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  • Christian History 1600 to 1699


    January 15, SANTA ENGRACIA (Lisbon, Portugal) - Simon dias Solis, a young New Christian seen near the local church (on his way to a rendezvous with a young woman) was arrested for allegedly stealing a silver vessel from the church. After his hands were cut off, he was dragged through the streets and then burned. The real culprit, a common (Christian) criminal, admitted to the crime one year later. As a result, Solis' brother, a friar, fled to Amsterdam and reconverted to Judaism. [86] (71) March 14, PRZEMYSL (Poland) - Moses the Braider, a Jewish merchant, was accused of conspiring to desecrate the host and was burned alive. [86] (71)


    July 4, MADRID (Spain) - Two years after Miguel Rodregues was discovered holding Jewish rites and accused of destroying a crucifix, a great Auto da Fe was held in the presence of the King, Queen, and foreign ambassadors. Rodregues, his wife Isabel, and five others were burned alive. Their house was razed and a convent called La Paciencia was built on the site. [86] (71)


    In average, two thirds of the native population was killed by colonists who imported a small pox before the violence began. The governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony wrote in 1634, “for the natives, they are near all dead of the smallpox, so as the Lord hath cleared our title to what we possess." For the Christians, it was a “great sign” of the “marvelous goodness and providence of God.”

    In Hispaniola alone, the native population – a rather harmless and happy people living on an island of abundant natural resources (a literal paradise) – soon mourned 50,000 dead. Surviving Indians fell victim to rape, murder, slavery and Spanish raids.

    As one of the culprits wrote, "So many Indians died that they could not be counted, all through the land the Indians lay dead everywhere. The stench was very great and pestiferous."

    An Indian chief named Hatuey was captured while fleeing with his people. He was burned alive, but as they were tying him to the stake, a Franciscan friar urged him to take Jesus into his heart so that his soul might go to heaven. Hatuey replied that if heaven was where the Christians went, he would rather go to hell.

    What happened to his people was described by an eyewitness as such: "The Spaniards found pleasure in inventing all kinds of odd cruelties... They built a long gibbet, long enough for the toes to touch the ground to prevent strangling, and hanged thirteen [natives] at a time in honor of Christ Our Saviour and the twelve Apostles... then, straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive."

    And on another occasion:
    "The Spaniards cut off the arm of one, the leg or hip of another, and from some their heads at one stroke, like butchers cutting up beef and mutton for market. Six hundred, including the cacique, were thus slain like brute beasts...Vasco [de Balboa] ordered forty of them to be torn to pieces by dogs."