The Crusades

A series of war in the name of religion was called upon by the popes, the first one occurring in 1096 AD. These series of wars we named “The Crusades.”  In the medieval period, the Christians of Western Europe waged a war against the Muslims to capture the Holy Land in the eastern Mediterranean and Jerusalem. The Christians were not tolerant of the Islamic people. They believed that Prophet Mohammed was against and contradictory to the beliefs of the Christians. They wanted to check the spread of Islam and recapture their territories taken over by Muslims. The Christians were also afraid that the ideology of Islam could overrun Christian ideology.

crusades

The First Crusade

Pope Urban II was the first Pope to wage the war. He believed that killing people who are not Christians is not a sin. In fact, he believed that if they fought for their religion in the Holy Land, they will be forgiven for all their sins.

Different Historians believe different things but it is said that the first crusade was fought to check and overpower the Seljuq Turks. The Seljuq Turks had accepted Islam and were moving Westwards and conquering territories. At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II uplifted the idea of Crusade. Emperor of Byzantine had raised this issue earlier. Therefore, the Crusaders along with the Byzantine military forces carried out the protest.

Some people believe that Pope Urban II waged a Crusade to bring together the Eastern and the Western Christian who had been separated and become the head of the Church.

In the first clash, the Christians were defeated by the Turks. After this, another set of Crusaders emerged who marched forward and conquered territories.

The Following Crusades

The Crusaders had conquered too many territories too soon. The Islamists on realizing what had happened started their own holy war against the Christians, named Jihad. Eventually, the Christians were defeated in their hands. The war kept happening until a peace treaty was signed to re-establish the city of Jerusalem and this ended the third crusade. But there were more to come.

Pope Innocent III called again for a crusade in 1198. There were many crusades in the 13th century bringing with them their devastating effects. After the death of Pope Innocent III, the peace treaty of Jerusalem ended and the Muslims regained control.

The End

A new dynasty of Mamluks emerged who fought against all forces. Eventually, the Crusades ended bringing in with them a huge amount of destruction. People were thrown away from their own land. Innocent people were made to die in the hands of the invaders and nothing good came in hand. By the 16th century, the Crusades completely disappeared. People became disinterested in this massive destruction and backed out.

Image Courtesy: strangenotions.com, The Daily Beast

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