“If we leaf through the pages of history, we can meet with many cases of persecution, some well-known, like the persecutions against the Jews and the Christians, and some not well-known, like the Christians’ persecution against the pagans or the persecution against the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
“Uncle Salvatore, it’s the first time that I have heard about Christians who persecuted the heathens. Are you sure about that? I thought the heathens persecuted the Christians under the Roman Empire.”
“Yes, I am. The pagans were persecuted, too. After the Edict of Constantine in 313 AD, all religions were admitted in the Roman Empire. The Christians were not persecuted anymore. And then they started to show intolerance against the pagans. Little by little, they destroyed the pagan temples. Afterward, mainly for economic reasons, they converted the pagan temples into Christian churches. In Syracuse, the hometown of Santa Lucia, the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena was converted into the Catholic Cathedral of that city. It stands on the island of Ortygia. As soon as you enter the church, you can see the former pagan temple with its well-preserved Dorian columns.”
“Also in Isola, Uncle Salvatore, paganism merged with Christianity. In fact, in our town the cult of Demeter was replaced with the worship of Our Lady. Deep down, nothing changes. Religious faith remains unaltered over the eras.”
“Yes, it is as you said. After the Edict of Constantine, many pagans were persecuted and killed by the Christians. Apparently, the Christians lost the spirit of nonviolence and love taught by Jesus. They persecuted the pagans, showed intolerance against the heretics, and burned them at the stake.
“One of the cruelest cases of persecution against the pagans was the murder of Hypatia, a martyr and a symbol of freedom of thought. She was a pagan scientist, philosopher and mathematician from Alexandria in Egypt. The Christians killed her during the persecutions against the pagans.
This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind