1 Thessalonians 1:6 New International Version 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
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I would say that Paul was referring to the events recorded in Acts 17:5-9. Although the preaching of Paul in Thessalonica was welcomed by a cross-section of some Jews, Greeks, and prominent women of the city, and they became converts to Christianity, other members of the Jewish community who opposed Paul's teachings and actions incited a riot in the city, and threw the city into turmoil. The adverse effects of those events (it seems to me) would have been particularly pronounced from a persecution standpoint for those Thessalonians who had become Christians, and who (unlike Paul and Silas, who subsequently -- as recorded in Acts 17:10 --- left Thessalonica for Berea) remained in the city after Paul and Silas had departed.
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