St. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Philippians from Rome, where he was awaiting trial for assorted thought crimes against the state (some things never change). In closing his letter, he said,\
All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. (Philippians 4:22)
Caesar’s household! Christians–right there in the very heart of the Roman Empire. Right there in Caesar’s house! And this less than 40 years after Jesus Christ was crucified–by Rome.
The Romans should have known that they were licked right there. Nevertheless, they went on to kill and jail as many Christians as they could lay their hands on. All those early Christians had to do, to save themselves from painful and humiliating deaths, was to deny Jesus Christ.
And Christ did not and will not deny them.