I'm looking for an English word or phrase that sounds better than 'enemy of faith', which is my almost literal translation of the German word Glaubensfeind.
The text is about pagan reactions to Christianity in the late antique period. The specific context is a series of statements by the early church fathers which show such a degree of intolerance towards non-Christians that if the pagans had quoted them, they would (later) have been accused of misquoting for the sake of propaganda. Is there a better word -- or phrase -- for 'enemy of faith'? I like 'adversary', for instance, but I don't think it works as 'adversary in faith'. Here's the sentence:
Numerous statements by the early church fathers come to mind which, had they been quoted by the pagan philosophers, could easily be dismissed as malicious parodies of their ______________(enemy of faith).
Note: I changed 'the' to 'their' in the above sentence to avoid the earlier ambiguity.'The enemy of faith' in the above example refers to the pagan's religious enemy, i.e. the Christians. Another way of seeing it (in the plural form) is the antagonistic relationship between the two parties. The Christians and pagans were ______________ (enemies of faith).