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  • Christian History 1400 to 1499


    FEZ (Morocco) Riots broke out after Sultan Abd al-Hagg asked the Jews of Fez for financial help and appointed Harun (a local Jew) to be his prime minster. During the riots the Sultan and many of the city's Jews were killed. [72] (39)


    March 14, CORDOVA (Spain) - First massacre of New Christians (Marranos or Conversos). This was partly due to the populace's jealousy of the New Christians holding many important positions in the court and society. After the massacre, a decree was issued prohibiting them from living in Cordova. This process of jealousy, accusations, massacre and decree led to the accusations of heresy and, finally, to the Inquisition. [73] (40)


    May 16, SEGOVIA (Spain) - Minister Pacheco used an attack he organized against "New Christians" as a diversion in an attempt to capture the citadel of Segovia (and perhaps the King). Although the plot was discovered in time, the Marranos were attacked anyway by an organized mob. Men, woman and children were murdered. [73] (40)


    March 23, SIMON OF TRENT (Italy) - One of the more notorious blood libels. A Franciscan monk, Bernardinus of Feltre, came to Trent and began preaching Lent sermons against the Jews. A week before Easter a boy by the name of Simon drowned in the river Adige. The monk charged the Jews with using the body for its blood. The body washed up a few days later near the house of a Jew who brought it to the Bishop Honderbach. 17 Jews were tortured for over two weeks. Some confessed while being tortured and 6 Jews were burned. Two more were strangled. A temporary hiatus was called by Pope Sixtus IV, but after five years the trial was reopened and 5 more Jews were executed. The papal inquest agreed with the trial, Simon was beatified, and all Jews were expelled for 300 years. The trial served as the basis for anti-Semitic writings for hundreds of years. Only in 1965 was Simon debeatified. [73] (40)


    November 1, POPE SIXTUS IV (Spain) - At the request of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella, he issued a Bull empowering them to establish an inquisitional tribunal to investigate charges of heresy. This became known as the Spanish Inquisition. This tribunal was established ostensibly to root out "backsliding" of those Jews who had converted, sometimes under duress, to Christianity. Often these Jews - known as New Christians or Conversos - succeeded in obtaining high social and political positions which aroused the jealousy on the part of "old Christians". Thus, although officially religious in nature, the inquisition became a political tool. Specific signs such as no fires on the Sabbath, no eating of pork, washing hands before eating, turning the face towards the wall when dying, etc., were given to root out those who may have continued to secretly practice Judaism (who became known as Marranos). The Spanish inquisition - which spread to all Spanish and later Portuguese (1536) colonies and possessions - was finally disbanded on July 15, 1834. [73] (40)


    Witches - from the beginning of Christianity to 1484 probably more than several thousand. *in the era of witch hunting (1484-1750) according to modern scholars several hundred thousand (about 80% female) burned at the stake or hanged. [WV] (41) Malleus Maleficarum Pope Innocent VIII's infamous Witch Bull of 1484, launched several centuries of persecution of so-called witches. Several hundred thousand women, children and men (about 20%) were tortured and burned at the stake or hanged. The Malleus Maleficarum (the Witches Hammer or Handbook of the Inquisitors), available online here as a pdf - http://www.burningcross.net/crusades...leficarum.pdf], written by two Dominican monks, was perhaps responsible for more widespread bloodshed than any other publication (Christian or otherwise). The policy of torturing, burning and hanging of supposed heretics has been the church's policy for centuries, whenever they could get away with it. Between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries about a half a million people were executed for witchcraft, most of them women. (42)


    December 17, LA GUARDIA BLOOD LIBEL (Spain) - Six conversos and two Jews were accused of killing a child for ritual purposes. Although no body was ever found, they were judged guilty on November 14, 1491, of host desecration and the taking of the child's heart of use in sorcery by a special inquisition. They were all burned at the stake in the town of Avila. The child became a saint known as the "Child of La Guardia". Books and plays were written and embellished about him as recently as 1943. [74] (43)