Christianity and Persecutions

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Christianity has had a long and interesting history from its very beginning. In its first three centuries, the Christian church endured regular persecutions and several violent riots due to controversial issues as regards its theology. The resulting martyrs of the persecutions and the decisions made during the religious councils would have significant historical and theological consequences for this developing faith. Early Christianity was seen as a religious group that Jewish religious leaders persecuted and regarded as heretic. Paul of Tarsus, initially persecuted Christians, but he finally converted to Christianity. If we think about the origins of Christianity we can say that Jesus started the religious movement on a small scale, and Paul was the one that provided the theological explanations and spread the religion on a large scale. Not only did he interpret Jesus´ life in an abstract and Hellenic way, but Paul also theorized about it. For example, in most of the books of the New Testament written by Paul, he applied reason to understand Jesus´ life and teachings. Influenced with Epicurean ideas, Paul also opened Christianity to everyone, even to the gentiles. Before Paul, Christians were essentially all ethnically Jewish or Jewish Proselytes. During the first three centuries in the Roman Empire, most Christians refused to worship the Roman emperor, so they were punished with execution by several Roman authorities. For this reason, there were a large number of martyrs. The martyrs' passive resistance was usually admired by the public, and the Christian movement was thereby strengthened. Christians continued suffering from several persecutions until the Roman emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity in the early 4th century AD and Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Even though persecutions had ceased and Christians were granted with religious freedom, there were still religious violent upheavals because of religious...
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