Conscientious objectors

[Christians] refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defense of the empire. […] This indolent, or even criminal disregard to the public welfare, exposed them to the contempt and reproaches of the Pagans, who very frequently asked, what must be the fate of the empire, attacked on every side by barbarians, if all mankind should adopt the pusillanimous sentiments of the new sect?

— Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XV.


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