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Frequently Asked Questions...

How did Christianity become a mass movement and what impact did it have on Roman society?

How did Christianity become a mass movement and what impact did it have on Roman society? Is there a connection between the rise of the Roman church and the decline of the Roman state?


Best Answer...

Answer:

How Christianity become a mass movement can depend on your spiritual and religious outlook. My belief as a Christian is that it moved because it had substance, truth, and innately the Holy Spirit. As a pure historian I would say that Christianity had many aspects that were more freeing and less oppressing than Judaism and was also different in its inception than the pagan worships.
I cannot directly answer the part about it's effect on Roman Society. However, the rise of the Roman Catholic Church was eventually a result of the Christian movement. In the first few centuries of the Christian movement the Romans persecuted the movement with methods as cruel as setting Christians on fire. Many of these acts were perpetrated directly or indirectly by Caesar Nero. However, this not only did not stop the movement, but on the contrary it made it flourish.
So about the time of Constantine the Roman Empire adopted a "if we can't beat 'em, join 'em" kind of strategy and said "let's just make everyone a Christian."
Hence the empire assimilated the Christians as well as many other pagan religions into the Empire and through history became the Roman Catholic Church.
(Side note: many of the Roman Church sanctuaries were built where pagan temples once stood).