By Theodore Shoebat
While the Christians of antiquity called themselves Catholic, there was a sect who rejected the legitimacy of the Papacy, on account that it reaccepted lapsed Christians who, out of fear, gave sacrifices to pagan gods during the early persecutions. These were called Novatians, the Protestants of old Christendom.
One could argue that these were the ancient equivalent to the Protestants, since they did not hold anti-Christian doctrines, as the Arians (who denied Christ’s divinity) or the Macedonians (who rejected the Holy Spirit as God), but subscribed to orthodox beliefs such as the Trinity and the Incarnation.
Regardless of this, there was enmity between the Catholics and the Novatians, and there seemed to be no prospect of them ever having concord with another, until a persecution came, and it was from an enemy who held indignation for both of them more than they had hatred for each other. These were the Arians.
The Arians, who were really the precursors to Muslims, were founded by one Arius, a fourth century presbyter in Egypt who denied the divinity of Christ, and who would later become one of the major influencers for the false prophet Muhammad, though the Arabian heretic and founder of Islam lived centuries after the death of Arius.
After Arius perished, Arianism had already infiltrated the Roman government, and over half of the empire was Arian, including the emperor, Constantius. A fervent follower of Arianism, Macedonius, was given license by the Roman king to exile and punish the bishops who did not accept Arianism; the mindset of these were no different than the Muslims today who conduct reminiscent persecutions against Christians .
The Arians began to inflict Catholics with numerous calamities, but their tyranny was not confined to only them, but also to the Novatians, regardless of the fact that they, like the Protestants, were not members of the Church, because they still, also like the Protestants, believed in the Holy Trinity.
The Arians were savage in their bloodlust; they took Novatian women and sawed off their breasts, and burnt the flesh of those resistant to their impiety.
In Constantinople, the Arians demolished many churches, both Catholic and Novatian, for their upholding of the Holy Trinity. The Novatian church in Cyzicus was as well destroyed, and after this the Arians headed toward a Novatian area in Paphlagonia. Now, it must be remembered that these Arians were not just wild zealots thirsty for blood, but trained warriors in the Roman army who converted to Arianism, and who were now being used by the heretics to extinguish the Christians.
When the Novatians heard of their coming, they armed themselves with hooks, hatchets, and whatever weapons they could possess. The army of heretical soldiers arrived and a battle ensued; the Novatians fought with great valiancy and zeal, and slew the great majority of the Arians.
It came to a point, within this great persecution, that Catholics and Novatians united, and even attended the same churches together in unison and concord one with another against the conspired violence of the Arian heretics.
The power of the Arian heresy was most effectively crushed by the Christian Roman Empire in a great war against the Vandals, who were slaughtering Christians for their belief in the Trinity, thanks to the formidable general, Belisarius. Eventually the same heretics were vanquished in Italy, Spain, and France, and orthodoxy was again reestablished.
But then in Arabia, a land not under the influence or jurisdiction of Christendom, an Arian monk met with an Arabian pagan, taught him his unitarian interpretations of the Scriptures, and the man would then adopt Arianism and build on it the heresy of all heresies. This Arabian was Muhammad, and his sect was Islam.
The Muslim attack upon Christendom is no different today. Muhammad was the most infamous student of Arianism, and today Christians are still being killed, and their churches destroyed, by these Arians who call themselves Muslims.
The haters of the Trinity will always seek the destruction of those who still believe that Christ is God in the flesh, regardless if you are Catholic or Protestant.
This struggle between Christian and Muslim is an eternal war, between the Unitarian and the Trinitarian, which has been lasting for innumerable centuries, and our only resolve will be to unite in the name of that most sacred Trinity, which will forever more be the vanquisher of the followers of the crescent.
(1) This entire account of the Arian persecution was procured from Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 2.38