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5 Ways Christianity Spread Through Ancient Rome


How did Christianity go from a small sect in a corner of the Roman Empire in the first century, to the religion that the emperor converted to in the early fourth century? Its spread was greatly aided by the empire’s political unification and extensive road system, as well as the belief among many Christians that the religion was something anyone could adopt, regardless of regional or religious background.

1. Everyday Citizens Spread the Word

Missionaries like Paul, a major figure in the Bible’s New Testament, traveled around the empire with the intention to spread Christianity. However, most of the people who helped spread the religion did so just by talking about it with their neighbors, friends and family members, says Edward Watts, a history professor at the University of California San Diego and author of The Final Pagan Generation: Rome’s Unexpected Path to Christianity.

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