The Rise of Pagan Gods in Christianity

As converts were won and Christianity experienced an influx of former adherents to other faiths, certain aspects of Christian theology began to be shaped. Most significantly, the pagans caused saints in the eastern Churches to be very strong. They were accustomed to praying to a number of gods, and it seemed perfectly natural to pray to all of these saints, thereby placing greater weight on them than perhaps was initially intended (Chadwick 28).

Most significant, however, was possibly the cult of Artemis' influence on burgeoning Christianity. Former members of that cult would certainly have identified the Virgin Mary with their old goddess, and then simply applied their worship to this new case (Fotiou). This might explain why the eastern Churches have the Virgin Mary playing such a large part in their worship.

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