The third season of National Geographic’s “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” premiered earlier this month and the latest episode set out to understand why secrecy and religion are so often intertwined.
Unlike past episodes of the series, this episode did not feature much on Christianity; it focused more on cults, encoding the Torah in the practice of Kabbalah and the resurgence of Druids, among others. Freeman journeyed to see the mystery of ritual and how it brings people closer to the mystery of the divine.
The show’s only mention of secrecy in Christianity was in Rome 361 to 363 AD when the people of the time accused an ancient “secret sect” of Christians of drinking blood and performing human sacrifices. The actor traveled to a hidden house under a basilica, located in Rome where the supposed sect hid out.
Those Christians practiced the Eucharist in secret and rumors began to spread by the Romans that those people were in the hidden house “practicing orgies” and “drinking actual blood.”
Emperor Julian despised Christ followers and those who were not meeting in secret, such as two men named John and Paul, became martyrs by the emperor’s command. It wasn’t until the leader was killed and a new emperor was appointed that the tide began to change.
“It’s hard to believe that Christianity was once a small secret faith practiced in the shadows but secrecy actually gave Christianity strength,” Freeman said after his visit. “[Christian] followers venerated Jesus who died opposing Rome.”
“Oppression only fared the movement and once it was set free, it traveled to every corner of the globe,” the Academy Award-winning actor chuckled.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law