Christianity Persecution Has Been a Component of Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :


Persecution has been a component of the Christian experience since the time of Christ. The Roman government periodically led formal persecution campaigns that were significant for the development of Christian identity and consciousness. Ten of these Roman persecution campaigns were historically significant, beginning with one led by Nero and causing the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul ("Persecutions in the Early Church," 2013). Martyrdom thus became a core motif for Christians, leading to the tradition of Christian sainthood: "The high regard for the martyrs as the heroes of the church and the privileges assigned to them led to the cult of the saints," ("Persecution in Early Church: Did You Know?" 1990). Although they could be severe, early persecutions of Christians were sporadic and localized, rather than being "a constant experience," ("Persecution in Early Church: Did You Know?" 1990). Once Constantine the Great adopted Christianity as the official religion of Rome, the persecution of Christians became less common in Europe.

Although persecution cannot be considered a necessary component of being Christian, it is certainly normal in the sense that it has been occurring since the time of Christ. Suffering persecution has been a global, even if sporadic, experience. Recent persecutions of Christians throughout the Middle East such as in Iraq and Egypt continue to plague the community (Martin, 2010). Therefore, Christians are continually reminded of the unfortunate pervasiveness of religious persecution.

The Bible refers to persecution as an expected experience. John frames persecution as a response to disbelief or lack of faith: "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me," (John 15:18-21). The Old Testament refers to persecution as well as the New Testament, making the suffering of persecution one that was common for Jews as well as Christians. "All your commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help you me," (Psalms 119: 86). God allows suffering because the experiences can bring one closer to God, as the tale of Job tells us.

Especially because of the nature of Christ's suffering and the persecution of Christ by the Romans, martyrdom and suffering have been core themes of Christianity. Paul writes, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong," (2 Corinthians 12:10). The book of Timothy in the New Testament contains the most ample references to the nature and function of Christian persecution. "Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution," (2 Timothy 3:12).

Section 2

The Book of Acts is frequently cited as a text that can inform the proper structure of Church government. In Acts, Luke does not offer instructions as explicit as a formal operational code for Christian Churches. There is no rulebook or specific guidelines as to how a church should operate. However, Luke does suggest a pattern for the proper structure of Church government in order that the church may best deliver the word of Christ. The Acts-supported pattern for the structure of Church government is hierarchical in…

Sources Used in Document:


Bible: NIV

"Persecution in Early Church: Did You Know?" (1990). Retrieved online:

"Persecutions in the Early Church," (2013). Retrieved online:

Reid, D.R. (n.d). Expect to be persecuted.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Christianity Persecution Has Been A Component Of" (2013, February 26) Retrieved June 2, 2020, from

"Christianity Persecution Has Been A Component Of" 26 February 2013. Web.2 June. 2020. <>

"Christianity Persecution Has Been A Component Of", 26 February 2013, Accessed.2 June. 2020,