Rendering to Caesar, rendering to God

The founder of Christianity was executed by soldiers under the authority of a government official serving imperial Rome. Over the centuries since then, the relations between Christians and the governments under which they live have veered drastically back and forth.

The early Christians were often persecuted. Within a few centuries, church and state were unified—and churches themselves sometimes persecuted those perceived as opponents. The establishment of basic religious freedoms has taken many more centuries, and has brought incalculable blessings where these freedoms have taken root. The broader relations between religion and society are still being sorted out, often with great controversy, even in this twenty-first century. 

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