Osiemo Matthew Gichana
02 November 2018
The Rise of Christianity in Europe
Thesis Statement: Christianity’s rising influence over Rome began the decline of the
Empire by causing leaders to focus more on the enforcement of the religion which resulted in
distracting the public from other problems that had conflict like religion.
Christianity spread throughout Europe, the Middle East and along the Mediterranean Sea
with the help of Jesus’s disciples. Christianity was illegal at the time and most people who
believed in Christianity were often persecuted for their beliefs. Even though the persecution
continued for a while the religion began to grow causing more people to catch on the religion of
Christianity and here is why .
The time came when the Roman Empire was collapsing and a new religion called
“Christianity” was spreading throughout Europe through missionaries bringing the so called
“good word of Jesus” abroad. Christianity was originally developed in Judea and evolved from
the religion of Judaism it was then influenced by historical contexts in which it became
prosperous. However, Christianity was spreading throughout Europe at slow but efficient rate. It
required time for Christianity to reach some places and for the local people in those areas to
finally accept Christianity and what it meant as a religion. Christianity started as and urban
religion but then later on evolved into much more, with the arrival of Jesus Christianity began to
thrive throughout Europe. Jesus himself brought crowds of people at his call so that they could
hear the word that was to be spoken by him. Jesus traveled from homes to villages teaching in
the churches and healing the sick. He questioned the superior authority to make amends for their
selfishness and to realize that God’s kingdom is only available when you love and serve others
through his teachings. Jesus then passed on his teachings to his faithful 12 students called the
disciples who then after Jesus’s death continued onward the work that Jesus had left unfinished
and incomplete, therefore spreading Christianity even further towards Europe than it had ever
Disciples were not the only people that spread Christianity across Europe. In fact a
persecutor who persecuted disciples of Jesus named Saul was changed by God and converted
into Paul a man who had a great impact on the rapid movement of Christianity throughout
Europe. During the 30 years of Paul’ s life he traveled an estimated mileage of about ten thousand
miles across Europe spreading Christianity along the way . Similar to Jesus he taught people at
their homes traveling from houses to villages and from villages to churches, but entirely he
achieved more than Jesus could ever achieve. Paul not only convince the people to turn towards
the religion of Christianity was also able to turn those who weren’ t Jewish, soon enough there
were non-Jewish people converting to Christianity, and this was a central reason for the rapid
spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. In the process of Christianity accepting
new members Christianity was slowly detaching from the Pagan standards and becoming a
separate religion. Although Christianity was rapidly reaching its peak rapidly growing across the
Roman Empire there were also some challenges among the way that had been simply
misunderstood and turned into big problems throughout history. In 64 A. D “The great fire of
Rome” Emperor Nero blames the Christian church for his actions therefore inflicting punishment
on the Christians diverting attention away from himself to the Christians and in no time arrested
all the Christians he could get and tortured them to death. Now with the very few Christians in
Rome spreading the message throughout Rome was harder than it had ever been because of the
lack and shortage of people needed for Christianity to become dominant throughout Rome, but
this problem only lasted for a brief period because besides Nero’ s efforts to persecute Christians.
It did not take long for Christians to become strengthened by their endurance and to continue on
what they had been trying to achieve, which was strengthening Christianity throughout the
Roman Empire. In doing this Armenia became the first country to legalize Christianity in Europe
in 301 which gave the Christians a safe haven where they could freely practice their religion
without the fear of worry or ever having to fear again. This all happened because the Christians
refused to give up allowing St. Gregory to convince T iridates the Third to become Christian
which resulted in him reeducating his kingdom towards Christianity . Ten years later under the
rule of Constantine the First, Constantine declared the Edict of Milan thus resulting in
Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. Constantine then made ef forts
to make Christianity a universal church but his efforts were then quickly shut down over quarrels
over that belief. Now that Christianity was the official religion of Rome it was also the largest
and most impacting religion in the world and to this day remains the same.
After the death of Constantine Christianity still began to thrive and prosper but under
small circumstance, would it face any difficulty? Constantine’s nephew came to the throne
shortly after. Unlike his father , Julian was secretly pagan and tried to convert the Roman empire
to its roots which was called paganism. Luckily he was killed shortly before he had made any
grand attempts to convert Rome the way it was before the Edict of Milan, back to paganism.
After the death of Julian there never ever was a pagan emperor and Rome ceased to hold on to
Christianity. In 395, after the death of Theodosius Christianity was prosperous and Rome
remained a Christian state even though the Roman Empire collapsed the religion of Christianity
still spread on finding itself spreading throughout new places for it to grow , prosper and thrive
for eternity. Christianity religious comfort with an ideal way of reaching salvation and as an
attraction towards successful careers such as the bishop. Y ears after Constantine’s death was
traveling towards other dominions even outside of the Roman Empire become that country or
state established religion.
Even though Christianity was spreading further and further into other countries along the
Roman Empire besides itself paganism had not completely disappeared and to this day , there are
small traces of paganism throughout the churches of Christ and because of this, paganism had an
impact as an imperial religion and became a challenge towards the Christian church. Another
serious and conflicting problem that the Christians faced was polytheism. While Christianity
embraced a number of multiple ethnic groups of cultures and people which resulted in the
establishment of a community, polytheism didn’t because they allowed their members to keep
their old tradition therefore conflicting with their belief as polytheism. Christianity relied on
writing so that their history and beliefs were stored and passed on towards the next upcoming
religion which is one of the reasons why Christianity as to this day still exists. It also encouraged
its believers to become thoroughly educated in literature.
Now that Rome was fully catholic (part of the Christian church), Rome like the
Christians wanted to convert the rest of Europe to Catholicism. Now in order to do so the Roman
bishop (Pope) ordered missions to convert the western portion of Europe. The Roman Bishop
was controlled by the Byzantine Empire and this is how they were connected the Roman Church.
In all Christianity was able to cross all over the Roman Empire especially along the
Mediterranean Sea, now that Christianity was spread all over the Roman Empire it prospered.
Jesus and his disciples were able to spread Christianity efficiently throughout the Roman
Empire.The Christians were persecuted by the Romans but were yet able to hold onto their faith
and religion. And through the Christian's long struggle with their belief they were able to achieve
their goal when Christianity was made legal throughout the entire Roman Empire. This action
only made Christianity to endure and prosper through numerous occasions and soon other
countries were in pursuit of Rome and began not only to legalize Christianity but to make
Christianity their state or country religion.Christianity had an influence from Judeasm amd from
old Roman beliefs. Christianity would have never happend if it was not for Jesus who gave us
the good word and taught it to anyone willing to listen to him speak.
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