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Religion is not to be defended by putting to death, but by dying. Not by cruelty, but by patient endurance. Not by guilt, but by good faith. For the former belongs to evil, the latter to the good... For if you wish to defend religion by bloodshed, tortures, and guilt, it will no longer be defended. Rather, it will be polluted and profaned. For nothing is so much a matter of free will as religion. If the mind of the worshiper is disinclined to it, religion is at once taken away and ceases to exist...
We (Christians), on the contrary, do not require that anyone should be compelled to worship our God, whether he is willing or unwilling.
Nor do we become angry if anyone does not worship Him. We trust in the majesty of Him who has the power to avenge contempt shown towards Him.
We leave vengeance to God. We do not act as those persons who would have it appear that they are defenders of their gods, who rage without restraint against those who do not worship them.
-- Lactantius (about 260 -340 C.E.)