How Did Christianity Influence Roman Religion

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When Christianity first arrived in Rome around 60 AD it was regarded with superstition. Early converts to Christianity were heavily persecuted but this did not deter their faith. Christianity continued to spread relatively unhindered throughout Rome, but Christians also faced intense persecution from citizens that were still following their Pagan traditions. Even though Christianity spread steadily throughout Rome, it did not do so without conflict, often this conflict was from Pagan religions that viewed Christianity as a threat.
Roman and Greek religion was undeniably polytheistic. Roman religion was heavily influenced by Greek religion coming up from the colonies in the Lower Peninsula. Many Greek gods were appropriated into the Roman culture
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Sacrifice was not something Christians practiced. Romans, however, counted on sacrifice to initiate the God’s good will. When the number of Christians began to increase in Rome and the amount of offerings to the Gods began to decrease pagan Romans saw this as a direct threat to their safety. Withholding sacrifice would cause the gods to withhold their protection leaving Rome and its citizens open to invasion by foreign forces, disease and the possibility of poverty should the goddess Ceres get angry with the lack of sacrifice in her name and cause the crops to wither. Loyal Romans would also find Christians suspicious and treasonous because of their refusal to worship previous emperors as deities. To Romans who were devoutly loyal to their city and its history this was seen as sacrilege and particularly treasonous. Not only did Christians not care about possibly angering the Gods but they were also traitors of Rome. These were very real worries of pagan Romans so when Emperor Nero began executing Christians en masse these Roman citizens were not disturbed enough to protest; neither did they protest the subsequent 100 years of persecution Christians living in Rome went through. Romans were just as zealous as their Emperor to round up the Christians and eradicate them from the

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