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It was not easy for Christianity to spread around a pagan Europe that was mostly under the cruel Roman control. It emerged as a Jewish sect and contradicted the Roman theology in its every little aspect, which was quite dangerous back in those days. Rome was promoting an idea where people were slaves or vassals of the empire, while Christianity promoted the idea of human freedom, an unimaginable concept in those times. In front of one Almighty God, everyone was equal, poor or rich, weak or strong, as God loves everyone. But the Romans fought with everything they got these ideas, which were abominable in their opinion, trying to exterminate Christianity from the territories they controlled.

But something amazing happened in Europe. The harder the Romans tried to extinguish the flame of Christianity, the greater the fire became, as this new formed religion was starting to grow in popularity. Around 135 CE, following the downfall of Bar Kochba, Christianity started to spread around Europe at an incredible speed. It took less than 100 years for a third of the Roman Empire to become Christian. Of course, this didn’t come without a price, as Christians were persecuted with cruelty by the Romans, who saw this religion as the ultimate offence brought to the empire’s Caesars, finding even the smallest reasons to publicly torture and execute Christians. But, from 260 to 360CE, the Roman Empire started to decline. The persecution of Christians did not help the pagan empire at all, as this only made Christianity more popular among common people, who were tired of the oppression unrolled by the Romans.

Christianity impacted the life of pagan Europeans at a significant degree, bringing customers and ideas that never existed before. In a world where women were considered worthless, except in the case of Jewish people, Christianity managed to give women hope, allowing them to believe in their goals and ambitions. Also, Christianity changed a lot the perception over sexuality as well. In both the Roman and Greek empires, sexuality was seen as a part of human’s nature, as normal as eating and sleeping. It was part of a natural and healthy society, not being condemned at all, as it was believed that people don’t have full control over their sexuality, being both mysterious and important. Thus, homosexuality was seen as normal in the pagan world, although it was still discriminated in a certain degree.

When it came to Christianity, sexuality was part of the moral identity of humans, being completely controllable and within the range of our free will. Of course, Christianity saw some pagan sexual practices as demonic, and we make reference here at homosexuality, which is completely forbidden and against human nature by the Christian religion. So, by introducing morality to the intimate lives of people, Christianity promoted the fact that sexuality is not a form of entertainment, as it was left in the world as a mean to procreate. Thus, intimate relationships outside of a marriage were not allowed, together with sexual relations between two persons of the same sex, and there were also rules about pre-marital sex, which were similar to the ones that existed in Rome and Greece as well, in spite of the fact that they followed pagan religions.


 

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