In Rome they believed in more than one god which was known as polytheistic religion. To them worshiping their gods ment appeasing them so that they could live to see another day,so they spent a large majority of their time worshiping their gods in many ways. They ranged from public holidays where they would sacrifice animals publicly all the way to having personal household gods or spirits called ‘lares’ that they prayed to every single day. This was such an important part of their day to that that even the family slaves that they owned were brought in to pray with them as well.
To them these little ‘Lares’ served as messengers to deliver their prayers to the gods. It could even be thought that they might have cared a little more about them more than the actual gods. With this in mind the people did basically fear the gods since they believed that they controlled every aspect of their daily lives. When christianity came into play, it was something that had to be kept a secret for a while. Unlike the religions in Rome, a monotheistic belief was unheard of and was also against the law,hence why they had to practice it in secret. Anyone that was found worshiping any other god was usually punished and treated as a criminal. They would end up in jail and be out if they got lucky but sadly if they were truly unlucky then they would be subjected to torture or even death.
Opposed to the Rome religion who was closed off to only those they deemed worthy,Christianity welcomed everyone and anyone that wanted to be a part of their way of life. Before Christianity was even a thing people thought that Heaven was a place that was reserved only for the gods. When they heard about how you could get into heaven if you lived your life in a specific way people were overjoyed to convert to christianity but still lived in fear of being treated like a criminal. The romans believed that when you died no matter what you did during the time that you were alive then you would go to the underworld when you died. There were even the benefits of everyone that was a christian being treated as an equal.
So in reality the answer as to why christianity managed to survive for so long is pretty obvious. The pros of the monotheistic religion severity outweighed the cons of the polytheistic religion along with a large number of other benefits as well. They may have had the fear over their heads of going to jail, but it was clear what they picked that lasted even to today.
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