[The Jews] are inveterate murderers, destroyers, men possessed by the devil... debauchery and drunkenness have given them the manners of pigs and lusty goats. They know only one thing, to satisfy their gullets, get drunk, to kill and maim one another. They murder their offspring and immolate them to the devil ...The Jewish disease must be guarded against. The Christian's duty is to hate the Jews.Link
-- St. John Chrysostom, Church Father, Saint, 4th-5th century C.E.
LinkThe Jews are the most worthless of all men. They are perfidious murderers of Christ. The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. God always hated the Jews. It is incumbent upon all Christians to hate the Jews.
-- St. John Chrysostom, Church Father, Saint, 4th-5th century C.E.
St. Justin Martyr (2nd century) stated that the Jews should "rightly suffer," for they had "slain the Just One.""Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human..."
-- Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, 12th century"The Jews, against whom the blood of Jesus Christ calls out, although they ought not to be killed . . . yet as wanderers ought they remain upon the earth..."
-- Pope Innocent III, 13th century
[Saint] Thomas Aquinas, in the treatise De regimine Judaeorum ad Ducissam Brabantae, made it acceptable for popes and kings to dispose of property belonging to the Jews.Link
The Vatican supposedly apologised to the Jews for its share in Christianity's crimes against them. Yet the apology was mere words, because St Chrysostom is still regarded a Saint as are others.
Anti-Semitism is rooted in Christianity. Though there was occasional strife between various ethnic groups (not restricted to Jews) in the ancient world - often political, sometimes religious - the ancient Greeks and Romans did not harbour hatred peculiarly directed at Jews, like Christians (and Islam) do. By placing the blame for the death of Christianity's central character Jesus on the Jews, blind Christian enmity towards them, which was to last centuries, was instilled.
The seeds of Christian hatred for Jews begins from the readings of the New Testament and the persecutions began when the Church first held power to enforce its dogmas. The Biblical Paul, for example, put the blame of Jesus's death entirely on the Jews. In the first epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians (2:14-15), it says,Link"the Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets...."Also the gospel of John, makes it clear that the Jews represent an enemy (and John 8:44 puts the devil as the father of the Jews). Many prominent priests used Paul's epistles and the gospels as Biblical justification for Jewish persecution.
Historical Christianity makes it clear that the Jews formed an essential part of early Christian theology. Examples include the Letter of Barnabas (circa 130), Justin the Martyr's "Dialogue with the Jew Trypho" (circa 160), Tertullian's Treatise against the Jews (circa 200), Origen's work Against Celsus (circa 250). The sermons by John Chrysostom in 387, especially, show an indigence against the Jews.
Origen had written,"The blood of Jesus falls not only on the Jews of that time, but on all generations of Jews up to the end of the world."John Chrysostom wrote,"The Synagogue is a brothel, a hiding place for unclean beasts.... Never has any prayed to God.... They are possessed by demons."[Cornwell, pp. 24-25]
Ed Babinsky, author of Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists:
Christian antisemitism has been the cause of much Jewish suffering over the past 1900 years. And, like the modern day disavowal of the importance of pro-slavery Biblical passages, most of today's Christians disavow the importance of anti-Jewish New Testament passages, which is certainly an improvement over the past. Still, neither the antisemitic passages, nor the pro-slavery passages, have been erased from the Bible, and some people continue to find such passages "divinely inspired.""Nearly every book in the New Testament expresses slander and contempt for Jews. Most Christians have maintained that the New Testament is not anti-Jewish but that antisemitism arose as a result of the misunderstanding of it. Examination of the contents of the New Testament does not support this claim."
-- Lilliam C. Freudmann, author of "Antisemitism in the New Testament"
THE story of the crimes of Christianity against the people from whom it is derived, and to whom it owes its God and Savior, is one which lasts from the time when it first obtained civil power until the present day.Link
Archdeacon Jortin remarks that"The account of the Jews who have been plundered, sent naked into banishment, starved, tortured, left to perish in prisons, hanged and burnt by Christians, would fill many volumes."...
The enmity of Jews and Christians doubtless dates from the time when the chosen people first denied the Messiahship and resurrection of Jesus, and the Christians departed from the Jewish law. It was not, however, until the time of Constantine that Christians could make their opponents feel the terrors of the sword.
-- Persecution of the Jews, Chapter 8 of Crimes of Christianity by G W Foote an J M Wheeler
Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, started persecutions of Jews that his Christian successors would continue to carry out and expand upon:
When Christianity became officially accepted for the state in the 4th century, the Christians began to act against the Jews. Constantine imposed heavy penalties on anyone who visited a pagan temple or converted to Judaism. Mixed marriages between Jews and Christians were punished by death.Link
Link"Under the reign of Constantine, the Jews became the subjects of their revolted children, nor was it long before they experienced the bitterness of domestic tyranny. The civil immunities which had been granted, or conferred, by [pagan Emperor] Severus, were gradually repealed by the Christian princes; and a rash tumult, excited by the Jews of Palestine, seemed to justify the lucrative models of oppression, which were invented by the bishops and eunuchs of the court of Constantius [II]."Contrast the behavior of the Christian princes Constantine and Constantius [II] with that of their successor, the Pagan Julian:"In a public epistle to the nation or community of Jews, dispersed through the provinces, he pities their misfortunes, condemns their oppressors, praises their constancy, declares himself their gracious protector, and expresses a pious hope that, after his return from the Persian war, he may be permitted to pay his grateful vows to the Almighty in his holy city of Jerusalem."-- Persecution of the Jews, Chapter 8 of Crimes of Christianity by G W Foote an J M Wheeler
In the Codex Theodosianus of Theodosis II (408-450), it forbade Jews to hold any public office. It first came from [Christian Roman Emperor] Justinian who legalized the burning and pillaging of Jewish synagogues by Christian bishops and monks (often canonized later).Link
414 CE witnessed the first large-scale organised extermination of Jews.
The Greek city of Alexandria, Egypt, did not remain unaffected:
The pagan Orestes was the Roman prefect of Alexandria and in charge of the province. In 415 CE, he protested against Saint Cyril's order to expel all Jews from the city. St. Cyril's mob of monks murdered Orestes, thereby also securing authority over the province.
Having purged the official Church of Alexandria of its dissenting minority, (Saint) Cyril next targeted the Jews. This numerous community, he decided, should be expelled from the city and the privileges which they had enjoyed for seven hundred years, since the time of Alexander the Great, rescinded.Link"Without any legal sentence, without any royal mandate, the patriarch, at the dawn of day, led a seditious multitude to the attack of the synagogues. Unarmed and unprepared, the Jews were incapable of resistance; their houses of prayer were levelled with the ground, and the episcopal warrior, after rewarding his troops with the plunder of their goods, expelled from the city the remnant of the unbelieving nation."
– Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapter 47)
4th, 5th centuries Already in the 4th and 5th centuries synagogues were burned by Christians. Number of Jews slain unknown.Link
In the middle of the fourth century the first synagogue was destroyed on command of bishop Innocentius of Dertona in Northern Italy. The first synagogue known to have been burned down was near the river Euphrat, on command of the bishop of Kallinikon in the year 388. [DA450]
694 17. Council of Toledo: Jews were enslaved, their property confiscated, and their children forcibly baptized. [DA454]
1010 The Bishop of Limoges (France) had the cities' Jews, who would not convert to Christianity, expelled or killed. [DA453]
1096 First Crusade: Thousands of Jews slaughtered, maybe 12.000 total. Places: Worms 5/18/1096, Mainz 5/27/1096 (1100 persons), Cologne, Neuss, Altenahr, Wevelinghoven, Xanten, Moers, Dortmund, Kerpen, Trier, Metz, Regensburg, Prag and others (All locations Germany except Metz/France, Prag/Czech) [EJ]
1147 Second Crusade: Several hundred Jews were slain in Ham, Sully, Carentan, and Rameru (all locations in France). [WW57]
1189/90 Third Crusade: English Jewish communities sacked. [DO40]
1235, Fulda/Germany: 34 Jewish men and women slain. [DO41]
1257, 1267: Jewish communities of London, Canterbury, Northampton, Lincoln, Cambridge, and others exterminated. [DO41]
1290 Bohemia (Poland) allegedly 10,000 Jews killed. [DO41]
1337 Starting in Deggendorf/Germany a Jew-killing craze reaches 51 towns in Bavaria, Austria, Poland. [DO41]
1348 All Jews of Basel/Switzerland and Strasbourg/France (two thousand) burned. [DO41]
1349 In more than 350 towns in Germany all Jews murdered, mostly burned alive (in this one year more Jews were killed than Christians in 200 years of ancient Roman persecution of Christians). [DO42]
1389 In Prag 3,000 Jews were slaughtered. [DO42]
1391 Seville's Jews killed (Archbishop Martinez leading). 4,000 were slain, 25,000 sold as slaves. [DA454] Their identification was made easy by the brightly colored "badges of shame" that all Jews above the age of ten had been forced to wear.
1492 In the year Columbus set sail to conquer a New World, more than 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain, many died on their way: 6/30/1492. [MM470-476]
1648 Chmielnitzki massacres: In Poland about 200,000 Jews were slain. [DO43]
...this goes on and on, century after century, right into the kilns of Auschwitz.
[DA] K.Deschner, Abermals krähte der Hahn, Stuttgart 1962.
[DO] K.Deschner, Opus Diaboli, Reinbek 1987.
[EJ] S.Eidelberg, The Jews and the Crusaders, Madison 1977.
[MM] M.Margolis, A.Marx, A History of the Jewish People.
[WW] H.Wollschläger: Die bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem, Zürich 1973.
Numerous professors of Russian history can be brought forth to testify that the Church not only supported the autocratic government which ruled imperial Russia from beginning to end but provided a religious rationale for it also. Not to obey the czar was made a sin. Here is Professor Richard Pipes who writes that "students of the Orthodox faith in all primary and secondary schools were required to take courses in religion, usually taught by clergymen." He notes, in connection with this that the Church "condemned disobedience to [the czar] as a sin."From: Holocaust in Christian RussiaAnother historian: "The Church repaid her protectors by exercising all her great influence to support and sanction the Russian monarchy as the representative of God on earth." Another takes note of "the solicitude of the church hierarchy for the strengthening of absolutism." Still another points out that "the teaching of the Orthodox Church was inherently favorable to autocracy."Czar Alexander III, upon succeeding to the throne, heard, as did other czars, "the voice of God" ordering autocratic rule. Czars were elevated to quasi-divine status. According to the Orthodox Church, Russian rulers were "viceroys of God on earth." Under Nicholas I, the catechism used in schools and churches taught that God commands subjects "to obey from the inmost recess of the heart every authority, and particularly the Emperor." Question: "What example confirms this doctrine?" Response: "The example of Jesus Christ himself, who lived and died in allegiance to the Emperor of Rome, and especially submitted to the judgment which condemned him to death."
Russia's pogroms were little different from the persecutions perpetrated by Christians in the crusades and throughout the middle ages. When Moscow was cleansed of its Jews in 1891, the Tsar, in a position of religious as well as political authority stated:
"But we must never forget that the Jews have crucified our Master [Jesus] and have shed His precious blood."
-- Czar Alexander III
Throughout the period of Tsarist Russia, pogroms would occur. Indoctrinated as people were by their Churches into blaming Jews for the death of Jesus, the blind and extreme intolerance and hatred directed towards Jews was no more unexpected than that in Roman Catholic and Protestant countries.
Persecutions in Ukraine resulted in the deaths of at least tens of thousands of Jews.
The 1917 Russian Revolution brought with it a spate of pogroms. In the Russian Civil War that followed, between 70,000-250,000 were murdered in what were known as the Petlyura Pogroms.
Anti-Semitism was rife in imperial Russia, and its victims were subjected to flagrant abuse and discrimination. Jews were assessed special taxes not demanded from others. Attempts were made to forcefully convert them. Jewish children were baptized against their parents wishes. Yehuda Bauer, who holds a professorship in Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, reports that under Czar Nicholas I JewishFrom: Holocaust in Christian Russia, by Dr. Michael Hakeem at Freethought Today."children younger than twelve were forcibly taken [kidnapped] from their homes and sent to strict schools, where most of those who survived--many did not--were forced to abandon their Jewishness."Quotas permitted only an insignificant proportion to attend educational institutions at all levels. They were confined to certain areas. Their occupational choices were restricted. They could not employ Christians except with the permission of the police. They were kept out of the professions. They were not allowed to acquire real estate except in the Pale of Settlement (Jewish quarters). They could not own agrarian land or live in rural areas.
When Czarist Russia is mentioned, "pogroms" is triggered in the mind. One historian describes what they are: "A pogrom consisted of mobs thronging into Jewish parts of town breaking into houses and shops, looting, beating, raping, burning and killing inhabitants." After Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, waves of some of the worst pogroms occurred over a period of several years, spreading to two hundred cities, though the assassin was not Jewish. In the early 1900's there were outbreaks of barbaric pogroms. The New Encyclopedia Britannica is authority for the claim that "the Church and the tsarist authorities went so far as to condone and even encourage some pogroms against the Jews."
This Russian forgery was a book of anti-Semitic propaganda which tried to present Jews as conspiring to dominate the world.
The Protocols was a work that purported to be a transcription of plans concocted at an 1897 Zionist conclave. At this secret meeting, high ranking Jewish officials, the "Elders of Zion", came up with 24 Protocols which were designed to enslave the Christian world through various sinister means.Link
If The Protocols appeared outlandish, it may have been because they were a Russian forgery plagiarized from a 1869 German novel which, itself, was plagiarized from a 1864 French political satire. The original French work, entitled Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavelli et Montesquieu, was intended by its author; journalist Maurice Joly, to be a savage indictment of Napoleon III. The German novel, To Sedan by Herman Goedsche, replaced Joly's world domination plan of Napoleon III with one schemed by a group of Jews in Prague. Eventually, Czarist agent, Sergei Nilius incorporated this work into his 1905 effort entitled The Great in the Small. Nilius' work was designed to deflect the misery of Nicholas II's policies onto a scapegoat: the Jews of Russia. This work was, in turn, further elaborated on in 1917 by a group of Czarist officers living in Berlin and re-titled The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
Christians managed to turn a harmless novella about Napolean into another nail to crucify Jews with. Though The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was exposed as a forgery in 1921, it obviously appealed to the Christian imagination. In 1922, the Jewish foreign minister of the Weimar Republic in Germany was murdered because the assassins thought he was an "Elder of Zion". In Nazi Germany too, the forgery would get wide circulation and be endorsed as factual by Hitler and the Churches, keeping Christian anti-Semitic sentiment going strong. The Protocols are still wrongly taken to be factual by some, whilst many racist Christian factions continue most eagerly to present and promote it as such. See also:
- Chapter VIII - Persecution of the Jews by Crimes of Christianity G W Foote and J M Wheeler.
- Section on Jews on the Victims of the Christian Faith page at The Christian Heritage.
- Holocaust in Christian Russia, Freethought Today
- The Crusades also regularly massacred Jews
- Martin Luther, the anti-Semite whose book On the Jews and their Lies inspired the Nazis