How Did Constantine Contribute To The Spread Of Christianity

Christianity was a minority religion when Emperor Constantine converted to it in 313 AD. The conversion of Constantine was a major turning point for the faith as it allowed for the spread of Christian teachings throughout the empire. Constantine began to promote Christian principles and closed Pagan temples throughout the empire while encouraging the construction of churches and basilicas. He also implemented laws based on Christian beliefs such as decrees against divorce and forbidding certain types of punishment. The Emperor also worked to improve relations between the church and state, granting bishops and church officials the same legal status as Roman citizens. In short, the actions of Constantine established Christianity as a major religion in the empire and helped it to spread.

Edict of Milan

One of Constantine’s most important contributions to the spread of Christianity was his implementation of the Edict of Milan. This edict was issued in 313 AD by Constantine and his co-emperor Licinius declaring religious freedom for all faiths in the Roman Empire. This meant that Christianity could no longer be persecuted and could exist side-by-side with other religions. The edict was revolutionary in its time and allowed the religion to spread throughout the empire without fear of persecution. This was especially significant in the eastern provinces where Christianity was more accepted than in the west.

Financial and Political Support

Constantine also provided financial assistance to the church. He issued decrees subsidizing the construction of Christian churches and basilicas and provided generous funds to support clergy. He also granted Christians the right to marry, an important step toward normalizing Christianity as an accepted faith. Constantine also granted bishops equal legal status with Roman citizens and offered them legal protection from the government. This was an important step in legitimizing the church and its teachings.

Imperial Support for Christianity

Constantine also gave his support to Christianity in other ways. He promoted Christian belief and practices throughout his reign, seeking to replace Paganism with Christianity as the state religion. He also issued decrees against certain Pagan practices such as ritual sacrifice and divination. He worked to strengthen ties between the imperial government and the church, often appointing bishops to influential posts in his government.

Imperial Image and Christianity

Constantine’s own image was also a powerful tool in furthering the cause of Christianity. He was often depicted in religious images, such as his famous mosaics in Rome, as a protector of Christianity and its adherents. He was also depicted as a religious figure himself, holding a cross or clothed in vestments. This image of Constantine contributed to the idea of the emperor as a defender of the faith and helped forge ties between the imperial government and the church.

Church Councils

Finally, Constantine was instrumental in convening the first major ecumenical councils. He called together councils of bishops from across the empire to establish standards and rules for the church. The councils also worked to resolve doctrinal disputes and serve as a check against heresy. The rules set forth by these councils had a far-reaching impact on the development of Christian beliefs and practices and helped to further disseminate the faith.


The conversion of Constantine to Christianity had a profound effect on the spread of the faith throughout the Roman Empire. His imperial support allowed the religion to become more widely accepted and established important milestones in its development. It is no exaggeration to say that his actions enabled Christianity to become the dominant faith of the time and helped lay the groundwork for its spread into Europe and beyond.

Elimination of Paganism

Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and support for the faith helped to eliminate Paganism in the Roman Empire. He closed Pagan temples and issued decrees against the practice of certain Pagan rituals. This was seen as a direct attack on the traditional religion of the Roman Empire and greatly contributed to its decline and eventual disappearance. While some Pagans continued to practice their religion in secret, the death knell of the faith had been sounded.

Enforcement of Christian Principles

Constantine also sought to enforce Christian principles through his laws. He issued decrees against divorce, forbidding certain forms of punishment, and financially subsidized the construction of churches and basilicas. These steps were essential in allowing Christianity to take hold and spread throughout the empire. Without the enforcement of Christian principles and laws, the faith would not have had the same success in becoming a major religion.

Protection of Christian Communities

Finally, Constantine also worked to protect Christian communities from persecution. He granted bishops and church officials the same legal status as Roman citizens and offered them legal protection from the government. This was an important step in promoting Christianity and in legitimizing the faith and its teachings. The protection offered by Constantine allowed Christians to practice their faith without fear of persecution and helped them to grow and spread their teachings.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

Leave a Comment