Persecution of Christians
About: Persecution of Christians is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 70 publications have been published within this topic receiving 987 citations. The topic is also known as: Anti-Christian sentiment & persecutions of the Church.
Papers published on a yearly basis
01 Apr 1983
TL;DR: The rise of the Sasanian dynasty can be understood as the successful struggle of a minor ruler of Persis not only against his Parthian overlord, but also against a multitude of neighbouring rulers.
Abstract: The rise of the Sasanian dynasty can be understood as the successful struggle of a minor ruler of Persis not only against his Parthian overlord, but also against a multitude of neighbouring rulers. The main adversary of the Persians was the Roman empire, and the ambitions of the first Sasanian ruler were soon countered by Rome. It was during the reign of Yazdgard that the Christians of the Sasanian empire held a council in the city of Seleucia in the year 410. Shortly after Bahrāam accession in 421 the persecution of Christians in the Sasanian empire was resumed, probably at the instigation of Zoroastrian priests. The Sasanians inherited from the Parthians a legacy of over two centuries of conflict with the western power. With a Sasanian belief in the destiny of Iran to rule over the territories once held by the Achaemenians, it was inevitable that wars between the two great powers would continue.
TL;DR: In the Life of Constantine, Eusebius tells how the emperor, having heard that there were many churches of God in Persia and that large numbers were gathered into the fold of Christ, resolved to extend his concern for the general welfare to that country also, as one whose aim was to care for all alike in every nation as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In that much discussed panegyric, the Life of Constantine, Eusebius tells how the emperor, having heard that there were ‘many churches of God in Persia and that large numbers were gathered into the fold of Christ, resolved to extend his concern for the general welfare to that country also, as one whose aim it was to care for all alike in every nation.’ He goes on to give what purports to be a letter from Constantine to the Sasanid shah, Shapur II; in this, not only does the emperor neatly explain away his predecessor Valerian’s humiliating capture by the Persians in 260 as divine punishment for his persecution of Christians but he presumes to draw a lesson from this for Shapur as well: by protecting his own Christian population Shapur will experience the beneficence of Constantine’s Deity.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that Trajan Decius' edict requiring the inhabitants of the Roman Empire to sacrifice to the gods was a turning point in the history of Christian persecution.
Abstract: In A.D. 249 the emperor Trajan Decius issued an edict requiring the inhabitants of the Roman Empire to sacrifice to the gods. With this decree, he also inaugurated the first empire-wide persecution of Christians. Previously, persecutions of Christians had always been local affairs determined by local conditions. Thereafter, persecutions were largely instigated by emperors and took place on an imperial scale. It has consequently become common to distinguish pre-Decian persecution, characterized by its local and ad hoc nature, from the centrally organized persecutions of Decius in A.D. 249–50, Valerian in A.D. 257–60, and Diocletian, Galerius, and Maximinus in A.D. 303–13. The importance of the decree as a turning point in the history of Christian persecution is thus widely recognized. Beyond this, discussions of the decree have usually focused on its precise nature and the motivations behind it; given the limited evidence, however, these discussions have tended to be inconclusive. In this paper I will return to a consideration of the decree's effects, but in the context of traditional religion rather than that of Christianity. I will argue that, seen from this perspective, the decree was a highly innovative and important step towards a radical restructuring of religious organization in the Roman world.
01 Jan 1973
TL;DR: In this paper, Elison explores the attitudes and procedures of the missionaries, describes the entanglements in politics that contributed heavily to their doom, and shows the many levels of the Japanese response to Christianity.
Abstract: Japan's "Christian Century" began in 1549 with the arrival of Jesuit missionaries led by Saint Francis Xavier, and ended in 1639 when the Tokugawa regime issued the final Sakoku Edict prohibiting all traffic with Catholic lands. "Sakoku"--national isolation--would for more than two centuries be the sum total of the regime's approach to foreign affairs. This policy was accompanied by the persecution of Christians inside Japan, a course of action for which the missionaries and their zealots were in part responsible because of their dogmatic orthodoxy. The Christians insisted that "Deus" was owed supreme loyalty, while the Tokugawa critics insisted on the prior importance of performing one's role within the secular order, and denounced the subversive doctrine whose First Commandment seemed to permit rebellion against the state. In discussing the collision of ideas and historical processes, George Elison explores the attitudes and procedures of the missionaries, describes the entanglements in politics that contributed heavily to their doom, and shows the many levels of the Japanese response to Christianity. Central to his book are translations of four seventeenth-century, anti-Christian polemical tracts.
TL;DR: A biographical approach to the conversion of the Roman empire to Christianity can be found in this article, where the authors examine private and personally held beliefs as they were made public by a single individual, Constantine himself.
Abstract: Two historical events occupy central positions in the conversion of the Roman empire to Christianity. To study them makes for a radical and intriguing contrast in historical method. One, the conversion of Constantine, can surely only be approached by examining private and personally held beliefs as they were made public by a single individual, Constantine himself. A biographical approach will be the only way to approach the truth about an individual conversion. The other, the persecution of Christians at the beginning of the fourth century, initiated by an edict of Diocletian of 24 February 303, and concluded by the so-called ‘edict of Milan’, issued by Licinius on 13 June 313, cannot be understood except by examining the public documents which made known the various imperial decisions which implemented persecution, or toleration, of the Christian community at large.
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