Christian Suffering, Persecution and the Crusades.
First I think its important to know that in every group there are some on the Left, Middle and Right of any position. This is true with religious groups too. True Christians should all the way to the Right of Scripture. We believe that Jesus Christ completed all the demands of the OT. Therefore there is NO need to continue with the hard demands of the OT. We live our life according to this completed state in our religious activities. Jesus told us that if we follow Him, we are putting our physical life in danger by those religious or not.
Notice this: John 16:1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.John 16:2 “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.John 16:3 “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
Rabbi Saul before his conversion was such a one: Act 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. 4 “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 “as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
Let me add that God, who is in control permits hardships to happen to godly people, just as he let the horrific suffering of His Son and all his disciples. Being a follower of Jesus is NO guaranteed that we will not suffer. Jesus told us that if they persecuted Him they will do the same to us. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Notice what God told our fellow believers in heaven: Rev 6:11 … and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
In modern times we’er introduced to the beliefs of Islam. This religious group also has some on the Left, Middle and Right. Their teachings like Judaism has not changed intrinsically. Real followers of Islam are the al qaeda types. Throughout History they have forced people to become Islāmic or die just as they are doing around the world today.
In 700 AD Islam moving into the Holy Land and took it according to their Quran, “Convert or Die”. The Church from its beginning has suffered persecution. The First persecution came from the unbelieving Jews as I quoted Act 22:3. Next ten persecutions came at the hands of the emperors of Rome. In 67 AD under Nero the 6th emperor of Rome and continued:
The Second Persecution, Under Domitian, A.D. 81
The Third Persecution, Under Trajan, A.D. 108
The Fourth Persecution, Under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, A.D. 162
The Fifth Persecution, Commencing with Severus, A.D. 192
The Sixth Persecution, Under Maximus, A.D. 235
The Seventh Persecution, Under Decius, A.D. 249
The Eighth Persecution, Under Valerian, A.D. 257
The Ninth Persecution Under Aurelian, A.D. 274
The Tenth Persecution, Under Diocletian, A.D. 303. The we have the Persecutions of the Christians in Persia, under the Arian Heretics and Under Julian the Apostate.
This dreadful persecution raged until the latter end of the year 363; many of the particulars have not been recorded for us, it is necessary to remark in general, that in Palestine (Israel was called Palestine long before the so called Palestinians claimed this title) was many were burnt alive, others were dragged by their feet through the streets naked until they expired; some were scalded to death, many stoned, and in great numbers had their brains beaten out with clubs. In Alexandria, countless were the martyrs who suffered by the sword, burning, crucifixion and stoning. In Arethusa, several were ripped open, and corn being put into their bellies, swine were brought to feed in their open bellies, which, in devouring the grain, likewise devoured the entrails of the martyrs, and in Thrace, Emilianus was burnt at a stake; and Domitius murdered in a cave, whither he had fled for refuge.
The emperor, Julian the apostate, died of a wound which he received in his Persian expedition, A.D. 363, and even while expiring, uttered the most horrid blasphemies. He was succeeded by Jovian, who restored peace to the Church.
History records that the Moors invaded the Holy Land just before the end of the 6th Century. Over time they took over more and more of the land and as they gained power they forced the inhabitants of the land to convert or die. History records how they would cut open the stomachs of those who would not convert and they let them slowly die disemboweled. The persecution reached the ears of the Pope of Rome and soon the Crusades began. One has to wonder if God did not used the Crusades to bring judgement on Islam and Islam to a corrupt church.
This is NOT a complete history of these events but just an overview as I see it.