Brenda J. Norris, Bangor Daily News
When Rome burned in A.D. 64, suspicion was cast upon the Christians of that time. After all, they followed a man named Christ, who supposedly had been crucified, then raised to life. They met in private homes. They greeted one another with a holy kiss (2nd Corinthians 13:12), and who knew what-all went on at those meetings!
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There were rumors of cannibalism because they practiced communion, as demonstrated by Jesus Christ in 1st Corinthians 11:23-25, “that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”
When the emperor blamed Christians for the fire, the Romans willingly supported him. Nero had the Christians dipped in tar and burned as live torches to light his garden parties. They were thrown to the lions or dragged through the streets as part of a national pastime.But that’s ancient history. We’re so much more civilized and tolerant now; it could never happen again — could it?
Photo Credit: John H. Wright (Creative Commons)