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The Silks Roads Summary and Guide - Chapter 2 - The Road of Faiths - Pages 37-44



Persecution 😢

Christians were persecuted by the Romans as the Romans began to feel their culture dissipating, possibly erroneously. Nevertheless, it spread along trading routes, especially on Mediterranean trading ships ⛵. Ironically, the deportation of Christians from Persia helped to spread the word as they all went off somewhere else in a huff and told people about Jesus and his miracles 📖✨. Remember, in the ancient world, miracles and feats were very convincing because nobody really had a clue about much. However, these stories may have been added to, like Greek myths, to make Jesus a stronger figurehead, so, as with every belief, we need to decide how strongly we believe - are fundamentalist/conservative/liberal?


Ideas topple kings 👑 Over in Persia, ideas like this were a notable threat to the rightful claims of the kings. Their own Zoroastrianist priests and religious leaders became more powerful as a consequence 🔥. When a threat emerges from outside, power can often grow from within to fight back. However, this increasing control actually forced people to look for something else….and what some other thing was there? - Christianity!!!! By fighting back against it, they unwittingly made it more attractive. More control often leads to less control. Imagine a mom who makes 9000 rules. The kid begins to feel oppressed and rebels! 🚫👦🏽💥


What’s that in the sky? 🌌 Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s Superma….no, no. It was a giant crucifix that appeared in the sky to Constantine (the famous Emperor Constantine, not the Constantine who works in the supermarket down the street) before a battle ⚔️✨. He then had a dream where he was visited by Jesus Christ. After that, he just thought, “That settles it. I am now Christian. Polytheism? HA! I laugh at thee!” - or something like that. This was a huge deal because suddenly a very powerful person was now the patron of a religion. He made everybody jump on board and it became COOL to be Christian ✝️😎. He ruled the Eastern Roman Empire and therefore ensured Christianity's spread over a huge, wealthy, educated empire. However, some coins surfaced from that time with Constantine’s face next to Sol Invictus (a cult), so he wasn’t the best or most adherent follower 🪙🌞.


“Just stop it. This is the second time.”, said the Persians (again) 🛑🇮🇷 Old Constantine just wouldn't give up. He was like a kid at Christmas with a new puppy. He walked around telling everyone how wonderful Christianity was. He knocked down and removed tributes to the old gods and just generally had a brilliant time becoming the protector of Christianity 🛡️🕊️. He even decided to conquer Persia and make everyone there Christian, too. He even made coins for his nephew, who he intended to install as king, to use when Persia was converted. However, it’s never a sage idea to jump the gun. After all of that, he woke up one morning and then just died. He perished before the campaign against Persia was due to begin. The Persians, of course, were delighted and yelled out, “Good riddance, Constantine, you’re a CONSTANT thorn in our sides.” They didn’t, but they probably thought that. Then, they started persecuting Christians again. Is this repeating? 🔄🚫✝️

Key vocabulary:

Persecution 

Noun

The punishment of one weaker group by a stronger one

Corpus

Noun

A set of texts or books on a subject 

Martyr

Noun

Someone who dies for a noble cause

Prejudice 

Noun

Belief that one group is worse than another

Anguished

Adjective

Saddened and suffering 

Implore

Verb

To beg/plead

Evangelist

Noun

A person who convinces others to believe something

Instrumental

Adjective

Hugely important in doing something 

Stirring

Adjective

Inspirational 

Penetration

Noun

The act of something entering something else (like an arrow through armour)



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