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Similarly, several of the New Testament writings mention persecutions and stress endurance through them.Early Christians suffered sporadic persecutions as the result of local pagan populations putting pressure on the imperial authorities to take action against the Christians in their midst, who were thought to bring misfortune by their refusal to honour the gods.There is no agreement on how Christianity managed to spread so successfully prior to the Edict of Milan and the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.In The Rise of Christianity, Rodney Stark argues that Christianity triumphed over paganism chiefly because it improved the lives of its adherents in various ways.But this emerged slowly and at different times for different locations.

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Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity spread to all of Europe in the Middle Ages.

This eventually led to their expulsion from the synagogues, according to one theory of the Council of Jamnia.

Acts records the martyrdom of the Christian leaders, Stephen and James of Zebedee.

(2) The doctrine of a future life, improved by every additional circumstance which could give weight and efficacy to that important truth.

(3) The miraculous powers ascribed to the primitive church. (5) The union and discipline of the Christian republic, which gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman empire." In the post-Apostolic church, bishops emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations, and a hierarchy of clergy gradually took on the form of episkopos (overseers, in-spectors; and the origin of the term bishop) and presbyters (elders; and the origin of the term priest), and then deacons (servants).

He then called the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils.