Theodosius I: Christians Who Leave Christianity Lose Rank & Status Hot

Theodosius I: Christians Who Leave Christianity Lose Rank & Status

Emperor Theodosius I

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Roman emperor Theodosius I decrees that any Christian with an inherited rank or status who converts to another religion will lose that rank or status.

This new Roman law says:

"If any glory of rank has been awarded to or is inborn in anyone who abandons the faith and is blinded in mind, who deserts the cult and worship of sacred true religion and gives themselves over to sacrifices, they will lose their rank. Now removed from their position and status, they will be branded with perpetual infamy and must not be counted even with the lowest dregs of the ignoble mob.

What can such persons have in common with humanity if ,with nefarious and feral minds, they scorn the grace of holy communion and withdraw from mankind ?" [CTh 16.7.5]

In Rome, rank and status carry a lot of weight. Losing rank and status are not minor inconveniences, thus this new law from Emperor Theodosius I creates powerful disincentives against converting from Christianity.

This applies not only to people who had earlier converted to Christianity and now have had a change of heart, but also to those who grew up Christian because their parents had converted but who now wish to adopt the religion of their grandparents and ancestors. Thus once a person converts to Christianity, all future generations of their family will be locked into this religion whether or not they choose to be.


Emperors of Rome: Theodosius I

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