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Persecution Of Christian Persecution

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In the year 64, a fire started somewhere in the streets of Rome. Wind spread the fire across the city, burning down the palace. Following this, Emperor Nero put the blame on the Christians, marking the first record of Christian persecution by the roman government. For the next 200+ years, there have been on and off bouts of persecution, ranging from Trajan forcing suspected Christians to prove their innocence by worshipping roman gods in the early 100’s to Valerian ordering the execution of church bishops and other church leaders in 258. While there were years of tolerance for Christians, the ever-changing stance of the Roman government toward Christianity made life difficult for those who believed. The persecution reached new levels during Diocletian’s reign in the 300’s with the removal of Christians from the army and the rise of many people with anti-Christian beliefs to positions of power. In 303, a more general persecution of Christians began with a series of edicts ordering the destruction and seizure of church property and arrest of church leaders and the requirement of all people to make sacrifices to the roman gods on the pain of death if refused. These policies were implemented to varying degrees across the roman empire; however, the general persecution of Christians still took place.
The empire wide persecutions continued until Diocletian and Maximian resigned in 305, leaving the leadership and morale of the church in shambles. When Constantius and Galerius took
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