Christianity, in sum, gained ground in part because of features of Roman political and cultural life.
Political stability and communications over a wide area aided missionary efforts, while the Roman example helped inspire the government forms of the growing Christian church.
This tension came to a head in 1204, when the Roman Catholic soldiers turned their hostility against their fellow Christians, capturing the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, and surrounding territories.
I believe that Singaporean Christians today — myself included — are tempted by prosperity more than before. We’re hooked on blessing. We’ve fallen in love with ourselves more than God, such that Christianity is force-fitted into our vision for life success, rather than the inverse. Snugly found in the well-manicured walls of the church, we are increasingly insulated from those who are suffering and we tend to only interact within our (middle- or upper-class) social circles. In some ways, the church has become a hangout for the well-to-do rather than a harbour for the destitute.
This would result in the widespread subdivision of Eastern Orthodoxy (Greek, Serbia, Russian, etc.), and the rise to superiority and power of the Roman Church by comparison, although the successor Eastern Orthodoxy churches are still prominent today.
The fate of Jewish-Christianity was sealed with the slaughters and deportations of Jews in Jerusalem, between 70-130 AD, in response to the Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire.
In its latest “Hall of Shame” report, ICC touches on only a few of the many instances of religious persecution around the globe. Despite rising social and legal hostility toward Christians in some Western countries, these believers remain lucky. Religious liberty is precious yet sadly in short supply in so many nations.
This set contains genuine bronze Roman coins from the Third and Fourth centuries CE. The obverse side of each coin shows the portrait of the emperor at the time the coins were minted. The reverse shows pictures and phrases depicting current concerns, history and mythology.
Paul, after his renowned conversion story on the Road to Damascus, wrote several letters during his missionary travels throughout the Greco-Roman world from about 36 – 60 AD, thanks in large part due to the advanced road system within the Roman Empire.
These coins were minted for everyday transactions and often circulated for long periods of time. The coins that did not become worn out were frequently melted and reissued with the arrival of each new emperor who wanted his portrait displayed. Coins were also melted by other civilizations trading with the Romans and throughout succeeding civilizations over the centuries. The passage of time thus resulted in their great rarity today.
In Egypt “Christians have endured persecution for 1,400 years since Islam arrived. They are treated as second-class citizens,” while the government does little to protect them from violence. For instance, “Christian women are regularly abducted, raped, and forcefully married and converted,” often with the assistance of the police.
First, Christians were seen as a sect of the Jewish religion, which was disdained in the Roman Empire, as it conflicted with the worship of the Greco-Roman Gods.
China acts like a typical communist nation in attempting to suppress any organized groups loyal to anything other than the party and state. Explains ICC, “China frequently uses intimidation, arrests, destruction of church property, and church closures to persecute Christians.”
Next come what ICC terms “Core Countries,” which tend to be less bloody but no less constant in their persecution. Saudi Arabia is a veritable totalitarian state: “Only Sunni Islam may be practiced publicly and any Saudi citizen who converts to Christianity or another faith is immediately guilty of apostasy, punishable by death. Even non-Saudi Christians living in the Kingdom risk imprisonment and deportation if they attempt to meet privately to pray or read the Bible.”