9. Travel Greece with a Bible in Your Suitcase | 2nd Period in Church History | 64AD-313AD

The second period in church history is the period of the persecutions. It overlaps a little bit with the first period and starts in the year 64AD when Nero ordered the first persecution against the Christians, making an official distinction between the Christians and the Jews. Until 313AD, it is a period of  severe persecution against the Christians. The reason for the persecution was not that they believed in Christ.

During the Imperial Roman period we have the culmination of a phenomenon, which started by Alexander the Great, called syncretism.  Alexander was the king  and he had a totally different idea about who is the wise king. Alexander studied and considered the wise king, obviously, under the influence of his famous teacher Aristotle. Aristotle said, wise is the king who does not destroy a culture to impose his own culture but wise is the one who can find the positive elements of the different cultures to build the super culture. So, his suggestion was to preserve cultures and marry cultures to produce a super culture, in all the fields of life.

In this second period of church history Christians considered persecution their test of faith, of love to Jesus and of their unique opportunity to be faithful to direction, (Kostas didn’t like to say the word command) given through the New Testament about loving even the enemy. So, for these Christians persecution, a test of their faith, was an exercise to become more faithful, and more loving people,  even toward their executors.