The western world fears the terror of the Islamic State, a extremist Islamist group operating out of Syria and Iraq. Their goal is to build a world wide Islamic theocracy under the absolute rule of Sharia, the Islamic law. Many Americans and Europeans feel under siege and start to have a negative view on Muslims and Islam. However the idea of a theocratic empire is not new. Religious idiots have ruled the world in the name of Christianity and Islam long before the rise of IS. In this socialist article we tell of the mighty empires of Christianity and how their terrorized the people of the world for almost 2000 years!
Christianity is seen as a peaceful religion by most people in the western world. A religion based on forgiveness and kindness. Since 1968, this is the only way Christianity can keep itself alive, by playing on kindness and love. But before the great social revolution, it was not so kind or lovely. In many parts of the world, Christianity shows its true colors, which have been forgotten or lost to most Europeans and Americans. In Africa, most Christian nations still enforce Biblical dogma and hatred of homosexuals. It is considered a crime to love a person of the same sex in Christian majority nations like; Liberia, South Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan!
Europe was the first continent to come under Christian dominance in 391 AD. After it took control over the Roman Empire, Christians banned all other religions. Emperor Theodosius I used his imperial power to close the old temples of Jupiter and ordered his henchman, to kill anyone who followed the old pagan gods. By 400 AD all temples of the ancient Roman and Greek religions were closed or turned into churches. In Egypt, the cult of Isis was kept alive for another 50 years, until the Byzantine Romans found the last sanctuary at the island of Philae. After killing the priests and priestess, the Byzantines turned the temple into a Christian Church!
With the splitting of the Roman Empire in a western and eastern empire, Christianity was divided as well. The western church became known as the Roman Catholic Church while in the east, the Greek speaking empire build the religion of Byzantine Orthodoxy, later known as the Greek Orthodox Church. The Western Roman Empire collapsed under Barbaric invasions in 476 AD. Emperor Romulus Augustus abdicate the throne on 4 September 476 as Scirii troops took Ravenna ( capital ). With his abdication the Western Roman Empire ceased to exists. In the east, Emperor Zeno accepted the imperial insignia, but choose not to intervene in western affairs. Rome and Italy became a kingdom under Flavius Odoacer!
By now most Barbaric forces had converted to Christianity. Arianism was a poplar Christian believe among them and a rival to Roman Catholicism. The religion is named after Arius, who lived in Alexandria during the days when Rome would prosecute Christians, for their rejection of the imperial cult and gods. In contrast to Catholicism and later Protestantism, Arianism is a nontrinitarian belief that asserts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, created by God the Father, distinct from the Father and therefore subordinate to the Father!
At the dawn of the 6th century AD, Christianity ruled not only in the east through the Eastern Roman Empire, but also through the many Barbaric kingdoms in Europe. The Ostrogothic Kingdom under Theoderic the Great, tried to assimilate the Catholic Romans into their Arian ”Barbaric” empire. But the dogmatic Romans refused to follow the traditions of their ”Barbaric” masters. In the end the difference between Arianism and Catholicism led to conflicts, which resulted in the collapse of the Ostrogothic Kingdom in 553 AD!
A few years later, Italy became part of the Lombards. This Germanic people were also Arian Christians and ruled for almost 100 years. However like the Ostrogoths, they failed to produce a strong stable dynasty. The Roman Catholic Church grew in influence and power. By the 7th century it had converted most Germanic kings in Europe. As a dogmatic totalitarian institution, the Catholic Church started a ruthless campaign to remove Arianism and the last remnants of Paganism. The Dark Ages were about to begin, a time of human backwardness and religious extremism!
In 962 AD, Otto the Great founded a new Roman Empire based on Germanic culture and tradition with Roman Catholicism as state religion. The new state was named; Holy Roman Empire, although the name itself was not used until the 13th century. The Byzantine ( Eastern Roman ) Empire and their Greek Orthodox Church had kept in contact with the Roman Catholic Church. But their sectarianism soon led to the East–West Schism in 1053, when all Catholic churches in the east were closed under orders of the Patriarch of Constantinople. In response, the Catholics closed all Orthodox churches in Italy!
It comes to no surprise, that there was zero tolerance for those who rejected the dogmatic believes of both the Catholic Church in the west and the Orthodox Church in the east. Religious freedom was competently unknown to the Christians, as they dogmatic believed their religion was ”pure good” and the rest was ”pure evil”. This religious absolutism was new to the world. Before the banning of Paganism in 391 AD, the Roman Empire tolerated different religions. As long as these none-Roman religions respected the laws of Rome and agreed on paying taxes, they would be left in peace!
Christians were the first big group who rejected Roman authority. The religion is based on the character of Jesus, a Jew from ”Nazareth” a town not mentioned in any none-Christian stories. Therefore it is to assume that there was no ancient town, until Christianity created it for their founding myth. Current day Nazareth in northern Israel, was constructed around 1620 by the Catholic Church, who bought the land from the Ottoman Turks!
Because Christians rejected the Roman emperors and their imperial cult, they were hunted down and killed. However the brutality of the Romans failed to stop the growth of the popular ”people’s” religion. Eventually it converted the top of Roman society and Emperor; Constantine the Great, made Christianity legal in February 313 AD. He himself became a Christian, just before is death at the age of 65. Emperor Julian tried to restore Roman Paganism in 362 AD and called for religious freedom. This he did not due out of love for Christianity, but because he hoped it would split the Christians apart in different sectarian sects. Before it became a state-religion, Christianity was deeply divided. Emperor Julian hoped religious sectarianism would destroy the religion of Jesus Christ, it did not!!
After the death of Julian, weak emperors ruled until in 391 AD, Theodosius ended the tolerance era and banning anything that was not Christian. From here on until the coming of secularism in the 19th century, Christianity would not only attempt to control history and empire, it also wanted to control the minds of people. It succeed in this for almost 1500 years. During the medieval period, kings and emperors in Europe could not rule win out complete loyalty to Christianity. However there was a huge difference between saying and believing. Many uneducated peasants and workers believed the dogma’s of the church out of ignorance and fear. The upper class was more hypocritical and lived a lifestyle not inline with that of Jesus Christ. On the other hands, the Pope in Rome and his Cardinals were also living the good life!
In 1517 AD, Martin Luther a German friar, ecclesiastical reformer and theologian, rejected many dogma’s of the Roman Catholic Church. For the first time since the early Dark Ages, Catholicism was challenged by another interpretation of Christianity. One that was more sober and traditionalist, less elitist and far less symbolic. Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity, which became dominate in Northern Europe around the 16th century. Catholicism had lost Great Britain, Netherlands, Central Germany, Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltic nations!
The Byzantine Empire started to decline in the Dark Ages. In 632 AD, its middle eastern provinces were overrun by Arabic fighters from a new religion called; Islam. In 30 years, the Islamic fighters conquered all of Egypt, Syria, Persia and Northern Libya. Around 700 AD, the Umayyad Caliphate was the biggest empire since the Roman Empire. Its control stretched from South Iberia to far east Persia. Many people converted easy from Orthodox Christianity towards Islam as both religions are based on the same Abraham core ideas. Islam is a very straightforward idea, that demands total ”surrender” to God. There are very clear rules and how to think and live. Like Christianity it is intolerant of Paganism, but shows some tolerance towards Jews and Christians who wish to keep their old religion!
With the lose of their wealthy Egyptian province, the old; Eastern Roman Empire would never have the strength to conquer any new lands. It survived for another 700 years with only Greece and parts of what is modern day Turkey. The Ottoman Empire challenged the Byzantines for power and slowly swallowed them. In 100 years time the once mighty Roman Empire was reduced to the lands around Constantinople and the Greek island of Peloponnese. On 23 May 1453 after a 53 days siege, Ottoman Turks marched into the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos died during the final assault, ending the legacy of the Romans which started by Gaius Octavius ( Augustus ) in 27 BC!
In Central Europe, Lithuania was the last Pagan realm. In 1250, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogitia still held on to their Pagan believes, while most of Europe was under the absolute control of either Catholicism in the west and Orthodoxy in the east. For their rejection of Jesus Christ, the Grand Duchy faced many sectarian conflicts, as dogmatic Christians rejected anybody who stood against them. Because of their intolerance, many families decided to abandoned traditional Pagan rituals and embrace the Catholic faith. But not all choose Catholicism, Ruthenia choose for Orthodoxy as they were closer to the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Grand Principality of Moscow was established in 1285 as a Orthodox eastern nation. Russian Orthodoxy comes from Greek Orthodoxy around 830 AD, when Byzantine monks went north into the lands that became Russia. These monks converted many peasants to the Orthodox religion. By 988 AD, the Kievan Rus was turned and embraced a typical Slavic form of Orthodoxy, today called Russian or Eastern Orthodoxy. Old Pagan traditions and ideals were rejected and banned. Those who did not embraced the Christian way of life were hunted down and murdered!
Lithuania stood long against the growing new Religion of the Cross. But the cruel and extremist; Teutonic Order made sure the last bastion of Paganism would be turned. Like the Islamic State today in Syria and Iraq, the Teutonic Order was a religious militant group from Germany. Their goal was to spread Catholicism with the sword. Their knights and monks terrorized those who rejected Jesus Christ and burned many villages to the ground. After more then 100 years of terrorism, intimidation and murder, the Lithuanians surrendered to the Cross. In 1387, the nation was converted!
Biblical dogma ruled Europe. Anybody who tried to do science was told that the Bible was telling absolute truth and if they found evidence of the contrary, they were exuded or killed. Anything scientific had to be checked with Church officials and could not go against ”Biblical historical truth” as it was called back then. By the end of the medieval period, the Catholic Church allowed some classic thinking to resume. This led to the Renaissance, although nothing was allowed that would contradict ”Biblical historical truth”!
However by allowing limited free thinking, the Church unleashed powers that would start to outgrow their dogmatic rule. Humanism was build and its supporters started to question the legitimacy of the Christianity world view. The Pope in Rome tried to suppress humanist believes and forced many underground. But the Renaissance also gave the Catholic Church more creativity to build mighty monuments to its God and icon Jesus Christ!
Protestant Christians and Catholic Christians would fight a lot of wars. A war between Protestants and Catholics was the 80 year battle between Spain and the Netherlands. This war started in 1568 and lasted until 1648. It was fought mainly in the Netherlands between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Provinces. The Spanish were supported by the Catholics of the Holy Roman Empire ( Germans ) and the Dutch got support from Protestant England!
Colonialism was also a result of the Renaissance. In only three years the Catholic Spanish conquered the Aztec Empire in what is today Latin America. It also took the Mayan lands and moved toward the Inca Empire in Peru. In 1542 they took it and turned the whole Latin American continent under the totalitarian rule of the Cross. Millions were forced to abandon their Pagan religion and many were killed. Catholicism had taken more victims, in just a few years the whole Aztec, Mayan and Inca societies were gone. Forceful assimilated into the mighty Spanish Empire under the ”guide” of the Cross!
English and Dutch colonialists also build their homes in the new world. In 1664, the colony of New Amsterdam was seized by the British and renamed New York. In total 13 British colonies were build, which would transform into the United States of America in 1788. This new union of states was different as it did not enforced a Christian religion. The USA became one of the first nations win-out a state enforced religion. Although freedom of religion is supported by the American Constitution, in reality this did not meant tolerance of those who reject or followed a none-Christian religion. Even today, many Americans are feeling deep hostility towards Islam and those who reject religion. Atheists are even more hated then Muslims in the USA!
With the dawn of the 19th century, Christianity in Europe started to lose it absolute grip on people’s minds. Ideals such as atheism started to gain support and sciences proofed that ”Biblical historical truth” was not historic truth at all. The Bible was finally rejected as a book of history, although too many people still reject this fact. New ideals emerged and new technologies. Capitalism was born, which did not needed religion. Communism grew out of the opposition to capitalism, so Christianity was brought back to act as a front against the atheist believes of many communists!
In the 20th century, the ideological battle was waged between capitalism and socialism. In the end, the capitalist system seemed to have won, thanks to the collapse of stalinism ( called communism ) and the betrayal of social democracy ( moderate socialists who capitulated before capitalists ). But Christianity and its Arabic counterpart; Islam, are still here and wish to have us enslaved again. Although average religious people do not wish to say it, secretly they wished the world was once again under religious law. The Islamic State tries to enforce this totalitarian goal with terrorism and Christian movements in the United States of America, would love to turn their nation into a theocracy. They are supported in this by the Republican Party, while Islamic fundamentalists are supported by the medieval; Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia and other Arab monarchs!