Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Persecution of Christians
(6,388 words)

Christianity was born in an atmosphere of persecution and hostility. According to the New Testament, Herod attempted to kill Jesus shortly after his birth in Bethlehem to prevent the rise of the messianic kingdom that the prophets of the Old Testament had predicted (Matt 2:13–23). All of the canonical gospels portray an acute hostility between Jesus and his disci…

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Simmons, Michael Bland, “Persecution of Christians”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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