Christianity and Cyprus
In A.D. 45 the Apostles Paul and Barnabas accompanied by the evangelist John Mark, visited and the island and stopped off in Pafos, then the capital of Cyprus. The Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus, was initiated into Christianity by the Apostles and eventually converted to the new religion. Despite this important success, legend has it, that the Apostles faced problems in Pafos. It is believed, that Paul was first tied and beaten receiving forty but one (i.e. 39) lashes. The inhabitants of Pafos even today point to a certain pillar, near the ruins of the Gothic church, known as the St. Paul pillar. They claim that the Apostle was tied to this column and whipped.
Α short time later, the Cypriot Apostle, Barnabas, returned to Cyprus accompanied again by John Mark, for a new missionary tour of the island, which again included Pafos. Barnabas ended up in Salamis, where he was executed by the Jews of the town. He is considered the founder of the Autocephalus (independent) Church of Cyprus.
In Α.D. 330, Constantine the Great transferred the capital of his Empire to Constantinople, an event which resulted in the split of the huge Roman Empire into Western and Eastern parts. This left Cyprus in the Eastern part, namely the Byzantine Empire.