This week in Christian history: Diocletian persecution begins, Anabaptist martyred, Seminary founder born

Diocletian Persecution begins – February 23, 303

Roman Emperor Diocletian (245-316), widely remembered for his violent persecution of Christians. | Wikimedia Commons/G.dallorto

This week marks the anniversary of when Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict beginning what many in the early church called the “Great Persecution.”

The edict called for church buildings to be destroyed, worship services to be discontinued, and Christian scriptures to be collected and burned.

Generally considered the last great persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, persecution existed for eight years until the Edict of Serdica was issued by Emperor Galerius.

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