Christians faced harsh treatment from non-believers beginning 200 to 323 AD. where it is listed on the Bible Timeline Poster. In fact, the start of the third century signaled the beginning of severe persecutions that Christians experienced during that period in history. Roman authorities viewed Christians as a threat to the society because of their prominence. For instance, more and more people decided to convert into this religion. Conversions were held in various parts of the nation, which led to the increasing presence of Christians throughout the empire. Lastly, this group of people who was bound by their faith became zealous and expressive with their beliefs. As a result, the Roman leaders were worried that these people would eventually jeopardize the state’s security and power.
Persecutions Under the Roman Leander Septimius Severus
During 193 to 211 AD, a fearless Roman ruler took the throne and aimed to monitor the progress of Christians in the empire. Septimius Severus then issued a law that was intended for the converts. He proclaimed that conversions to Christianity was considered as illegal, and those who disobeyed the law will be persecuted. At that time, more converts were persecuted in Egypt and several parts of Africa. In Alexandria, Leonidas was beheaded and most of the followers of Origen were eliminated. In Carthage, new converts were persecuted and punished by harsh tortures. A number of them were thrown to be devoured by wild animals while others were burned publicly at stake.
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Threats to the Life of Christians During the Roman Empire There were some isolated incidents when Christians experienced harsh treatments from the Romans. Aside from being persecuted because they refused to show the highest reverence to the emperor out of their great love for God, they were also punished because of the Romans’ general dislike for Christians. These people refused to participate in any activities such as the worshipping of Gods or taking part in forms of sacrifices that the Romans were tasked to perform. Christians were also believed to follow certain rites that made the Romans assume that they were introducing a dangerous sect to non-believers. Persecution was largely accusatory, and those who were believed to be partaking in these rituals were punished immediately. Governors were responsible for the accusation and prosecution, and most trials failed to allow Christians to explain themselves.
The persecution and suffering of Christians continued for a period of three centuries. However, these threats to converts and believers resulted to the increase of cults and saints, and this has fueled the spread of Christianity instead of putting an end to its progress.
It was not until Licinius and Constantine the Great issued the 313 Edict of Milan that Christianity was considered as legal. They gave Christians the right to live and practice their faith, and they were no longer persecuted for believing in their God. Although this group of people suffered tremendously in the past centuries, a number of them did not succumb to their fear and continued to remain strong in their faith amidst the intense suffering that other believers experienced.
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