In the early part of the eleventh century, Christians led crusades to spread Christianity to the other religions of the world, mainly Muslims. However, the Crusades were not initially meant to be a religious war but instead to protect the Christians going on religious pilgrimages to Jerusalem from being persecuted by the Muslims who had also claimed Jerusalem as their holy city and destroyed the temple that was built in the city. In order to provide the protection that the Christians needed, Pope Urban II issued a plead for help. In his pleading, he said that “God commanded,” that the Christians go and fight the infidels and expel them from the holy of holies.
During this time that the Pope was calling for help to support the Christians, the peasants did not know how to read Latin which happened to be the only language that the Bible was written in. Therefore, because the church held so much power during these times, the people went to war, believing it was what God has told them to do so. This is where the problem about the Crusades comes about. The people believed that it was their job to protect the Christians in Jerusalem, and they did this through ways that no Christian should ever dream of doing.
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On their way to the holy city, the Crusaders who were easily identified by the crosses on their shields killed all the Jews who appeared to them along the way. Then, when they laid siege to Jerusalem, they killed all of its inhabitants. These actions of the early Christians are no different than the actions of today’s Muslims accept that the Christians did not know that what they were doing was not commanded nor allowed in the Bible, and their Muslim counterparts believed it was allowed and required. The minorities of Muslims who lead Jihads around the world are also killing thousands, and destroying the lives of millions around the world, just like the Crusaders did during the early Crusades. However, the Muslim Jihads the Christian Crusades are the same in all aspects.
In a much stretched out way, Christian crusades can be justified as to say that the Christians honestly did not know that what they were doing was wrong because of their inability to read Latin, and they were protecting their fellow brothers and sisters who were being attacked and killed by the Muslims. Also, over the years, Christians have realized their wrongs in the Crusades and the crusades no longer take place. However, Jihads still take place and are continuing the destroy lives on a regular basis in our world. But also, the Muslim Jihads could be justified in that the Muslims are just doing what they believe is right according to the teachings of their religion.
The Christian Crusades and the Muslim Jihads have their similarities and their differences. The Christian Crusades were led to spread their religion and to protect their fellow Christians and although their methods were unacceptable and destroyed the lives of many, they honestly did not know what they were doing was wrong. The Muslim Jihads are also acts of terrorism that destroy the lives of millions, however, unlike Christian Crusades, the Muslims believe it is their duty to lead these massacres. There really is no way to determine who is right and who is wrong, and how these massacres by two different religious groups differ because of how different the religions are and because of the beliefs of the people. Both were and are horrible times in history that the people of the world can and will get through.
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