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Offline Private

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Early Christian Hate Crimes
« on: 24 March 2010 at 09:09 »
Christianization of the Roman Empire
 
Diptych of a priestess of Ceres, ca 400. The "idol" was defaced and thrown in a well at Montier-en-Der (later an abbey). (Musée de Cluny)

Examples of the destruction of pagan temples in the late fourth century, as recorded in surviving texts, describe Martin of Tours' attacks on holy sites in Gaul [2], the destruction of temples in Syria by Marcellus [3] the destruction of temples and images in, and surrounding, Carthage, the Patriarch Theophilus who seized and destroyed pagan temples in Alexandria, the levelling of all the temples in Gaza and the wider destruction of holy sites that spread rapidly throughout Egypt. This is supplemented in abundance by archaeological evidence in the northern provinces exposing broken and burnt out buildings and hastily buried objects of piety. The leader of the Egyptian monks who participated in the sack of temples replied to the victims who demanded back their sacred icons:

"I peacefully removed your gods...there is no such thing as robbery for those who truly possess Christ."


At the turn of the century St Augustine would exhort his congregation in Carthage to smash all tangible symbols of paganism:

"for that all superstition of pagans and heathens should be annihilated is what God wants, God commands, God proclaims!"


In the year 407 a decree was issued to the west from Rome:

"If any images stand even now in the temples and shrines...., they shall be torn from their foundations...The temples situated in cities or towns shall be taken for public use. Altars shall be destroyed in all places."
Sacred sites were now appropriated by Christianity: "Let altars be built and relics be placed there" wrote Pope Gregory I, "so that [the pagans] have to change from the worship of the daemones to that of the true God".
Noli Nothis Permittere Te Terere
The only way to prevent 1984 is 2323

Reverend Cailen Cambeul, P.M.E.
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Church of Creativity South Australia
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