The Cult of Mithras dates back to around 1400bc, in Ancient India. The Romans then picked up on it after travelling home from Persia during the reign of Nero, and suddenly this new cult in Western Civilisation was born.
According to Roman tradition, in the Chambers Encyclopedia, Mithras’ birthday was the most important of all festivals surrounding him. His birthday was said to have been celebrated on December 25th. The birthday of Jesus, which we have no way of knowing, was decided upon as the 25th of December, by Emperor Constantine, in 313ad, 313 years after Jesus was born.
On December 25th, Mithras followers celebrated “The birth of the Sun”. The importance surrounding Mithras is better known today than it’s ever been. He was said to be able to perform miracles, he was a great teacher, had many followers including twelve disciples and of course, was named “the lamb of God.” When Mithras died, his “rising” three days after his burial was celebrated throughout Rome and Persia.
Franz Cumont, Professor at the University of Ghent, once wrote about Mithras: “The sectaries of the Persian god, like the Christians’, purified themselves by baptism, received by a species of confirmation the power necessary to combat the spirit of evil; and expected from a Lord’s supper salvation of body and soul..”
Within the Church of Mithras itself, the followers baptised each other, created a hierarchy, and had the Eucharist.
Within Rome, a picture relic, showing the young Mithras on the knee of his virgin mother whilst three Persian Magi offer gifts to the “sun of God” stood for all to see. Just to remind those who worship Mithras that when they died, Mithras would be there, casting judgement on their souls.
So to sum up, Mithras was….
Called “The sun of God”.
Born of a Virgin mother.
Had three people bring gifts to his birth.
Had twelve disciples.
Born on December 25th.
Died and then rose again three days later.
Hated the idea of Abortion but just LOVED the idea that everyone should have a gun (ok, I made that bit up).
Would baptise themselves.
Believed in a final judgement.
Celebrated the Eucharist.
Had a big festival on December 25th.
Now, I don’t know about you, but it all seems very familiar.