Issue 27 Persecution in the Early Church

What's inside

Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Dr. Everett Ferguson

From the Editor: Tomb of the Unknown Christians

Each time you and I meet a Christian, we are viewing a monument to the unknown early Christian martyrs.

Kevin A. Miller

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.

William H. C. Frend

From the Archives: Nero’s Cruelties

An account from Roman historian Tacitus (c. 115)


From the Archives: Emperor Hadrian's Moderate policies

This rescript, c. 124, protected Christians

Emperor Hadrian

When Christianity Triumphed

The achievement brought new difficulties.

William H. C. Frend

From the Archives: Perpetua & Polycarp: Two Heroic Martyrs

Two stories of second-century martyrs.


The Piety of the Persecutors

In the Roman mind, there were valid religious reasons to halt the spread of Christianity.

Dr. Robert L. Wilken

From the Archives: Pliny’s Letter to Emperor Trajan

How should a governor treat people accused of being Christians?

Pliny the Younger

Rome’s Religious Ferment

The first-century Empire swirled with an exotic mix of religions.

Herbert Schlossberg

Persecution in the Early Church: A Gallery of the Persecuting Emperors

Roman emperors who persecuted Christians.

Mark Galli

Controversial Constantine

The famous emperor ended the persecution of Christians. But was he a true believer, or merely a superstitious political opportunist?

David F. Wright

From the Archives: The Edict of Milan

Selections from an agreement, made in 313, that changed the course of history.

the Editors

Constantine’s Famous Emblem

The chi-rho symbol he adopted is now displayed in churches throughout the world.

David F. Wright

Christian History Timeline: Persecution in the Early Church

Chronology of events in the history of early church persecution.

the Editors

How the Early Church Viewed Martyrs

Christians held a theology of martyrdom that gave them courage to endure.

William G. Bixler

The Gallery: Martyrs and Confessors

Who was who among early church martyrs.

John O. Gooch

Cowards Among the Christians

Thousands of Christians crumbled under threat of persecution.

John O. Gooch

From the Archives: Cyprian’s Letter to Banished Christians

Encouragement for believers sentenced to the Roman mines.

Cyprian of Carthage

Persecuted Christians Today

Persecution remains with us.

James Reapsome

Persecution in the Early Church: Recommended Resources

Resources for further research on persecution of the early church.

Kenneth R. Calvert

The Faith Behind the Famous: Charles Dickens

Some of his novels mercilessly lampoon Christians. Yet the great Victorian author also wrote a reverent account of Jesus’ life.

Stephen Rost

Christian History Timeline: Events in the Life of Charles Dickens

A Charles Dickens's chronology.

Stephen Rost

How Dickens Viewed Jesus Christ

Selected quotations from The Life of Our Lord.

Charles Dickens
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