The history of Christianity in the last two decades in Europe reveals a new pattern in persecutions of faithful Christians by pagan authorities. In the past, Christians were persecuted on the basis of laws or whims of rulers that specifically forbade Christian worship or gatherings. Such was the case in the Roman Empire. Such was the case in Eastern Europe under the power of Communist governments; such is the case today in China or the Muslim world. Christians were persecuted because they were Christians; the very religion of Christianity was declared against the law and attempts were made at its eradication.

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