Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

items tagged with prison

Magazine Issues


8 Aug 2017

Christians on trial

by Dwight D. Brautigam | Issue 123

How do Christians end up in prison? In many cases their beliefs are at odds with the prevailing government, they are arrested, and they are put on trial. From the earliest days of the church, followers of the Way were tried before Jewish and Roman authorities: not only Jesus himself, but Stephen, Paul, and others. Peter and Silas escaped their famous imprisonment the night before they were to be tried. 

a hymn to christ as to a god 

In the early second century, we find one of the first records outside the Bible of Christians on trial before...

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8 Aug 2017

Prison as a parish: Christian inmates

by Roy Stults and Jennifer Woodruff Tait | Issue 123

Ever since jesus Christ was arrested and tried before Pilate, imprisonment has been the experience of many who follow him. Seldom are Christians imprisoned only for religious beliefs. There are often ethnic, social, political, or cultural reasons. And some Christians, sadly, are imprisoned for actual crimes. 

when in rome. …

Ancient Romans believed in gods who oversaw and protected various areas of life. Not showing respect and loyalty to these gods undermined the security of the state; when early Christians proclaimed one God as supreme,...

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8 Aug 2017

Editor’s Note

by Ken Curtis | Issue 123

In 2008, our founder Dr. Ken Curtis (1939–2011) wrote the introduction to a planned book of prison testimonies throughout church history. That book became CHI’s website Captive Faith , but Ken’s introduction was never published. We could not think of a better way to introduce this issue than by letting Ken do it. We also encourage you to look at Christian History issues 105, 109, and 116 for more about Christians in prison. Our commitment to prisoners continues to this day, as we mail free copies of CH to hundreds of prisoners each quarter....

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8 Aug 2017

Letters to the editor

by various | Issue 123

Many incarcerated individuals receive Christian History, and although we have published their letters before, we decided this time to feature their voices exclusively on our letters to the editor page.


Dear CH , I am greatly enjoying your series on the Reformation. The extensive timeline pull-outs are a wonderful bonus. Please keep me on your subscription list! I am an indigent inmate and I am grateful for your generous gift. God be with you. I am curious if you have ever or soon plan to do an issue on the phenomenon of...

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31 May 1989

From A Calabrian Prison (1560)

by Giovan Paschale | Issue 22


. . . we are 80 to 100 persons held in this dark place, and although we may escape being devoured by the lice, we are at the same time near to death by hunger. Who will doubt that all of us would willingly forego all that we possess in this world rather than to be condemned forever to this misery? . . .

Some will say that they do not sense in themselves the strength to die for Jesus Christ. I reply to them that those who fear to be overcome ought at least to struggle and to achieve a fleeting victory. For to...

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31 Aug 1995

Stench, Pain, and Misery

by John McRay | Issue 47

PAUL MAY HAVE SPENT as much as 25 percent of his time as a missionary in prison. We know of his brief lock-up in Philippi, two years’ incarceration in Caesarea, and at least another two in Rome. Yet Paul says he experienced “far more imprisonments,” than his opponents. To understand Paul, we need to understand where he spent so much time.

Bloody Ordeal

Roman imprisonment was preceded by being stripped naked and then flogged, a humiliating, painful, and bloody ordeal. The bleeding wounds went untreated; prisoners sat in painful leg or wrist...

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