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The aim of my essay is to study accounts of the persecution of the early Christian Church by the ruling Roman Emperors starting in 64 AD by the Emperor Nero and ends with the Edict of Milan in March 313 AD signed between Constantine and Licinius. This edict puts an end to 250 years of persecutions against the early church, some of which I will discuss in detail. This essay will focus on the reasons Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire and the specific persecutions launched against them and why the Christians survived the persecutions.
Why were Christians persecuted in the Roman Empire?
The Christians and Jews with whom they were sometimes confused with both differed from the followers of the pagan gods in many ways.1 One of the ways which they differed which brought persecution to them was that they viewed themselves as the only religion as possessing absolute truth in areas of faith and morals. This view held by all Christians was seen by the pagans and the Roman Authorities as being intolerant to other religious faiths. Christians faced hostility from the Gentile world, it was for the same reason that the Jews were also despised because of their allegedly anti-social nature.2 The Christians were a group of people with distinct customs, who were very critical of the morals of Roman society.
They were seen as a sect that was aiming to tear the fabric of Roman Society apart by proselytising. One example of how they were blamed for disorder in Roman Soc...