The Persecution at Lyons
Contrary to popular opinion, the Romans were not in the habit of killing Christians. Many disliked them and distrusted them, particularly in the beginning, when their teachings seemed too new and strange. But only a few emperors launched a sustained program against them – most famously Diocletian, who in 303 AD started a persecution that lasted eight years.
Some violent persecutions came from crowds who looked for a reason for their calamities. This is what happened in the region of Vienne and Lyons (ancient Lugdunum), in what is now southern France.