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IS CHRISTIANITY A VIOLENT RELIGION?
The Catholic Inquisitions
According to History.com:
The Inquisition was a powerful office set up within the Catholic Church to root out and punish heresy throughout Europe and the Americas.
They began in the 12th century and continued for hundreds of years. They were known for their torture and executions - some 32,000 executions in 200 years or so. The Inquisition has its origins in the early organized persecution of non-Catholic Christian religions in Europe, including heretics in southern France called Catharists. These efforts continued into the 14th Century.
Those who confessed to heresy received a punishment ranging from a pilgrimage to a whipping. Those accused of heresy were forced to testify. If the heretic did not confess he was tortured and executed. Often those who were punished were falsely accused.
Joan of Arc, burned at the stake in 1431, is the most famous victim of the mass arrests, tortures, and executions of an organization known as the Knights Templar.
The Inquisitions came to the Americas in 1570 as Spain expanded here. According to History:
By the mid-1600s the Inquisition and Catholic dominance had become such an oppressive fact of daily life in Spanish territories that Protestants avoided those places altogether.
End of the Spanish Inquisition
In 1808, Napoleon conquered Spain and ordered the Inquisition there to be abolished. After Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, Ferdinand VII worked to reinstate the Inquisition but was ultimately prevented by the French government, which helped Ferdinand overcome a fierce rebellion. Part of the agreement with France was to dismantle the Inquisition, which was defunct by 1834. The last person to be executed by the Inquisition was Cayetano Ripoll, a Spanish schoolmaster hanged for heresy in 1826 (History).
Do the Crusades and the Catholic Inquisitions Prove that Christianity is a Violent Religion?
Many point to these two horrific events in history as proof that Christianity is a violent religion. Some refer to more recent occurrences such as racism in the 1960s and bombings of abortion clinics in the 1980s and 90s as proof of Christianity's violent nature. Matt Walsh writes (he Blaze.com, It's Time to Stop Pretending All Religions Are Equal, March 22, 2016):
We are certain a terrorist attack was carried out by Muslims the moment the bomb explodes. Shouldn't that tell you something? There is no Christian terrorism epidemic...On the extraordinarily rare occasion that a Christian launches a lethal attack against a civilian target in the name of his faith, it's almost always against something like an abortion clinic. And even then, it almost never happens. The last one was months ago, and the dude was psychotic, not religious.
Still, if you count him, that makes about one attack every decade or so, usually with no causalities, carried out against a facility that executes children. Compare that with the endless stream of massive assaults waged in the name of Islam against entirely random and innocent civilians sitting in restaurants or waiting in lines at airports or subway stations.
(Continued on Page 3).
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