Why was Christianity accepted so easily in Rome?
Question: Ever wonder why the Christianity was accepted so easily in pagan Rome?
Answer: In 313 A.D. the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan and a new religion of Rome (known today as Christianity or Catholicism) was established. With the establishment of the new religion, the persecution of the non-Jewish believers in Yeshua ceased, but not of the Jews; they were still persecuted and killed for entertainment of the Romans in the arenas: this time for being “the killers of the Lord”.
But, everything started when Constantine claimed he experienced a vision of a new sign at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, after which he conquered Rome. By his own claim, before the battle Constantine looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light with the Greek words “In this sign, Conquer!” above it. He commanded his troops to adorn their shields with a new symbol ☧ formed from the first two Greek letters of the word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (hristos) and thereafter they were victorious.
However, not all Romans were converted to Christianity and many still participated in the traditional pagan rituals of Rome. The Roman coins were still minted with the images of Roman gods and the monuments Constantine first commissioned, such as the Arch of Constantine, contained no reference to Christianity.
Now, we may ask the question, ‘Why was the Christianity accepted so easily in pagan Rome?’ Before 313 A.D., Rome was so pagan to the degree that all the gods of all peoples and religions were officially observed in the Pantheon, a temple dedicated to all the gods collectively. In 313 A.D., however, Rome all of a sudden accepted and embraced the new religion without any revolt or turmoil. How was that possible that the intolerant Rome became “Christian” over night?
The truth is that Constantine mingled the new faith, or what he thought faith was, with the paganism Rome was into. All pagan symbols and practices one can see in the Vatican today are more or less former pagan symbols and practices of the ancient Rome. None of the rituals, holidays, etc. the Vatican keeps today can be found in the Bible. None!
The “new” symbol ☧ was not something new in the Greco-Roman culture, since in the Greek mythology all deities were “hristos” (Greek for “Christ”), that is “anointed” or “smeared”, as they were anointed by the chief Greek deity Zevs (Latin Zeus).
Rome instituted that the Law of YHVH (Hebrew Torah) was done away with; Rome replaced the appointed times of YHVH with pagan days of vernal equinox, winter and summer solstice, etc., etc.
For instance, the winter solstice, aka the day of “the conquering sun” (because the day began to increase), replaced the true birth of the Messiah on Sukkot, and became “Christmas”; the spring equinox became “Easter” after Astarte (who corresponds to the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess Ishtar, the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Aphrodite), a Phoenician goddess of fertility and sexual love. But, for exhaustive knowledge on how the paganism entered the Christianity, the present author recommends the book “The Two Babylons” by the 19th century Reverend Alexander Hyslop available for a free online download.
Or, in conclusion put simply, we may say that faith did not change Rome, but Rome changed the faith. This is more evident from the letter Pope Gregory wrote to Augustine the first missionary to the British Isles in 597 C.E.:
Do not destroy the temples of the English gods; change them to Christian churches. Do not forbid the harmless customs which have been associated with the old religions; consecrate them to Christian use.
To obtain more adherents to Roman Catholicism, it was the policy of the papacy to mingle the heathen festivals with things of Christendom. This is what Rome is all about: to meet the faith half way.
So, why was the Christianity accepted so easily in pagan Rome? Because, Rome gave the existing pagan symbols “a new meaning” and created a new religion apart of the Torah of YHVH. The rest was easy: the Romans continued to worship their deities, this time with a “new meaning”.