Why did the [ancient Roman] emperors persecute Christians? Sometimes it was just because they hated Jesus and the Christians who followed him. Other times, Christians were killed or tortured, not because they worshiped Christ, but because they would not also worship false gods.
The Romans believed that their many gods made the empire rich and protected it. They were afraid that if the Christians offended these gods by not worshiping them, the gods might get angry at Rome and allow Rome’s enemies to conquer the empire.
Because Christians refused to worship these false gods, the Romans believed they were unpatriotic or, even worse, guilty of treason against the empire. So even though it wasn’t illegal to worship Jesus, it was illegal to refuse to worship the other gods as well.
Peril and Peace by Mindy and Brandon Withrow via Christian Focus Publications pg. 25-26
Fascinating… I always thought that it was illegal to worship Jesus in ancient Rome… like the pagans had a problem with this Christianity thing. This is not the case. It was the refusal to worship other gods that so infuriated the world of the day.
Interesting… this seems true in our 21st century world today as it was in ancient Rome… worshiping or following Jesus isn’t the problem or the issue. The rub is the refusal to worship “other gods”. Wow…
What “other gods” do we worship in 21st century America?
- National pride