Early Christian Persecutions

In the years before 100 AD Christians lived in constant vigilance. It was a crime to be a Christian and if one was caught they were brutally punished to death in the most inhuman ways. However, in 112 AD a man named Pliny wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan inquiring on the present state of Christianity in the empire. Trajan informed Pliny that while being a Christian was punishable by death there was no need to seek them out. This was the case in 112 AD. Yet, moving forwards in history there were many small persecutions in which numerous Christian saints lost their lives such as Polycarp. Nevertheless, with all these persecutions Christianity only became stronger. In 303 AD Emperor Diocletian began a persecution that lasted till 305 AD which was known as the great persecution. But in less than a decade Christians were permitted to worship freely. This was due to Emperor Constantine. He claimed that God told him in a dream to use a Christian symbol in combat. When he was victorious he freed the Christians of their religious burdens.

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