Appropos of my previous post, it seems that a post-Christian New Testament scholar at Notre Dame is about to publish a book claiming that the Romans really didn't persecute the Christians.
There is very little that can be written by liberal historical revisionists that would surprise me. You'll remember, of course, that according to the chairman of the Religion Department of Luther College, Jesus was a Muslim. Never mind that Muhammed wasn't born until 600-odd years after Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate treated Him reasonably and civilly on Calvary and those fundamentalist rumors about his resurrection started to spread.
For some time it's been fashionable on the Left to claim that silencing, discriminating against, firing, and otherwise harassing those who remain faithful to the teachings of Scripture and historic Christianity isn't religious persecution. But now, it seems that they don't even draw the line at crucifixion, boiling in oil, burning at the stake, beheading, and throwing folks to the lions.