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Christians in the Empire - Essay Example
The early Christians were not worshiping the emperor and the gods of the Empire, posing a direct threat to the Empire political and economic stability, and many people had become Christians as we can know when Pliny said: "For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved…
Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded." The Roman Empire has also forbidden any secret meetings, and considered them to be political associations against the emperor as Pliny clearly states: "in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations." Christians were treated like treators, like conspirators, to the state and the established pagan religion. Pagans considered Christians to be a threat to their own gods, and they considered that misfortunes or natural disasters came from the Christians' God.
Pliny didn't know how to prosecute the Christians. For him they were superstitious people, just ignorant people. So Pliny states the following as he didn't know what to do: "I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what event. . ."
Trajan tells him that he has treated the matter in the right way when he said: "You observed proper procedure ...