Describe the rise of Christianity under the Roman state.

A

The rise of Christianity was associated with a number of obstacles. This religion managed to survive the empire which treated it with hostility and indifference for about three centuries. As well as many other beliefs, Christianity’s origins, which lay in the east, had entered the Graeco-Roman empire after the first century. Christianity concentrated on the worship of Jesus Christ, a Jew who preached in Palestine. Although some sources argue that Christianity spread in a steady way, there is no evidence of this view. The division of congregations was uneven, with their flourishing in some places and absence in others.

The religion of Christianity rose in Judaea, where the Romans kept their traditional elites. At first, Romans did not prevent Christianity from spreading in their land. However, even though the Romans expressed a comparative tolerance toward Jesus’s preaching, they realized that he posed a challenge both to the priestly hierarchy and the Roman sovereignty. Therefore, the decision was taken to execute Jesus, which led to further development of Christianity since the despair of losing Jesus made way to hope among his followers. The most prominent of them was Paul, Jesus’s disciple, who became an active promoter of Christianity. However, there are no extensive recordings of the early Christian communities.

Under the government of two emperors, Valerian in the 250s and Diocletian in the 300s, there were frequent persecutions of Christians. However, there were also long periods of comparative toleration in between persecutions. Still, in spite of times when peace prevailed, there were great tensions between various Christian groups. Historians even considered that Diocletian’s persecutions came as God’s punishment for the rivalries.

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