Essay The Pagan Faith and Christian Holidays

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Since man first had conscious thought, he has sought the answers to life affirming questions. How was life created? Who created this world? What lies after death? What is the meaning of life? Time has created many answers to these questions. Many of these answers are lost in time, along with the peoples who believed them. As archaeologists search the past for a better history of the planet, old questions are answered and new questions asked. There are also ideas that have only been transformed through history, reshaped by society. There are common themes in the answers to those questions. When they are combined, believed and ritualized, they become religions. The polytheists of ancient civilizations worshipped the…show more content…
Christianity began in what was the Roman Empire. Largely ignored by the masses, it was a small monotheistic cult in a polytheistic society. The simplicity of it quickly attracted converts (Veyne 525). Where once they only had Roman idols, a new one was added, that of Jesus Christ. It is not to say that they simply quit believing in the Gods and Goddesses that had safeguarded their crops, homes and families, only that this God offering salvation was added (Veyne 545). Popular society saw a world under control of demons, and to ensure their safety they worshiped a variety of Gods and Goddesses (Veyne 396). As the cult spread, new beliefs were added. These include the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of Jesus, the belief in one God (Noss 636). The rapid growth of Christianity caused alarm in many people. Between 195 and 212, Christians were sporadically persecuted. After 212, persecution slowed, and they were "allowed to exist" (Frend 294). A major force in the popularization of Christianity was when Constantine converted. Constantine, a late Roman Emperor, discontinued the policy outlawing Christianity, and made it an acceptable religion in the Roman Empire (Frend 294). Christianity spread when the clergy canonized saints, building temples and altering rituals to match those in the Roman Empire. Marriages also brought Christianity new followers. It was often the women of the house that led
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