Rome and Christianity is viewed to be conflicting by some people due to the influence of the past. If you are a Roman Catholic you are surely aware on the importance of religion to the Romans before.
It is true, Christianity was then banned within the Roman Empire and Christians were persecuted for long years. In fact, Christians before were used as a feed for the lions, which also served as a form of amusement in Ancient Rome. Originally, the message of Christianity was propagated by St. Paul within the Roman Empire, which eventually entered to Rome itself.
Because of the condemnation to Christianity in the earlier times in Rome, first converts faced tremendous difficulties. Once they were caught; they were immediately sentenced into death because they failed to worship the emperor. And the disgrace to Christianity was magnified when Nero ordered the Christians to be arrested and executed when Rome was burned down.
This is why Christians used to gather in a secret place to escape the dangers brought by the Romans. Many of them usually held their meetings in underground tombs since these locations are plainly out of sight. But since the number of Christians continue to grow throughout the year; this was already made legal by Emperor Constantine in 313 AD.
After Christianity was legalized, Christians were able to worship freely. And it was in 391 AD when worship to other gods was made unlawful.
Essentially, Rome and Christianity are not really conflicting to each other—especially this time. Many people are now aware that the true meaning of Christianity is a Christ-centered living, which focuses to the life and teachings of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Hence, becoming a Christian is simply becoming a follower of Christ.
This time in fact, you can see that Christianity is promoting a return to Rome. As what was said by many scholars, the future depends on the past. It is because of this why Christianity today is relating with the early church as it moves near to the 21st century.
If you want to acquire more knowledge about the pacing of Christianity back to the past, you can refer to the writings of Associate Professor of History of the Church Chris Armstrong and Christianity Today Author Mark Galli.
Also, you may learn about this issue if you will take chance to travel to Rome. Like Martin Luther who went to Rome before to gain spiritual strength; you can also go to the same place to learn more about Rome and Christianity.
Of course, as you go to Rome, you may also include in your affair a tour around the place. In that simple way, you can trace back the contemporary stand of Rome on Christianity by observing the people and by tracing its history through the artifacts presented in the place.
Surely, you will go back home bagging with you a fulfillment as you see in a closer view the actual setting of Rome and Christianity these days.