Riot of Silversmiths in Ephesus was one of the biggest aggression ever took place to early Christians leaded by Apostle Paul in Ephesus. Silversmiths crafting in Ephesus used to make good profits. Their main customer base were the tourists who visited the legendary Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. They were buying small idols or shrines of Artemis \ Diana as souvenirs after their visit to Artemis Temple.
There was an influential and wealthy guild leader of silversmiths in Ephesus named Demetrius. Demetrius was very disturbed with the arrival of Apostle Paul to Ephesus. Paul was famous for converting masses of people into Christianity and people who left their old pagan religion stopped buying merchandise from silversmiths like Demetrius.
People in Ephesus who recently became Christians gathered in the Agora of Ephesus and burned books of witchcraft. These books of witchcraft were very valuable and Demetrius was worried that his business would be the next.
Demetrius started gathering people around the Agora of Ephesus giving patriotic and religious speeches against the Christians and especially against Apostle Paul. Demetrius said;
Moreover, ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with handsActs 19:26
Upon hearing these words people started to shout ”Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”. City was in turmoil now. An angry mob of pagan patriots and greedy silversmiths were looking for Christians.
They caught Gaius and Aristarchus who were companions of Apostle Paul and took them to the Ephesus Grand Theater. Apostle Paul was not let in the theater by the Roman guards. Then Roman leaders of Ephesus came into the theater to stop the lynching which was about to begin.