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Roman Religion

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Christianity came into the world approximately two thousand years ago. It was

persecuted at first, but atually became the official

religion in 381 A.D. "It is the spiritual

force that conquered the Roman Empire; one of the decisive elements in the growth of

Western civiliztion (Bunson 9). Throughout history Christianity has played a major role

in changing our society into what it is today. "Christianity won the professed allegiance

of the overwhelming majority of the population of the Roman Empire and even the

support of the Roman State (Latourette 65). Not only did Christianity thrive, but it also

succeeded in changing the face of Roman culture.

Consider the gladiatorial fights. "The huge Coliseum at Rome seated 50 thousand people

and was the scene of many bloody gladiatorial combats and even mock naval battles"

(Schoder 108). "Hundreds of thousands of slaves shed their blood in the arena in Rome

year after year to satisfy the perverted lust of the Roman mob" (Kennedy 148).

"Although many Romans descried these blook-letting contests, there persisted a streak

of cruelty in Roman public amusements which can scarcely be comprehended, far less

condoned, today (81). The message of Christianity helped changed this aspect of

Roman life because it gave worth and significance every life (Kennedy 149). Jesus told

the multitudes to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27) He also told the story of

the good summaritan to illistrate that any person he came in contact with was his good

neighbor (Luke 10:30-37). Christianities message contains the golden rule "do to others

as you you have them do to you" (Luke 6-3).

"The child of today

...

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