The Religious Freedom Of The Roman Empire Essay
The right to religious freedom dates back to the Roman Empire when Constantine was emperor (Keys 138). Initially, he persecuted Christians, but converted after receiving the message “in this sign you will conquer” accompanied with a flaming cross. He established the Edict of Milan, granting religious freedom in the Roman Empire.
Soon after Constantine’s reign, Christianity was adopted as the main religion (Keys 139). The one religion-state model was used until the 16th century when the Peace of Augsburg was created. Two religious could co-exist in the same state, the only catch was one of the religions was that of their prince. The division amongst Christians led to violence, wars to break out, and the birth of the Peace of Westphalia (Keys 139). Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists benefited from the treaty, the religions could be practice publicly and must be tolerated.
Even the treaty couldn’t stop violence caused by religious freedom. The French Revolution is a perfect example of the danger surrounding the idea. Once it was granted, the separation of church and state lead to the Catholic Church being overthrown and Pope Pius VI being…