Since Christianity was illegal under the Roman Empire and stood in opposition to traditional pagan religion, early Christians faced periodic persecution as well as slander. Additionally, heretical sects and Gnosticism threatened to lead many astray from the Christian faith. The Apologetic Fathers wrote in defense of the faith, addressing their appeals to emperors, pagans, heretics and Jews alike.
- Justin Martyr
- Athenagoras of Athens
- Tertullian (see Latin Fathers)