Christianity came into the world approximately two thousand years ago. It was
persecuted at first, but atually became the offical religion in 381 A.D. “It is the spiritual
force that conquered the Roman Empire; one of the decisive elements in the growth of
Western civiliztion (Bunson 9). Throughout history Christianity has played a major role
in changing our society into what it is today. “Christianity won the professed allegiance
of the overwhelming majority of the population of the Roman Empire and even the
support of the Roman State (Latourette 65). Not only did Christianity thrive, but it also
succeeded in changing the face of Roman culture.
Consider the gladiatorial fights. “The huge Coliseum at Rome seated 50 thousand people
and was the scene of many bloody gladiatorial combats and even mock naval battles”
(Schoder 108). “Hundreds of thousands of slaves shed their blood in the arena in Rome
year after year to satisfy the perverted lust of the Roman mob” (Kennedy 148).

“Although many Romans descried these blook-letting contests, there persisted a streak
of cruelty in Roman public amusements which can scarcely be comprehended, far less
condoned, today (81). The message of Christianity helped changed this aspect of
Roman life because it gave worth and significance every life (Kennedy 149). Jesus told
the multitudes to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27) He also told the story of
the good summaritan to illistrate that any person he came in contact with was his good
neighbor (Luke 10:30-37). Christianities message contains the golden rule “do to others
as you you have them do to you” (Luke 6-3).

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“The child of today is loved and adored. But it was not so in pre-Christian times. The
Roman fathers power of his child was absolute. “He could expose it to death; he could
scourge it, mutilate it, marry it, divorce it, see it as a slave, or kill it to satisfy his own
blood lust.” Quintillion, a roman writer, said that to kill a man was often held to be a
crime, but to kill ones own children was sometimes considered a beautiful action
(Kennedy 149). The message of Christianity gave value to children. Jeasus said “who
ever humbles himself like this child is greatest in my kingdom. If anyone causes these
little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone
around his neck and be drowned in the Sea (Matt 18:4-6).

“Half of the entire Roman Empire consisted of slaves. The city of Athens had four
hundred thousand inhabitants; one hundred thousand of those were free and three
hundred thousand were slaves. Slavery in the ancient world was far more brutal than
anything modern slavery has demonstrated. One Roman had six hundred slaves put to
death for the killing of a man. Another roman master put a slave to death simply for the