting from 30-311A.D. Christians suffered years of persecution from the Roman Empire. Though the total number of Christians during the time that was persecuted is unknown, many modern day scholars are starting to believe that the original number is not as high as initially thought. The early church endured fifty-four different emperors from Nero to edict of Milan. Though only a few dozen emperors actually sought out and tortured Christians. Christians probably faced about 130 years of persecution and 120 years of peace and toleration. Many of the imperial edict were often against church property, clergy, and Scriptures only, rather than the actually Christians themselves.

The Roman Empire was apprehensive towards Christians. This stems from that the Roman religion was more of a social movement that encouraged unity and loyalty to the state. This religious approach is what the Romans called pietas and piety. It was assumed that if piety died out in the Roman culture that the social unity and justice would disappear along with it. One philosopher Porphyry wrote:

“How can people not be in every way impious and atheistic who have apostatized from the cult of out ancestors through which every nation and city is sustained?
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