How and why did Christianity emerge as a major European religion?

i have to do this for homework does anyone have ayny help for me, please , by tonight?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The Roman Empire was also a means of spreading another set of belifs and values, as well as the faith that inspired them. The birth and expansion of Christianity occurred within the Roman Empire. In the late empire, Christianity, in fact, became the official religion of the empire. Because it did so, the Christian Church and later the Catholic Church was organized in a way that reflected Roman institutions. Church law, especially reflected some Roman Ideas.

    Christianity grew slowly in the first century, took root in the second, and by the third had spread widely. Why was Christianity able to attract so many followers?

    First, the Christian message had much to offer the Roman world. The Roman religion was impersonal and existed for the good of the state. Christianity was personal and offered everyone an eternal life of happiness and bliss. In Greek religion, by contrast, an afterlife in the Elysian Fields was reserved for just a few, perhaps for a hero, who was already half-divine.

    Second, Christianity was appealing because it contained elements familiar from other popular religions. This made it easy for people to understand. Some event identified it at first as one of the so called mystery religions that offered immortality through the sacrificial death of a savior god. Even the communal sharing of wine was familiar to followers of Dionysus, who believed that through this medium, the god's vital powers were transferred to mere mortals.

    Finally, Christianity fulfilled a very human need to belong. Christians formed communities bound to one another. In these communities, people could express their love by helping each other and offering assistance to the poor and the sick. Christianity satisfied the need to belong in a way that the huge Roman Empire could never provide.

    Christianity proved attractive to all classes, but especially to the poor and powerless. Eternal life was promised to everyone - rich, poor, aristocrats, slaves, men, and women.

    Some emperors began new persecution in the third century, but they could not suppress the new faith. In the fourth century A.D, Christianity prospered as never before because the emperor Constantine became a Christian. Although he was not baptized until the end of his life, in A.D 313, Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which proclaimed official tolerance of Christianity.

    Under Theodosius the Great, who ruled from A.D 378, to A.D 395, Christianity became the state religion. Theodosius declared all other religions illegal.

    Looks like I proved Choko Canyon wrong.

    Source(s): My History teacher knew how to teach.
  • 1 decade ago

    That question could fill many many volumes of books. I'm not certain there is a short answer other than it spread and was accepted. All of European history for almost the last 1700 years has centered on religion and Christianity.

    Many splits in doctrine, schisms, wars, famines, conversions of Pagans, Byzantines, Inquisitions, Holy Roman Emperors, Martin Luther, Anglican splits, Huguenots, Puritans, etc. and you have Christianity as the major European religion. However, Islam is making some major inroads there now.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Several reasons (please note these may not be ENTIRELY accurate because I'm not yet in high school and haven't learned much European history):

    -The message of Christianity was a lot more inspiring and interesting than Judaism. People probably preferred to think that the Lord had sent Himself/His son/whatever down to Earth.

    -The Roman Catholic church was formed and it developed a very strong bond with the government, basically forcing people to agree with their beliefs and worship the Christian God.

    -The Crusades, of course, helped Christianity spread further across Europe and the Middle East.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because Constantine made ot the official religion of the Roman Empire and his army forced it down everyone else's throat. The Kings of the separate countries followed suit in latter history. It was at the point of a sword and later a barrel of a gun. All this to share in the wealth of the Holy D*m Roman Church. If you refused to become Catholic, the Bast*rds killed you. Ask the Huguenots about that, or any descendants that survive because their ancestors ran from the "HOLY" Church. Oh yeah, that's someone like me.

    Source(s): The simple D*m truth, deal with it.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Romans The Catholics sucked in with the world power at that time to save their faith . Christmas (ours ) is at the time it is because it was the Winter Solstice / Roman Carnival . It is speculated christ's birth was actually in June

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I forget the name of the King but his kingdom was divided between traditional pagan beliefs and a new belief in some dude named Jesus. Although He was himself a pagan he looked at the majority belief and decided everyone by law should be Christian in order to halt the fighting.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Roman politics. Yet another reason to ignore it unless it interferes in law and government as it does in the United States.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are seriously out of your tree if you think someone here is going to write your research paper for you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because of Catholic Religion

  • 1 decade ago

    The way most religions spread - by the sword...

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