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Rome’s bloody anti-Christian persecutions now reached their worst stage ever, first under Decius and then Diocletian. Then a new and very different emperor emerged. Before the key battle that brought him to power, Constantine had seen the sign of a cross in the sky, and received the message “By this sign, conquer.” He imposed peace and religious tolerance across the empire. No longer subversives, Christians suddenly became the new establishment. This opened very different and dangerous challenges for the church. The first was an influx of opportunistic converts seeking not salvation but worldly power. Even worse was a growing controversy over whether Jesus is God, and if so, in what sense? It came to a head, but not to resolution, at the great Council of Nicea.
AuthorChristian History Project
Year Published2003
Series NameThe Christians #3: Their first two thousand years