[an error occurred while processing this directive]
OF THE PAGANS
Oppression of Pagans
In my studies of history I learned that the pagan
oppression of the Christians was minor compared to the Christian
oppression of pagans. Pagan Rome was generally tolerant about
religion and accepted the existence of many cults and sects.
Its clash with Christianity was because the Christians refused
to afford homage to the Roman State. No doubt the Romans, who
were harsh rulers of a vast empire, did oppress the early
Christians. But the many religions in the Roman Empire had
great depths and cannot be rejected for this political action.
In the early centuries of Christian rule numerous
pagan temples were destroyed or replaced by churches. Their
beautiful statues were broken and trampled upon as unholy idols.
Their wonderful rituals and philosophies were rejected as
superstition. The great university and library of Alexandria was
only one of the many centers of learning in the ancient world
that was destroyed. Eventually the Platonic Academy in Athens was
closed down as well. Early Christianity was against learning and
burned books and schools, a model that early Islam also followed.
Some pagan beliefs were taken
over by the church like Christmas, which was originally a Mithraic
winter solstice festival, or the Christmas tree, which was a pagan
German custom. The Madonna was adopted from the old pagan Goddesses.
Some of the most charming and mystical aspects of Christianity were