The most notable period regarding the persecution of Christians is the Ancient Roman times. In Ancient Rome, Christians were most commonly murdered by crucifixion and being put in arenas with lions. The emperor Nero was one of the most notorious persecutors. Christians continue to be persecuted around the world today in communist countries like China, and Islamic countries.
This persecution continued up through the fourth century, when Constantine's Edict of Milan in 317 A.D. promulgated a doctrine of religious tolerance. In 393 A.D., Christianity became the state religion of Rome, gaining strength after Constantine's conquest of Rome from his fellow caesars of the time.
Deep divisions remained within the Empire. Examples include:
- The Altar of Victory affair.
- The removal of avowed polytheists from office.
Persecution generally ended in 317, with the Edict of Milan.
- "... in 391 AD, Christianity became the official, and only, state religion of the empire." The Legacy of Rome