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The Romans attempted to use religion to unify their vast empire, and their clever political devise was the invention of the worship of the Roman emperor. To worship the image of the emperor was mandatory; to refuse of doing so was considered an act of treason to the state and was to be punished accordingly. Since early Christians only acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and refused to worship Caesar as a god, that led to the ten persecutions led by the Roman emperors. The first one started in AD 64 and the last one ended in AD 313.
According to the prophecy of Revelation, Satan and the demons will be hurled to the earth (Revelation 12:9). Because Satan knows that his time is short, he and his gang will try their very best to persecute God’s people on earth. However, the Apostle John triumphantly proclaimed that the followers of Jesus Christ have conquered Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death (Revelation 12:11). Martyrdom might appear a defeat for the martyrs, but it is indeed a victory. Persecutions are like hammer blows to God’s people, but the Church is an anvil which has worn out many hammers!