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Would it be too contentious to add more information about how the Roman Imperial Cult was a long standing institution and that Christians were failing to observe laws of the empire by not observing the Imperial cult? Christian tenets do advocate the following of the laws of the land, i.e render unto Caesar quite literally in this case. I am not advocating that he was -right- or -good- in persecution, however it should be highlighted in my opinion that the Christians who died were in many cases violating Imperial law, just or unjust.

I did significant research on Diocletian at University when I was younger, and found much of interest in the persecution that is not widely known. I can't pull up my research at the moment, but within a couple weeks I could probably get many citations on this. My actual conclusions led me to believe more that Diocletian's son in law Galerius was most responsible for the persecution. -Eternal Critic

Christianity was never even legal until almost 300 years into its existence. The Romans had a law that no new religions were allowed. The only thing that saved Christianity before Nero was that it was probably viewed as a branch of Judaism in the eyes of Rome. Another interesting point is that the Jews were the only religion that didn't have to worship the Emperor (at least pre diaspora -- I'm not sure afterwards)
At the same time though, the admonition of Paul for Christians to follow the law never included worshipping false gods. There is a line that isn't crossed. Learn together 17:09, 23 October 2008 (EDT)
I believe the Jews were excluded for cultural reasons, whereas Christians were not considered a cultural group, but solely religious. And while you say that a line should not be crossed, I'm wondering where you recommend I draw mine? I am not trying target anyone, but i will freely admit I am no longer a Christian. I simply love Roman history and want to see it represented as accurately and high quality as possible. I believe looking at it from multiple views (both Roman and Christian) is significant to the persecution. It was a terrible slaughter and tragedy, but in -some- cases provocation existed, and in others fabricated or assumed, usually by galerius. -Eternal Critic