The Early Church – Chapter 4 (Shaping Babylon and the Heretic Hunters)

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Here is the result of all the false things the Roman Empire created. Now no one knows what is true or not so we have the fights, the killings and the arguments over disagreements. As much as we say we are doing it out of love… I bet these people had the same idea. They were burning heretics because of “LOVE”. This is the age we still live in.

Shaping Babylon and the Heretic Hunters

In 1480, Isabella and Ferdinand, as a monarchal/Church alliance, instituted the Spanish Inquisition. (Isabella’s daughter was Catherine of Aragon, who is known in history as the first wife of Henry VIII of England and mother of Mary I –bloody Mary). The Inquisition was aimed mostly at Jews and Muslims who claimed to have converted to Christianity but were suspected of practicing their faiths secretly. However, many of these were in fact genuine conversions.

In 1492, all Jews in Spain who refused to convert to Christianity were given six months notice whereupon they were expelled by royal edict. Other less serious allegations saw people tortured or kept in damp cells for months and sometimes years without disclosure of either their crime or the name of their accuser. Ferdinand and Isabella were given the title “the Catholic” by the Pope, in recognition of their role in “purifying the faith”.
Hereafter, Isabella was called “Isabella the Catholic”.

Author Dave Hunt in his book A Woman Rides the Beast writes “more Christians and Jews have been slaughtered at the hands of those obeying Papal instructions than by both Islam and the entire early Roman Empire”. Will Durant, author of The story of Civilization, writes: “Roman Catholicism became the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen … Innocent III murdered far more Christians in one afternoon … than any Roman emperor did in his entire reign.”
Roman Catholic apologists today try to absolve their church by claiming the Inquisition was the work of the State. However it was the Popes themselves who invented the inquisition.
Even Dollinger, a leading Catholic professor of Church History, writes “… both the initiation and the carrying out of this new principle [the Inquisition] must be ascribed to the popes alone”.
Of eighty popes succeeding the thirteenth century, not one disapproved of the theology or methods of the Inquisitions.

Inquisitions toward Christians and Jews particularly was not confined to a point in history.
The Papacy held Europe in the grip of both the Medieval and Spanish inquisitions until its final suppression in 1809. As late as 1808 when Napoleon conquered Spain, his Colonel Lemanouski reported upon his arrival at the Madrid monastery, that the Dominicans denied existence of any torture chambers. However, under the floors were found full chambers with naked prisoners, all insane. The French troops, use to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the site and blew the monastery up.

According to R.W. Thompson in The Papacy and Civil Power (pg82), Canon Llorente, who was secretary to the inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and who had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated the number of condemned in Spain alone exceeded 3 million with about 300,000 burned at the stake.

The legacy of the Papal reign may well be drunk with the blood of martyred saints.

For a synopsis of persecutions inflicted upon Christians, largely by the Roman Catholic Church, during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, see Key developments leading up to the Reformation, and The Reformation.

Today (statistics with permission: Voice of the Martyrs)
The Barna Research Group states that almost 70 million Christians have paid with their lives for their faith since the Crucifixion of Christ. It may come as a surprise that sixty percent of that number, or over 40 million, were martyred in the 20th century alone.Traditionally, throughout the ages since the birth of the Church, the Christian faith remained in Western Europe and Eastern Orthodox locations. However, gradually since mans ability to travel through exploration etc the gospel has found its way to the uttermost parts of the world.

The shift of Evangelical growth from the Western World to the non-western World over the past few decades in particular has been significant. For example, in 1960, over 70% of all evangelicals lived in North America and Western Europe. By 1990, 70% of all Evangelicals lived in the non-western World and this number continues to grow at a staggering rate. (Source: Operation World).

Accordingly, during this latter period of the 20th century, there has been exponential growth of Evangelicals in places such as Latin America, sub-Sahara Africa and Asia. Not surprisingly, these are the same areas of the world where Christians are experiencing discrimination, harassment and persecution as a result of anti-Christian regimes and political policies. It was estimated at the beginning of the 20th century 34,400 Christians were killed annually (died directly or indirectly as a result of their Christian witness). According to Regent University, by 1998 the number was close to 156,000. The same study estimated 164,000 were martyred in 1999, and 165,000 in the year 2000.

If current trends continue, it is estimated that by 2025, an average of 210,000 Christians will lose their lives as a result of their Christian identity annually. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights on April 8, 2002 reported:”We estimate that there are more than 200 million Christians in the world today who do not have full human rights as defined by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, simply because they are Christians. We believe that this is the largest group in the world without full human rights because of their beliefs,” – Johan Candelin, director of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission.
We know there are more than 200 million Christians presently undergoing persecution in today’s world, most of them in an area called the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 window signifies lines of latitude and longitude stretching from Morocco east to Indonesia.

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”
– The Lord Jesus Christ.

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About Omar Carter

Hey Guys, My name is Omar and I'm just here to love through Christ teachings. View all posts by Omar Carter

6 responses to “The Early Church – Chapter 4 (Shaping Babylon and the Heretic Hunters)

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