The Rise of Christianity
The Rise of Christianity, is a book by the sociologist Rodney Stark, which examines the rise of Christianity, from a small movement in Galilee and Judea at the time of Jesus to the majority religion of the Roman Empire a few centuries later. Stark argues that contrary to popular belief, Christianity was not a movement of the lower classes and the oppressed but instead of the upper and middle classes in the cities and of Hellenized Jews. Stark discusses the exponential nature of the growth of religion. Stark points to a number of advantages that Christianity had over paganism to explain its growth: While others fled cities, Christians stayed in urban areas during plague and caring for the sick. Christian populations grew faster because of the prohibition of birth control and infanticide. Since infanticide tended to affect female newborn more early Christians had a more sex ratio and therefore a higher percentage of childbearing women than pagans. To the same effect: Women were valued higher and allowed to participate in worship leading to a high rate of female converts.
In a time of two epidemics which killed up to a third of the whole population of the Roman Empire each time, the Christian message of redemption through sacrifice offered a more satisfactory explanation of why bad things happen to innocent people. Further, the tighter social cohesion and mutual help made them able to better cope with the disasters, leaving them with fewer casualties than the general population; this would be attractive to outsiders, who would want to convert. Lastly, the epidemics left many non-Christians with a reduced number of interpersonal bonds, making the forming of new one both necessary and easier. Christians did not fight against their persecutors by open violence or guerrilla warfare but willingly went to their martyrdom while praying for their captors, which added credibility to their evangelism. Stark's basic thesis is that Christianity triumphed over paganism because it improved the quality of life of its adherents at that time. "Stark has produced a provocative, challenging account of the rise of Christianity.
The thesis—that Christianity was a success because it provided those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring and longer life—may anger many readers and force all readers to stop and think. It is a marvelous exercise in the sociological imagination and a warning to those who like simple explanations--such as that Constantine was responsible for the success of Christianity when he made it the official religion of the Roman Empire"."For years, biblical scholars and church historians have used sociological jargon to promote ideological views. Now an established sociologist has entered the fray with devastating results; this brilliant and provocative book will revolutionize the way people think about both biblical studies and church history. Love it or hate it, Rodney Stark's The Rise of Christianity is a book nobody interested in the study of religion can ignore"; this book prominently featured within the storyline of Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card, according to the book's afterword, The Rise of Christianity inspired the book's plot.
Sociology of religion Early Christianity
Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another; this might be from one to another denomination within the same religion, for example, from Baptist to Catholic Christianity or from Shi’a to Sunni Islam. In some cases, religious conversion "marks a transformation of religious identity and is symbolized by special rituals". People convert to a different religion for various reasons, including active conversion by free choice due to a change in beliefs, secondary conversion, deathbed conversion, conversion for convenience, marital conversion, forced conversion. Conversion or reaffiliation for convenience is an insincere act, sometimes for trivial reasons such as a parent converting to enable a child to be admitted to a good school associated with a religion, or a person adopting a religion more in keeping with the social class they aspire to.
When people marry, one spouse may convert to the religion of the other. Forced conversion is adoption of a different religion under duress; the convert may secretly retain the previous beliefs and continue, with the practices of the original religion, while outwardly maintaining the forms of the new religion. Over generations a family forced against their will to convert may wholeheartedly adopt the new religion. Proselytism is the act of attempting to convert by persuasion another individual from a different religion or belief system.. Apostate is a term used by members of a religion or denomination to refer to someone who has left that religion or denomination. In sharing their faith with others, Bahá'ís are cautioned to "obtain a hearing" – meaning to make sure the person they are proposing to teach is open to hearing what they have to say. "Bahá'í pioneers", rather than attempting to supplant the cultural underpinnings of the people in their adopted communities, are encouraged to integrate into the society and apply Bahá'í principles in living and working with their neighbors.
Bahá'ís recognize the divine origins of all revealed religion, believe that these religions occurred sequentially as part of a divine plan, with each new revelation superseding and fulfilling that of its predecessors. Bahá'ís regard their own faith as the most recent, believe its teachings – which are centered around the principle of the oneness of humanity – are most suited to meeting the needs of a global community. In most countries conversion is a simple matter of filling out a card stating a declaration of belief; this includes acknowledgement of Bahá'u'llah – the Founder of the Faith – as the Messenger of God for this age and acceptance of his teachings, intention to be obedient to the institutions and laws he established. Conversion to the Bahá'í Faith carries with it an explicit belief in the common foundation of all revealed religion, a commitment to the unity of mankind, active service to the community at large in areas that will foster unity and concord. Since the Bahá'í Faith has no clergy, converts are encouraged to be active in all aspects of community life.
A recent convert may be elected to serve on a local Spiritual Assembly – the guiding Bahá'í institution at the community level. Within Christianity conversion refers variously to three different phenomena: a person becoming Christian, not Christian. Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a non-Christian person to some form of Christianity; some Christian sects require full conversion for new members regardless of any history in other Christian sects, or from certain other sects. The exact requirements vary between different denominations. Baptism is traditionally seen as a sacrament of admission to Christianity. Christian baptism has some parallels with Jewish immersion by mikvah. In the New Testament, Jesus commanded his disciples in the Great Commission to "go and make disciples of all nations". Evangelization—sharing the Gospel message or "Good News" in deed and word, is an expectation of Christians; this table summarizes three Protestant beliefs. Much of the theology of Latter Day Saint baptism was established during the early Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith.
According to this theology, baptism must be by immersion, for the remission of sins, occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. Mormon baptism does not purport to remit any sins other than personal ones, as adherents do not believe in original sin. Latter Day Saints baptisms occur only after an "age of accountability", defined as the age of eight years; the theology thus rejects infant baptism. In addition, Latter Day Saint theology requires that baptism may only be performed with one, called and ordained by God with priesthood authority; because the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement operate under a lay priesthood, children raised in a Mormon family are baptized by a father or close male friend or family member who has achieved the office of priest, conferred upon worthy male members at least 16 years old in the LDS Church. Baptism is seen as symbolic both of Jesus' death and resurrection and is symbolic of the baptized individual putting off of the natural or sinful man and becoming spiritually reborn as a disciple of Jesus.
Membership into a Latter Day Saint church is granted only by baptism whether or
Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. Its mission is to disseminate scholarship within society at large; the press was founded by Whitney Darrow, with the financial support of Charles Scribner, as a printing press to serve the Princeton community in 1905. Its distinctive building was constructed in 1911 on William Street in Princeton, its first book was a new 1912 edition of John Witherspoon's Lectures on Moral Philosophy. Princeton University Press was founded in 1905 by a recent Princeton graduate, Whitney Darrow, with financial support from another Princetonian, Charles Scribner II. Darrow and Scribner purchased the equipment and assumed the operations of two existing local publishers, that of the Princeton Alumni Weekly and the Princeton Press; the new press printed both local newspapers, university documents, The Daily Princetonian, added book publishing to its activities. Beginning as a small, for-profit printer, Princeton University Press was reincorporated as a nonprofit in 1910.
Since 1911, the press has been headquartered in a purpose-built gothic-style building designed by Ernest Flagg. The design of press’s building, named the Scribner Building in 1965, was inspired by the Plantin-Moretus Museum, a printing museum in Antwerp, Belgium. Princeton University Press established a European office, in Woodstock, north of Oxford, in 1999, opened an additional office, in Beijing, in early 2017. Six books from Princeton University Press have won Pulitzer Prizes: Russia Leaves the War by George F. Kennan Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War by Bray Hammond Between War and Peace by Herbert Feis Washington: Village and Capital by Constance McLaughlin Green The Greenback Era by Irwin Unger Machiavelli in Hell by Sebastian de Grazia Books from Princeton University Press have been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Nautilus Book Award, the National Book Award. Multi-volume historical documents projects undertaken by the Press include: The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau The Papers of Woodrow Wilson The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Kierkegaard's WritingsThe Papers of Woodrow Wilson has been called "one of the great editorial achievements in all history."
Princeton University Press's Bollingen Series had its beginnings in the Bollingen Foundation, a 1943 project of Paul Mellon's Old Dominion Foundation. From 1945, the foundation had independent status and providing fellowships and grants in several areas of study, including archaeology and psychology; the Bollingen Series was given to the university in 1969. Annals of Mathematics Studies Princeton Series in Astrophysics Princeton Series in Complexity Princeton Series in Evolutionary Biology Princeton Series in International Economics Princeton Modern Greek Studies The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History, by Jill Lepore The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein Atomic Energy for Military Purposes by Henry DeWolf Smyth How to Solve It by George Polya The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell The Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the I Ching, Bollingen Series XIX. First copyright 1950, 27th printing 1997.
Anatomy of Criticism by Northrop Frye Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard Feynman The Great Contraction 1929–1933 by Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz with a new Introduction by Peter L. Bernstein Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle by Stephen Biddle Banks, Eric. "Book of Lists: Princeton University Press at 100". Artforum International. Staff of Princeton University Press. A Century in Books: Princeton University Press, 1905–2005. ISBN 9780691122922. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter Official website Princeton University Press: Albert Einstein Web Page Princeton University Press: Bollingen Series Princeton University Press: Annals of Mathematics Studies Princeton University Press Centenary Princeton University Press: New in Print
Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble those of a dominant group. The term is used to refer to both groups. Cultural assimilation may involve either a quick or a gradual change depending on circumstances of the group. Full assimilation occurs when members of a society become indistinguishable from those of the dominant group. Whether it is desirable for a given group to assimilate is disputed by both members of the group and those of the dominant society. Cultural assimilation does not guarantee social alikeness. Geographical and other natural barriers between cultures if created by the dominant culture, may be culturally different. A place, state, or ethnicity can spontaneously adopt a different culture because of its political relevance or its perceived cultural superiority. An example is the Latin language and Roman culture being adopted by most of the people subjugated by Ancient Rome. Cultural assimilation can happen either spontaneously or forcibly.
A culture can spontaneously adopt a different culture. Older, richer, or otherwise more dominant cultures can forcibly absorb subordinate cultures; the term “assimilation” is used with regard to not only indigenous groups but immigrants settled in a new land. A new culture and new attitudes toward the origin culture are obtained through contact and communication. Assimilation assumes; that process happens by accommodation between each culture. The current definition of assimilation is used to refer to immigrants, but in multiculturalism, cultural assimilation can happen all over the world and within varying social contexts and is not limited to specific areas. For example, a shared language gives people the chance to study and work internationally, without being limited to the same cultural group. People from different countries contribute to diversity and form the "global culture" which means the culture combined by the elements from different countries; that "global culture" can be seen as a part of assimilation, which causes cultures from different areas to affect one another.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Canadian government began a campaign to forcibly assimilate Aboriginals. The government consolidated power over Aboriginal land through treaties and the use of force isolating indigenous people to reserves. Marriage practices and spiritual ceremonies were banned, spiritual leaders were imprisoned. Additionally, the Canadian government instituted an extensive residential school system to assimilate children; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded that this effort was violent enough to amount to cultural genocide. The schools worked to alienate children from their cultural roots. Students were prohibited from speaking their native languages, were abused, were arranged marriages by the government after their graduation; the explicit goal of the Canadian government was to assimilate the Aboriginals into European culture and destroy all traces of their native history. In January 2019, newly elected Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro has stripped the indigenous affairs agency FUNAI of the responsibility to identify and demarcate indigenous lands.
He argued that those territories have tiny isolated populations and proposed to integrate them into the larger Brazilian society. According to the Survival International, "Taking responsibility for indigenous land demarcation away from FUNAI, the Indian affairs department, giving it to the Agriculture Ministry is a declaration of open warfare against Brazil’s tribal peoples." Immigrant assimilation is a complex process in which immigrants not only integrate themselves into a new country but lose aspects even all of their heritage. Social scientists rely on four primary benchmarks to assess immigrant assimilation: socioeconomic status, geographic distribution, second language attainment, intermarriage. William A. V. Clark defines immigrant assimilation as "a way of understanding the social dynamics of American society and that it is the process that occurs spontaneously and unintended in the course of interaction between majority and minority groups." Between 1880 and 1920, the United States took in 24 million immigrants.
This increase in immigration can be attributed to many historical changes. The beginning of the 21st century has marked a massive era of immigration, sociologists are once again trying to make sense of the impacts that immigration has on society and on the immigrants themselves. Assimilation had various meanings in American sociology. Henry Pratt Fairchild associates American assimilation with Americanization or the melting pot theory; some scholars believed that assimilation and acculturation were synonymous. According to a common point of view, assimilation is a "process of interpretation and fusion" from another group or person; that may include memories and sentiments. By sharing their experiences and histories, they blend into the common cultural life; the long history of immigration in the established gateways means that the place of immigrants in terms of class and ethnic hierarchies in the traditional gateways is more structured or established, but on the other hand, the new gateways do not have much immigration history and so the place of immigrants in terms of class and ethnic hierarchies is less defined, immigrants may have more
A deathbed conversion is the adoption of a particular religious faith shortly before dying. Making a conversion on one's deathbed may reflect an immediate change of belief, a desire to formalize longer-term beliefs, or a desire to complete a process of conversion underway. Claims of the deathbed conversion of famous or influential figures have been used in history as rhetorical devices. Conversions at the point of death have a long history; the first recorded deathbed conversion appears in the Gospel of Luke where the good thief, crucified beside Jesus, expresses belief in Christ. Jesus accepts his conversion, saying “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise"; the most momentous conversion in Western history was that of Constantine I, Roman Emperor and proclaimed a Christian Saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. While his belief in Christianity occurred long before his death, it was only on his deathbed that he was baptised, in 337. While traditional sources disagree as to why this happened so late, modern historiography concludes that Constantine chose religious tolerance as an instrument to bolster his reign.
Charles II of England reigned in a Protestant nation at a time of strong religious conflict. Though his sympathies were at least somewhat with the Catholic faith, he ruled as an Anglican, though he attempted to lessen the persecution and legal penalties affecting non-Anglicans in England, notably through the Royal Declaration of Indulgence; as he lay dying following a stroke, released of the political need, he was received into the Catholic Church. The most famous French fabulist published a revised edition of his greatest work, Contes, in 1692, the same year that he began to suffer a severe illness. Under such circumstances, Jean de La Fontaine turned to religion. A young priest, M. Poucet, tried to persuade him about the impropriety of the Contes, it is said that the destruction of a new play of some merit was demanded and submitted to as a proof of repentance. La Fontaine received the Viaticum, the following years, he continued to write poems and fables, he died in 1695. Sir Allan Napier MacNab, Canadian political leader, died 8 August 1862 in Ontario.
His deathbed conversion to Catholicism caused a furor in the press in the following days. The Toronto Globe and the Hamilton Spectator expressed strong doubts about the conversion, the Anglican rector of Christ Church in Hamilton declared that MacNab died a Protestant. MacNab's Catholic baptism is recorded at St. Mary's Cathedral in Hamilton, performed by John, Bishop of Hamilton, on 7 August 1862. Lending credibility to this conversion, MacNab's second wife, who predeceased him, was Catholic, their two daughters were raised as Catholics. Author and wit Oscar Wilde converted to Catholicism during his final illness. Robert Ross gave a clear and unambiguous account: ‘When I went for the priest to come to his death-bed he was quite conscious and raised his hand in response to questions and satisfied the priest, Father Cuthbert Dunne of the Passionists, it was the morning before he died and for about three hours he understood what was going on that he was given the last sacrament. The Passionist house in Avenue Hoche, has a house journal which contains a record, written by Dunne, of his having received Wilde into full communion with the Church.
While Wilde's conversion may have come as a surprise, he had long maintained an interest in the Catholic Church, having met with Pope Pius IX in 1877 and describing the Roman Catholic Church as "for saints and sinners alone – for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do". However, how much of a believer in all the tenets of Catholicism Wilde was is arguable: in particular, against Ross's insistence on the truth of Catholicism: "No, Robbie, it isn't true." "My position is curious," Wilde epigrammatised, "I am not a Catholic: I am a violent Papist."In his poem Ballad of Reading Gaol, Wilde wrote: The poet Wallace Stevens is said to have been baptized a Catholic during his last days suffering from stomach cancer. This account is disputed by Stevens's daughter and critic, Helen Vendler, who, in a letter to James Wm. Chichetto, thought Fr. Arthur Hanley was "forgetful" since "he was interviewed twenty years after Stevens' death." In his response, Chichetto noted that Vendler ignored "the testimony of Dr. Edward Sennett and the Sisters with whom he talked in 1977 who believed Fr.
Hanley's account." One famous example is Charles Darwin's deathbed conversion in which it was claimed by Lady Hope that Darwin said: "How I wish I had not expressed my theory of evolution as I have done." He went on to say that he would like her to gather a congregation since he "would like to speak to them of Christ Jesus and His salvation, being in a state where he was eagerly savoring the heavenly anticipation of bliss." Lady Hope's story was printed in the Boston Watchman Examiner. The story spread, the claims were republished as late as October 1955 in the Reformation Review and in the Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland in February 1957. Lady Hope's story is not supported by Darwin's children. Darwin's son Francis Darwin accused her of lying, saying that "Lady Hope's account of my father's views on religion is quite untrue. I have publicly accused her of falsehood, but have not seen any reply." Darwin's daughter Henrietta Litchfield called the story a fabrication, saying "I was present at his deathbed.
Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief, he never recanted any of his scien
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania was the initial expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate over Hispania extending from 711 to 788. The conquest resulted in the destruction of the Visigothic Kingdom and the establishment of the independent Emirate of Córdoba under Abd ar-Rahman I, who completed the unification of Muslim-ruled Iberia, or al-Andalus; the conquest marks the westernmost expansion of both the Umayyad Caliphate and Muslim rule into Europe. During the caliphate of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, forces led by Tariq ibn Ziyad disembarked in early 711 in Gibraltar at the head of an army consisting of Berbers, he campaigned his way northward after the decisive Battle of Guadalete against the usurper Roderic, after which he was reinforced by an Arab force led by his superior wali Musa ibn Nusair. By 717, the combined Arab-Berber force had crossed the Pyrenees into Provence; the historian al-Tabari transmits a tradition attributed to the Caliph Uthman who stated that the road to Constantinople was through Hispania, "Only through Spain can Constantinople be conquered.
If you conquer you will share the reward of those who conquer." The conquest of Hispania followed the conquest of North Africa. Walter Kaegi calls Tabari's tradition dubious, states that the conquest of far western reaches of the Mediterranean was motivated by exploiting military and religious opportunities, he considers that it was not a shift in direction due to the Muslims failing to conquer Constantinople in 678. Historian Jessica Coope of University of Nebraska considers that the pre-modern Islamic thought believed that the conquest of dar al-harb was motivated by belief that others were better off under Islamic rule and the belief in the superiority of the concept of Islamic society. What happened in Iberia in the early 8th century is uncertain. There is one contemporary Christian source, the Chronicle of 754, regarded as reliable but vague. There are no contemporary Muslim accounts, Muslim compilations, such as that of Al-Maqqari from the 17th century, reflect ideological influence; this paucity of early sources means.
The manner of King Roderic's ascent to the throne is unclear. Regnal lists, which cite Achila and omit Roderic, are consistent with the contemporary account of civil war. Numismatic evidence suggests a division of royal authority, with several coinages being struck, that Achila II remained king of the Tarraconsense and Septimania until circa 713; the nearly contemporary Chronicle of 754 describes Roderic as a usurper who earned the allegiance of other Goths by deception, while the less reliable late-ninth century Chronicle of Alfonso III shows a clear hostility towards Oppa, bishop of Seville and a brother of Wittiza, who appears in an unlikely heroic dialogue with Pelagius. There is a story of one Julian, count of Ceuta, whose wife or daughter was raped by Roderic and who sought help from Tangier. However, these stories are not included in the earliest accounts of the conquest. According to the chronicler Ibn Abd-el-Hakem, the Tangier governor Tariq ibn Ziyad led a raiding force 1,700 men strong from North Africa to southern Spain in 711.
However, 12,000 seems a more accurate figure. Ibn Abd-el-Hakem reports, one and a half centuries that "the people of Andalus did not observe them, thinking that the vessels crossing and recrossing were similar to the trading vessels which for their benefit plied backwards and forwards", they defeated the Visigothic army, led by King Roderic, in a decisive battle at Guadalete in 712. Tariq's forces were reinforced by those of his superior, the wali Musa ibn Nusair, both took control of most of Iberia with an army estimated at 10,000–15,000 combatants. According to the Muslim historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Iberia was first invaded some sixty years earlier during the caliphate of Uthman. Another prominent Muslim historian of the 13th century, Ibn Kathir, quoted the same narration, pointing to a campaign led by Abd Allah bin Nafi al Husayn and Abd Allah bin Nafi al Abd al Qays in 32 AH. However, this putative invasion is not accepted by modern historians; the first expedition led by Tariq was made up of Berbers who had themselves only come under Muslim influence.
It is probable that this army represented a continuation of a historic pattern of large-scale raids into Iberia dating to the pre–Islamic period, hence it has been suggested that actual conquest was not planned. Both the Chronicle of 754 and Muslim sources speak of raiding activity in previous years, Tariq's army may have been present for some time before the decisive battle, it has been argued that this possibility is supported by the fact that the army was led by a Berber and that Musa, the Umayyad Governor of North Africa, only arrived the following year – the governor had not stooped to lead a mere raid, but hurried across once the unexpected triumph became clear. The historian Abd al-Wāḥid Dhannūn Ṭāhā mentions that several Arab-Muslim writers mention the fact that Tariq has decided to cross the strait without informing his superior and wali Musa; the Chronicle of 754 states that many townspeople fled to the hills rather than defend their cities, which might support the view that this was expected to be a temporary raid rather than a permanent change of government.
The Chronicle of 754 stated that "the entire army of the Goths, which had come with him fraudulently and in rivalry out of hopes of the Kingship, fled". This is the only contemporary acco
Forced conversion is adoption of a different religion or irreligion under duress. Some who have been forced to convert may continue, with the beliefs and practices held, while outwardly behaving as converts. Crypto-Jews, crypto-Christians, crypto-Muslims and crypto-Pagans are historical examples of the latter. In general, anthropologists have shown that the relationship between religion and politics is complex when viewed over the expanse of human history. While religious leaders and the state have different aims, both are concerned with power and order. Throughout history, leaders of religious and political institutions have cooperated, opposed one another, or attempted to co-opt each other, for purposes both noble and base, have implemented programs with a wide range of driving values, from compassion aimed at alleviating current suffering to brutal change aimed at achieving longer-term goals, for the benefit of groups ranging from small cliques to all of humanity; the relationship is far from simple.
But religion has been used coercively, has used coercion. Forced conversions occurred under the Hasmonean Kingdom; the Idumeans were forced to convert to Judaism, by threat of exile or death, depending on the source. In Eusebíus, Judaism, Harold W. Attridge claims that "there is reason to think that Josephus' account of their conversion is accurate." He writes: "that these were not isolated instances, but that forced conversion was a national policy, is clear from the fact that Alexander Jannaeus demolished the city of Pella in Moab,'because the inhabitants would not agree to adopt the national custom of the Jews.'" Josephus, Antiquities. 13.15.4. Maurice Sartre has written of the "policy of forced Judaization adopted by Hyrcanos, Aristobulus I and Jannaeus", who offered "the conquered peoples a choice between expulsion or conversion," William Horbury has written that "The evidence is best explained by postulating that an existing small Jewish population in Lower Galilee was massively expanded by the forced conversion in c.104 BC of their Gentile neighbours in the north."
In 2009 the BBC defended a claim that in AD 524 the Yemeni Jewish Himyar tribe, led by King Yusuf Dhu Nuwas, had offered Christian residents of a village in what is now Saudi Arabia the choice between conversion to Judaism or death, that 20,000 Christians had been massacred. The BBC stated that "The production team spoke to many historians over 18 months, among them Nigel Groom, our consultant, Professor Abdul Rahman Al-Ansary." Inscriptions documented by Yousef himself show the great pride he expressed after massacring more than 22,000 Christians in Zafar and Najran. Christianity was a minority religion during much of middle Roman Classical Period, the early Christians were persecuted during that time; when Constantine I converted to Christianity, it became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. Under the reign of Constantine I, Christian heretics had been persecuted. In the view of many historians, the Constantinian shift turned Christianity from a persecuted religion into one capable of persecution and sometimes eager to persecute.
On 27 February 380, together with Gratian and Valentinian II, Theodosius I issued the decree Cunctos populos, the so-called Edict of Thessalonica, recorded in the Codex Theodosianus xvi.1.2. This declared Trinitarian Nicene Christianity to be the only legitimate imperial religion and the only one entitled to call itself Catholic. Other Christians he described as "foolish madmen", he ended official state support for the traditional polytheist religions and customs. The Codex Theodosianus was a compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the Christian emperors since 312. A commission was established by Theodosius II and his co-emperor Valentinian III on 26 March 429 and the compilation was published by a constitution of 15 February 438, it went into force in the eastern and western parts of the empire on 1 January 439. It is Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans....
The rest, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative. Forced conversions of Jews were carried out with the support of rulers during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages in Gaul, the Iberian peninsula and in the Byzantine empire. During the Saxon Wars, King of the Franks, forcibly converted the Saxons from their native Germanic paganism by way of warfare, law upon conquest. Examples are the Massacre of Verden in 782, when Charlemagne had 4,500 captive Saxons massacred for rebelling, the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law imposed on conquered Saxons in 785, after another rebellion and destruction of churches and killing of missionary priests and monks, that prescribed death to those who refused to convert to Christianity. Forced conversion that occurred after the seventh century took place during riots and massacres carried out by mobs and clergy without support of the rulers.
In contrast, royal persecutions of Jews from the late eleventh century onward took form of expulsions, with some exceptions, such as conversions of Jews in southern Italy of the 13th century, which were carried out by Dominican Inquisitors but instig