How Religion Connects Civilization Essay examples

Submitted By agyarko97
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How Religion Connects Civilizations Religion has connected numerous cultures throughout history. Religion is as old as mankind itself. Religions usually start out within a small group; eventually branching out and adding new parts to the religion as it grows. Trade is usually a huge part in the growth of a religion; trade allowed people from outside of a religions native borders to be exposed to it. Later in history, missionaries were sent out to spread religion directly. Another huge part in the growth of religion is conquest. When a civilization conquers another, even if the new rulers don’t impose a standard religion like the Persians or the Steppe Nomads the culture of the conquered people and the conquerors still mix. Trade played a huge factor in the spread of religion. People generally had few reasons to go to a new place outside of exchanging good and services or conquering new territory. Trade occurred in many forms over the duration of human history. When people from different lands exchange goods they aren’t only exchanging goods; they are also exchanging a bit of their culture. The Silk Road connected people from the Rome, the Middle East, India, and China. They exchanged bits of their religion and culture which eventually led to many conflicts and persecutions within most of those areas. Because trade is so important to any society it was often protected; this protection allowed missionaries to travel and spread their religion to new areas. As trade expanded many religions did as well. Without such extensive trade networks, religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and many more may have died out long before now. Christian missionaries and merchants traveled much of the known world planting the seed of Christianity everywhere they went. Each area developed their own traditions and customs that fit within their society. Ethiopia is a great example of this; despite being so far from any other Christian stronghold it remained a great patron of Christianity. Many of the places infected with Christianity paid some form of tribute or respect to the church in Rome.
The Middle East is the place where three of today’s most popular religions originated. They somehow gained a foothold despite worshippers usually being faced with prosecution almost everywhere they went. A reason people continued to convert despite the threat of persecution could be that they were moved by the faith of the martyrs that were dedicated enough to die for their religion. Christianity spread amongst the poor within the Roman Empire. Eventually it became the dominant religion after Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 C.E. The Edict of Milan granted religious tolerance within the Roman Empire. He issued the Edict of Milan because of a victory in battle which he attributed to Divine Intervention, which motivated him to convert. After the Roman Empire fell apart the areas it was once made up suddenly had a lot fewer reasons to associate with each other. Centuries later their allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church was the only thing that kept them united; even though saying they were united in anyway is a bit of a stretch. Having a similar religion allows people from