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The way the early Church understood slavery was different to our conceptions of African cotton fields or butlers of the aristocracy.

Slaves were literally everywhere in the Greco-Roman context - 1 in 3 people in the empire were slaves.

Status as a free or freedman was pretty special then.

And yet, in the early Church there are reports of individuals selling themselves into slavery (usually for at least 7 years - when they might have earnt their freedom from their masters), to take the money they recieved and give it to the poor.

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