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Christians and Persecution.

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Introduction

Christians and Persecution The first persecution of Christians was made by the Roman Emperor Nero. He was born in 36 AD, to the parents Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger. Nero led a perverted and corrupted childhood. He was a glutton, homosexual, murderer and considered insane by many. He was extremely jealous of anyone suspected of rebellion and he retaliated in persecution, suppression and murder. Nero murdered many people, including his wife, girlfriend. He had his mother killed because she posed as a threat to him. In July 64AD, two thirds of Rome burnt down. It was rumoured that Nero was behind the fire that destroyed Rome and he had planned in detail to build a plush palace, The Golden House. Nero had to find some scapegoats in which the blamed could be placed. Nero chose the new secret religious sect of the Christians as his scapegoats and punished them severely. Nero took pleasure in the Christians persecutions and even offered many of them upon stakes to be burned to death as torches for his parties. Many of them were hunted down and tortured; some were sown into skins of animals and fed to starving dogs while the mobs cheered. The persecution of Christians by Nero revealed the growing resentment the people had towards the early church. Christianity was a new religion and did not appear to be very threatening, this is why the Christians where used as scapegoats. ...read more.

Middle

In another occasion Jesus again made it very clear that his followers would be persecuted, in Ch13 V9 evidence can be seen, to show that apparently many Christians were handed over to councils and the synagogue leaders, which refer to refers to Jewish persecution. In Ch13 V9, Mark refers to Jesus warning his followers: "You will be beaten in the Synagogues you will stand before rulers and kings for my sake to tell the Good News." Many Christians where taking before the synagogues and publicly whipped, during the period of persecution it seems that even a person's family would betray them. Mark's Gospel provides evidence that the first readers of the gospel were not Jews. In a section on the teaching of the ancestors the Pharisees and teachers of the law criticise Jesus and his disciples for not taking part in ritual washing as the law demanded, Ch7 V1-4. It follows with a detailed explanation of ritual cleansing. We can only assume that Mark's Gospel is written for non-Jews because the Jews would have a very clear understanding of the rule. Further evidence can also be found in the same section of teaching. Mark explains the meaning of Corban as belonging to God - an unnecessary explanation if the readers were Jews, Ch7 V11. Towards the end of the gospel more evidence can be found that the readers were gentiles because Mark describes how Jesus was taken to his place of death Golgotha and translates it as 'the Place of the Skull', Ch15 V22. ...read more.

Conclusion

Your religion should not be a crime and you should not be killed for your beliefs but many Christians are prepared to give their lives to God. But, in this modern society people are not prepared to suffer as Jesus did. Today fewer Christians attend church and even less are prepared to dedicate their lives to God. Today many things are taken for granted like food, clothes and many luxury things. People are not prepared to suffer as Jesus did. No they are not because fewer Christians attend church today and even less are prepared to dedicate their lives to God. The number of priests, nuns and missionaries are slowly decreasing. Today people are more materialistic and live their lives to gain more possessions. In the technological world that we live in today people see little value in suffering, self-sacrifice or pain. Although today people are not prepared to suffer, in Jesus' time people were also not prepared to suffer. The arrest of Jesus, Ch14 V43-52, saw the disciples run away when Jesus was arrested this clearly shows that Jesus' disciples where not prepared to suffer. My view is the same as many peoples view 'Christians are not prepared to suffer like Jesus did!' This perhaps similar to the incident in the Gospel which I mention earlier (The arrest of Jesus). I think that my view is the same as others because in this modern world that we live some people are not prepared to stand up to their beliefs. ...read more.

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