20120507-Christian catacomb  Early-Christians-Worship-in-the-Catacombs-of-Saint-Calixtus.jpg
Early Christians Worship in
the Catacombs of Saint Calixtus
The Gospels say that Jesus commanded his followers to carry on his mission, in what is sometimes called of the "Great Commission": "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:18–20).

Some writers distinguish evangelism from missions. The former denotes any Christian sharing the good news, while the latter involves a more deliberate effort to establish new churches in cultures or regions without Christians. The first wave of missionaries spread the gospel (meaning "good news") of Christ, finding converts throughout the Roman Empire. The New Testament was collected by about A.D. 130 and this helped to spread Christianity. It is widely believed that Christianity spread the way it did because it was regarded as a minority religion of such little importance than it didn’t seem worth the effort to reign in, regulate or persecute. In response to accusations that their religion was second rate, Christians responded that it was a fulfillment of the Jewish scriptures.

Basing his conclusions on history, studies of modern cults and modern sociological studies, Rodney Stark of the University of Washington, argued persuasively in his book: “The Rise of Christianity” that Christianity went from being a fringe sect in the Roman Empire to dominate religion of Western Civilization through the efforts women and the educated classes in the same way that religion the Unification Church of Rev. Moon attracts followers today.

Stark argued that Constantine did not introduce Christianity to Rome but rather reacted to rapid growth of Christianity within the empire. Stark believed that Christianity grew in the Roman Empire at a rate of 40 percent a decade, growing from around 1,000 (0.0017 percent of the population) in A.D. 40 to nearly 34 million (56.5 percent of the population) in A.D. 350, when it reached "a critical mass” of at least 10 percent of the Roman Empire.

Stark said conversions did not take place with rallies in marketplace but rather quietly through relatives and friend. Basing this claim on the fact that Mormon missionaries convert only one of 1,000 by cold house calls but covert one of every two people they meet through friends and relatives, wrote "conversion tends to proceed along social networks formed by interpersonal relations.” He said that by not requiring “converts to observe the [Jewish] law, they created a religion free of ethnicity.”

Websites and Resources: Early Christianity: PBS Frontline, From Jesus to Christ, The First Christians pbs.org ; Elaine Pagels website elaine-pagels.com ; Sacred Texts website sacred-texts.com ; Guide to Early Church Documents iclnet.org; Early Christian Writing earlychristianwritings.com ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Christian Origins sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Christianity BBC on Christianity bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity ; Candida Moss at the Daily Beast Daily Beast; Christian Classics Ethereal Library www.ccel.org

Early Spread of Christianity

After the destruction of the Jewish temple, Jews and some Christians were driven out of Jerusalem. Christianity spread outside of Israel throughout the Roman Empire. Early Christian communities were set up in Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, Carthage and Alexandria. By the end of the A.D. 2nd century, the faith had spread to Egypt, North Africa and Gaul. As the religion spread many of the converts were Jewish merchants, artisans and scholars that had settled in the major cities of the Roman Empire.

Roman-era Christian Funerary inscription
As the new sect attracted more Gentiles leaders decided they no longer had to convert to the Jewish religion; they only had to abandon all forms of idolatry. After the destruction of the Temple it became more politically advantageous for Christianity to distance itself from its Jewish roots to escape the persecution experienced by the Jews. The Gospels were written during this period, which explains why the Jews sometimes get bad rap in the New Testament.

As Christianity became distanced from its Jewish roots it began to incorporate elements of other cultures and ways of thinking. It was especially influenced by Greek philosophy and Roman concepts of organization. Christianity also influenced other institutions. Roman paganism was influenced by Christianity and Christian hermits.

By the end of the A.D. 1st century there were Christians throughout Asia Minor. Biblical papyri and parchment codices found in Egypt provide evidence of the deep penetration of Christianity by the early 2nd century.

At the beginning of the A.D. 2nd century, it is estimated that there still were only around 10,000 Christians in the entire world. By A.D. 150, there were Christian communities throughout the Roman Empire and in places as far away as Arabia, Persia and India. By A.D. 250 missionaries had carried Christianity up the Rhine and Danube and to Britain.

Role of Paul in Spread of Christianity

The initial spread of Christianity outside the community of Jews was largely due to the work of Paul (A.D. c. 5 – 64/65), converted Jew first known as Saul of Tarsus and later called Paul the Apostle and Saint Paul. He was not one of the original apostles but he was so influential he became like an honorary one.

When he was Saul of Tarsus he was involved in persecutions directed against disciples of Jesus. Some time after the death of Jesus, Paul had a tumultuous conversion experience and began his ministry. He was the first to begin preaching to the Gentiles (those who were not Jewish). Through the writings and teachings of Paul, Christianity slowly began to separate itself from Judaism. [Source: Encyclopedia.com]

spread of Christianity, dark blue to AD 325, light blue to 600

Professor Helmut Koester told PBS:“Paul's conversion as an apostle to the gentiles may date as early as three years after Jesus' death. No later than the year 35, but probably already 32 or 33.... He was in Damascus when he was called, according to his own witness. So we have, already, within two years or three or five years, of Jesus' death probably Greek speaking communities outside of Palestine, very early in Antioch, but we have also the founding of communities in Samaria.... We have apparently more isolated Christian communities founded very early in Galilee. Paul's mission carried Christianity all the way over Asia Minor, present Turkey into Macedonia, into Greece, within 20 years. And at the end of that period, Paul already knows that there's a Christian community in Rome which he has not founded. [Source: Helmut Koester, John H. Morison Professor of New Testament Studies and Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History Harvard Divinity School, Frontline, PBS, April 1998 ]

“With this explosive spread of Christian churches, not a very slow moderate growth, getting a few new members every few years, but an explosive spread of this movement, it cannot be expected that everywhere, everybody was doing and believing the same thing, singing the same hymns and reading the same scriptures and telling the same story. So we have a beginning with great diversity, and the slow process, particularly in the second century, to establish a greater unity among the very diverse churches. Already a process in Paul's churches themselves, because that's why Paul writes letters, because he wants to make sure that these newly converted Christians in Ephesus and Philippi and Thessaloniki and in Corinth have some unanimity in their beliefs. And his work is made even more difficult because once he had left Corinth, some people came to Corinth and told them, "Really Paul has not told you enough of the deep wisdom of the words of Jesus. Those you have to contemplate in order to learn the wisdom that comes from Jesus," and Paul has to write back and say, "Now, I taught you nothing but Christ crucified, not Christ wisdom." So you get a conflict of different traditions also at a very early stage.

Women and the Spread of Christianity

Stark suggests that women played a major role in the spread of Christianity because Christian doctrine "promoted liberating social relations between the sexes and within the family" given them higher status than in Roman and Jewish society.

Christianity outlawed infanticide and abortion, gruesome practices common in the Roman Empire that produced a disproportionally large male population. Women also benefited from Christianity's sanction of marriage and opposition to divorce.

Roman men held marriage in low regard and when they married produced few children. This kept the population of the Romans relatively low while the population of Christians grew. The Church encouraged women to marry pagan husbands, even Senators. This allowed Christianity to penetrate the aristocracy through conversion of spouses and children. The ban on abortion and female infanticide allowed more Christian women to give birth to Christian children.

By the 2nd century as the “orthodox church” was consolidating itself women were increasingly being looked upon with scorn and shunted aside as beings associated with sin, namely sex.

Perpetua and Felicitas, early Christain martyrs

Spread of Christianity from Cities to the Countryside

Christianity began as an urban religion and spread slowly to countryside. In many cases the process involved wealthy landowners, who often were converted through contacts in cities, and then encouraged their rural tenant farmers to accept the faith. Early Christian churches and communities also set up social services for the poor and disenfranchised and their message of a compassionate God was better received than the scripted devotion expected to be expressed towards Roman gods.

Stark also said that many of the new converts were Jews dispersed from their homeland who felt a conflict by their traditional laws and their new surroundings. He argued that once influential leaders decided it was okay to break Jewish law less devout Jews found the transition to Christianity easy.

Christians drawn from the lower classes, began to associate in monasteries first in Egypt, then in the East and later the West. Popular devotion to saints and particularly the Virgin Mary spread.

Early Missionary Movements in the Christian Church

Carl A. Volz wrote: “The mission of the Church was accomplished by means of its very existence and by that of holiness which it possessed, rather than by means of programs, agencies, or professional missionaries. As you take the following missionary "tour" of various geographical regions, take note of who the missionaries were. It's a very mixed group: famous leaders and humble believers who will remain forever anonymous; bishops, theologians, and holy men; merchants, travellers, and adventurers; prisoners of war. [Source: Carl A. Volz, late professor of church history at Luther Seminary, web.archive.org, martin.luthersem.edu /~]

“After the conversion of Constantine we see more planned missionary campaigns, but new factors complicate our appreciation of these endeavors: imperially-sponsored missionary activity often combined evangelistic and political ends, and we also witness a new readiness to resort to violence in the cause of the True Faith. /~\

“Remember that in A.D. 380 the augusti Theodosius I and Gratian issued an edict declaring Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire, and forbidding the practice of other religions. In the decades that followed, many pagan cult centers were destroyed, and there were occasional outrages such as the murder of Hypatia, the neo-Platonist philosopher, by a Christian mob in Alexandria in 415.) Within the Christian Empire many conversions were merely a matter of convenience or the quest for upward social mobility.” /~\

Early Missionary Activity Within the Roman Empire

20120507-Christian catacombs Christ_teacher.jpg
Christian catacombs in Rome
with Christ the teacher
Carl A. Volz wrote: “Most of the early expansion of Christianity within the Roman Empire in the post-apostolic period is due to believers who will remain forever anonymous: Jewish Christians who shared their faith in the Jewish communities of the diaspora, Gentile Christians who shared their faith with colleagues, friends, and family members. In class we discussed the witness of Christian communities and their works of charity (described in the works of the Apologists); the witness of the martyrs (we mentioned the example of St. Perpetua and her companions in Carthage in A.D. 203), and later, the witness of holy men and women (we took as example St. Simeon the Stylite, who prayed atop a pillar for about forty years until his death in A.D. 459). [Source: Carl A. Volz, late professor of church history at Luther Seminary, web.archive.org, martin.luthersem.edu /~]

“Figures of special interest for the spread of the faith within the boundaries of the Roman Empire include St. Gregory Thaumatourgos ("the Wonder-Worker"), a student of Origen who, from 243 until his death in 272, ably confronted paganism in Pontus and Cappadocia. A similar figure from the next century is St. Martin of Tours, who from his consecration as Bishop of Tours in 372 until his death a quarter-century later challenged and rooted out paganism in northern Gaul. In the following century we can point to Apa Shenute of Atripe (ca. 350-466) who, during an exceptionally long life, cooperated with several patriarchs of Alexandria to consolidate the Church and overthrow the remnants of paganism in Egypt. /~\

Early Missionary Activity on the Periphery of the Roman Empire

Carl A. Volz wrote: “St. Gregory "the Illuminator" is remembered as the apostle of the Armenians. Himself an Armenian nobleman, he converted to Christianity in Cappodocia shortly after St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker had been active there, and returned to Armenia where he converted much of the nobility to Christianity. With the conversion of King Tiridates II (d. 330) to Christianity, Armenia became a Christian kingdom. Iberia (today the Republic of Georgia) became a Christian kingdom shortly after afterwards. According to tradition, the apostle of the Georgians was a young Christian woman named Nino who was taken captive durintg a raid, but who then converted the Georgian royal family to the Christian faith. [Source: Carl A. Volz, late professor of church history at Luther Seminary, web.archive.org, martin.luthersem.edu /~]

St. Gregory "the Illuminator

“Christianity appears to have spread to Mesopotamia already in the first century. According to apocryphal tradition, the apostles sent Addai (or Thaddaeus, one of the 70 of Luke 10:1) to Edessa (the capital of the buffer state of Osrhoene; today the town of Urfa in Turkey) in response to a request for healing sent by King Abgar V ("the Black") to Jesus Christ himself! It seems likely that Edessa, like Arbela (today Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan), the capital of Adiabene, were evangelized by Jewish Christians scattered by the suppression of the Jewish revolt of A.D. 67-70. Christianity thrived in Mesopotamia, and spread to the East: to Persia and beyond. /~\

“At the southernmost edge of the Roman Empire lay the kingdoms of Nubia (between Aswan in Egypt and Khartoum in the Sudan). In about the year 543 the (Chalcedonian!) emperor Justinian decided to send a mission to these kingdoms. This, however, was at the height of the controversies between Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians. The empress Theodora, Justinian's non-Chalcedonian wife, sent a rival, non-Chalcedonian delegation! Theodora's delegation arrived first, and the result was the establishment of non-Chalcedonian Christian Nubian kingdoms. Nubian Christianity thrived for more than seven centuries (!) before political weakness and the influx of new peoples led to the Islamicization of the region. /~\

“Returning to the north, the earliest preachers of Christianity to the Goths probably included Christian clergy who had been taken prisoner in raids on Roman territory. Later, Ulfilas was ordained (Arian!) bishop of the Goths in 341. One of his chief tools of evangelism was his Gothic translation of the Bible. It was at the end of the next century (496) that Clovis, king of the Salian Franks, was baptized as a Catholic, with the result that the Franks became the first Catholic kingdom among the Germanic peoples. /~\

“A century later we note the missionary efforts of Pope Gregory I ("the Great"), first in Italy, but then in sending Augustine ("of Canterbury") to Anglo-Saxon England. While this led to Latin Christianity gaining a foothold in the south of England, the main missionary work in the British Isles was carried out by Celtic monks. The first great missionary to the Irish had been Patrick, who first arrived in Ireland as a captive in ca. 405. Over time, the Irish church developed a unique eastern Mediterranean "flavor", but also a missionary fervor which may be indicated by a few famous names: Samson (ca. 490-560), Columba (521-97) and Aidan (d. 651) (known for their work in the British Isles), and Columbanus (ca. 550-615) and his followers (who established monasteries across northern Europe -- Gaul, Switzerland, and even Lombardy). Building on this work, in the seventh century Anglo-Saxon monks (Wilfrid, Willibrord, Wynfrith =Boniface) undertook missionary work in much of what is now Germany and Holland. The Saxons were subdued and converted in a series of campaigns by Charlemagne, whose evangelistic methods may be summarized as "convert or die". /~\

Early Missionary Activity in Asia, India and China

Nestorian Christians sent missionaries into Persia, India, and western China during the sixth and seventh centuries. The Chinese churches lasted for about two centuries, while the Nestorian churches of India have continued to the present time. [Source: Michael J. McClymond, “Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices”, 2000s, Encyclopedia.com]

St, Thomas

Carl A. Volz wrote: “According to much-repeated tradition, St. Thomas carried the Christian faith to India. Eusebius reports that Pantaenus (d. ca. 200), the head of the catechetical school of Alexandria (d. ca. 200), had preached the faith in India, where St. Bartholomew had preceded him. In any event, Christianity spread to India at a very early date; perhaps Roman traders had a role. The church in India was strengthened in the fourth century by the arrival of refugees from the great persecution of Christians in Persia (340-401; this was a persecution far worse than anything experienced in the Roman Empire). Some of these refugees may have ended up in Arabia; at the beginning of the fifth century we hear of Nestorian bishops in Qatar and Bahrain. At about the same time, Christianity was spread at the other (southeast) end of Arabia, that is, in the Kingdom of the Himyarites (= Yemen) by a Yemeni merchant named Hayyan who had been converted by Persian Nestorian Christians. [Source: Carl A. Volz, late professor of church history at Luther Seminary, web.archive.org, martin.luthersem.edu /~]

“Our knowledge of the spread of Christianity in central Asia is sketchy, but what we do know points to the extraordinary missionary efforts of the Nestorian Church to the east, along the famous "Silk Road". According to a monument erected in 781 in Chang'an, the capital of the T'ang dynasty of China, a Persian Nestorian monk named Alopen arrived and made an excellent impression on the emperor T'ai-tsung in the year 635. The emperor passed an edict of universal toleration, and the first Christian church was built in the Chinese capital in 638. /~\

Early Missionary Activity in Africa

Immigrants from Saba (present-day Yemen) set up the Axum kingdom in Ethiopia in the A.D. 2nd century. It was Christainized during the 4th century and came to control the East African ivory trade and dominated the Red Sea until 1100. As was true with African-style Islam, many African Christians recognized many gods and spirits other than the Christian god.

The Axum trading center grew into a powerful kingdoms in the first century A.D.. As the empire grew the Christian Amhara people rose through the ranks until they controlled the empire starting around the third century. By the 4th century it was a Christian kingdom. Amhara rulers ruled the country, and the church and Amhara landlords owned most of the land until the Communist takeover in 1974.

Christian Axum established an empire that stretched across modern Ethiopia, the Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It cooperated with the Byzantines as part of an effort to control trade between Asia and Europe.

There are many theories and myths about how Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia. The Queen of Sheeba of Solomon and Sheba fame is associated with Ethiopia. According to one legend regarding them Solomon and Sheba gave birth to a son named Menelik who wandered to Ethiopia and became the first Axum emperor. According to another legend Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the forth century by two Coptic missionaries from Syria or Egypt who converted a king named Ezana to Christianity. [Source: "Ethiopia: Revolution in an Ancient Empire" by Robert Caputo, May 1983].

According to another legend the Queen of Sheba was originally from the Axum kingdom in Ethiopia (most scholars identify her with Yemen). She journeyed to Jerusalem where she met Solomon and gave birth to Menelik I on her way home. [Source: "Searching Out Medieval Churches in Ethiopia's Wilds" by George Gerster Ph.D., December 1970.]

Frumentius and the Introduction of Christianity to Ethiopia

St Frumentius, the Apostle of Ethiopia

According to one legend a Syrian Christian by the name of Frumentius wandered into central Africa after being escaping from pirates. Known in Ethiopia as Abba Salama ("Father of Peace"), he converted the ruler of the Axum to Christianity around the year 330 A.D., and the king in turn converted his entire kingdom to the new religion. Abba Salama, who was named the first patriarch of the Ethiopian Othodox, spent the last years of his life in a monastery that now bears his name and his bones in northern Ethiopia. [Source: "Searching Out Mediveal Churches in Ethiopia's Wilds" by Geroge Gerster Ph.D., December 1970.]

Candida Moss wrote in the Daily Beast: Around 330 A.D., nearly 20 years after the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the Roman empire, two young Syrian men appeared at the court of Emperor Ella Amida in Aksum, the capital of an ancient kingdom based in modern-day Ethiopia. The young men had survived a shipwreck and impressed the emperor with their piety and wisdom and, as a result, the emperor’s widow would later ask the young men to serve as advisers as she ruled in the place of her young son Ezana. “The Syrians eventually converted the royal family to Christianity. One of them, Frumentius, became the first Bishop of Ethiopia. This, according to the fifth century church historian Rufus, is how the powerful ancient Aksumite kingdom (in modern day Ethiopia) converted to Christianity. [Source: Candida Moss, Daily Beast, December 15, 2019]

Carl A. Volz wrote: “The church in Ethiopia was founded in the fourth century as a result of personal misfortune. Frumentius and Aedesius were Alexandrian Christians who were shipwrecked in the Red Sea and picked up and enslaved by the Ethiopians. Both, however, rose quickly in the Ethiopians' service, Frumentius becoming an advisor to the king and tutor to prince Ezana, who, when he became king, converted to Christianity. Frumentius appealed to Athanasius of Alexandria for help, and was himself consecrated bishop by Athanasius, beginning a close relationship between the Ethiopian and the Coptic churches that has lasted until very recent times. By sometime late in the fourth century, Christianity had become the official religion of the Ethiopian Kingdom of Axum. [Source: Carl A. Volz, late professor of church history at Luther Seminary, web.archive.org, martin.luthersem.edu /~]

Archaeology Proves Christianity Reached Africa When the Frumentius Story Said It Did

Until 2019, there was no archaeological evidence to suggest that the Frumentius story true and many historical reasons to doubt it. Candida Moss wrote in the Daily Beast: But a new discovery in the hills of northern Ethiopia proves, for the first time, that at least the chronology of the legend is accurate. A team of archaeologists based in Aksum (sometimes called Axum), the capital of the ancient Aksumite kingdom, have discovered the oldest known church in sub-Saharan Africa. Radiocarbon analysis of objects found at the site revealed that the church was built in the fourth century, a period that saw an explosion in religious construction and church-building. While Christian legend has always claimed that Christianity arrived early to Ethiopia, this church and its contents offer the first tangible evidence of the accuracy of these stories. [Source: Candida Moss, Daily Beast, December 15, 2019]

“The discovery shows that Christianity had spread, likely through trade networks, across the Mediterranean and 3,000 miles south of Rome. Michael Harrower of Johns Hopkins University, who led the excavations, told Smithsonian Magazine that “The empire of Aksum was one of the world’s most influential ancient civilizations, but it remains one of the least widely known.” But most people have never heard of the Aksumites, much less know how significant Ethiopian Christianity is for our understanding of Christianity in general. Beyond what these discoveries mean for those interested in Christianity, the excavations reveal a great deal about the significance of the region for local politics and as a nexus of trade.

“The first known Ethiopian convert to Christianity is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. According to Acts 8:26-40, Philip baptizes an unnamed Ethiopian eunuch who is associated with the Aksumite court of Queen Kandake (the “Queen Mother,” who was probably Mawidemak). According to the Ethiopian Orthodox church, Roman merchants settled in Aksum and Adulis in the third century, where they set up prayer houses where they “openly practiced Christianity.” Ezana, the prince converted to Christianity by the Syrian Frumentius, expedited the process: he replaced the Aksumite symbol of the sun and moon with that of the cross. Many of the coins minted by his successors bear Christian slogans like “He conquers through Christ” and “thanks be to God.” And even after the empire’s decline in the eighth and ninth centuries and the arrival of Islam it remained resolutely Christian.

“Of course, the discovery doesn’t prove that Frumentius influenced a young king and converted an empire. But for the first time we have concrete evidence for the arrival of Christianity into the sub-Saharan region. Given the importance of Ethiopic Christianity to the history of Christianity, this is an important historical development.

Christian states in AD 495

Pact of Umar and Fate of Christians After the 7th Century Muslim Conquests

One thing that brought the expansion of Christianity to an abrupt halt in the Middle East and North Africa, where it largely first took root, was the Muslim-Arab conquests in the early and mid 7th century. After that an agreement was made by the Muslim Caliph Umar with conquered Christians. Similar toleration was permitted to other "people of the book". After the rapid expansion of the Muslim dominion in the 7th century, Muslims leaders were required to work out a way of dealing with Non-Muslims, who remained in the majority in many areas for centuries. The solution was to develop the notion of the "dhimma", or "protected person". The Dhimmi were required to pay an extra tax, but usually they were unmolested. This compares well with the treatment meted out to non-Christians in Christian Europe. The Pact of Umar is supposed to have been the peace accord offered by the Caliph Umar to the Christians of Syria, a "pact" which formed the patter of later interaction. [Source: Al-Turtushi, Siraj al-Muluk, pp. 229-230, hand out at an Islamic History Class at the University of Edinburgh in 1979, source of translation not given, sourcebooks.fordham.edu]

The The Pact of Umar reads: “We heard from 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Ghanam [died 78/697] as follows: When Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, accorded a peace to the Christians of Syria, we wrote to him as follows: In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. This is a letter to the servant of God Umar [ibn al-Khattab], Commander of the Faithful, from the Christians of such-and-such a city. When you came against us, we asked you for safe-conduct (aman) for ourselves, our descendants, our property, and the people of our community, and we undertook the following obligations toward you:

“We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks' cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.
We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days.
We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our dwellings to any spy, nor bide him from the Muslims.
We shall not teach the Qur'an to our children.
We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.
We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.

Image Sources: Wikimedia, Commons

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Christian Origins sourcebooks.fordham.edu “World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File); “ Encyclopedia of the World’s Religions” edited by R.C. Zaehner (Barnes & Noble Books, 1959); King James Version of the Bible, gutenberg.org; New International Version (NIV) of The Bible, biblegateway.com; Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) ccel.org , Frontline, PBS, Wikipedia, BBC, National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Live Science, Encyclopedia.com, Archaeology magazine, Reuters, Associated Press, Business Insider, AFP, Library of Congress, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated March 2024

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from factsanddetails.com, please contact me.