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We read in Foxes Book of Martyr's that there were many early Christians who were persecuted in varied ways

. How was the Early Church persecuted? Many of them had been persecuted, tortured and killed. Countless numbers of them were thrown to the lions. History says that the Romans blamed all their calamities and woes on the Christians, and hated them for it. They believed that the Christians were the cause for curses upon them, so they set out to destroy the Christians. Here are some of them. Under the Roman Emperor Domitian (81 A.D.) a law was made, "That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion." A variety of fabricated tales were, during this reign, composed in order to injure the Christians. Such was the infatuation of the pagans, that, if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it was laid upon the Christians. These persecutions among the Christians increased the number of informers and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent. Another hardship was, that, when any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was proposed, when, if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed themselves Christians, the sentence was the same. It has been said that the lives of the early Christians consisted of "persecution above ground and prayer below ground." Their lives are expressed by the Coliseum and the catacombs. Beneath Rome are the excavations which we call the catacombs, which were at once temples and tombs. The early Church of Rome might well be called the Church of the Catacombs. In the first century church at Rome there were around two million saints who were buried underground in the Catacombs. There are some sixty catacombs near Rome, in which some six hundred miles of galleries have been traced, and these are not all. These galleries are about eight feet high and from three to five feet wide, containing on either side several rows of long, low, horizontal recesses, one above another like berths in a ship. In these the dead bodies were placed and the front closed, either by a single marble slab or several great tiles laid in mortar. On these slabs or tiles, epitaphs or symbols are graved or painted. Both pagans and Christians buried their dead in these catacombs. When the Christian graves have been opened the skeletons tell their own terrible tale. Heads are found severed from the body, ribs and shoulder blades are broken, bones are often calcined from fire. But despite the awful story of persecution that we may read here, the inscriptions breathe forth peace and joy and triumph. Here are a few: "Here lies Marcia, put to rest in a dream of peace." "Lawrence to his sweetest son, borne away of angels." "Victorious in peace and in Christ." "Being called away, he went in peace." Remember when reading these inscriptions the story the skeletons tell of persecution, of torture, and of fire then. At the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (313 A.D.) these persecutions stopped for a time. When the doctrine of the trinity was formally adopted by the Catholic Church (in 325 A.D) it became the standardized doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Later under the Roman Justinian Codes (529 A.D.) anyone not teaching this was persecuted and their property confiscated, because his laws. The concept was carried on during the Catholic

Inquisition (1470 -1840 A.D.) by the Roman Catholic Church. And they also supported Adolf Hitler's efforts (who was also assisted by many Muslims) along with his persecutions or killings of both many Christians and Jews in Europe. Today under Islam and political correctness this tide of silencing, persecuting or eliminating Jews and Christians is rising. This will increase (and especially so under the reign of the Antichrist) until it reaches or even supersedes the wave of attacks under the Roman Empire. And that is only the story from Rome. All over the world even today Christians have been persecuted and martyred. Consider these facts. In modern times, the United Religions of the world, with the UN Interfaith movement, the World Council of Churches and many other international inter-religious groups are angrily accusing fundamentalist Christians of being the source of most of the strife and discontent in society. The day will come when the persecution will crescendo into outright bans against Christians, with edicts coming down against them from the New World Order leaders. Already, biblical teachings are being categorized as hate-crimes (i.e., anyone who speaks against homosexuality in Canada becomes a criminal). And under the Clinton Administration, Louis Freeh (former director of the FBI) and Janet Reno (former U.S. Attorney General) put forth the Justice Department's latest definition of a "potential terrorist," which still stands even now. Janet Reno has sent a confidential memo to the U.S. attorneys that an investigation would take place against "right wing (right wing groups also include America's militias) and fundamentalist Christians." Just remember that they classify any believer in Bible Prophecy and especially of the book of Revelations, an extremist. This alone singles out nearly all Christians. It states that investigation and surveillance of right wing political groups and fundamentalists, religious organizations and individuals will take place in certain areas. Dossiers on targeted individuals are to be compiled and retained in the Washington, D.C. in the Justice Department. In the event of a wide spread uprising (as in martial law or a national disaster) these individuals must be viewed as "potential terrorists." And note how they are now being targeted without proof or substantiation as "potential sources" for terrorism. What this means that political correctness, international edicts, and hate speech are laws are designed and soon will implemented against Christians everywhere. Remember that you can be tracked by your cell phone, computer or even your vehicle; and one day by a personalized computer chip. It has been reported that such a computer system and tracking device named 'the beast' is available. It is only waiting for the approval be given in order to be placed into effect. This is present day news. When the Antichrist comes on the scene, the mark of the beast will effectively choke Christians out of public view. Those who do not die will be forced "underground" as was the early church. Those who study Bible prophecy have long known that great persecution of Bible believers shall come to every nation, especially in the end times prior to Jesus Christ's return. Mark 13 and Matthew 24 makes this abundantly clear. Many millions will die under his laws and rule. There are some who expect Christ to appear and save them from all persecution. Yes, I believe that Jesus came to save every believer but he never promised the 'easy life' to anybody. The book entire book of Job, along with the words of the apostles ("Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must that we must through much

tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" - Acts 14:22) and Jesus' own say just the opposite ("And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" - Mark 13:13). Are you ready?