In popular culture, Hollywood movies, etc. the Roman-Catholic Church is often portrayed as having persecuted Christians that did not agreed with official Church dogma. Think of the Inquisition, burning of Jan Hus, persecuting the Waldensian, censoring the Wycliffe Bible, Tyndale Bible, etc.

Where there any sort of similar persecutions of Christian sects in the Byzantine Empire? If so, can you name the persecuted movements and time? I'm especially interested in movements that survived until the present day, for example, I know the Byzantines often persecuted the Coptic Orthodox Church

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    Byzantine emperors who were supporters of an Iconoclast sect persecuted their opponents in the 8th and 9th centuries AD: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 9, 2021 at 20:40
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    Arian emperors persecuted non-Arians; Nestorius persecuted heretics (before becoming himself one); orthodox or catholic emperors persecuted non-orthodox/non-catholics; non-orthodox/non-catholic emperors persecuted orthodox/catholics; Theodosius persecuted paganism; Justinian persecuted Monophysitism (Miaphysitism); iconoclastic emperors persecuted non-iconoclasts; non-iconoclastic emperors persecuted iconoclasts; etc.
    – Lucian
    Jul 10, 2021 at 7:54
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    This article migh help you: rogerlouismartinez.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/… I do note that at one time the Orthodox Chruch claimed to have elmininated all heresy within the Empire, though it could be claimed that was the result of enemies conquering the provinces where the heretics lived, and not the preaching, religious education, and perescutions by the Orthodox church.
    – MAGolding
    Jul 10, 2021 at 22:00
  • Coptic church's main persecution came and still comes from Islam. They having the great misfortune of being located in places that became Islamic strongholds.
    – Neil Meyer
    Jul 12, 2021 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


The Orthodox Church of Byzantines persecuted Christians that did not agree with official Church dogma. For example the Christian sect of Paulicians, known as Bogomils, Patarens or Babuns, etc. in Balkans. A sectar priest, called Basil was burned during Alexios Comnen, Roman Emperor.

The sect spred mainly in Macedonia (known as Bulgaria themata). From this, through the Vlachs, Bogomilism arrived in Serbia, Bosnia, Dalmatia and Croatia. As a proof, there are the Vlach tombstones called stecci by Slavs. The tombstones have no cross, according to Bogomil ideology. Tombstones are spread from top of the mountains to plains, along the transhumance paths of Vlachs. Marian Wenzel studied the tombstones and demonstrated their Vlach origin.

After Roman emperors, all orthodox churches started a campaign against Bogomil. The rulers of Serbia and Hungary started legislative and military actions against Bogomils. As a result, a part of Bogomils were reconverted to Orthodoxy but many practiced Bogomil faith in secret. Excepting Bosnia, Bogomilism was eradicated in Balkans around the 14th century.

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    Sources would improve your answer. Dec 18, 2021 at 12:29
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    The answer would benefit from a little more focus on the persecution aspect of the issue, and perhaps inclusion of a background link to Bogomilism.
    – justCal
    Dec 18, 2021 at 12:56
  • The mention of Alexios Comnen, is already good enough for me. I was facing an Eastern-Orthodox who claims that "As opposed to Catholics, Orthodox never shed blood in the name of religion"
    – Dan
    Dec 19, 2021 at 13:29
  • Current research sees the Paulicians and Bogomils as two separate movements.
    – fdb
    Dec 20, 2021 at 14:42

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