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4th Century...The Edict of Thessalonica

The Edict of Thessalonica, also known as Cunctos populos, was delivered on 27 February 380 by Theodosius I, Gratian, and Valentinian II in order that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria. This made Nicene Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire. The edict was issued shortly after Theodosius had suffered a severe illness in Thessalonica and was baptized by Acholius, the bishop of that city.

The emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity in 312. By 325 Arianism, a type of christology which denied the trinity, had created enough problems in the early church that Constantine (who had little patience for the finer points of theology) called the Council of Nicaea in an attempt to establish an empire-wide orthodoxy and end the controversy. The council produced the Nicene creed, which rejected Arianism and upheld the trinity.

However, the divisions within the church did not end with Nicaea. Constantine, while urging tolerance, began to think that he had come down on the wrong side, and that the trinitarians—with their fervent persecution of Arians—were actually perpetuating strife within the Church. Constantine was not baptized until he was near death (c.327), and then he chose an Arian bishop, Eusebius of Nicomedia, to perform the baptism.

Constantine's son and successor in the east, Constantius II was sympathetic to the Arians, and even exiled Nicene bishops. Constantius' successor Julian the Apostate was a pagan and encouraged the various christian sects in their disagreements by declaring toleration for all of them. Julian's successor in turn, Jovian, while christian, only reigned for 8 months and never entered Constantinople. He was then succeeded in the east by Valens who was an Arian.

By 379, when Valens was succeeded by Theodosius, Arianism was widespread in the eastern part of the empire, while the west had remained staunchly orthodox (i.e. Nicene). Theodosius, who had been born in Hispania was himself orthodox and very devout. In August, his counterpart in the west Gratian took steps toward legal persecution of heretics in the west. This was followed shortly by the jointly issued Edict of Thessalonica.
source: Wikipedia
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