It was on this date, February 23, 303 CE, that the second of only two general persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire began under the Emperor Diocletian and lasted two years. In spite of the accounts in Sunday School parlayed as fact, and as noted elsewhere, even Catholic historians can document only about a hundred who gave up their lives for their faith – out of a Christian population of 20,000 in Rome. The rest, it turns out, voluntarily abjured the faith and burned a few grains of incense for the Emperor. With Bible in one hand, and the testicles of the secular power in the other, the Church killed many times even their inflated number of martyrs of Manichaeans, Arians, Waldensians, Albigensians, Cathars, Witches, Beguines, Bogomils, Beghards, Lollards, Moors, Hussites, Huguenots, Protestants by Catholics, Catholics by Protestants, and, of course, Jews…
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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Although religious compositions made up a significant part of Schumann's works, he was a Pantheist like his countryman, Goethe.