Spread of Christianity in Europe
At the beginning of the first millennium, the Roman Empire stretched across Europe and its presence was known in the Middle East, as well. In the first century A.D., Christianity was little more than a sect. However, in the next five centuries Christianity would sweep across Europe, becoming the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. This paper will examine the spread of Christianity in Europe and focus on key elements in this process, including the following:
- The fall of the Roman Empire
- The reigns of Clovis and Charlemagne
- The Papacy
- The political and economic connections between these elements and the growth of Christianity
This discussion will demonstrate that in addition to being a religious movement, Christianity became an economic and political necessity for European rulers.
The story of the early spread of Christianity into Europe is mostly unknown, due to limited records available from this period. We do that Saul, or Paul, as he more commonly known, was first-century Roman Jew who was instrumental in creating what is now known as Christianity, according to many scholars, as well as bringing the early teachings to Rome. In the first century, the religion moved first to Greece, then traveled along trade routes from city to city, so that by the second century, it had become popular in many cities of the Roman Empire. The arrival of Christianity in Europe was met with a great deal of opposition and persecution of followers was common through the fourth century.