Unbelievable! This day, May 1, in the year A.D. 305, the most powerful man in the world, Emperor Diocletian, stepped down from ruling the Roman Empire. Just two years prior he had begun the most systematic persecution of Christians ever, intending to exterminate them once and for all. He forbade worship, burned books, arrested clergy and demanded that everyone sacrifice to pagan deities or be killed. From Europe to northern Africa, countless believers became martyrs to the faith. Suddenly, Diocletian was struck with a painful intestinal disease and he abdicated his throne, taking up farming in Yugoslavia. Eight years later, in A.D. 313, Emperor Constantine officially ended all persecution of Christians.