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IS CHRISTIANITY A VIOLENT RELIGION?
December 1, 2019 v
Is Christianity a violent religion? Some say so. Some cite such events as the Crusades and the Catholic Inquisitions. Others point to the more recent attacks on abortion clinics and doctors as evidence. Do they have a case? Well, let us see.
The Crusades and the Catholic Inquisitions
The Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims started primarily to secure control of holy sites considered sacred by both groups. In all, eight major Crusade expeditions occurred between 1096 and 1291 (History). The crusades were bloody, violent and often ruthless conflicts. The Crusades ultimately resulted in defeat for Europeans and a Muslim victory, many argue that they successfully extended the reach of Christianity and Western civilization. The Roman Catholic Church experienced an increase in wealth, and the power of the Pope was elevated after the Crusades ended (History).
In 1095, Alexius sent envoys to Pope Urban II asking for mercenary troops from the West to help confront the Turkish threat. Alexius was the emperor of the Byzantine Empire, of which Christianity was the official religion. Byzantium had lost considerable territory to the invading Seljuk Turks whose official religion was Islam (The Middle Ages). Two years before Muhammad's death (630 a.d.), the Muslims launched their sometimes brutal crusades against both polytheists and Christians. In 638, they conquered and annexed Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines, and controlled Palestine by 641. In 1095, in the first crusade and the crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099. James M. Arlandson writes, "So it is only after all of the Islamic aggressive invasions that western Christendom launches its first Crusades" (Timeline of the Islamic Crusades, "The Truth about Islamic Imperialism." The Muslim crusades lasted over 1000 years (630-1638). The Christian Crusades did not start until 1095, 465 years after the Muslim Crusades began. So, Christians are not to blame for the Crusades! Rather, their purpose was to stop the violence being purpetrated by the Muslims.
(Continued on page 2).
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