Christians, from the beginning, were persecuted because their manner
of life was a condemnation of other ways of life. But no one knew
this, so the pagans had to make up valid reasons for their dislike
most common reason for the persecution was violation of the law on
Emperor-worship. This was, at least, a legal reason. But, later on,
merely being a Christian became a crime. This was fanned by made-up
rumors -- that Christians sacrificed a child covered with
flour and practiced incest and cannibalism.
Celsus and Porphyry launched a more intellectual attack on
Christianity; they presented three arguments which were easily
refuted. The first was that Christianity recruited members among the
inferior social class , concentrating on gullible women and
children. The second was that Christians made poor citizens, neither
engaging in the affairs of the state nor in the military
defense of the nation. The third was dogmatic and intellectual in
nature, i.e. how can an infinite God become finite, why did Jesus
save man only now and not earlier, why do the different Christian
sects fight each other?
answer these accusations, God raised "apologists." These
great saints wrote primarily for non-Christians, specially for
emperors, magistrates and the elite. Few of their writings, however,
remained. Justin was one of them. The apologists described
Christianity as the "soul of the world, " for
"Christianity alone makes our life in the world alive and
meaningful." The apologists demolished one by one all the
charges made against Christianity.
Answering the three accusations, the apologists showed that the
first converts to Christianity were the elite, and that Christians
were in all sectors of government, including the military. They
further emphasized that there were no secrets in Christianity;
Christians simply did things quietly. They showed that not a single
Christian practice was despicable and even showed that the pagan
practices were the ones that were despicable, like abortion.
a convert from the intelligentsia, not only praised the Christian
religion, specially the courage of her martyrs, but even went so far
as to attack, which angered many pagans.