By St. Justin Popovich
During the reign of Diocletian (284 to 305), 4 decrees have been issued towards Christians.
The first was promulgated in February 303. This decree ordered the destruction of church buildings and the burning of sacred books; on the identical time, Christians have been disadvantaged of civil rights, safety of the regulation and their companies; Christian slaves misplaced the fitting to freedom in the event that they obtained it for some cause however nonetheless remained in Christianity.
In that very same yr of 303 a 3rd decree got here, which ordered: all prisoners on the premise of one other decree to be compelled to supply sacrifices to the gods, whereas the disobedient have been to be tortured.
Finally, within the yr 304, the final and fourth decree could be promulgated, ordering the final persecution of Christians all over the place. Because of this decree, many of the Christian blood could be shed: it was legitimate for eight years, till 311, when the emperor Galerius issued a particular decree declaring that Christianity was a “permitted faith”.
Diocletian’s persecution was the final; in it, after three centuries of battle, Christianity received the ultimate victory over paganism.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.