Christianity-Roman Empire Religion
Initially, Christianity was a small unorganized religion was greatly despised by the Romans. Early Christianity advocated for the salvation, which was only achievable if one believed in Jesus, the son of God, the same Supreme Being whom Jews believed in. However, Romans rejected Christianism and hence, early Christians always debated whether to preach to Jews only since they were not sure whether preaching to non-Jews could transform them into Christians. Surprisingly, later Christianity in the Roman Empire attracted followers from both the Jewish and Roman world communities. Today, Rome is not only a great empire centre but also a mark of the Roman Catholic Faith. One would wonder how Rome become the centre of Christianity after many years of Christian persecutions and indifference. Today, having Roman Empire as the center of Christianity sparks a question how Christianity become the religion of the Roman Empire. THIS IS SAMPLE ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Originally, Christianity was not a religion of the Roman Empire. Romans worshiped several gods, some of which they had acquired from Ancient Greeks. Early Christians in the Roman Empire were occasionally persecuted since Romans believed that Christians should worship and offer sacrifices to the Roman Empire gods. It was believed that failure by the Christians to sacrifice to the Roman gods portrayed bad luck for the community, and hence, the Romans had the right to petition for official action. Even though Romans tolerated some of the new religions, they persecuted some followers of the new religions. Surprisingly, Christianity would later originate from Roman Empire, the empire, which persecuted Jesus Christ.
Despite the intolerance of Romans on other religions including Christianity, later the ‘conversion’ marked the crucial point in accepting Christianity in the Roman Empire. The ‘conversion’ to Christianity as advocated by Constantine was the great milestone in accepting Christianity in the Roman Empire. Christian persecutions had ended even before Constantine’s announced the acceptance of the cross during the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Constantine’s later issued the Edict of Milan that granted Christians and Romans of different faiths freedom to follow their own religions. As a result, the Christians could be involved in the Romans’ civic life including taking part in the Constantine’s Constantinople, which embraced the establishment of Christian churches near pagan temples.
The more Roman Emperors continued to kill Christians, the more the empire weakened and became unpopular. To avoid this, Edict of Milam in 313 was passed, which gave freedom of religion in the entire Roman Empire. The Emperor aimed to reinstate citizens’ trust in the Roman Empire. Although; this did not regain the lost trust, it was a crucial turning point for the spread of Christianity in the empire since Christians could preach openly and in the public gatherings.
Although an extent at which Constantine’s conversion facilitated the adoption of Christianity is not clear, it was evident that he helped Christians with land, money and also founded some churches. Constantine encouraged Christians to spread their religion by telling them that his success was attributable to the Christianity faith. Constantine continued to serve as Pontifex Maximus till he died, but he was baptized while on his deathbed by Pope Sylvester. His baptism marked the important steps of accepting Christianity in the Roman Empire. He exemplified to the Romans that they should accept and embrace Christianity.
Constantine’s efforts to appeal to the Romans to accept Christianity was accelerated by many people who started to despise Roman State rituals. According to many Romans, the Roman Empire rituals were empty and never fulfilled their promises and desires. As a result, the Romans seemed attracted by the Christianity doctrine, which promised the eternal life and advocated for social equality. The subsequent events following the Romans’ change of perception towards Christianity included the spread of Christianity in the West and North of Europe through the actions of soldiers, missionaries and merchants. With the immediate and vast spread of Christianity, Roman Empire s were compelled to stop the persecution of Christians.
Constantine appreciation of other religions including Christianity influenced other Emperors who came after him to embrace and tolerate Christianity. The Christianity continued to gain popularity until in 380 AD when Emperor Theodosius accepted it as the official religion of the Roman Empire. He further went ahead by collaborating with Valentinian II and Gratian to symbolize the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit through a stone. Those who rejected Christianity as the new religion were punished according to the Emperor’s discretion. For example, old pagans were being suppressed and at times killed for despising Christianity.
As time progressed, the Roman Empire continued to decline, but with immediate growth and acceptance of the Christianity religion. Catholic Church became the new religion of the Roman Empire. The Barbarians who had been bestowed with the duty to end the Roman Empire wanted solely to be Romans, and they could be so by converting into Christians. Although Empires suppressed and killed the attempts of Christianity in the early years, later their support and appreciation of the same religion saw the surviving of Christianity including the establishment of several Catholic Churches led by Bishop of Rome. THIS IS SAMPLE ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
The adoption of Christianity by the Romans and the fall of the Roman Empire created a great foundation of spreading Christianity in Europe and other parts of the world. The Roman Empire collapsed when Christianity religion had spread as far as the Mediterranean Sea. Other regions were still worshiping old gods. With the fall of Roman Empire, Bishop of Rome became the head of the church. He had a strong influence which he used to spread Christianity in Europe and other parts of the globe. Together with other Popes, the Bishop of Rome would send missionaries to convert Europe and other parts of the world.
Christianity spread in Europe first before spreading to other parts of the world. The duty to spread Christianity in Europe fell on monks and priests. The spread of Christianity in other regions was facilitated by Christian institutions and groups, which were motivated the desire to preach Christian beliefs. Missionaries could travel far away from their home countries to dedicate their lives through praying and meditating in the places which had not received Christianity. Through the efforts of the Christian missionaries, groups, institutions, monks, priests and popes, Christianity spread across the world.
The emergence and spread of Christianity have been met with ups and downs. During its early days, Christianity was hindered by the Roman Empire rulers. Christians were not granted freedom to worship, and in many instances, they were persecuted. However, the early Christians did not give up, and they persevered until the Roman Empire gave them liberty to worship. With authority to preach and the fall of the Roman Empire, Christians could freely spread Christianity to other regions as far as the whole of Europe and other parts across the world.
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Ricketts, Colin. The Growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire. August 9, 2018. https://www.historyhit.com/the-growth-of-christianity-in-the-roman-empire/ (accessed 2018 November 2018).