Iconoclasm: The Destroyers of Icons (726-842)

Iconoclasm refers to the intentional defacing and destruction of Christian icons and images. Christian icon destruction was promoted by certain Roman emperors who wrongly interpreted the second commandment that forbid the making and worship of idols (Exodus 20:4). There were two distinct periods in the history of the eastern Roman empire when the use of Christian icons was violently opposed. The “First Iconoclasm” period lasted sixty-one years, from 726 to 787, and the “Second Iconoclasm” period lasted twenty-eight years, from 814 to 842. Both periods caused deep division in the early church.