A more adequate way of understanding Christianity is as a process of culture critique within Roman society. Christianity originated within the matrix of Roman society and, as Roman society spawned Christianity, it was also changed by it. Christianity, in turn, was continuously shaped and constrained by the values, world-view and institutions of Roman society. The imperial bureaucracy, civic institutions, public values, patronage, and Roman notions of honor, mos maiorum, pietas, disciplina and Romanitasmoulded Christianity as much as its ecclesiastical crises and doctrinal disputes. The penetration of Christianity into the public classes made Christianity appear more threatening to the romanitas of those classes so essential for Roman hegemony. The politics of the African churches were dominated by Carthage, the city at the heart of Romanized Africa with direct lines to imperial power. Family religion in Christian homes honoured God with rituals of prayer recited three times a day.