Persecution of christians intensified in 1840, 1849 and 1857 in 1849, deemed the worst of these years by british missionary to madagascar we cummins (1878), 1,900 people were fined, jailed or otherwise punished in relation to their christian faith, including 18 executions. Reasons for the persecution emerge from the record of christianity’s first three centuries fratricidal strife persecution did not begin with the roman authorities. Persecution in the early church occurred sporadically almost since the beginning, but it was first sanctioned by the government under nero in 64 ad, a great fire ravaged rome nero took the opportunity provided by the destruction to rebuild the city in the greek style and begin building a large palace for himself.
There are several important and interrelated reasons for the persecution of the early church first was the problem of identity christianity was identified at first with judaism, but people quickly came to see it as a different religion. Everett ferguson, church and state in the early church (studies in early christianity) c bernard ruffin, the days of the martyrs: a history of the persecution of christians from apostolic times to the time of constantine frank j korn, the tiber ran red: the age of the roman martyrs. The persecution of the early church may be viewed as two distinct periods the first period being from nero in 64 to the end of the reign of maximinus in 238 the second period extending from the decian persecution of 249 through to the signing of the 'edict of milan' in 313.
From ad 30 to ad 311, a period in which 54 emperors ruled the empire, only about a dozen took the trouble to harass christians furthermore, not until decius (249–251) did any deliberately. Persecution of the early church had occurred sporadically and in localised areas since its beginning the first persecution of christians organised by the roman government took place under the emperor nero in 64 ad after the great fire of rome with the passage in 313 ad of the edict of milan, persecution of christians by the roman state ceased. There are several important and interrelated reasons for the persecution of the early church first was the problem of identity christianity was identified at first with judaism, but people quickly came to see.
Persecution in the early church 2 beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the roman empire. The aim of this essay is to investigate the persecution of the early christian church by the ruling roman authorities the period being considered commences with the first distinct roman persecution of christians in 64 ce, by the emperor nero, and closes with the implementation of the 'edict of milan' in 313 ce, signed by constantine and licinius.
The persecution of christians can be historically traced from the first century of the christian era to the present day early christians were persecuted for their faith at the hands of both a small number of jews from whose religion christianity arose and the romans who controlled many of the lands across which early christianity was spread.