Originally published 05/09/2013
A historian claims that many stories about the persecution of early Christians were invented or exaggerated to further the religion. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame maintains Christianity is so laden with such tales that it has given rise to a myth of persecution among modern believers. A Catholic, Moss expects her claims to be the source of irritation to the faithful - but that they're missing the point.Moss, from South Bend, Indiana, claims only a handful of martyrdom stories ever actually occurred and there was no widespread Roman persecution. The stories were largely invented to inspire loyalty among the masses.Moss says that modern Christians to drop the victim complex inherited from them. "Christians were never the victims of sustained, targeted persecution. The idea of the persecuted church is almost entirely the invention of the 4th century and later," she adds....