This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Antichrist is not the Papal System
any Christian Scholars have endeavoured to identify the Papal system of Roman Catholic Church with the Antichrist. Dante Alighieri, John Wycliffe, John Huss, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton, Gill, Wesley, Miller, E.G. White, C.T.Russell and many more protestants believed and taught that the Papal system is indeed the Antichrist. In this regard we do not deny that the Papal system is an Apostate system which persecuted the true followers of Christ, the world will never forget those barbarous tortures done by the Papal system to the saints, we do agree that the women referred in Mat 13:33 is indeed the Papal Church who leavened the word of God with all her false doctrines like trinity, hell fire, immortal soul, worship of saints, idolatry, Mariolatry, confession of sin, indulgence letter for forgiveness, and at last the doctrine of the Mass,etc. Even today we see major part of the doctrines which the Holy See preaches are also preached and practiced by many Idolatrous Nations, but this cannot make them also the Antichrist simply because they too preach false. Five major factors made the Aforementioned Scholars to conclude that the Papal system is the Antichrist, namely : 1. 2. 3. 4. The Ecclesiastical Supremacy of Papal System by the Emperor Justinian The Brutal Persecution done by Popes all through the dark ages Introducing innumerable false (pagan)doctrines into Christianity False claims of Popes (which the above Authors considered as blasphemy referred in Daniel 7 and Rev 13) 5. The numerical values of the title “VICARIUS FELLI DEI” which is written on the diadem of the Pope summed up to 666
But, not all the eligibilities referred in the scriptures to the Antichrist fit with the Papal system. We sincerely appreciate all the previous authors who wrote before 19th century and acclaim their writings and their serious effort, they all indeed have deciphered and interpreted correct symbols of Revelation and Daniel with a wrong false prophet who belong to the category of “many antichrists” of 1John 2:18. Now we shall proceed with lot of Scriptural evidences, historical corroborations and Authenticated proofs to show that THE ANTICHRIST IS NOT THE PAPAL SYSTEM. Reasons for Why Papacy are not the ANTICHRIST? Reason #1. It is evident from the scriptures that Antichrist will deny Christ instead of acknowledge him 1John 4:2,3: “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that
Reasoning The Scriptures
spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now
already is it in the world. This cannot be applied to Pope because he indeed acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour of the World otherwise Christianity’s celebrated festivals like “Christmas” “Good Friday” “Easter” would not have existed on this earth, What Popes do on these occasions does they deny Christ? Never! these festivals may have pagan origin but this doesn’t’ mean that they forsake Christ and glorify the pagan gods on the said festivals, we indeed condemn their unbiblical dates and practices which is not according to the scriptures, but one or the other way they are acknowledging his birth (messiah coming in the flesh) his death (his sacrifice) his resurrection (proof of his Saviorship) which is in harmony with (1 John 4:2,3) and contrary to 2 Thes 2:4 and Dan 11:37, Pope sustains the worship of saints but the Antichrist never – “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. Reason #2: The Antichrist is described as the one "who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thess. 2:4). This is what the Popes have never done. Not even Leo ventured to deify himself or supersede God. If Pope say I am the representative of God quite oppositely Antichrist say I am God. The Popes have made many false and impious claims for themselves; nevertheless, their decrees have been sent forth as from the "vicegerent" of God, the "vicar" of Christ—thus acknowledging a Divine power above him. Reason #3: In Revelation 13:2, 4 we read, "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority...and they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast." According to protestant commentators, the dragon is the PAGAN ROME which gave authority to the Papal Rome. Now by almost common consent this first beast of Revelation 13 is the Antichrist. If, then, Roman Catholism be the Antichrist, where, we may ask, shall we turn to find anything answering to what we read of here in Revelation 13:4—"And they worshipped the dragon, which gave power unto the beast." Did the Catholics worship the Pope or the Pagan Rome which is supposed to be the dragon? Did the Papacy uphold the pagan Rome rather establishing their own kingdom? This cannot be true as it is explained by those expositors that this same Papal Rome uprooted three kings of Pagan Rome (Dan 7:24) Every kingdom divided against itself will be brought to desolation Beelzebub cannot cast out Beelzebub isn’t’ it? (Mat 12:25-26) But the fact is entirely poles apart than what we assume. Bible interprets its own symbol it is stated clearly that the DRAGON is none other than the old serpent the Devil – the deceiver (Rev 20:1) not the pagan Rome.
Reasoning The Scriptures
Reason #4: The Antichrist will make a Covenant with many. In Daniel 9:27 we read, "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for a week." The one referred to here as making this seven-year Covenant is "the Prince that shall come" and not the prince who had already come (Dan 9:26), Russelites and Adventists maintain that the two prince are one and the same, we argue that if the Messiah was cut off (died) at the end of sixty nine weeks how can he cause the sacrifice and oblations to cease in the midst of 70th week? Besides Christ did not make any covenant for one week i.e. for seven year this would seriously contradict Heb 13: 20 were it is stated that his covenant would be an everlasting covenant and “the Prince that shall come" of Dan 9:27, is indeed the Antichrist, who will be the Head of the ten-kingdom Empire, who because of the overspreading of abomination will cause desolations. If this is interpreted to Pope, we know of no record upon the scroll of history of any Pope having ever made a seven-year Covenant with many. Reason #5: In Daniel 11:45 we read, "And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." The person referred to here is, again, the Antichrist, as will be seen by going back to Daniel 11:36 where this section of the chapter begins. There we are told, "The king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that is determined shall be done." This is more than sufficient to identify with certainty the one spoken of in the last verse of Daniel 11. The Antichrist, then, will plant the tabernacles of his palace "between the seas" and “the holy mountain,” that is, between the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and mount Zion. By no species of ingenuity can this be made to apply to the Pope, for his palace, the Vatican, is located in the capital city of Italy. Reason #6: The 13th chapter of Revelation informs us that the Antichrist (the first Beast) shall be aided by a second Beast who is denominated "the False Prophet" (Rev. 19:20). The False Prophet, we are told "exerciseth all the power of the First Beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the First Beast" (Rev. 13:12). If the First Beast be the Papacy, then who is the False Prophet who "causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship" her? Some say the image of the beast is the protestant denominations, this would mean that, the Protestants will promote Papacy and cause the people of the earth to worship the first beast- the Antichrist, how absurd and ridiculous to hear this? The very word “PROTEST” means to object or to remonstrate, a protestant of the beast cannot be the promoter of the beast. Protestant denominations in any way have not promoted Papacy but objected and condemned it; if the false prophet is not the Protestants then the beast is not the Papacy. Russellites and Adventists are one step forward form the other, they interpret that the “image of the beast” or the “false prophet” who had two horns like of a lamb is the church of England and the Church of Ireland and the king Henry the 8th, we don’t know in what way they caused the
Reasoning The Scriptures
people of the earth to worship the beast (Papacy) by performing great wonders, when we read in the historical record, they were actually against the Papacy (beast) it is the Pope who excommunicated the Henry and his subjects1 this led Henry to be declared by the Parliament and the people supreme head on earth of the Church of England Besides, he considered the title of head of the English Church as if it transferred to him the enormous power which had been claimed, and indeed usurped, by the Roman Pontiff and in consequence of this interpretation of his title he looked upon himself as master of the religious sentiments of his subjects, and as authorized to prescribe modes of faith, according to his fancy. When Henry VIII was declared supreme head upon earth of the Church of England, George Brown, a native of England, and a monk of the Augustine order, whom that monarch had created in the year 1535 archbishop of Dublin (Ireland), . . . caused the king's supremacy to be acknowledged in that nation (Ireland)2.Notice here Henry the 8th did not promote nor campaigned for Papacy but was declared supreme head upon earth similar to what Papacy claimed earlier, both claims are one and the same, this once again does not fit in Rev 13. Some Authors refer to the Evangelical Alliance made by some (not all) protestants denominations in 1846 A.D is the “image of the beast” or the “false prophet” one can clearly point out the error here, according to the reckonings of the Adventists and Rusellites the Papacy rose to power on 538/539 A.D and the evangelical alliance in 1846 A.D, What was the beast doing all through this period without his promoter the false prophet? Was this lengthy gap required? Finally what did the false prophet perform in 1846, any wonders, any miracles, any fire from heaven? – No such things happened in 1846 nor did the evangelical alliance campaign for Pope to bow and worship. Reason #7: Revelation 17 gives us more details about the seven heads of the beast: 9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven Mountains on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. (Rev. 17:9-10) Even though it says wisdom is needed to figure out the meaning, people quickly jump to the most obvious conclusion, which is not the correct answer. Almost all Revelation expositors interpret the woman seated on the beast as the Papal Church or the Roman Catholic Church – is this interpretation consistent with what the revealing angle’s cryptology given in Rev 17:9-10? We answer no.
Myers' History Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History
Reasoning The Scriptures
The seven heads have a double meaning; they represent seven mountains (the Greek says mountains, not hills) and seven kings. The fact that five kings are fallen and one was alive at the time of this Revelation given to John and the other is yet to come is almost ignored. This tells us that the kings rule in succession; one after the other. The seven heads of the beast do not represent seven of Rome’s emperors; the seven heads represent seven empires that have ruled over Israel and the Middle East during the course of history. Now let us reason about the seven hills of the Rome and the woman. Who is the woman? They say, she is the Papal Church. Whom does the beast represent? They say, it is the Pagan Rome (some say the beast is also the Papal Church). Now on has to locate where the woman i.e. the Papacy’s seat of Authority is located? It is located in Vatican; yes the Holy See the Papacy’s ruling headquarters is on the hill of Vatican which is in Italy. When we see any ancient map of Rome we can clearly see Roman province did not extended beyond Tiberis River until 3rd century A.D. and also the Vatican hill is not among the seven hills of ancient Rome, only in the 17th century A.D did the walls of Rome was extended up to the Vatican hill. This can be easily traced through the Map given bellow.
This map clearly shows us that the Vatican hill is not among the seven hills of ancient Rome. The seven hills are located inside the walls coloured in blue (Republican walls of 6th to 4th century B.C) we should not forget that the Biblical word used in Rev 17:9 is mountain instead of hill; Traditionally Rome is said to be founded on seven hills, but the history and the topography of Rome is a bit more complicated than that. The hills are not really
Reasoning The Scriptures
isolated hills. Rather they are a series of ridges eroded from a plain above the floodplain of the Tiber River. Erosion has separated the ends of some of the ridges into freestanding heights. It's easy to understand if you look at the contour map given below. Note also that the slopes of the hills and ridges were much steeper in ancient times and the valley bottoms were much closer to the level of the Tiber than they are today -both natural action and human intervention have smoothed the contours and softened the edges. The Seven Hills of Rome are namely 1. Aventine Hill (collis Aventinus) 2. Caeline Hill (collis Caelius) 3. Capitoline Hill (collis Capotolinus) 4. Esquiline Hill (collis Esaquilinus) 5. Palatine Hill (collis Palatinus) 6.Quirinal Hill (collis Quirinalis) 7. Viminal Hill (collis Viminalis) see the below map at right When we speak of seven hills always Rome comes to our mind first, but actually there are other hills as good as the traditional hills which the commentators and other historians have ignored, the other hills were also part of the Roman province. The other hills are: 1. Pinician 2. Janicullum 3. Vatican
If this is taken into consideration Rome would be a city of 9 hills rather than seven below is a map of ancient Rome which shows the
Reasoning The Scriptures
seven hills as well as the other hills of Rome (the other hills are marked in blue dots) Rome indeed was built on other hills apart from the traditional seven hills we have presented accurate historical proofs, any one can search in any dictionary, encyclopaedia or the internet and know the information presented in this treatise are true and substantial. So, if Rome has more than the seven hills this would not fit into Rev 17:9, besides the Papal church’s head quarters the Holy See or the Vatican city which has a membership in the UNO is solely built on a single hill that is the Vatican Hill and this hill as we have seen is not among the seven hills of Rome, again, this criteria will not fit to Rev 17:9, if the woman is the Papal church did she built the city of Rome on seven hills? No, Even though Papal Rome is meant (according to Rev 17:9 it is not)here once again this also fails to meet the angel’s cryptology because to harmonize Rev 17:9 Papal Rome should be located seating on literal seven hills but actually Papal Rome is indeed seated on a single hill named Vatican ! And If Literal Rome is meant here (according to Rev 17:9 it is not) we have seen the literal city of Rome is seated on more than 7 hills ! History should be reviewed and corrected in this regard that Rome instead of a city of seven hills should be read as the city of 8 or 9 hills but not exactly seven! Coming to the cryptology of the angel it is said that the Seven heads are the seven mountains and seven kings, if the mountains here are meant to be literal one, then in what way shall we answer to the interpretation given for the mountains in Rev 17:10 “Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come” are we to understand that five mountains among the seven will fall and one will remain? Will the seventh mountain miraculously appear in the historical scene? Scripture interprets its own symbols the angel has clearly deciphered the symbols he said the seven mountains are also the seven kings, mountains represent kingdoms in Biblical cryptology, kingdoms and kings are always interchangeable. Even though the seven mountains are interpreted as kings this will again not fit with Rome because, If the seven heads referred to Roman Emperors of the first century, it would require that Revelation be written in 68 A.D. The five fallen emperors are supposed to be Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero who committed suicide in 68. The next emperor only ruled a few months, as did the next, both in 68. By the time John wrote Revelation in about 96 A.D., there had been thirteen past emperors, Domitian being the fourteenth. Those who say it refers to Roman emperors ignore the ones who ruled only a few months. But, if it referred to Roman emperors of the first century, it would require that the next emperor also be of that time, not 1900 years later. Reason #8: The Adventists, The Russelites and many Adventists who uphold that Papacy is the Antichrist calculate the beginning and the ending date of Papacy’s raise and decline from 539 A.D to 1799A.D (1260 days of Dan 7: 24,25) these given dates are neither historical nor scriptural because 539.A.D was not the beginning of Papal
Reasoning The Scriptures
rule neither did it ended in 1799 A.D. Daniel 7:26 states that after the determined time of 1260 days (not years) the little horn should be completely abolished, the scrolls of Daniel makes this clear “the Judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end”. No one can say all this happened in 1799 A.D neither we can say that the Papal system would be consumed gradually over period of hundred years, this would make the fixed time (1260days) totally ludicrous. King Napoleon’s attack on Pope was only a temporary; his arrest of Pope spanned only 9 months and soon after this Napoleon returned the diamond crown to the Pope and they both continued in power, even today Pope is in power and not consumed. Millions of people attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of the new Pope Benedict was one of the most publicized events of recent times, millions of Christians attend the holy mass conducted by the present Pope in the Vatican. The Papacy is still active as it was earlier even America one of the strongest nations of the earth pay respect to him and honour him. Most of the historical records show that the Pope’s temporal power started during the time of Pope Stephen II. It is said that he requested Pepin III, emperor of France, to fight against his enemies, which he did and then gifted those provinces to the Pope as a gift. This did not happen in 539, but in 756 AD. Even though Papacy had a lot of influence from the early 5th century itself, they did not have actual place among the assumed ten horns till AD 756. The following excerpts are a few that we came across during our study: Papal States, Ital. Lo Stato Della Chiesa, from 754 to 1870 an independent territory under the temporal rule of the Popes, also called the States of the Church and the Pontifical States.3 The "Donation" of Pepin--who owed his new title as king of the Franks in part to the Pope--and that of his son Charlemagne were the theoretical foundations of the temporal power of the Papacy. (754), Promise made by the Carolingian Frankish king Pepin III the Short to win for Pope Stephen II (III) lands in Italy that had been conquered by the Lombards; it was later (756) embodied in a document that became the origin of Papal rule over central Italy, which lasted until the 19th century. Pepin had, with Papal agreement, deposed the last Merovingian ruler of the Franks and then was elected king himself. He received the Pope at Quierzy-sur-Oise (near Laon, Fr.), made the donation, and was subsequently anointed as king by the Pope. Fulfilling his promise, Pepin fought two campaigns (754 and 756) in
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.
Reasoning The Scriptures
Italy, wresting from the Lombard king Aistulf the former Byzantine territory, which he then awarded to the Pope. As early as the 4th century, the Popes had acquired considerable property around Rome (called the Patrimony of St. Peter). From the 5th century, with the breakdown of Roman imperial authority in the West, the Pope’s influence in central Italy increased as the people of the area relied on them for protection against the barbarian invasions. When the Lombards threatened to take over the whole peninsula in the 750s, Pope Stephen II appealed for aid to the Frankish ruler Pepin III the Short. On intervening, Pepin restored the lands of central Italy to the Roman See, ignoring the claim of the Byzantine (East Roman) Empire to sovereignty there. This Donation of Pepin (754) provided the basis for the Papal claim to temporal power, while by the Treaty of Pavia (756) the Lombard king Aistulf ceded territory in northern and central Italy. The Pope consequently became ruler of the area around Ravenna, the Pentapolis (along the Adriatic Sea from Rimini to Ancona), and the Roman region. 4 In 751 the Lombards had conquered the imperial territory at Ravenna, the seat of Byzantine government in Italy, and were demanding tribute from the Pope and threatening to take Rome. Following Pepin's coronation, the Pope secured his promise of armed intervention in Italy and his pledge to give the Papacy the territory of Ravenna, once it was conquered. In 756 a Frankish army forced the Lombard king to surrender his conquests, and Pepin officially conferred the Ravenna territory to the Pope. Known as the "Donation of Pepin," the gift made the Pope a temporal ruler over the Papal States, a strip of territory that extended diagonally across Italy from coast to coast.5 The "Donation of Pepin" in 756 provided a legal basis for the erection of the Papal States, which extended Papal temporal rule beyond the traditional diocese and duchy of Rome. In 728, Liutprand, king of the Lombards, reached an agreement at Sutri with Pope Gregory II giving to the Papacy the fortified hill town of Sutri on the Via Cassia and some other fortified sites in Latium. This "Donation of Sutri" marked the historic foundation of the Papal States. …in 756, Pepin and his Frankish army forced the last Lombard king to surrender his conquests, and Pepin officially conferred upon the Pope the territories belonging to Ravenna even cities such as Forlì with their hinterlands upon the Pope, laying the Donation of Pepin upon the tomb of Saint Peter, according to traditional later accounts. The gift included Lombard conquests
Britannica 2001Standard Edition Bruce Shelley's Christian History in Plain Language
Reasoning The Scriptures
in the Romagna and in the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento, and the Pentapolis in the Marche (the "five cities" of Rimini, Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, and Senigallia). For the first time ever, the Donation made the Pope a temporal ruler over a strip of territory that extended diagonally across Italy from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic. Pepin confirmed his Donation in Rome in 756, and in 774 Charlemagne confirmed the donation of his father6. Most encyclopaedias affirm the period of the temporal power of Popes between AD 756 and 1870. In 1870, Victor Immanuel brought a more deadly blow upon Papacy than that delivered by Napoleon in 1799. In an effort to unify all Italy, he annulled all temporal powers of the Popes. The Popes were so humiliated that they went on a self-imposed exile to protest this till 1925. Now they are as active as before. The total period of the temporal rule of Popes are 1114 years (756-1870) this will not fit to the 1260 day for year theory, The duration of Antichrist’s career, after he comes out in his true character, will be limited to forty-two months. There are no less than six scriptures which, with a variety of expression, affirm this time restriction. In Daniel 7:25 we learn that this one who shall "think to change times and laws," will have these "given into his hand until a time, and times, and the dividing of time:" that is, for three years and a half—cf. Revelation 12:14 with 12:6. And again in Revelation 13:5 we are told, "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months" (Rev. 13:5). Now it is utterly impossible to make this harmonize with the protracted history of Romanism by any honest method of computation. Reason #9: In Daniel 9:27 we are told that the Antichrist "shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." And again in Daniel 8:11 we read, "Yea, he magnified himself even against the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away." If Romanism is the Antichrist how can these scriptures be made to square with the oft repeated "Sacrifice of the Mass"? Reason #10: Daniel 7:24 speaks of the little horn who suppresses three kings before coming to power. The Adventists and Russelites interpretation to the aforementioned verse is as follows: “History reveals that the Papacy destroyed three of the ten kingdoms, which were as follows: 1. The Heruli in A.D. 493, 2. the Vandals in A.D. 534, 3. The Ostrogoths in A.D. 538.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Reasoning The Scriptures
Br. Russell’s comments slightly differ from the above Italy was thenceforth known as the Western Empire, whose seat or capital was at Ravenna. This was one of the "horns": it fell, A.D. 476, at the hands of the Heruli, another of the horns, which established itself on its ruins. Next came the Ostrogothic kingdom, another "horn," overthrowing the Heruli and establishing itself as ruler of Italy, A.D. 489. And, as we have just seen, it was during the power of this "horn" (the third to be rooted out to make way for the papal horn) that Justinian acknowledged the papal supremacy; and it was by his orders, and by his general and his army, that it was plucked up7. The Adventist’s horns are 1.Hureli 2. Vandals 3.Ostrogoths and the Russell’s horns are 1. Ravenna 2. Hureli 3. Ostrogoths. Before proceeding to present our comments we would like to provide the source through which we have gathered the adequate information to sustain our assertion they are: The encyclopaedic references 1. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2. The World Book Encyclopaedia 3. The New Book of Knowledge 4. Purnell's new English Encyclopaedia 5. Collier's Encyclopaedia 6. Funk and Wagnall's New Standard Dictionary of the English Language8 The books we looked into are 1. E Gibbon - The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 2. P De Rosa - Vicars of Christ - The Dark Side of the Papacy 3. A Momigliano (ed.) - Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century 4. Millar - The Roman Empire and its neighbours 5. AHM Jones - The Later Roman Empire: 284-602AD 6. J Pelikan - The Excellent Empire - The Fall of Rome and the Triumph of the Church 7. S Bullough - Roman Catholicism 8. J Richards - The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages: 476-752AD
Studies in the Scriptures – Volume 3, page 76,77
Please see the articles: Papal States, Rome, Pope, Papacy, Catholicism, Roman Empire, Belisarius, Pius VI, Pius VII, Stephen II, Stephen III, Pepin, Franks, Lombards, Burgundians, Vandals, Heruli, Goths, Orthogoths, Visigoths, Celts, Saxons, Germani, Teutonics, Huns, Suebi (Suevi), Quodi, Helveti, Belgi, Gauls, Cimbri, Alemanni, Dacians, Walloons, Venetians, Iberians, Marcomanni, Magyars, Basques, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, England, Rumania, France, Germany, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania.
Reasoning The Scriptures
These references will be adequate to provide all the information we claim. Basically all of the data was taken from encyclopaedias; and the books are merely there for backup proof. We hope that is sufficient. If you want to look stuff up, we would suggest our readers go to the encyclopaedias first. They contain all the relevant information. The rest contain it too, but it is more difficult to locate. Encyclopaedias are easier to obtain in libraries too. You can possibly try soft copies on the Internet. We accept the two dates for the first two (493 and 534). They are correct. The date for the defeat of the Ostrogoths was NOT 538 AD, but rather 555 AD. A minor defeat occurred previously, but our sources give us the date of 540 AD for that one, two years AFTER Adventism's required date. However, that is irrelevant - the Bible says that the three horns were uprooted - history shows that the uprootment of the final of these assumed three horns, the Ostrogoths, was not complete until 555 AD. So either one must count from 555 AD, or one must not count at all from the defeat of the Ostrogoths. To count their defeat from 2 years before a minor irrelevant defeat and 17 years before their actual defeat and annihilation is dishonest manipulation of history, something very typical of Adventist and Russellites and people like them who have a prophetic agenda to force the facts into their own conceived ideas It is interesting to note that the Visigoths another tribe (the western split of the Gothic kingdom) suffered the same type of defeat the Adventist and Russellites classify as the uprooting of the Ostrogoths (the eastern part) - but they don't say they are also a horn that was uprooted. Why? Is it because it is inconvenient to have more that the biblically required 3 horns to deal with? In fact, if one includes the Visigoths' defeat in Aquitania (equivalent to what the Adventists want to call the Ostrogoths' defeat) then there are SEVEN horns that were uprooted, NOT THREE. (See later.) The next point is that Dan 7:24 says that it is the 11th horn that uproots or puts down the three kings. However, in all three cases at hand, the Papacy had NOTHING to do with their uprootment!!! The person who defeated the Ostrogoths and the Vandals was Belisarius, a general in the army of Justinian, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire9. Justinian was a Christian, but his political actions were clearly not influenced by the bishop of a foreign city, Rome. It is yet another Adventist and Russellites untruthful distortion of the facts to say this. But that is all irrelevant. Let's turn to the Heruli, and see what influence the Papacy had in their uprootment. All our sources say they were uprooted by another barbarian tribe called Lombards in 493 AD. Which is very interesting, because the Lombards were NOT Catholic - they were Arians, enemies of the Catholic Church and of the Papacy, and CERTAINLY NOT influenced in their political decisions by their enemy the Pope? So, completely contrary to Daniel 7:24, the Heruli were NOT put down by the Papacy at all, but by the Lombards. Both the Adventist and Russellites interpretation
Reasoning The Scriptures
of Daniel 7:24 are incorrect, or, if they are right, the actual prophecy given by God to Daniel was faulty.
Vandals the supposed 3rd horn a Germanic tribe who attacked the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. In 409, they looted Roman Gaul and invaded Spain. Defeated by the Goths, they moved further south and invaded North Africa (429), establishing a kingdom from which they controlled the W Mediterranean. They sacked Rome in 455. In 533–534, Byzantine General Belisarius destroyed the Vandal kingdom10 It is interesting to note that these Arian Lombards were to rule Italy, and Rome, thus allowing the Pope no political power in Rome or Italy, from 568 - 774 AD. It was only after a request by Pope Stephen II to King Pepin of the Franks that caused the Lombards to be kicked out of Rome in 755-6. Pepin then gave land to the Papacy this was the first land the Papacy owned, and it is from this point that the temporal rule of the Papacy began - NOT as Adventists and Russelites claim in 538/539 AD. And what is more, the Papal political power did no begin in 538 either - history clearly shows that it began under Constantine the Great, when Christianity became the official religion of the Empire - 380 AD. Some say it started before this, as is evidenced by the activities of the Council of Nicea in 324-5 AD, but either way, the date cannot be set as late as 538 AD. So here we have incontrovertible proof that the political power of the Papacy began in the 300's, and the temporal reign over people and land began in the 700's, and between those dates other people, Arians and Romans, held rule over the land where the Pope lived. In summary, Adventist and Russellites’ dates are wrong, and the three horns were finished being uprooted only in 555 AD. Also, their theory blatantly contradicts the Bible (Dan 7:24) because the Papacy could NOT have had any influence in the Lombardish decision to wipe out the Heruli nor the Ostrogoths or the Vandals because it was the Roman general Belisarius who wiped out them. Furthermore, the Adventist and Russellites theory is wrong because they have failed to accurately identify a 10 horned beast, with 3 horns that get uprooted. The Huns (455 AD) were also a people who were uprooted - this time by the waning Roman Empire, and later finally by the other tribes, the Eastern Empire, and by civil war. Also uprooted were the Alemanni (495 AD). So one has a problem of FIVE horns (Seven if you count the Visigoths and Russell’s Ravenna) that were uprooted, NOT THREE. One cannot ignore the Huns or the Alemanni, because they were just like the other barbarian tribes that tried to invade Western Rome, e.g. Lombards, Heruli,
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-Vandals.html http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Vandals.aspx , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals#Decline
Reasoning The Scriptures
Ostrogoths, Vandals, Franks, etc. Nor can you call the Huns the present day Hungarians - these are the descendants of the Magyars; the Huns were absorbed into the surrounding peoples after their defeat, just like the Heruli were, never to be a tribe on their own again. One Adventist source (Marvin Moore) says that the 10 horns are 10 barbarian nations that tried to invade the Western Roman Empire. The three that were uprooted, he claims were uprooted by the Papacy (we have shown that to be inaccurate) because they were Arian, and not Catholic. But the Franks were ALSO Arian - they converted to Catholicism in 486. The Lombards were Arian, and only converted long after Pepin kicked them out of Rome in 755 AD. So it is inaccurate to say that Catholics ruled Italy and the city of Rome from 538 onwards - they did not. The Visigoths were Arian, and converted in 589 AD. So here we have several more Arian tribes that invaded the Western Empire, yet Moore claims that what made these three horns (Ostrogoths, Vandals, and Heruli) different, unique, and worthy of uprooting was that they were the only Arian tribes. Yet another obvious Adventist’s distortion of the truth. Now what happened to Ravenna which Br Russell took into consideration among the three horns? We would like to give the following excerpts as the answer: In 751 the Lombards had conquered the imperial territory at Ravenna, the seat of Byzantine government in Italy, and were demanding tribute from the Pope and threatening to take Rome. Following Pepin's coronation, the Pope secured his (Pepin’s) promise of armed intervention in Italy and his pledge to give the Papacy the territory of Ravenna, once it was conquered. In 756 a Frankish army forced the Lombard king to surrender his conquests and Pepin officially conferred the Ravenna territory to the Pope. Known as the “Donation of Pepin,” the gift made the Pope a temporal ruler over the Papal States, a strip of territory that extended diagonally across Italy from coast to coast.11 It is emperor Pepin and a Frankish army who forced the tribe of Lombard’s to leave Ravenna after this the said territory was conferred to Pope which is known in the Christian history as “Donation of Pepin” so, strictly speaking a Frankish army forced the Lombard’s but not the Pope and one should note that Ravenna is a territory rather than a tribe which was conquered in 756 A.D but not in 538 A.D. This will again not fit in Dan 7:24,25 because here we see, according to Br. Russell the third horn was still standing un plucked till 756 A.D even though the little horn rose to power on 539 A.D.
Bruce Shelley's Christian History in Plain Language
Reasoning The Scriptures
Summary - there were more than 3 Arian horns, and there were more than three uprooted horns. Let's now count the number of horns in the whole of the Western Empire. According to the Adventist the ten horns of Daniel are: Germany, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland. And obviously the three uprooted ones Heruli, Ostrogoths, and Vandals. It appears that Adventists are not united on this matter (see above, where Marvin Moore claims that the 10 tribes were barbarians who invaded the Roman Empire - something the English and the Roman Italians were not. But anything that appears to add up to 10 and looks good and is anti-Catholic, is acceptable to the Adventist Church it seems. But here they have made an obvious fallacy - the countries today were NOT the same countries or nations that were around in the days of the Empire. Borders were completely different, and people were completely different. The Spanish and French did not even exist (as single entities) in 538 AD - how on earth could they make up an existing horn of a beast that was current in 538 AD??? Furthermore, it is incorrect to classify Italy as only one country, because at that time, and for a long time afterwards, they were made up of different peoples - a least three - the Venetians, the Lombards, and the Italians/Romans themselves. And once again the Adventist and Russellites have conveniently left out the Huns. And if you want to include Switzerland (the Helvetians), a very minor group in those times, you have to include the more prominent Belgium (made up of the Flemings and the Belgians) as well they were part of the Western Empire just as much as the rest of the countries were. And since the Adventist and Russellites wants to include parts of North Africa (the Vandals - Algeria and Tunisia), we feel free to insert Libya and Mauritania as well. So already, counting as the Adventists want us to count, if we look at history and geography honestly, we have more than 10 horns or tribes or nations. In order to find out who precisely the 10 (or more) horns were, we must look at who the distinct and separate tribes/nations of people were at that time. We don't know whether the Adventists want to count the nations of the Western Roman Empire, or just the nations that invaded the Western Roman Empire. Some even have included England, who never invaded the Western Roman Empire, but who was part of it, as a horn. Let's list the nations/tribes that were to be found within the borders of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD; the time when the Adventist and Russellites claims they were all present (including the three which were uprooted.) England (i.e. the Saxons), Franks, Lombards, Burgundians, Gauls (French Gauls), Belgi, Helvetii (Swiss),Italians (i.e. Romans), Iberians, Visigoths, Basques,
Reasoning The Scriptures
Libyans, Mauritanians (North Africa, next to where the Vandals were located), Dacians (Rumania, a Roman province), assorted Slavic peoples of Alemanni, and then the 3 the Adventists want uprooted - Ostrogoths, Vandals, and Heruli and Russell’s Ravenna. Well, that is more than 10 horns/peoples, so we will stop there. If we wanted to get more technical, we could go on. Notice that we leave out the Germans (specifically the Germany tribe to which the Adventist and Russellites must be referring), who did not form part of the Western Roman Empire, but were to be found north of the Empire's borders. Some of the Teutonic Germans were found in the Roman Empire (e.g. the Heruli, to name but one) but specifically the Teutonic tribe called the Germany, which was later to become Germany, was outside of the Empire. Well, that proves that the Western Empire simply cannot be a 10 horned beast. Let's take a look at the alternative view of this confused group of people, the one used by Moore - that the horns are kingdoms that invaded Rome. First we think it appropriate to note that the Papacy was not a kingdom until 754-756 AD, and therefore it is incorrect to classify it as a horn here. But we'll let that slip by for now. But note that we can't include England because it never invaded the Empire - it was part of it, though. Here is a list of barbarian tribes that invaded the Western Roman Empire: Huns, Heruli, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Lombards, Allemanni Germany (they DID invade, they just weren't part of it), Suevi, Quodi, Gauls (still on the go at that time), Celts (in England), Moors (in North Africa) Well, here again we have more than 10 horns to this beast. Personally we don't think to confuse our reader more, so we won't go any further. Summary - there were more than 10 horns to the Western Empire (or her invaders), therefore the biblical prophecy is clearly misplaced. There were more than 3 uproot ions, hence again the biblical prophecy is misapplied to these people. Furthermore, the papacy was NOT responsible for the uprooting (as required by Dan 7:24), and thus it is even more clear that the Adventist and Russellites idea of prophecy is false and deluded. Personally we feel that this type of prophecy interpretation is clearly what follows on in the followers of false predictors like William Miller, Ellen White and C.T.Russell. These individuals predicted events that quite clearly did not came to pass. Miller, one could say, was merely deceived - he did not claim to be a prophet. Ellen White, on the other hand, is clearly what the Bible calls a False Prophet - her predictions did not come to pass, and she even contradicted herself and the Bible. And Mr Russell whom
Reasoning The Scriptures
the bible students honour as the prophet of the millennium, his followers even equalize his writings with the Bible, but examined through the scriptures he also fail to measure up the Interpretations of Scriptural standards We feel that a church should be honest with the facts of history when trying to dabble in prophecy something the Seventh-day Adventist’s and Russellites clearly are not doing. Reason #11: The Antichrist and the Woman are totally distinct is unequivocally established by the teaching of Revelation 17. Here we learn that there shall be ten kings who will reign "with the Beast" (v. 12), and act in concert with him (vv. 13,16). Then we are told "these shall (the beast Papacy) to the hate the Whore (the papacy), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (v. 16). If the whore is Papacy then who is the beast? If the beast is the Papacy who will be the whore? Is it the beast the Roman Empire? No, because Roman Empire will not hate and burn the flesh of the woman nor will destroy her. The beast itself will be the eighth king the final dictator of the world i.e. the Antichrist; if the antichrist is the beast then certainly the whore is not the Papal church. Reason #12: There are three Latin words inscribed on the Pope's crown, Vicarius Filii Dei, the Vicarious Son of God. The majority of the protestant commentators who uphold Popes are the Antichrist tell that this title attached to the Pope would seem to be an illegitimate one. He is not the vicarious Son of God; he is not the Vicar of Christ, therefore all intimation to the effect that he is the substitute or representative of Christ in reigning power would seem to be that much of blasphemy The numerical signification and the sum of these letters, "Vicarius Filii Dei," are shown here: VICARIUS FILII DEI V(5)+I(1)+C(100)+A(0)+R(0)+I(1)+U(5)+S(0) + F(0)+I(1)+L(50)+I(1)+I(1) + D (500) +E (0) +I (1) = 666. We must note carefully here, the numerical value of Roman letter ‘V’ is 5 but all the Commentators substitute V for the letter U, which doesn’t have any value in Roman literature, so if the letter U is value less then the total number will sum up to 661 not 666 besides the clue given in Rev 13:17 (he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name …. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six) is willingly ignored, the values should be counted by his NAME or by the name of the BEAST which will be the number of A MAN. Vicarius Filli Die is not a name instead a title among many, not all popes has this title written on their diadem. Now what is the name of the beast is it Papacy or is it Pope or is it Roman Catholic Church? What name shall we take to count among the above stated, even though taken none of will sum up to 666! The ancient Greek word for "the Latin speaking man" is LATEINOS
Reasoning The Scriptures
L = 30 A= 1 T = 300 E= 5 I = 10 N = 50 O = 70 S = 200 -----------666
lambda alpha tau epsilon iota nu omicron sigma
The association of "Lateinos" with 666 was first suggested by Irenæus (ca. 130-202 A.D.) who proposed in his writings against heresies that it might be the name of the fourth kingdom in Daniel 7:7. This again not fit to the criteria of Rev 13:17, Latinos is again a common noun and not referring to a particular entity, there are even many non Catholics who speak Latin this cannot make them Antichrist because they all speak Latin. Irenaeues while referring this name certainly could not have meant Papacy rather Rome because the Papal Rome didn’t even existed in his time. 'Romith' is the Hebrew name for the 'Roman beast,' or Roman kingdom; and this word contains the just and exact number 666. ROMITH R(200)+O(6)+M(40)+I(10)+T(10)+H(400)=666. These kinds of interpretations repeatedly fail to fit with the scriptural criteria, the above stated word does not tell us any name of the Antichrist as it should be in Rev 13:17, and certainly the ROMAN KINDOM is not the Antichrist, it is according to them is the Papacy. The gamatria of the number 666 alone is not sufficient to prove that Pope is the Antichrist, if this would be so; we have several other gametrias calculated the names of famous world rulers and personalities which sum up to 666!
1. The Roman emperor Nero (lived 37-68 AD, ruled 54-68 AD) persecuted the first
Christians. He accused them of starting a fire which destroyed half of the city of Rome in 64 AD (Tacitus, Annals 15.44). Like all Roman emperors, Nero took the name Caesar. In Greek, Nero Caesar becomes Neron Kaisar. If we transliterate Neron Kaisar into Hebrew, we get NRWN QSR (vowels were omitted in written Hebrew).
Name Transliteration Numerical Value 2 Name Transliteration Numerical Value 30 40 M
Aleph (smooth breathing) 1 Beth BH, B
Lamedh L Mem
Reasoning The Scriptures
Daleth DH, D He H Waw W Zayin Z Heth Teth H T
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Samekh S Ayin Pe Cadhe Qoph Resh Sin PH, P C Q R SH
60 80 90 100 200 300
(rough breathing) 70
Let's look at the letters of NRWN QSR: N R W N Q S R 100 60 200
50 200 6 50
Early Christian tradition identified the emperor Nero with the Antichrist
2. Faced with the embarrassing identification of the Pope with the Beast, Catholic
scholars responded in true ecumenical spirit with their own preferred candidate: the Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). Petrus Bungus, in Numerorum Mysteria (Bergamo, 1599; reprint Hildesheim: Olds, 1983), used the following letter/number combinations: A B C D E F G H I/J K L M N O P Q R S T U/V W X Y Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 200 300 400 500 600 By slightly contorting Martin Luther's name (to MARTIN LUTHERA) and regarding the I as equivalent to 1 rather than 9 (it's a Roman numeral, after all), Bungus succeeded in identifying his archenemy with the Beast: M AR T I N 30 1 80 100 1 40 L U T HER A 20 200 100 8 5 80 1 666
Reasoning The Scriptures 3. In Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace, Book 9, Chapter 19, Pierre, the son of
Count Cyril Bezuhkov, convinced himself that Napoleon was the Beast, by the following reasoning (translation by Louise and Aylmer Maude): The French alphabet, written out with the same numerical values as the Hebrew, in which the first nine letters denote units and the others tens, will have the following significance: A B C D E F G H I/J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 Writing the words L'Empereur Napoleon in numbers, it appears that the sum of them is 666, and that Napoleon was therefore the beast foretold in the Apocalypse. L'Empereur Napoleon, of course, is French for The Emperor Napoleon. The identification with Napoleon only succeeds if the e in Le, dropped by elision in L'Empereur, is restored: L E EM P ER EU R N AP O L EO N 20 5 5 30 60 5 80 5 110 80 40 1 60 50 20 5 50 40 666
4. Some members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, hostile towards Roman
Catholics, like to identify the Beast with the Pope. Books by Adventist authors which accept this identification include:
• • •
Roy Allen Anderson, Unfolding the Revelation (Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1974) Carlyle Boynton Haynes, Our Times and Their Meaning (Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1929) Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation (Battle Creek: Review and Herald Publishing Company, 1897)
But turnabout is fair play. Martin Gardner, The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1985), pp. 14-15 (with footnote), reports that an anonymous religious pamphlet of the 1930s (published by the People's Christian Bulletin) identified the Beast with one of the founders of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Ellen Gould White (1827-1915). The scheme is similar to that used for the Pope, with U representing Roman numeral V and W (double U) standing for V + V, or 10:
E L 50 L 50 E N G O U 5 L 50 D 500 W 10 H I 1 T E 666
Reasoning The Scriptures 5. Another mapping of letters to numbers used by numerologists is shown in the
following table: By this table, it is evident that the Beast is Adolf Hitler, since the numbers corresponding to the letters in his name add up to 666:
100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125
H I T L E R 107 108 119 111 104 117 666
6. Numerologist Gary D. Blevins, author of 666: The Final Warning (Kingston, TN: Visions of the End Ministries, 1990), identifies Ronald Wilson Reagan on of the presidents of America as the most likely candidate for the Beast of Revelation 13:18. Note that each of Reagan's three names has six letters, and that the entire name has six syllables. Blevins uses the following scheme, which he calls the Bible's Secret Code:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 78 84 90 96 102 108 114 120 126 132 138 144 150 156
Unfortunately, plain old RONALD REAGAN only adds up to 660, so Blevins is compelled to pad the name to A RONALD REAGAN in order to reach 666: A 6 R O N AL D 108 90 84 6 72 24 R E AG AN 108 30 6 42 6 84 666
7. The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is a system for representing symbols numerically. Here are the ASCII numerical values that represent capital letters:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90
Reasoning The Scriptures
Microsoft founder and world leading software giant Bill Gates' full name is William Henry Gates III. The total of the ASCII values of the characters in BILL GATES plus 3 = 666:
B I L L 66 73 76 76 G A T E S 71 65 71 69 83 III 3 666
All the above facts and figures presented force us to conclude that Pope or the Papal system is not the Antichrist. If the numerical value alone is a substantial proof to prove Pope is Antichrist then we have other good genuine reasons to say apart from Pope there are other personalities like Nero, Martin Luther, Reagan, Hitler, E.G. White and Bill gates who can be classified as suitable candidates for Antichrist. Reason #13: One of the key factors of the protestant commentators who concluded that Pope indeed is Antichrist was the persecutions done by him to saints which according to them are in accordance with Dan 7:24, 25. If this is alone a genuine criterion to prove Papacy is Antichrist then in the Christian historical records we see persecutions done to Christians outside the Roman Empire right from the death of Christ and up to the present time. The prophetical allotted time for persecution of saints is said to be 1260 days or 42 months by a single entity (Dan 7:24,25, 8:2324,Rev13:7) when searched in the historical data of Popes we see no such things done within the allotted time frame, even though the 1260 day for year theory fails to meet the requirements, as we have already seen in our reason # 8and 10 that the Papacy’s temporal power started from 756A.D and ended in 1870 A.D and the assumed date of Papal elevation 539 A.D is neither correct nor historically accurate. We are not defending the Papal persecutions nor hiding the brutal and ruthless massacre and mass murdering done by Pope over hundreds of years, but our point of assertion focuses on the motive behind these persecution, yes we agree that Pope persecuted Christians – is it in accordance with Dan 7:24,25, 8:23-24,Rev13:7? The motive behind the persecutions of the Antichrist is to make the Christians to deny Christ and worship him alone Rev 13:15 “and causes that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Pope or the Papal church have never uttered a single word to deny Christ and forced to take the number of their name and the mark, the motive behind the Papal persecution was pure political rather than spiritual, Pope never waged war against the Prince of the host (Christ, Dan 8:11, Rev 17:14) Now we shall proceed to show that Pope alone did not persecuted the true Church besides there were others’ who persecuted the Church as similar as the Papal Church
Reasoning The Scriptures
even Arians and Protestants have persecuted Catholics! Here are the excerpts taken from the well-known online encyclopaedia12
Persecution under Nero, 64-68 A.D. Main article: Great Fire of Rome The first documented case of imperially-supervised persecution of the Christians in the Roman Empire begins with Nero (37-68). In 64 A.D., a great fire broke out in Rome, destroying portions of the city and economically devastating the Roman population. Nero himself was suspected as the arsonist by historian Suetonius, claiming he played the lyre and sang the 'Sack of Ilium' during the fires. In his Annals, Tacitus (who claimed Nero was in Antium at the time of the fire's outbreak), stated that "to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace" (Tacit. Annals XV, see Tacitus on Jesus). Persecution from the second century to Constantine By the mid 2nd century, mobs could be found willing to throw stones at Christians, and they might be mobilized by rival sects. The Persecution in Lyon was preceded by mob violence, including assaults, robberies and stonings (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.1.7) Further state persecutions were desultory until the third century, though Tertullian's Apologeticus of 197 was ostensibly written in defense of persecuted Christians and addressed to Roman governors The "edict of Septimius Severus" familiar in Christian history is doubted by some secular historians to have existed outside Christian martyrology. The first documentable Empire-wide persecution took place under Maximin, though only the clergy were sought out. It was not until Decius during the mid-century that a persecution of Christian laity across the Empire took place. Christian sources aver that a decree was issued requiring public sacrifice, a formality equivalent to a testimonial of allegiance to the Emperor and the established order. Decius authorized roving commissions visiting the cities and villages to supervise the execution of the sacrifices and to deliver written certificates to all citizens who performed them. Christians were often given opportunities to avoid further punishment by publicly offering sacrifices or burning incense to Roman gods, and were accused by the Romans of impiety when they refused. Refusal was punished by arrest, imprisonment, torture, and executions. Christians fled to safe havens in the countryside and some purchased their certificates, called libelli. Several councils held at Carthage debated the extent to which the community should accept these lapsed Christians. The Great Persecution: Main article: Diocletian Persecution
Reasoning The Scriptures
The persecutions culminated with Diocletian and Galerius at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth century. Their persecution, the Great Persecution is considered the largest. Beginning with a series of four edicts banning Christian practices and ordering the imprisonment of Christian clergy, the persecution intensified until all Christians in the empire were commandeded to sacrifice to the gods or face immediate execution. However, as Diocletian zealously persecuted Christians in the Eastern part of the empire, his co-emperors in the West did not follow the edicts and so Christians in Gaul, Spain, and Brittania were virtually unmolested. This persecution was to be the last, as Constantine I soon came into power and in 313 legalized Christianity. It was not until Theodosius I in the latter fourth century that Christianity would become the official religion of the Empire. Some early Christians sought out and welcomed martyrdom. Roman authorities tried hard to avoid Christians because they "goaded, chided, belittled and insulted the crowds until they demanded their death."193 One man shouted to the Roman officials: "I want to die! I am a Christian," leading the officials to respond: "If they wanted to kill themselves, there were plenty of cliffs they could jump off."194 Such seeking after death is found in Tertullian's Scorpiace but was certainly not the only view of martyrdom in the Christian church. Both Polycarp and Cyprian, bishops in Smyrna and Carthage respectively, attempted to avoid martyrdom. The conditions under which martyrdom was an acceptable fate or under which it was suicidally embraced occupied writers of the early Christian Church. Broadly speaking, martyrs were considered uniquely exemplary of the Christian faith, and few early saints were not also martyrs. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states that "Ancient, medieval and early modern hagiographers were inclined to exaggerate the number of martyrs. Since the title of martyr is the highest title to which a Christian can aspire, this tendency is natural". Estimates of Christians killed for religious reasons before the year 313 vary greatly, depending on the scholar quoted, from a high of almost 100,000 to a low of 10,000. Persecutions of early Christians outside the Roman Empire In 341, Shapur II ordered the massacre of all Christians in Persia. During the persecution, about 1,150 Christians were martyred under Shapur II. In the 4th century, the Terving King Athanaric began persecuting Christians, many of whom were killed. Persecution of Christians by Christians As with many religions, Christianity is not a homogenous group; there exist many sects of Christianity, which often find themselves at odds with each other. Upon the establishment of official ties between the state and Christianity, the state and the Church turned their considerable attention to those deemed heretics. The first nonconforming Christian executed was Priscillian. Many 4th century examples of such a situation involved Arianism, which held, against the orthodox tradition, that Jesus was not "one in unity with the Father", but instead was a created being, not on the same level with God, above humans but below God the Father.
Reasoning The Scriptures
When high-ranking officials agreed with orthodoxy, the state stopped at no ends to bring down the Arians. The converse was true when high-ranking officials, instead, adhered to Arianism, at which point the power of the state was used to promulgate that particular interpretation. The Germanic Goths and Vandals adhered to Arian Christianity, establishing Arian states in Italy and Spain. Orthodox Christians defended themselves vigorously against these foreign Arians. In 429 the Vandals (who were Arians) conquered Roman Africa. Catholics were discriminated against; Church property was confiscated. Thousands of Catholics were banished from Vandal held territory.St. Augustine, for example, died while in a town besieged by the Arian Vandals. In the medieval period the Roman Catholic church moved to suppress the Cathar heresy, the Pope having sanctioned a crusade against the Albigensians; during the course of which the massacre of Beziers took place, with between seven and twenty thousand deaths. (This was the occasion when the papal legate, Arnaud Amalric, asked about how Catholics could be distinguished from Cathars once the city fell, famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own.") The Crusades in the Middle East also spilled over into conquest of Eastern Orthodox Christians by Roman Catholics and attempted suppression of the Orthodox Church. The Waldenses were as well persecuted by the Catholic Church, but survive up to this day. The Reformation led to a long period of warfare and communal violence between Catholic and Protestant factions, leading to massacres and forced suppression of the alternative views by the dominant faction in many countries. In the 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre the French king ordered the murder of Protestants in France. In the modern period, such events include violence between Mormons and Protestants in the United States during the 19th century. That century also saw the martyrdom of St. Peter the Aleut at the hands of Roman Catholic clergy in San Francisco, California. Anti-Catholic: Main article: Anti-Catholicism Anti-Catholicism officially began in 1534 during the English Reformation; the Act of Supremacy made the King of England the 'only supreme head on earth of the Church in England.' Any act of allegiance to the latter was considered treason. It was under this act that Thomas More was executed. Queen Elizabeth I's scorn for Jesuit missionaries led to many executions at Tyburn. As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all lands owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to Protestant settlers. Under the penal laws no Irish Catholic could sit in the Parliament of Ireland, even though some 90% of Ireland's population was native Irish Catholic when the first of these bans was introduced in 1691. Catholic / Protestant strife has been blamed for much of "The Troubles," the ongoing struggle in Northern Ireland. This attitude was carried "across the pond" to the American colonies, which would leave England, forming the United States. Although there has been a strong anti-Catholic sentiment in North America since before the dawn of the US, the feeling grew stronger during waves of Catholic immigration from old Europe. Nationalist, "native" feeling was represented by the Know-Nothing Party. Father James Coyle, a Roman Catholic priest, was murdered in 1921 by the Ku Klux Klan. Anti-Protestant: Main article: Anti-Protestantism: The Bartholomew's Day massacre
Reasoning The Scriptures
Anti-Protestantism originated in a reaction by the Catholic Church against the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Protestants were denounced as heretics and subject to persecution in those territories, such as Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, in which the Catholics were the dominant power. This movement was orchestrated by Popes and Princes as the Counter Reformation. This resulted in religious wars and eruptions of sectarian hatred such as the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Persecution of the Anabaptists: Main article: Anabaptist When the disputes between Lutherans and Roman Catholics gained a political dimension, both groups saw other groups of religious dissidents that were arising as a danger to their own security. The early "Täufer" (lit. "Baptists") were mistrusted and rejected by both religio-political parties. Religious persecution is often perpetrated as a means of political control, and this becomes evident with the Treaty of Augsburg in 1555. This treaty provided the legal groundwork for persecution of the Anabaptists. Muslim persecution of Christians Persecution of Christians in Ottoman Empire references or sources. (May 2008) This section does not cite any
The Ottoman government that arose from the ashes of the Byzantine Empire instituted Islam as the new official religion. Islam recognizes Jesus as a great prophet, and tolerates Christians as another People of the Book. As such, the Church was not extinguished nor was its canonical and hierarchical organization significantly disrupted. Its administration continued to function. One of the first things that Mehmet the Conqueror did was to allow the Church to elect a new patriarch, Gennadius Scholarius. The Hagia Sophia and the Parthenon, which had been Christian churches for nearly a millennium were converted into mosques, although countless other churches, both in Constantinople and elsewhere, remained in Christian hands. Moreover, it is striking that the patriarch's and the hierarchy's position was considerably strengthened and their power increased. They were endowed with civil as well as ecclesiastical power over all Christians in Ottoman territories. Because Islamic law makes no distinction between nationality and religion, all Christians, regardless of their language or nationality, were considered a single millet, or nation. The patriarch, as the highest ranking hierarch, was thus invested with civil and religious authority and made ethnarch, head of the entire Christian Orthodox population. Practically, this meant that all Orthodox Churches within Ottoman territory were under the control of Constantinople. Thus, the authority and jurisdictional frontiers of the patriarch were enormously enlarged. Turkey: Main articles: Armenian Genocide, Pontic Greek Genocide, and Assyrian Genocide In Turkey, the Istanbul pogrom was a state-sponsored and state-orchestrated pogrom that compelled Greek Christians to leave Constantinople (Turkish Istanbul), the first Christian city in violation to the Treaty of Lausanne (see Istanbul Pogrom). The issue of Christian genocides by the Turks may become a problem, since Turkey wishes to join the European Union. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is still in a difficult position. Turkey requires by law that the Ecumenical Patriarch must be an ethnic Greek, holding Turkish citizenship by birth, although most of the Greek minority
Reasoning The Scriptures
has been expelled. The state's expropriation of church property and the closing of the Orthodox Theological School of Halki are also difficulties faced by the Church of Constantinople. Despite appeals from the United States, the European Union and various governmental and non-governmental organizations, the School remains closed since 1971. Persecution of Christians is continuing in modern Turkey. On February 5, 2006, the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro was murdered in Trabzon by a student influenced by the massive anti-Christian propaganda in the Turkish popular press, following the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. On April 18, 2007, 3 Christians were brutally murdered in Malatya, the hometown of Mehmet Ali Ağca, the assassin who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981. Iraq Although Christians represent less than 5% of the total Iraqi population, they make up 40% of the refugees now living in nearby countries, according to UNHCR. Northern Iraq remained predominantly Christian until the destructions of Tamerlane at the end of the 14th century. The Church of the East has its origin in what is now South East Turkey. By the end of the 13th century there were twelve Nestorian dioceses in a strip from Peking to Samarkand. When the 14th-century Muslim warlord of Turco-Mongol descent, Tamerlane (Timul Lenk), conquered Persia, Mesopotamia and Syria, the civilian population was decimated. Timur Lenk had 70,000 Assyrian Christians beheaded in Tikrit, and 90,000 more in Baghdad. In the 16th century, Christians were half the population of Iraq. In 1987, the last Iraqi census counted 1.4 million Christians. They were tolerated under the secular regime of Saddam Hussein, who even made one of them, Tariq Aziz, his deputy. Recently, Christians have seen their total numbers slump to about 500,000 today, of whom 250,000 live in Baghdad. An exodus to the neighboring countries of Syria, Jordan and Turkey has left behind closed parishes, seminaries and convents. As a small minority without a militia of their own, Iraqi Christians have been persecuted by both Shi’a and Sunni Muslim militias, and also by criminal gangs. As of June 21, 2007, the UNHCR estimated that 2.2 million Iraqis had been displaced to neighboring countries, and 2 million were displaced internally, with nearly 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month. A May 25, 2007 article notes that in the past seven months only 69 people from Iraq have been granted refugee status in the United States. One of the most recent tragic events of the present Iraqi situation for the Christian community is the assassination by Islamic terrorists of Chaldean Catholic priest Fr. Ragheed Aziz Ganni and subdeacons Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed in the ancient city of Mosul. Fr. Ragheed Aziz Ganni was driving with his three deacons when they were stopped by Muslim terrorists who demanded their conversion to Islam, when they refused the terrorists shot them. Six months later, the body of archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found buried near Mosul. He was kidnapped on February 29, 2008 when his bodyguards and driver were killed. Kosovo
Reasoning The Scriptures
After the defeat of a Christian Balkan coalition lead by a prince of Serbia, Lazar, the Ottomans occupied Kosovo. The Christian population of Kosovo was composed overwhelmingly of Serbs (see Demographic history of Kosovo). Initially, former Christian nobles were allowed to maintain their properties and privileges, especially the local nobles that fought on the side of the Ottomans during the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. The Orthodox and Catholic churches of Kosovo during the Ottoman period were awarded special protections and rights including placing Christians under the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople . Christian casualties of the War in Lebanon The war in Lebanon saw a number of massacres of both Christians and Muslims. Among the earliest was the Damour Massacre in 1975 when Palestinian militias attacked Christian civilians. The persecution in Lebanon combined sectarian, political, ideological, and retaliation reasons. The Syrian regime was also involved in persecuting Christians as well as Muslims in Lebanon. Sudan In Sudan, it is estimated that over 1.5 million Christians have been killed by the Janjaweed, the Arab Muslim militia, and even suspected Islamists in northern Sudan since 1984. It should also be noted that Sudan's several civil wars (which often take the form of genocidal campaigns) are often not only or purely religious in nature, but also ethnic, as many black Muslims, as well as Muslim Arab tribesmen, have also been killed in the conflicts. It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people had been taken into slavery during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The slaves are mostly Dinka people. Pakistan In Pakistan 1.5% of the population are Christian. Pakistani law mandates that "blasphemies" of the Qur'an are to be met with punishment. Ayub Masih, a Christian, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 1998. He was accused by a neighbor of stating that he supported British writer, Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. Lower appeals courts upheld the conviction. However, before the Pakistan Supreme Court, his lawyer was able to prove that the accuser had used the conviction to force Masih's family off their land and then acquired control of the property. Masih has been released. The Christian community in Pakistan is the target of attacks by Islamic extremists. On September 25, 2002 two terrorists entered the "Peace and Justice Institute", Karachi, where they separated Muslims from the Christians, and then murdered eight Christians by shooting them in the head . All of the victims were Pakistani Christians. Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said the victims had their hands tied and their mouths had been covered with tape. In November 2005 3,000 militant Islamists attacked Christians in Sangla Hill in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches. The attack was over allegations of violation of blasphemy laws by a Pakistani Christian named Yousaf Masih. The attacks were widely condemned by some political parties in Pakistan.
Reasoning The Scriptures
On June 5, 2006 a Pakistani Christian stonemason named Nasir Ashraf was working near Lahore when he drank water from a public facility using a glass chained to the facility. He was assaulted by Muslims for "Polluting the glass". A mob developed, who beat Ashraf, calling him a "Christian dog". Bystanders encouraged the beating and joined in. Ashraf was eventually hospitalized. One year later, in August 2007, a Christian missionary couple, Rev. Arif and Kathleen Khan, were gunned down by militant Islamists in Islamabad. The "official" position in Pakistan is that the killer was a fellow Christian, and that the killings were "justified" as an honour killing under the false pretext that the missionaries were engaged in sexual harassment, an assertion widely doubted in the international media, as well as by Pakistani Christians.   In other Muslim nations In Egypt the government does not officially recognize conversions from Islam to Christianity; because certain interfaith marriages are not allowed either, this prevents marriages between converts to Christianity and those born in Christian communities, and also results in the children of Christian converts being classified as Muslims and given a Muslim education. The government also requires permits for repairing churches or building new ones, which are often withheld. Foreign missionaries are allowed in the country only if they restrict their activities to social improvements and refrain from proselytizing. The Coptic Pope Shenouda III was internally exiled in 1981 by President Anwar Sadat, who then chose five Coptic bishops and asked them to choose a new pope. They refused, and in 1985 President Hosni Mubarak restored Pope Shenouda III, who had been accused of fomenting interconfessional strife. Particularly in Upper Egypt, the rise in extremist Islamist groups such as the Gama'at Islamiya during the 1980s was accompanied by attacks on Copts and on Coptic churches; these have since declined with the decline of those organizations, but still continue. The police have been accused of siding with the attackers in some of these cases. There have been anti-Christian incidents carried out in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority. Some claim that this represents a pattern of deliberate mistreatment by the PA; others hold that these are isolated incidents that reflect the beliefs of the individuals involved, but not the society in general. Two American courts, one in Illinois and the other in North Carolina, accepted the threat of "religious persecution" as grounds for granting asylum to Evangelical converts fleeing PA territory. There is an ongoing trend for emigration among Palestinian Christians doubling that of Muslims. The ratio of Christians among Palestinians went from 18%-20% in 1947 to 13% in 1966 to 2.1% in 1993. Though Iran recognizes Assyrian and Armenian Christians as a religious minority (along with Jews and Zoroastrians) and they have representatives in the Parliament, after the 1979 Revolution, Muslim converts to Christianity (typically to Protestant Christianity) have been arrested and sometimes executed. See also: Christianity in Iran. In Saudi Arabia Christians are arrested and lashed in public for practicing their faith openly. Bibles and other non-Muslim religious books are captured, piled up and burned by the religious police of Saudi. No non-Muslims are allowed to become Saudi
Reasoning The Scriptures
citizens. Prayer services by Christians are frequently broken up by the police and the Christians are arrested and tortured without even allowing them to be released on bail. In the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Abu Sayyaf has attacked and killed Christians. In Indonesia, religious conflicts have typically occurred in Western New Guinea, Maluku (particularly Ambon), and Sulawesi. The presence of Muslims in these regions is in part a result of the transmigrasi program of population re-distribution. Conflicts have often occurred because of the aims of radical Islamist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiah or Laskar Jihad to impose Sharia. Abdul Rahman, a 41-year-old Afghan citizen, was charged in Afghanistan with rejecting Islam (apostasy), a crime punishable by death under Sharia law. He has since been released into exile in the West under intense pressure from Western governments. Persecution in Communist nations: Soviet Union Further information: Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union and Persecution of Christians in Warsaw Pact countries After the Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks undertook a massive program to remove the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church from the government and Russian society, and to make the state atheist. Thousands of churches were destroyed or converted to other uses, and many members of clergy were imprisoned for antigovernment activities. An extensive education and propaganda campaign was undertaken to convince people, especially the children and youth, to abandon religious beliefs. This persecution resulted in the martyrdom of millions of Orthodox followers in the 20th century by the Soviet Union, whether intentional or not. This persecution spread not only the Orthodox, but also other groups, such as the Mennonites, who largely fled to the Americas. People's Republic of China The communist government of the People's Republic of China tries to maintain tight control over all religions, so the only legal Christian Churches (Three-Self Patriotic Movement and Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association) are those under the Communist Party of China control. Churches which are not controlled by the government are shut down, and their members are imprisoned. Sunday school is illegal. The Chinese government has recently and repeatedly cracked down on Christian activities in groups that meet at home and not the government sanctioned and edited Churches. The government also blocks all access to most Christian materials on the internet as part of it's policies of control. Persecution in Western Hemisphere
Reasoning The Scriptures
19th and 20th century Mexico: Main article: Persecution of Christians in Mexico Blessed Miguel Pro, arms spread in the form of a cross, was killed for his faith by the government in Mexico. In the nineteenth century, Benito Juárez confiscated a large amount of church land. The Mexican government's campaign against the Catholic Church after the Mexican Revolution culminated in the 1917 constitution which contained numerous articles which Catholics considered violative of their civil rights: outlawing monastic religious orders, forbidding public worship outside of church buildings, restricted religious organizations' rights to own property, and taking away basic civil rights of members of the clergy (priests and religious leaders were prevented from wearing their habits, were denied the right to vote, and were not permitted to comment on public affairs in the press and were denied the right to trial for violation of anticlerical laws). When the Church publicly condemned these measures which had not been strongly enforced, the atheist President Plutarco Calles sought to vigorously enforce the provisions and enacted additional anti-Catholic legislation known as the Calles Law. Weary of the persecution, in many parts of the country a popular rebellion called the Cristero War began (so named because the rebels felt they were fighting for Christ himself). The effects of the persecution on the Church were profound. Between 1926 and 1934 at least 40 priests were killed. Where there were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, in 1934 there were only 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people, the rest having been eliminated by emigration, expulsion and assassination. It appears that ten states were left without even a single priest.
During the Spanish Civil War: Main article: Red Terror (Spain) During the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, and especially in the early months of the conflict, the faithful, including individual clergymen and entire religious communities were executed by leftists, including communists and anarchists, with a death toll of the clergy alone, not including lay people, of 13 bishops, 4,172 diocesan priests and seminarians, 2,364 monks and friars and 283 nuns, for a total of 6,832 clerical victims. In addition to murders of clergy and the faithful, destruction of churches and desecration of sacred sites and objects were widespread. On the night of July 19, 1936 alone, some fifty churches were burned. In Barcelona, out of the 58 churches, only the Cathedral was spared, and similar desecrations occurred almost everywhere in Republican Spain.[53 Persecution of Christians in Japan Tokugawa Ieyasu assumed control over Japan in 1600. Like Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he disliked Christian activities in Japan. The Tokugawa shogunate finally decided to ban Catholicism, in 1614 and in the mid 1600's demanded the expulsion of all European missionaries and the execution of all converts. This marked the end of open Christianity in Japan. The Shimabara Rebellion, led by a young Japanese Christian boy named Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, took place in 1637. After the Hara Castle fell, the shogunate
Reasoning The Scriptures
forces beheaded an estimated 37,000 rebels and sympathizers. Amakusa Shirō's severed head was taken to Nagasaki for public display, and the entire complex at Hara Castle was burned to the ground and buried together with the bodies of all the dead.  Many of the Christians of Japan continued for two centuries to maintain their religion as Kakure Kirishitan, or hidden Christians, without any priest or other pastor. Some of those who were killed for their Christianity are venerated as the Martyrs of Japan by the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church. Although Christianity was later allowed under the Meiji era, Christians again were pressured during the period of State Shinto. Persecution of Christians in India In India, there is an increasing amount of violence being perpetrated by Hindu Nationalists against Christians. The increase in anti-Christian violence in India bears a direct relationship to the ascendancy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Incidents of violence against Christians have occurred in many parts of India. It is especially prevalent in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Bajrang Dal, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are the most responsible organizations for violence against Christians. The Sangh Parivar and local media were involved in promoting anti-Christian propaganda in Gujarat. The Sangh Parivar and related organisations have stated that the violence is an expression of "spontaneous anger" of "vanvasis" against "forcible conversion" activities undertaken by missionaries, a belief described as mythical and propaganda by Sangh Parivar; the Parivar objects in any case to all conversions as a "threat to national unity". In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in violent attacks on Christians in India. From 1964 to 1996, thirty-eight incidents of violence against Christians were reported. In 1997, twenty-four such incidents were reported. In 1998, it went up to ninety. Between January 1998 and February 1999 alone, there were one hundred and sixteen attacks against Christians in India. Between 1 January and 30 July 2000, more than fifty-seven attacks on Christians were reported. The acts of violence include arson of churches, forcible conversion of Christians to Hinduism, distribution of threatening literature, burning of Bibles, murder of Christian priests and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries. The attacks often accompanied by large amounts of anti-Christian hate literature. In some cases, anti-Christian violence has been co-ordinated, involving multiple attacks. In 2007 Orissa violence Christians were attacked in Kandhamal, Orissa, resulting in 9 deaths and destruction of houses and churches. Nearly twelve churches were targeted in the attack by Hindu activists. Human rights groups consider the violence as the failure of the state government that did not address the problem before it became violent. The authorities failed to react quickly enough to save human lives and property Foreign Christian missionaries have also been targets of attacks. In a well-publicised case Graham Staines, an Australian missionary, was burnt to death while he was sleeping with his two sons Timothy (aged 9) and Philip (aged 7) in his station wagon at Manoharpur
Reasoning The Scriptures
village in Keonjhar district in Orissa in January 1999. In 2003, the Hindu nationalist activist Dara Singh was convicted of leading the gang responsible. In its annual human rights reports for 1999, the United States Department of State criticised India for "increasing societal violence against Christians." The report listed over 90 incidents of anti-Christian violence, ranging from damage of religious property to violence against Christians pilgrims. According to Rudolf C Heredia, religious conversion has remained a critical issue even before the creation of the modern state. Whereas Nehru wanted to establish a "a secular state in a religious society" Gandhi opposed the Christian missionaries calling them as the remnants of colonial Western culture . He, claimed that by converting into Christianity, Hindus have changed their nationality. Recent wave of anti-conversion laws in various Indian states passed by some states is actually seen as gradual and continuous institutionalization of Hindutva. Some extremist Hindu groups accuse Christian missionaries of using inducements such as schooling to lure poor people to the faith, and have also launched movements to reconvert many tribal Christians back to Hinduism. Most of the Anti Conversion laws are brief and leave a lot of ambiguity, which can be mis-used for inflicting persecution. Legal experts believe that both conversion activities and willful trespass by missionaries upon the sacred spaces of other faiths can be prosecuted under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, and as such there is no need for anti-conversion laws by individual states and they should be repealed. A consolidation of various Anti-Conversion or "Freedom of Religion" Laws has been done by the All Indian Christian Council. In the past, several Indian states passed anti-conversion bills primarily to preventing people from converting to Christianity. Arunachal Pradesh passed a bill in 1978. In 2003, Gujarat State, after religious riots in 2002 (see 2002 Gujarat violence), passed an anticonversion bill in 2003. In July, 2006, Madhya Pradesh government passed legislation requiring people who desire to convert to a different religion to provide the government with one-month's notice, or face fines and penalties. In August, 2006, the Chhattisgarh State Assembly passed similar legislation requiring anyone who desires to convert to another religion to give 30 days' notice to, and seek permission from, the district magistrate. In February, 2007, Himachal Pradesh became the first Congress Party ruled state to adopt legislation banning illegal religious conversions. Persecution of Christians in Africa In the 11 Northern states of Nigeria that have introduced the Islamic system of law, the Sharia, sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians have resulted in many deaths,
Reasoning The Scriptures
and some churches have been burned. More than 30,000 Christians were displaced from their homes Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria. Recent Christian persecution in other countries A partial list of countries not already mentioned above where significant recent persecution of Christians exists includes North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan, Thailand, Lebanon, Syria and Cambodia.
We have presented exhaustive reference for Christian persecutions right from the 1st centaury to the present times, where shall we classify these persecutions? Is these all motivated by Pope? All through the Gospel Age persecutions were done as warned by our Lord (Luke 21:12) what is the difference between the persecutions of the Popes and other gentile nations done to the Christians? is it in accordance with Dan 7:24,25, 8:23-24,Rev13:7? The motives behind these persecutions may have several political reasons and biblical similarities but none of them will fit into the scriptural accounts exclusively pertaining to Antichrist. It is said that the persecution under the Antichrist will be so sever that human kind would have never tasted, if the days are not shortened by the divine power no flesh will remain (Mat 24:22) this persecutions will eventually culminate in world wide Great tribulation which will pave way to the battle of Armageddon were mankind will witness the grand climax of the present evil system. Now we have presented 13 genuine reasons for Why the Papacy is not the Antichrist, the reasons can be added on if dug deeper and deeper in the subject, but we think the reasons presented herein is substantial and sufficient for the truth seekers. Any honest Bible student should reason with the above presented facts and let the Holy Spirit lead him to come to a truthful conclusion. There have been many Antichrists(1 John 2:19) who have come and gone into the world and have taken the name of Christ and have spoiled his name and have claimed to be the representative of God but scriptures points us that, there will be an Individual personality who at the latter days will raise in the historical scene as predicted by the holy prophets and apostles, will declare that he is god and claim all homage and worship which legally belong to God, he will not be any representative or vice agent of god but will claim he is God. He will unite the nations of the world to fight against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, it is he who will burn the mystery Babylon the whore of Rev 17 and cast her down. He will be an ultimate creation of Satan. The embodiment of all lawlessness and wickedness will be displayed through his character and conduct, most intellectual genius whom the world has ever witnessed, Master of occultism and a spiritual juggler, World’s astonished political and ecclesiastical leader. His master mind will captivate the educated world. His marvelous store of knowledge, his acquaintance with the secrets of nature, his superhuman powers of perception, will stamp him as an intellectual genius of the first magnitude. Kings will be his pawns and princes his playthings. In this master-piece of Satan he will be concentrated intellectual greatness, sovereign power and human glory, combined with every species of
Reasoning The Scriptures
iniquity, pride, tyranny, willfulness, deceit, and blasphemy, such as Antiochus Epiphanies, Mohammed, the whole line of popes, atheists, and deists of every age of the world have failed to unite in any individual person. Having contemplated on the reasons that Papacy is not the Antichrist, let us now consider who is he? what he does and how will be his Life and character? In doing so we shall view him in the light of the Character of the Lord Jesus. Christ is the Divine plumb-line and standard of measurement by which all character must be tested.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.