Death Of Stephen : An Era Of Persecution

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Even though thousands of people died during the persecutions, only few of them remained in history. One of the first Christians to die for their beliefs was Stephen. Stephen was stoned in the year 34 in Jerusalem by, with help of Saul (later known as Paul) as a wittness, Jews. What makes Stephens stoning so remarkable is that Stephen, being filled with Holy Spirit, still prays for mercy for his persecutors as they are throwing stones at him. In the eyes of Christians, Stephens death was similar to death of Jesus; even when they are being attacked and in pain, they still pray for the almighty God to show mercy to the persecutors. This created kind of ’personal relationship’ between Stephen and Jesus. Death of Stephen is important as it started an era of persecution which strengthened the meaning of being christian. Almost every Christian from the church of Jerusalem had to leave their home after the death of Stephen. Saint Polycarp, who was 2nd-century bishop of Smyrna, stayed in history for divine events around his persecution. In the beginning, Polycarp was hiding from persecutors in small towns, until one night when he was sleeping he had a vision where his pillow caught on fire. This was a sign for Polycarp that he shall be burned alive. Later, Polycarp was tied up on a stake and the persecutor light him on fire but soon the persecutors realized that the fire failed to burn him: ”The fire, making the appearance of a vault, like the sail of a vessel filled by the wind,
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