Concerned about societal problems, Christian moralists have come to elaborate a theory of society, a theory that supposed that society should be founded not on its own right, but on freedom, thus having in view the issue of religious freedom, property issues and the problem of slavery, issues that have preoccupied the minds of Christian thinkers. Concerned about freedom, which, according to their thinking, should form the foundation of society, Christian moralists first supported the principle of religious freedom or conscience for all people. Athenagoras states, referring to Christians, that "we only ask our own right, we ask not to be hated and persecuted because we are Christians" (Fouillee 2000, 198, note 29). Lactant said that religion is the only thing where freedom has found its place. This, being above all, voluntary, no one should ever be obliged to adore what he dislikes or what does not correspond to his desires" (Fouillée 2000, 198, note 30).
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