History of Christianity Within the Roman Empire Religion, one of the most important and controversial topics of all times, but where exactly did it come from? What obstacle did it have to go through to be come known? Who made it known? These are a few questions that are often asked but not always answered. There are many religions known today but in this paper I will focus on only one, Christianity. I will discuss the events, hardships and some of the important people that are valuable to make up this history of this now popular religion, in a very popular place, Rome.
Like almost successful thing its starts out a little rocky but finally comes out of top. Christianity was like no other religion the Roman empire had ever seen before. It challenged all its values and morals in every way possible and because of that was not a positive thing to be. Rome looked at anyone in the religion as an enemy of Rome and was a criminal who should be put to death if pronounced themselves a Christian. It all started around the year 30C. E. with one man named Jesus Christ from Galilee.
When he was around 30 he spoke about a kingdom in heaven and not on Earth, conservatives called him a false profit who undermined the Jewish religion, by calling himself the son of God. Jesus went to the land to spread his simple teachings that were based upon to love God and one another, to care for each other and help those in need. The Roman saw him as revolutionary and decided to keep a close watch over him, scared that he might would cause a problem due to his such large base of followers. It wasn’t long until the Sadducees, who had control over Judea where Jesus did most of his teachings, could’t take much more.
The fear of Jesus and his followers turning into a revolt against them, lead the Sadducees to turn to the Romans for help to get him out and take away the threat he may propose. They ask the Romans to arrest Jesus Christ and execute him because he was committing blasphemy, saying he was the son of God and that was prohibited. Since they couldn’t condemn anyone to death, they wanted the Romans to do it from them because they on the other hand could and so they did. Jesus was arrested on Holy Thursday and had he trial the next day on Friday.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor was over his trial and even though Pilate did not agree with the Sadducees on the execution of Jesus, he still with through with it. When he announces the execution of Jesus Christ to the public he lets them know as well that this was not his order and has nothing to do with it but what he’s doing is simply carrying out what the Sadducees wanted to be done. Executing someone because of their religion couldn’t be done so in order for it to be done they executed him under insurrection and labeled him enemy of the state.
His death began the rise of Christianity all around the land including with in the Roman Empire. Another important person in the spread of Christianity was Saul of Tauses, who later became Paul when he became a Christian. His played a great role in preaching the gospel, planting churches and establishing Christianity through out the land and around the Mediterranean Basin. He was naturally a Roman citizen and for a long time was against Christians helping in the prosecution of the church of God and cooperating in the killing of early Christians.
Paul reached out to everyone including the Gentiles who were not of Jewish decent, trying to inform them of his new found religion and beliefs. After the end of his third missionary journey he was arrested and brought to Rome to have trial for his alleged crime. For two years he waited for his trial and during that time he preached from his home about the gospel but not too long after it was said that he was beheaded in Rome under the reign of Nero. At this time Christianity began to spread through Rome like a wild fire. The summer after the deaths of Jesus Christ and St.
Paul Christianity began to become even more popular amongst the poorer people in Rome in 64. That year Rome had a horrible fire that lasted six days, destroying most of the city. It was rumored that the emperor of the time Nero, was to be blamed for the fire. That he did it for his own personal amusement. To take the focus and blame off of him, he placed the accusations on the Christians saying they started the fire and was to blame. This event in start of many horrific deaths of Christians, having them tortured, and treating them being killed as a sport all for the pleasure of Nero and the Roman citizens.
This lasted for about the next 100 years or so and throughout this time many Christian churches were destroyed, meetings held for Christians were forbidden and those who refused to follow the rules lost their legal rights. The Romans believed that Christianity was to be disturbing a mans mind in such a way that he is really going insane and causing him to loose humanity. After years and years of Negativity and Hostility by the Roman empire things finally started to turn around with the emperor Constantine and his new enforced reform.
Before the battle of Milvan, Constantine saw the Christian symbol and put it all over him and his armies battle gear and because they win the battle he in 313 he makes the Edict of Milan. The Edict of Milan legalized Christian worship by removing all discriminating legislation against them from the statute book and making the church to be recognized by civil authorities. Constantine officially stared the acceptance of Christianity in the Rome and even after his death the spread and acceptance of Christianity didn’t stop.
Once the church obtained its freedom, it became more structured and stable within itself. Around 323 Christianity was made the official religion of Rome and by the end of the fourth century, the majority of the Roman citizens had converted over to the religion. Christianity played a huge role in Roman history and there are many more influential people and events that took place during this time. Although the rode for Christianity to be come accepted was long and rough, that helped make put its making history like it did. It has become one of the biggest religions known today.
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