Christianity was one of the fastest spreading religions of its time. There were many attractions to Christianity that led Jews and gentiles (non-Jews) to convert. Christianity appealed to every one of all ages, including the poor and women, which was very uncommon of a religion in that day.
The poor and women were looked down upon in society, but when they stepped foot into a church, the members made them felt as they belonged. Many people became believers in Christ because it was captivating and easy to relate to. It promised what no other religion could, an everlasting life in Heaven free of monetary cost and pain.
Christianity taught that Jesus Christ, the son of God, a savior by the name of Messiah came to save all people who were sinners due to Adam’s disloyalty and evil actions in the Garden of Eden. God sent his one and only son to be persecuted so humans could one day live in Heaven with him.
“For god so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” . Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive all sins of those who believe so that we can have a personal relationship with God without the hindrance of our sins. Christianity was spread by the word of mouth by Disciples, Jesus’ followers who were people who spread the gospel.
The structure of the Roman Empire also aided the spread of Christianity by the Roman roads which were good for travel throughout the Empire for people like Paul of Tarsus who reached out to Jews and gentiles to tell the word. Non-Christians like Diocletian tried to persecute Christianity but the religion proved to be too powerful to be blotted out by force. It only forced Christians to become more organized.
The poor were drawn to Christianity because it was one of the only religions that they could afford. By the power of the church, the poor were able to participate in any events held in the church; they did not have to
pay a painful or expensive initiation to the church that they could not afford.
It gave them a sense of equality in their community and in the church because they could be apart of something that really mattered to them. During the spread of Christianity, the poor were looked down upon and shunned. People believed that they did not even belong in society. However, people of the church and the organizations of the church made the poor feel like they belonged. In the house of God, all people were equal and the poor did not stand out from any other man or woman. They did not have to be rich or well-liked to receive eternal life in Heaven. Just by praising to the Lord and believing in his ways they would receive eternal life.
A price was not needed to be paid in order to get closer to God. They could develop personal relationships with God, unlike other religions they could not afford. A man named Luther spoke the great words, “It is faith alone that justifies and brings salvation through Christ.” Meaning one should not have to pay to get into Heaven. The poor benefited from this because they did not have to buy a good after life; they could be baptized with no fee and have eternal life. Thousands of underprivileged people were supported by fellow believers. The church did not seek retaliation against its persecutors.
The poor were not the only ones attracted to the church; women were among the many drawn to Christianity. They were taught the importance of morals and faith. Women of the church were treated equally to men, just as the poor, no matter what class they belonged to. Christianity was for both sexes which especially appealed to all people, as its two main rivals only appealed to men.
A religion like this was difficult to find, as men were more important in the community while women were looked down upon and unappreciated. Women were allowed to become members of the church and serve fellow Christians in their community. Romans 16: 1 shows that there were highly regarded women in the church; and in any other religion women would not be welcomed.
Female students were told not to learn math or rhetoric, but instead, religion was thought out to be the most important subject in education. Religion in education was aided to prepare young ladies for their roles as mothers and wives in the future. Christianity was not only used for praising to the Lord but it was also very useful in teachings and praises. Women became better people and were able to stand up for they believed instead of being looked down on by many.
The account of Perpetua greatly aided women to unite because they saw a young woman give her life and rebel against her fathers orders and be thrown into prison all for what she believed. Women saw that if one would give their own life, especially when they had a new born baby boy that what she was arguing for must have a great purpose and outcome. Women wanted to stand behind Perpetua in her struggle to become a Christian.
Christianity offered what no other religion could or can ever offer the gift of eternal life in Heaven. People of all classes and races were drawn to it because they could gain what everyone longs for by being baptized and confessing of their sins; unlike other religions such as Judaism which could not break its racial bonds.
Members of the community did not have to pay a fee to become closer to the church and create a relationship with God. Christianity was simple religion to understand and even the uneducated understood Christianity because it did not have as difficult and hard to understand philosophies as its competitors. Christians had something to hold themselves accountable for wrong actions they did and they could be forgiven of them by a simple prayer. If one was to act sinful in any situation they would have to repent.
It made all types of people feel secure in their faith. Anyone could join the religion and once one did, they felt their relationship with God become closer and closer. The church not only gave the members of the community a closer relationship with God, but also a closer relationship with each other. It brought people closer to their families, themselves and each other. Communities as a whole became close and went to church as group. Church would bring people closer together and develop their relationships.
Christianity is one of the fastest growing and most successful religions in the world. The spread of Christianity was aided by the Disciples which made it known all around world. The success of Christianity is credited to the fact of its appeal to all the people no matter where they are from or who they are and its open arms to anyone who would like to have a personal relationship with the Creator. Poor people were able to join the church at no expense to them and it made them feel safe and secure. They were accepted equally and no one treated them as if they were poor.
Christianity appealed to not only the poor, but also to women. Through Christianity women were able to become closer to God and to also prepare for their future roles in their families. Christianity became one of the easiest religions to join. A simple purification by water was all that was needed for people to become closer to Christ. Christianity offered a new meaning in people’s lives; it allowed them to build a strong bond and relationship with the Lord, to whom they could turn to in any sort of turmoil and trouble.
Catchpole, David. Jesus People. Michigan: Baker Academic, 2006.
Halsall, Paul. Internet Medieval Sourcebook: St. Perpetua: The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity 203. 1996
Spielvogel, Jackson J. World History to 1800. California: West Publishing Company, 1999, 184.
Tierney, Brian. Christianity in the Roman Empire- Why did it Succeed? New York: Random House, Inc., 1967
Life Application Study Bible NIV. Michigan: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1988.