Religion and Civilizations in Decline

I've been thinking lately about the birth of Christianity during the decline of the Roman Empire. It was definitely a hard religion, borne of hard times and followed by hard people. The belief that everyone is a sinner probably had its basis in what the early Christians saw and experienced.

It's also interesting that the Bible teaches people to submit to abuse, and let God deal with the perpetrator in the afterlife. The original followers of Christianity were slaves and others from the lowest classes of society. Patiently enduring mistreatment was a survival strategy for them.

What about other religions that came out of civilizational decline? Are there similarities between them and Christianity? I'd love to hear from anyone who has studied another religion with roots in the collapse of a civilization.

Karen Armstrong has had a long and distinguished career writing books on comparative religion. Read The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions and Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.