Injustices thrive in atmospheres of fear and intolerance. I came across one story recently that illustrates this point. It could just as easily have come from Stalinist Russia, or modern-day North Korea. The tale is found in Giuseppe Riciotti’s Age of Martyrs, and concerns the accidental martyrdom of a man named Silenus, who lived during the emperor Diocletian’s vigorous persecution of Christians in the last years of fourth century. Riciotti does not mention the original source, but it must have come from one of the ecclesiastical historians of the period.
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