Christianity’s Contributions: Women respected (Part 4)

As we close out this series of  blogs on the respect given to women, the impact of the Christian church is clear.

Thanks to the influence of the Christian Church, the culture of the Roman empire changed for the better in terms of the treatment of women.  For example, the Roman Emperor Valentinian I outlawed a husband’s absolute power of life and death over his family in 374 AD.  Daughters soon after were allowed to choose a  spouse, wives were allowed to have property rights, and wives were allowed to keep their children.  The mandatory requirement of the veiling of women in public stopped after 866 AD, and eventually polygamy was stopped as well.

But the influence of the Christian church on culture was not limited to ancient Rome alone.  In India, the suttee was outlawed.  If a husband had died, the wife must die as well.  This practice required a widow to be burned alive on her husband’s funeral pyre.  Amazingly, this was also practice in Scandinavia, China, Finland, New Zealand, and the Americas.

Another example of a culture change in approach to women was the outlawing of Chinese foot-binding.  This practice was eventually abolished, and with good reason.  A girl’s 4 toes were tied under her foot to create a more appealing appearance for her legs.

As we have seen, the Church brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations, along with a more humane treatment of girls and women.

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