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Persecution by the Jews

Early Church Fathers Quotes on Persecution by the Jews

Letter to Diognetus

Doing good they (the Christians) are punished as evil-doers; being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby quickened by life. War is waged against them as aliens by the Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by the Greeks, and yet those that hate them cannot tell the reason of their hostility.

Don’t you see them exposed to wild beasts for the purpose of persuading them to deny the Lord, yet they are not overcome? Don’t you see that the more of them that are punished, the greater the number of the rest becomes? This does not seem to be the work of man. This is the power of God. These are the evidences of his appearance.

Justin Martyr

For other nations have not inflicted on us and on Christ this wrong to such an extent as you (the Jews) have, who in very deed are the authors of the wicked prejudice against the Just One, and us who hold by Him. For after that you had crucified Him, the only blameless and righteous Man,- through whose stripes those who approach the Father by Him are healed,- when you knew that He had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, as the prophets foretold He would, you not only did not repent of the wickedness which you had committed, but at that time you selected and sent out from Jerusalem chosen men through all the land to tell that the godless heresy of the Christians had sprung up, and to publish those things which all they who knew us not speak against us.

You (the Jews) have sent chosen and ordained men throughout all the world to proclaim that a godless and lawless heresy had sprung from one Jesus, a Galilaean deceiver, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb, where he was laid when unfastened from the cross, and now deceive men by asserting that he has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven. Moreover, you accuse Him of having taught those godless, lawless, and unholy doctrines which you mention to the condemnation of those who confess Him to be Christ, and a Teacher from and Son of God. Besides this, even when your city is captured, and your land ravaged, you do not repent, but dare to utter imprecations on Him and all who believe in Him. Yet we do not hate you or those who, by your means, have conceived such prejudices against us; but we pray that even now all of you may repent and obtain mercy from God, the compassionate and long-suffering Father of all.- ibid

But the highest pitch of your wickedness lies in this, that you hate the Righteous One, and slew Him; and so treat those who have received from Him all that they are and have, and who are pious, righteous, and humane. Therefore ‘woe unto their soul,’ says the Lord, ‘for they have devised an evil counsel against themselves, saying, Let us take away the righteous, for he is distasteful to us.’ – ibid

We pray for you [Jews] and all other men who hate us, so that you may repent along with us and not blaspheme the One who by his works, by the mighty deeds done through his name, by the words he taught, by the prophecies announced concerning him, is the blameless and irreproachable-in-all-things Christ Jesus. We pray that, believing on him, you may be saved in his second glorious coming and may not be condemned to fire by him. – ibid

You [Jews] hesitate to confess that he is Christ, as the Scriptures and the events witnessed and done in his name prove, perhaps for this reason: that you may be persecuted by the rulers, who, under the influence of the wicked and deceitful spirit, the serpent, will not stop putting to death and persecuting those who confess the name of Christ until [Christ] comes again and destroys them all and gives each what they deserve. – ibid

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