Early Christian Procecution in The Roman Empire

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"The Persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire"

Christian persecution was a dramatic part of early church history.

Christian persecution started with Jesus himself. He was asked

directly at trial, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"

His first two words were "I am." The religious leaders in Jerusalem

knew what Jesus was saying. It was very clear to them that He was

claiming to be God. Jesus was put to death on the cross for

the crime of blasphemy, thus becoming the first victim for what

would become the Christian Church.

The persecution of Christians by the Romans was not a constant

policy that was enforced the same way by every Roman provincial

governor or government official. Most of the time, Christians were

tolerated but were viewed as strange and somewhat antisocial by

most of the Roman people. The Roman gods were actually a part of

the state religion, and it was thought that they must be worshipped

regularly in order for the Romans to have victory in war and

prosperity at home.

It was considered a roman's patriotic duty to

sacrifice regularly to Jupiter, Mars, Juno, Vesta, and leave

offerings out for the household gods, the Lares and Penates. The

Christians, on the other hand, believed in one God and worship Him

in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Romans believed

that the favor of the gods was necessary to the security of the state;

the Christians were believed to be not only sinful and anti-religious

but unpatriotic as well. Christians refused to serve in the army

because they might have to kill other human beings and thus violate

the commandments of Christ. Some Christians refused to hold

government posts, engage in trade, or loan money because

they saw these actions...