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Updated: 11/07/2016 04:22:47PM

History a guide to how movements recover

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US President Barack Obama arrives aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 03 June 2009. Obama is attempting to open a dialogue with the Muslim world by visiting Abdullah and delivering a major speech in Cairo later this week.

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T he Catholic Church in North Africa was in crisis at the beginning of the fourth century. The Roman emperor Diocletian had persecuted the Christians, and many bishops and priests had collaborated with the regime. Priests had turned over Christian believers to the pagan magistrates. Bishops had surrendered Holy Scriptures to be burned in the public square. An air of corruption and lewdness hung over the church.

Two rival reform movements arose to restore the integrity of Catholicism. Those in the first movement, the Donatists, believed the church needed to purify itself and return to its core identity.

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