The life of the Christians between Pliny’s famous letter and Constantine’s reign was not the easiest life. Although Pliny’s letter to Trajan did aid the Christians some, it did not end the persecutions completely. The Christians were not sought out by Pliny and his men, but they could be denounced by their so called friends or neighbors then Pliny had to take action leading to the death of many Christians.
The next few years before the Edict of Milan did not get easier. In 250 AD Decius, the emperor, made an edict against non-conformist which hit the Christians pretty hard. The Christians took another big hit during the Valerian persecution in 257-258 AD. All bishops were to sacrifice to the Roman gods, if the bishops or clergies did not abide by this they would be executed. Christians also were not permitted to worship publicly, and their property was taken from them. These events in the history of the Christians did not compare to the terrifying Great Persecution of 303-305 AD, under the reign of Diocletian. He made an edict saying that Christians could no longer assemble together and that their churches and sacred books would be demolished. During this tragic period a couple of fires broke out near the imperial palace, Diocletian blamed the Christians for this and came down even harder on them. Now the Christians were required to sacrifice to the emperor if they did not they would die. After Diocletian stepped down as emperor the persecutions became less, a few years later Constantine came into reign and the suffering of the Christians ceased.
Finally the Christians were able to stop wondering if their future was at stake.