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The Christian Emperor Constantine (or possibly his predecessor Licinius) issued a law requiring slaves caught fleeing into barbarian territories to be sent to the mines, or to have a foot amputated.This law was not rescinded by the string of Christian Emperors, who headed the Christian Church under the system of caesaropapalism.

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For example, ceremonies of manumission were transferred from temples to Christian Churches, and places of sanctuary were restricted to Christian sites.

Church Fathers instructed the faithful not to let slaves get above themselves, and the Church endorsed Saint Augustine's view that slavery was ordained by God as a punishment for sin.

In pagan times slaves who escaped and sought sanctuary at a holy temple would not be returned to their masters if they had a justifiable complaint.

When the Empire became Christian, escaped slaves could seek refuge in a church, but they would always be returned to their masters, whether they had a justifiable complaint or not.

Men are at liberty to sell their own daughters (Exodus 21:7). It is acceptable to beat slaves, since they are property — a master who beats his slave to death is not to be punished as long as the slave stays alive for a day or two, as the loss of the master's property is punishment enough: And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.In 362 AD a Church Council at Gangra in Asia Minor excommunicated anyone encouraging a slave to despise his master or to withdraw from his service.This would in time be incorporated into Church Law, where it would remain from the 13th to the 20th century.Looking at the relevant passages it is clear that the Bible does indeed endorse slavery.In the Old Testament God approved the practice and laid down rules for buyers and sellers (Exodus 21:1-11, Leviticus ).Soon the Church would become the largest slave owner in the Roman Empire.

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