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08 Mar 2016
You can find three main related factors that contributed to the growth and growth of Christianity, and ultimately its success. We were holding a combination of political, social and economic factors. The increase of early Christianity may be the topic of much debate and historical analyses. We are attempting to simply outline and discuss some of the main social factors that lead to the rise of Christianity.


Christianity has come at the perfect time, in an age where life was uncertain and lots of circumstances could not be controlled for example the barbarians invading; fires home whole cities and plagues killing off lots of the population, whether you were rich or poor it made no difference, life inside the Greco-Roman world was very fragile and short. Life span was not great and the average person lived until throughout the age of 30 as well as considerably less. Life expectancy was suprisingly low and what may have appealed to pagans was that the Christian religion and doctrines offered hope and certainty inside the afterlife and even some personal divine protection in this world. These new doctrines would have seemed attractive to pagans, when there is growing discontent with pagan practices plus a general spiritual unrest. Like Christianity the Roman Religion was for the ordinary man but interest was waning and the mystery religions were far too complicated for the common Roman, thus the people's choice was likely to end up Christianity.

Christianity also offered desire to a usually pessimistic society that believed that their destinies were fixed, to be in the Gods' favour as well as to be out of it, without having hope of redemption. Christianity offered an alternate with the much desired potential for salvation.

Christianity was primarily an urban movement, in these urban centre's Christianity grew in a steady pace, the towns of cities such as Antioch, were very condensed with individuals it is estimated that there were 117 people per acre. In comparison with modern cities of today this is rather overcrowded. The overcrowding was very extreme, entire families existed together in single room apartments; this left little personal space and allowed everyone to know each other's business. Considering that urban centre's were dramatically overcrowded understanding that early Roman Greco cities had minimal sanitation or sewerage for the average apartments people would often just throw their bodily waste out the window of their apartments to the streets. Starks describe the situation in these urbanized areas as:

Given limited water and means of sanitation and the incredible density of humans and animals, many people in the Greco-Roman world could have lived in filth beyond our imagining.

Apartment buildings were often Smokey, dark, damp and try to dirty. The air was filled with the smell of sweat, urine and faces. Onto of these conditions the rodents and bugs were everywhere over these apartments. The city streets weren't much better they had open sewers, animal manure and crowds in some places it was so bad there was dead human corpses abandoned in the streets. When cities were inside a constant state of filth, insects and crowding, disease was rife of these conditions, especially when these Roman societies didn't have antibiotics or expertise in germs. Often plagues would strike and physical illness was probably a part of daily life. Among this was the analysis of human faeces which are found in a cesspit in Jerusalem showed considerable amounts of tapeworm and whipworm eggs, which shows poor sanitary conditions where humans often entered contact with human faeces.

Christianity revitalized the way of life in Greco-Roman society offering telecomutting saves gas, which dealt with a number of the consequences of urban problems. Charity and hope was offered to homeless and the poor, usually the cities were packed with newcomers and strangers and Christianity offered a long family and a base for attachments and also effective nursing services during times of disaster, that were often due to plagues, earthquakes and fires.

Christianity's attitude towards society and its particular social impact greatly resulted in the expansion and success in the church. The church was particularly well-known for the acts of charity, it's likely that the charity itself was one of the most influencing factors to the growth of Christianity.

The church offered this charity to everyone, including pagans and Jews. By the third century the Church was taking care of one thousand five hundred widows in need. The church itself was well-heeled and according to Eusebius, through the year 251 the church in Rome supported the bishop, 46 presbyters, 7 deacons, 7 sub deacons, 42 acolytes and 52 exorcists, reader and doorkeepers, but additionally more than 1500 widows and needy persons. The churches obvious financial stability leads it to be popular and it successfully expanded since it helped those in need, it offered help and sometimes people were converted to Christianity due to the kindness and a focus they received. Although the Roman Empire did have some charitable services for example the bread dole, Christian charity far outweighed the state's charity.

Through the first century to the fourth century there was government enforced persecution of early Christianity, though not constantly. Persecution and martyrdom has been a sign of the strength of Christianity, which regularly shows if the movement was attracting attention through the Roman state. Such emperors that instigated severe persecution were Decius and Diocletian. There were sufficient amounts of Christians in North Africa for martyrdoms to get noticed, one of these martyrdoms were Perpetua and her slave girl, Felicity who had been thrown to the lions from a trial.

Tertullian wrote that "the blood of Christians is seed" and this can be misquoted as "the blood in the martyrs is the seed with the church." Tertullian was saying this because he believed that martyrdoms created new converts or might have strengthened the church.

The Roman Empire wanted to exterminate this new religion immediately and it seems it tried initially to exterminate every Christian they might find but later under Decius they started new techniques to try and exterminate Christianity a proven way was by treatment of clergy and the bishops and in addition taking away lands and churches in the Christians, irrespective of rank while forcing these to sacrifice to the states pagan gods or perhaps be punished severely with torture, exile, slavery and frequently execution, depending on numerous reasons along with the time of persecution.

This would also have to give this new religion much publicity, particularly when it was in the circus arenas being killed by wild beats could have been creating attention, this indicates many would have seen these peculiar people ready to suffer excruciating torture and even die for their God and religion, this must have left the pagan with something further to take into consideration and consider if they were happy to die for their pagan gods.

The Christians may even have won converts in certain areas, because of their courage in the persecutions, the strength of their faith and also the support they showed each other, Tertullian said that pagans had exclaimed within the arenas during martyrdoms "See how these Christians love one another" this indicated the social nature in the Christian faith. The persecutions also created apologists we were holding people who would be writing wanting to convince the authorities that they done nothing wrong, choice . Emperors read these long letters of apology no-one knows, it seems rather unlikely however you are able to suggest State officials having read these letters of apology.

Another part of Christian growth was that Christianity and its friendships formed from inside the Church cause its successful growth because those who had become a Christian felt that they are to fulfil the truly amazing commission as taught by Jesus and the apostles and they were to pass what it's all about onto their friends and family, this quite often generated a close knit community and also this was appealing in an era when it was expected individuals to look after yourself. In this Greco-Roman era religious and social life was very much interlinked. It absolutely was taught in the church that if Christian travellers originated in outside of the city or were strangers to a new city, Christians would provide their needs and supply shelter to these Christians, it was not only taught in the teachings of Jesus but additionally by the apostle Paul. So that it was an incentive to become a Christian as there was always help and social networking sites that could support you within a large empire. It turned out like an extended family where ever you went from the Roman Empire. Eusebius writes the Christian missionaries were so inspired from the Holy Spirit which they saw mass conversions occur, from be a contributing factor.

Christianity also gained some favour in society due to its improvement in the management of women, and it elevation with their social status. Christianity taught that marital unfaithfulness in a single partner as serious such as the other and that in in accordance with the New Testament, husbands should treat their wives by using these consideration and love as Christ manifested for his Church, though women remained considered homemakers and wives. It's believed that Christianity made its distance to the aristocracy in Rome at the time through the influence of their wives.

The Greco-Roman world was quite different woman had much less expensive rights than men. It absolutely was a very male orientated society where male babies were wanted and feminine babies rejected this ended in infant side of female babies. Some excavations have discovered hundreds of babies bones within an underground sewer regarded as female babies. It was not uncommon that girls were offered in marriage before that they had reached puberty to much older men and the cultural custom was that the women were the house of the man, either the father or the husband. Women played a major role in the early Christian church this might have been because they received more rights from the Christian community when compared to women in the Greco-Roman world. We percieve in some early writings regarding the persecution of Christians that numerous more females clothing were stored or found than men's, a lot more than double, this may suggest there were far more females than males noisy . church.

If this is true that there were far more females than males in the early church then that allows for many secondary conversions. Secondary conversions are the ones that are a result of somebody else being converted as a result of first conversion, like a woman is converted but shortly after her husband is converted which probably would not have occurred when the woman was not originally converted. Christian doctrines were against abortion and infanticide. This may have had some influence on the birth-rates of Christian woman when compared with their pagan counterparts.

Multiplication of Christianity also involved Christian writings by the end of the first century the writings of Paul as well as the apostles of Jesus was spread sporadically with the Roman Empire. Apart for that early apostolic writers, others go about advocating, defending and propagating Christianity. Justin Martyr who lived around Ad 100-160 was a Christian teacher and philosopher, he wrote the first and second apology. There were many subsequent Christian writers throghought the early years of the church, most often they were well-educated, such as Origen, Tertullian and others. In the pagan mystery religions merely the elite could look at sacred and secret texts, in Christianity often the Gospels and Paul's epistles were read out aloud for those to hear in the church, this could have appealed to the pagans when contemplating a choice in further religious observance. The Christian writings also acted as a way of spreading the Gospel message around town, often reaching more than the Roman Empire itself.


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