Why did Christianity spread in the Roman Empire with such ease?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The swift spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire had a number of different causes. The most obvious event was the conversion of Constantine to Christianity. Emperor Constantine also made it legal to practice the religion and ended the practice of persecution that had been so common in Rome. The...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The swift spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire had a number of different causes. The most obvious event was the conversion of Constantine to Christianity. Emperor Constantine also made it legal to practice the religion and ended the practice of persecution that had been so common in Rome. The Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the state, which also greatly aided the spread of Christianity. Despite the importance of these two emperors, Christianity had already taken hold in the many areas controlled by Rome. It is estimated that roughly ten percent of the population practiced Christianity as early as the Fourth Century. How did the religion spread so ferociously despite the persecution of its believers?

It can be said that the religion was tailored for the masses. Much of the message of Jesus was directed at the poor and destitute. The promise of an afterlife for believers was attractive and the stories of miracles also intrigued many. Christians also sought converts and those that died for the faith attracted attention amongst the masses.

The relative ease of travel throughout Rome was another reason the religion spread. The Roman road system allowed the movement of goods and ideas. The teachings of Christianity spread to millions of people as a result. The peace provided by the Roman army allowed ease of travel along these roads.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team