I have read some of the ways early Christians were persecuted. They were whipped, beheaded, flayed, stoned, crucified, dipped in oil and set on fire, fed to wild animals, imprisoned, and countless other acts of torture I cannot even begin to imagine. What depth of faith one must have to choose an agonizing death rather than recant their faith in Jesus as The Christ.
It is because of the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of the first believers to strengthen their faith that Christianity was able to not only endure, but also to turn the entire world upside down. Over the last two thousand years the fires of Christian faith have consumed lives on every continent. It has established cities, countries, and nations. It has changed lives, marriages, and homes. Even today, persecution fans the flames of faith into an inferno which melts the hardest of hearts.