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Thread: Christianity - By Stealth and Steel

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    Christianity - By Stealth and Steel

    From the Book: March of the Titans - Chapter 17

    Although originating within the Semitic world, the religion of Christianity has played such a major role in the post Roman European world that its origins must be clearly dealt with for the sake of understanding its later influence.

    Religion in pre-Christian times had never been any coherent or single theme or involved in the worship of any particular God or set of gods - the only strand of coherence in it came after the time of Octavian Augustus, when the notion of an emperor came into being.

    PONTIFEX MAXIMUS - AN IMPORTANT POSITION

    After Octavian, all the Roman emperors were known by the title of Pontifex Maximus - "chief priest" - of whatever particular cult happened to be the most popular at that time, or indeed of any number of cults which were in existence at any given time. This status of the emperor as chief priest of what was deemed to be the unofficial state religion or religions of the time, was to have major consequences: very often a cult either gained or lost popularity solely because of the emperor's interest in it.

    The earliest example there is of this phenomenon occurred when Caesar was still in office. At one stage his mistress, the Macedonian queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, visited Rome, and the sheer presence of somebody thought to be from Egypt (she was of course not of Egyptian stock but actually Macedonian) sparked off a revival in the ancient Egyptian cult of Isis.

    PALESTINE

    Following the conquests of Alexander the Great, Palestine had been ruled intermittently by either the Greek Ptolemies or by the Greek Seleucids, both led by descendants of Alexander's generals. The Semitic speaking peoples living in Palestine were known as Jews, a tribe which had been in existence for many centuries prior to this.

    What set the Jews apart from their neighbors was their religion - the concept of monotheism, of one God, Jahweh or Jehovah, was central to the Jewish religion. This stood in marked contrast to other religions of the time, which almost all propagated a pantheon of gods, sometimes dozens of gods, each looking after a particular aspect of life on earth and in the beyond. It was while under the rule of the Seleucids that the great temple in Jerusalem was built as a center for the Jewish religion, a surviving wall of which is today known as the Wailing Wall.

    SELEUCID RULE IN PALESTINE

    While being ruled by the Seleucids, many Jews began to take on the ways and even language of their rulers: Greek. This led them into conflict with the more nationalistic Jews, and a minor skirmish broke out between the two groups of Jews in 168 BC. This provoked the Seleucids into responding. They ordered the Jewish temple in Jerusalem to be stripped of its Judaic artifacts and dedicated to the worship of the Greek God Zeus.

    The Jews rebelled at this order, and after a military conflict, were able to exact a recognition of Jewish independence from the Seleucidian representative in Syria in 142 BC, although proper independence is said to have started in 129 BC. The leader of the Jewish rebels was one Judas Maccabeus, and he became the first Jewish king in Palestine, creating the Maccabean dynasty which lasted until 64 BC.

    ROMANS INVITED INTO PALESTINE

    Like so many other states in the region, the Jewish state was continually wracked by internal dissent and rebellion, and in the midst of a self imposed civil war, certain Jews appealed for help from the Roman general Pompey (who was completing the Roman conquest of Turkey and Syria at the time). Pompey agreed to help - although in reality this help meant occupying Palestine as a Roman protectorate in 64 BC.

    True to long established practice, the Romans immediately began trying to Romanize the Jews and recruiting locals to run the province - in this way the Roman senate appointed the Jew Herod as king of Judea in 37 BC. He ruled until his death in 4 BC. Even during the reign of king Herod, the Jewish state was still wracked by internal dissension and it fell apart after his death, being then ruled in part by Roman governors.

    JEWS MOVE TO ROME - THE FIRST EXPULSION

    During this time some Jews immigrated to Rome itself, making use of the traditional lack of control over entry into the city.

    However, their presence in Rome aroused even amongst the fairly easy going Romans a marked anti-Semitism, and in the year AD 19, the Jews were to experience for the first time a situation with which they would later become familiar - in that year the Roman Emperor Tiberius formally barred all Jews from Rome and deported all those he could find in the city.

    This ban on Jews only lasted a few years, and it was not long before they, along with ever increasing numbers of other foreigners from all parts of the empire, once again took up residence in Rome. By this time Jews had started settling in other parts of the Middle East, Asia Minor, North Africa and Egypt, in each of these places attracting the enmity of the local populations.

    JEWISH REVOLT IN PALESTINE

    In Palestine itself, dissension was however always brewing, and in 66 AD, the Jews rebelled against Roman rule. In that year the Roman garrison in Jerusalem was slaughtered and a revolt spread to all parts of the province.

    The Jewish hatred for the original Roman Empire was well documented, to the point where the famous English historian Edward Gibbon, in his classic work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Lippincourt, Philadelphia, 1878, vol. 2, page 4) had the following to say:

    "From the reign of Nero to that of Antinious Pious, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience with the dominance of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyria, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the Legions against a race of fanatics whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of all human kind."

    It was therefore not surprising that the Romans sent an army to quell a new uprising in 68 AD, finally driving the last of the Jewish rebels into the mountain top fort of Masada, which finally fell after a two year siege in 73 AD.

    After the fall of Masada, Palestine then remained under nominal Roman control, first as part of the Western Roman Empire, and then as part of the Eastern Roman Empire, until the rise of Islam some 800 years later.



    Above: The hilltop fort of Masada, Israel. During the course of the Jewish rebellion (which started in 68 AD), Roman legions occupied Jerusalem in 70 AD. They drove out or killed the Jews in the city, and about 1,000 remaining Jewish rebels fled to the remote mountain fort. Undeterred, the Romans followed them and laid siege to the rebel stronghold. After a two year siege, during which the Romans built a massive earth ramp all the way up the one side of the mountain, all but seven of the Jews committed suicide rather than be taken alive, fully aware of the fate that awaited them should they be captured by the avenging Romans.

    THE JEWISH DIASPORA 70 AD

    As a result of the AD 70 rebellion, the Jews were scattered throughout the then known world in a movement known as the Diaspora. A large number went north into southern Russia, mixing with local tribes along the way (the most important of which were a Asiatic/Mediterranean mixed tribe known as the Khazars) and eventually penetrating into eastern and central Europe. A number of Jews went out along Turkey and settled in Rome itself, while a small number settled in Gaul.

    The Jews who went north and eventually west into Europe intermixed with many local White tribes along the way, to the point where today the Jews as a racial group are very diverse, with some being very White and others still showing distinct "dark" Semitic racial traits. However, not all Jews went north - a significant portion of Jews went west along the North African coast, setting up Jewish communities all the way to Tunisia, and finally crossing into southern Spain.



    Above: The Emperor Titus - conqueror of the Jews and destroyer of Jerusalem in 70 AD. In 68 AD, the Jews rebelled against Roman rule, despite having originally asked the Romans to occupy that land to bring order and peace to it. Roman revenge for the Jewish vacillation was severe - the Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem upon pain of death and dispersed from Palestine in a movement known as the Diaspora.


    Above: The crushing of the Jewish revolt in 66 AD by a Roman army was commemorated as a great feat of arms. On the Arch of Titus, erected in Rome and still standing to this day, Roman soldiers are shown bringing Jewish trophies (note the menorah, the seven candles, taken from the Jewish temple in Jerusalem) back to Rome.

    ASHKENAZIM AND SEPHARDIM

    The Jews who went to Europe via the east absorbed a substantial amount of European blood - they became the Ashkenazim, or European Jews. Those who settled in North Africa became known as the Sephardim.

    This division in Jewry exists to this day, and is most marked in Israel where the two communities, the Ashkenazim or "light" Jews and the Sephardim or "dark" Jews (dark because they did not mix with the number of Europeans that the Ashkenazim did) even tend to vote for different Israeli political parties. Only their unique religion has kept them bound together after a fashion, although even this is divided into sub-sects.

    JUDAISM - UNIQUELY RACIAL

    From this Semitic tribe, the religion of Christianity was to spring, although its adherents were at first fiercely persecuted by the Jewish religious leaders. The Jewish religion had one particularly unique trait - it was the first specifically racial religion.

    Judaism has kept this trait to this day and which has played a major role in preserving Jewish identity through centuries of dispersion and persecution.

    The uniqueness of the Jewish God was that he was a God only for the Jews - while all other gods could be worshiped by anybody, the Jewish God was an ethnocentric being - specifically designed only for Jews. Biological laws of descent were built into Judaism as divinely inspired laws of who could be a Jew - to this day the rule is that only someone born of a Jewish mother can be a Jew.

    While some less strict Jewish communities have relaxed this rule to allow conversions from other faiths, the orthodox Jewish community follows this law to the letter - laid down in the Talmud, the Jewish Holy Book. This is followed to the point where citizenship of Israel in present times is based on descent and not national origin.

    ESSENES - ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY

    While this racial religion unquestionably helped to preserve the Jewish identity, it irked some Jews, who objected to the blatant chauvinism of the Jewish God, Jahweh. This group of Jews, around the year 100 BC, founded a new sect, loosely based on parts of the Talmud and introducing some of their own thoughts on religion: they established a God who could be for all people, not just Jews.

    This group of Jews became known as the Essenes. Using parts of the Talmud (the most noted being the book of Isaiah, which later became part of the Christian Old Testament as well), the Essenes developed a whole series of books relating to morals and lifestyles (including a monastic tradition). They were pacifist and even claimed to have had a leader who had been killed and then rose from the dead.

    However, the universality of their version of Jahweh - that he was a God for all people, not just for the Jews - remained their biggest point of difference with mainstream Judaism.

    This ideological conflict with mainstream Judaism eventually brought the Essenes into open conflict with their fellow Jews, and the traditional rabbinical leaders urged the Jews to stamp out the new cult. Although it is not recorded what happened to the Essenes, the Jewish leaders were only successful in suppressing them in Judea (they were forced to hide their holy books in caves around the Dead Sea. It was these books which were discovered by chance in 1947 and which have become known as the Dead Sea Scrolls).



    Above: The Book of Isaiah, as laid out in the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Palestine in 1947. They are the holy books of a sub-sect of Jews called the Essenes, who lived in the first century BC. The Essenes were persecuted by other Jews, who disagreed violently with the Essene belief that the Jewish God, Yahweh, was actually a God for all people, and not just the Jews. Many of the concepts which were later to become fundamental to Christianity were contained in the Essene religion - the Essenes even had an allegorical story about a wise prophet who was killed and then rose from the dead, known to them as the "Teacher of Righteousness". This story was clearly the role model for the future figure of Jesus Christ.

    The Essene tradition however lived on amongst a small group of Jews, most of whom eventually left Palestine for more receptive ears elsewhere in the Roman Empire. It is clear that the religion which became known as Christianity originated in the ideas that the Essenes first developed. Mixed with the original Indo-Aryan Zoroastrian based concept of heaven and hell (which does not feature in the Old Testament at all) and the story of a leader who was killed and rose from the dead, the Essene religion was reworked and reformulated until it finally became Christianity.

    JESUS CHRIST - NO CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE

    The first source of information about the person who became known as Jesus Christ are the Gospels which make up the first four books of the Christian New Testament. As these works only appeared some 80 to 120 years after Christ's supposed death, there is thus no contemporary evidence showing the existence of Jesus Christ, an important but little known fact.

    The person who was deified by Christianity to become the Son of God, is most probably a composite character based on the stories and myths surrounding several of the leaders of the Essenes, particularly the one whom the Essenes claimed had been killed and had risen from the dead, and whom they called the "Teacher of Righteousness."

    The first time that the name Jesus Christ appears in any Roman records (and they were generally meticulous in record keeping) is the book The Jewish Wars, by Josephus, a Romanized Jew, who was commissioned to write a history of the Jewish rebellion (this excellent work is still available today).

    Josephus' work was first published in 90 AD. In the book, Josephus makes mention of a small sect of Jews who claim to follow a messiah figure called Jesus, but the mention is brief and in passing.

    In any event, by the time of Christ's alleged death (supposedly 33 AD) Christianity had very few followers, especially amongst the Jews themselves, who regarded the Christian philosophy as nothing but a reworking of the Essene cult, and did their best to silence it. It is therefore clear that Christianity, as a religion, originated from Jewish mythology.

    SAUL ALIAS PAUL

    One of the most zealous of these persecutors of the Essene ideology was a Jew by the name of Saul. At some stage, according to the Christian Bible, Saul experienced a vision and was himself converted to the cult that he had been persecuting. Saul then immediately changed his name to Paul and set off on long evangelistic tours of Asia Minor, Cyprus and Greece, attracting small bands of followers and writing proselytizing pieces along the way.

    Returning to preach in Jerusalem, he was violently attacked by fellow Jews and was imprisoned for two years. Following an appeal to the Roman emperor he was transferred to Rome in 60 AD. Placed under house arrest, he was eventually beheaded by the Emperor Nero, who developed a particular hatred for the new cult.

    Saul (Paul) however did much to create the groundwork for Christianity. Many of his writings were later taken to have been inspired by the Christian God and were taken up into the New Testament.

    PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS

    The official Roman attitude to religions was one of tolerance, except where they were openly subversive to Roman rule. Followers of early Christianity refused to take part in any state ceremonies (viewing them as pagan) and would not serve in the army or hold public office - all echoing the Essene beliefs of a century earlier.

    Faced with this attitude (which was compounded by a serious general problem in finding enough recruits for the army), the Roman leadership began a program of persecution against the Christians, hoping to stamp them out.

    The first major campaign was launched by the Emperor Decius in 250 AD, and the last by Diocletian in 302 AD. This was the time when many Christians were made to face lions in the arenas of Rome, along with criminals and other captives.



    Above: The Roman Emperor Nero, who reigned from 37 AD to 68 AD. Nero was a great persecutor of Christianity, overseeing the throwing of Christians to the lions in the Coliseum, amongst other things. As a result, all Judeo-Christian historical accounts of him are very biased, accusing him of all manner of deeds such as the murder of his mother and wife.

    In July 64 AD, two-thirds of Rome burned while Nero was at Antium. Christian biased versions of history have usually held that he either set the fire - something that was impossible, as he was not present - or having played the fiddle while Rome burned. In fact the fiddle was not invented until 1500 years after his death. Nero claimed to have proof that Christians had set the fire, and persecuted them even more vigorously after the event. In contrast to his (Christian generated) image of an uncaring madman, he ordered that all the people made homeless as a result of the fire be housed and provided with grain, all at state expense. He then had the city rebuilt with fire precautions.

    Nero was also an accomplished artist and man of letters, and personally acted in several important plays of the time. He was also Emperor when the Jewish revolt in Palestine broke out, another reason for the Judeo-Christian tradition of hatred for him. As a result of internal politics, in 68 AD, the Gallic and Spanish legions, along with the Praetorian Guards, rose against him, and he fled Rome. Declared a public enemy by the Senate, he committed suicide on 9 June 68 AD.

    Persecution had however the opposite effect on a religion which thrived on martyrdom - after all, its leader had allegedly been martyred by the pagan Romans as well. Nonetheless, the new cult's missionaries - who started calling themselves Christians as the story about Jesus was built up over several years - did in fact not have things all their own way. The Christian religion did battle with a number of other religions in the Middle East and in the Roman Empire - only growing to be a large enough factor after 300 AD, when the Emperor Galerius issued an Edict of Toleration in 311, making Christianity legal in the Eastern part of the Empire.

    CONSTANTINE'S CONVERSION

    The Roman Emperor Constantine (308 - 337 AD), while engaged in a battle with a rival claimant to the throne in 312 AD, claimed to have had a vision of a cross in the sky, above which were written the words "In Hoc Signo Vinces" - In this sign you will win. He allegedly took this as a sign from the Christian God that he would win if he converted to Christianity.

    Constantine did win, and did officially convert to Christianity. How true this story is and how much of it is fabrication is hard to tell. Possibly the only thing we can say is that it seems highly unlikely that any supernatural sky writing took place, and more possibly a bit of imagination took over in the heat of battle.

    Constantine then went on to issue the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, which legalized Christianity throughout the Empire and placed it on a par with all other religions - and he himself, as emperor, became Pontifex Maximus of Christianity in particular. With the conversion of the Emperor of Rome to Christianity, the by now established pattern of following the emperor's lead in religious matters came to play, and almost overnight Christianity became one of the most popular religions within the Roman Empire.

    "DONATION OF CONSTANTINE" - ONE OF THE GREATEST FABRICATIONS OF ALL TIME

    Constantine's conversion to Christianity is still shrouded in mystery and led to the most famous forgery in European history, that which became known as the Donation of Constantine. This document purports to be a signed document by Constantine and its principal feature is to grant the bishop of Rome - the Pope - temporal authority over the city of Rome and the entire Roman Empire.

    Although there are many glaring factual errors in the text of the document, which by themselves show the document to be a forgery, the Donation of Constantine was accepted as genuine until the 15th Century, and used by the Catholic Church to claim political power in not only the Roman Empire but also ultimately in all nominally Christian lands.

    Eventually the Donation of Constantine was rejected as false - but by then the Church had established itself in almost all of Europe, power founded on a forgery.

    JULIAN THE APOSTATE TRIES TO STEM CHRISTIANITY

    This trend was dramatically reversed by one of Constantine's successors, the Emperor Julian (called Julian the Apostate for his rejection of Christianity). Julian was no Christian, and simply overturned Constantine's adoption of Christianity as the state religion.

    In doing this, Julian officially declared the pagan religions to be the official Roman state religion, relegating Christianity to cult status once again. The European religions suddenly gained the upper hand and Christianity started declining as quickly as it had risen.

    The manner in which Julian reversed the Christianizing process serves as an excellent instruction in the arbitrary way in which the personal wishes of the emperor could influence the whole empire. Overnight, Julian changed the Roman Empire back into a pagan value system.



    Above: The Emperor Julian, nephew of the Christianizer Constantine, was raised as a Christian, but always secretly abhorred that religion and favored the old true Roman gods. When he became Emperor in 361 he overturned his uncle's decision to favor Christianity, and very nearly halted the progress of that religion. Here Julian is pictured, on the right, with his advisors - all hand picked so as to be non-Christians. His successors were however Christians and they undid his reforms.

    After Julian's death, however, the next emperor was again a Christian, and converted the empire back into a formal Christian state. The result was that from the year 395 AD Christianity became the legal, sole and official religion of the Roman Empire - about 500 years after many of its principles were crystallized by the Essenes and nearly 400 years after the leader whose name it took was alleged to have lived.

    CHRISTIANITY THE YOUNGEST RELIGION

    It is a sobering thought for many Christians today who presume their religion has been in existence since the start of the world, to realize that Christianity only in fact became widely known in southern Europe some 1,700 years ago, and was only accepted in northern Europe many hundreds of years after that, with the last northern European country to formally adopt Christianity being Iceland, around the year 1,000 AD.

    Put another way - compared to the time frame of the existence of records of the White race - a little over 35,000 years - Christianity represents less than the last six percent this time.

    THE EVOLUTION OF THE POPE

    Each major town throughout the Roman world was assigned a Christian leader, called a bishop. Gradually the Bishop at Rome came to be recognized as the most important and assumed the title of "Pope" (from the Greek word meaning father).

    By the seventh century AD, the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, had become the spiritual leader of all Christendom and was in possession of great political power - aided by the forged Donation of Constantine. The Pope even adopted the Roman Emperors' color - purple - which to this day remains the most used color in the Catholic church.

    DISPUTES ALMOST IMMEDIATE

    Although there was initially only one Christian church - the Catholic church - disputes over the interpretations attached to the new cult broke out almost immediately amongst its supporters. As Christianity spread after its legalization in 313 AD, it became more and more disorganized, with serious disputes erupting amongst the various missionaries as to the true version of the creation and purpose of the new God.

    One of the biggest clashes was over the concept of what was called "Arianism," (named after Arius, a Christian leader in Alexandria) or the relative position of the three components of the Christian Trinity: God, Christ and the Holy Ghost. The belief that all three of these beings were one and the same thing was challenged by Arius who argued that the Christ figure could not be God as well.

    So serious was this dispute taken that the Emperor Constantine called a special meeting of all the major leaders of the religion in 325 AD, to the now famous Council of Nicaea, to discuss the problem.

    At the council of Nicaea it was decided that the Arian doctrine was ungodly, and declared a heresy, with its proponents being persecuted in the name of the new God - the first of many such repressive tactics to be used by the Christian church.

    THE BIBLE CREATED

    However, several other disputes over doctrine made the religious leaders at Nicaea realize that if some weighty final word on the outline of their belief was not forthcoming, the religion could splinter into factions. The problem was that there was no such manual or holy book in existence - the leaders then took it upon themselves to create such a book. For this purpose they turned to whatever texts they could find.

    The books now contained in the Old Testament were largely oral before 300 BC, although some had been written down by Jewish rabbis. Through contact with Jews in Ptolemaic Egypt, King Ptolemy II of Philadelphus (285-246 BC) is credited with ordering the translation of the Jewish religious books into Greek.

    The Christian version of the Old Testament was only established as a comprehensive work by the scribe Origen around 250 AD, and up until that time only loose translations of the Ptolemaic Greek work formed the basis of Christian teachings.

    The origins of the New Testament are very vague. By the end of the first century AD, the writings of Saul/Paul (called the Pauline Epistles) consisting of letters to the various Christian communities in Asia Minor and Rome had been established as a collection of inspired works. The gospels which make up the first part of the New Testament only emerged after the writings of Saul/Paul had become well known, and long after his death.

    This is evidenced by the fact that in Paul's writings there is no mention of any other new testament book or gospel, as well as the account of what Jesus did on the night he was "betrayed" (1: Cor. 11:23) which differs substantially from the Gospel version as recounted in the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John versions.

    It is clear that if the four gospels were in existence at the time when Saul/Paul wrote his epistles (around the year 55 AD), he would have at least mentioned them, or very likely have even quoted from them. The earliest existent gospel consists of fragments of the Gospel of John, dating from about 100 AD, and which is in Greek.

    By 200 AD, the Church had developed the New Testament in its present form, although still written in various languages, including Greek and Hebrew, apart from the Book of Revelations. Where this last chapter came from no-one knows for sure, but by the 4th Century it had been included in the New Testament anyway.

    The compilation of the New Testament omitted several early Christian manuscripts which did not fit in with the other books. The most famous of these "left out" books is the Gospel of St. Thomas, probably because the events described therein are at quite some variance with the events described in the four more well known gospels.

    The Council of Nicaea went a long way to formalizing the Bible as Christians know it today - all in an attempt to prevent the church from splitting again as it nearly did over the Arian controversy. In this attempt they were to fail, and some of the most grievous conflicts to come in Europe would be precisely over different interpretations of the Bible.

    THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY - RESISTED BY BALTS, SLAVS AND GERMANS

    When the Roman Empire in the West collapsed (see chapter 18) Christianity had been spread throughout its former dominions, with the exception of the Germans, the Balts, and a significant section of the Slavs.

    The Germanic tribes, who participated in the sacking of Rome at the formal end of that empire, did not destroy the Roman Catholic Church alongside with the Roman state, partly as a result of them viewing the religion of Rome as being part of the great original cultural tradition of that Empire - which it was not.

    The leader of the church in Rome, the Pope, therefore survived the Germanic invasions, and went on to become an important political player in his own right.

    The Church itself lost no time in sending Christian missionaries to the pagan tribes, the most famous of them being Wufilas (311 - 383 AD) who worked amongst the Visigoths.

    Another famous missionary was Patrick, who although born in Britain, went to Ireland and became the Christianizer of that island, later being made a saint by the church for his efforts.

    BRITAIN REVERTS TO PAGANISM

    Although the last of the Romans had introduced Christianity to the British Isles, that land was invaded by pagan Germans - Angles and Saxons - after the Roman collapse - and as a result the British mainland became pagan once again. Christianity only survived in the Celtic fringes of Ireland and Wales.

    The Catholic Church sent a missionary, St. Augustine, to Britain from Rome in 597 AD and managed to convert the first Anglo Saxon ruler to Christianity, causing Roman Catholicism to spread throughout Britain. Britain in turn gave rise to the missionary, St. Boniface, who spent 35 years amongst the German tribes on the mainland of Europe before the pagans managed to kill him in 755 AD.

    Catholic missionaries were also active amongst the Germanic tribes living in Scandinavia, but met with much less success than in Britain or Central Europe.



    Above: The coming of Christianity to Britain - for the second time. First introduced by the Romans, the Christian religion then faded away with the invasion of that land by pagan Saxons and other Germanics following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. A Christian missionary, St. Augustine, arrived on British shores in 597 AD, sent by the Pope to try and Christianize the British population. He was fortunate in receiving the aid of the King Ethelbert and his queen, Bertha, and managed to establish a significant Christian following in that land. Here Augustine is pictured preaching to a Saxon king and his entourage - at that stage all were still Odin worshipers.

    THE FRANKS

    The Franks were a Germanic tribe who had emerged from northern Europe to occupy much of what is today Germany and France. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the Frankish tribes had set up small kingdoms scattered up and down the length and breadth of these two territories.

    One of the most important conversions to Christianity on the mainland of Europe was the first king of the Franks, Clovis I, in 496 AD. Using his new found religious zeal, Clovis invaded the Visigoth Empire in 507 AD, causing them to abandon that part of France they had occupied after the fall of Rome and retreat to Spain.

    The Frankish king, Pepin the Short, reigned from 741 to 768 AD and was notable for being the first ruler of France to receive from the Bishop of Rome an official sanction to his kingship - the first of many times that the Pope would see fit to approve leaders of states in the name of God. Pepin was crowned by the English missionary, St. Boniface, acting on behalf of the Pope, in 752 AD.

    In 768, Pepin's son, Charlemagne (Charles the Great), inherited the Frankish kingdom. It was this king who was directly responsible for the introduction of Christianity to the Germans.

    GENOCIDAL EVANGELISM - CHARLEMAGNE ORGANIZES THE MURDER OF ALL NON-CHRISTIANS UNDER HIS CONTROL

    To destroy German paganism, Charlemagne proclaimed harsh laws applicable to those Germans under his control who refused to be baptized into Christianity. Eating meat during Lent, cremating the dead and pretending to be baptized were all made punishable by death.


    In 768, Charlemagne started a 32 year long campaign of what can only be described as genocidal evangelism against the Saxons under his control in western Germany.

    The campaign started with the cutting down of the Saxon's most sacred tree, their version of the World Tree or Yggdrasil, (the symbol of the start of the earth and the source of all life in the ancient Indo-European religions) located in a sacred Saxon forest near present day Marburg.

    Charlemagne quickly turned to violence as a means of spreading the Christian word. In 772, at Quierzy, he issued a proclamation that he would kill every Saxon who refused to accept Jesus Christ, and from that time on he kept a special detachment of Christian priests who doubled as executioners, and in every Saxon village in which they stopped, these priests would execute anybody who refused to be baptized.

    Then in 782, at Verden, Charlemagne carried out the act for which he is most notoriously associated - he ordered the beheading of 4,500 Saxons in one day who had made the error of being caught practicing paganism after they had agreed to be Christians.

    Charlemagne's constant companion and biographer, the monk Einhard, vividly captured the event in his biography of the Frankish king. In it is written that the King rounded up 4,500 Saxons who "like dogs that return to their vomit" had returned to the pagan religions they had been forced to give up upon pain of death.

    After having all 4,500 Saxons beheaded "the king went into winter camp, and there celebrated mass as usual."

    Twelve years later, in 794, Charlemagne introduced a law under which every third Saxon living in any pagan area was kidnapped and forced to resettle and be raised amongst Christian Franks.



    Above: The sword and the cross: Charlemagne, a bloodthirsty Christian evangelist. The Frankish king was directly responsible for the forced and violent introduction of Christianity to much of Western Europe. This he achieved by killing all the pagans who did not want to convert to Christianity.




    Above: Destroying White paganism by force. The Christian missionary, St. Boniface, felling the sacred great oak tree of Geismar, Hesse, in 724 AD. The oak tree was sacred to the god Thor, and was one of many pagan sites which the Christians destroyed in their ultimately successful attempts to destroy all other religions except Christianity. Despite this, many pagan customs remained, such as the celebration of Spring. The Christians took the pagan goddess of fertility, Ostara, and turned her into the Christian rite of Easter ("Ostara" = "Easter") and the Winter solstice, which marked the longest night of Winter, and turned it into Christmas.

    COERCIVE CHRISTIANITY TAKES ROOT

    With the use of violent and bloody coercion, Saxon and German paganism was quite literally killed off, and most of the survivors became Christians more out of fear than out of genuine conviction. Christianity finally spread to the Goths themselves, through a Christian slave named Wulfila, who translated the Bible into Gothic.

    Before the end of the fourth century, Christianity had spread to the Vandals, the Burgundians, the Lombards and other German tribes within the direct sphere of influence of the Western Roman Empire.

    By the year 550 AD, the only non-Christian tribes were to be found in Bavaria and those parts of Germany north from there - including virtually all of the Danes, Scandinavians, Balts and Slavs to the east.

    WHITE PAGAN ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS AND EASTER

    Through sheer terror rather than logical persuasion, Christianity then became the dominant religion of the previously pagan Europe - yet because they never quite succeeded in rooting out some pagan customs, they quietly adopted them.

    Easter, for example, comes from the old pagan goddess of fertility, Eoster (or Ostara), who used as her symbols the egg and the rabbit - potent signs of fertility. Most Christians today have no idea where their Easter rabbit comes from, or why they have Easter Eggs.

    The ancient north European feast of Eoster marked the start of Spring in Europe - and as this celebration was too deeply ingrained in these Gothic tribes to remove, the Christianizing church elders simply took this feast and in arbitrary fashion made it into the date of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

    The same happened with the Winter solstice - originally a pagan celebration to mark the turning point of winter - the longest night of winter - with a fire and a pine tree. Solstice was then combined with the date of Jesus Christ's birth, again in an arbitrary fashion.

    However, the church was for a long time uneasy with the pagan undertones of the celebration - such as the pine tree, which is native to Scandinavia, which is nowhere to be found in the Bible - and this led to the church officially banning the celebration of Christmas no less than three times - all of course unsuccessfully.


    Above: Impressing the peasants. Notre Dame Cathedral (1163 AD), Paris, France. The psychological effect of these cathedrals upon the surrounding peasants, who would never before have seen a building higher than two or three floors, must have been considerable. Many peasants certainly believed it when they were told that God himself lived in these stunningly beautiful cathedrals, scattered across Europe.

    TEUTONIC KNIGHTS EXTERMINATE THE LAST WHITE PAGANS

    The only significant grouping of Whites left in Europe who were not - nominally at least - Christians by the year 1000 AD were to be found in the Baltic and Eastern European regions. To destroy this last bastion of paganism the Church employed the services of some of the most fanatic Christians of all - the Teutonic Knights.

    THE TEUTONIC KNIGHTS OF SAINT MARY'S HOSPITAL AT JERUSALEM

    The Teutonic Knights were originally a religious military founded during the Crusades, being first established in Palestine in 1190. During an Islamic siege of the city of Acre in that year, a group of German knights were given charge of a hospital for wounded Crusaders.

    By 1198, however, these knights had changed from being purely passive and took an active part in the war against the non-White Muslims, becoming known as the Teutonic Knights. Membership in the order was strictly limited to Christian German noblemen. The Teutonic Knights received official recognition from Pope Innocent III in 1199, and adopted the official uniform of a white tunic with a black cross.

    INVITED TO EASTERN EUROPE

    Soon their deeds on behalf of Christendom became famous. In 1210 they were invited to Hungary by the king of that country to participate in a war against the non-Christian pagan tribes in Eastern Europe.

    The Teutonic Knights jumped at the chance, and by using violence and mass murder, soon became known as effective Christianizers amongst the pagan Whites of Eastern Europe. This genocidal evangelism soon became the sole obsession of the Teutonic Knights - by 1226 the order had set up permanent settlements in north eastern Europe.

    TEUTONIC KNIGHTS GRANTED PRUSSIA TO CHRISTIANIZE

    In 1226, the Holy Roman Emperor granted the Teutonic Knights control over what was then Prussia (today northern Poland) to rule as a fiefdom on condition that they convert all the locals to Christianity. In 1234, Pope Gregory IX granted the Knights control over any other territory that they might conquer from the pagans. The Teutonic Knights soon built a series of imposing castles to defend their new territory, some of which still stand today.

    From the safety of these castles they waged their own brand of evangelicalism, which was limited to the Frankish king Charlemagne's recipe - once a number of pagans had been captured, they were offered the choice of either being baptized and accepting Christianity, or being killed on the spot.

    Unsurprisingly, almost all chose conversion. The price for being caught practicing paganism after being baptized, was instant death.

    As was the case with the genocidal evangelicalism of Charlemagne, the first one or two generations of converts were in all likelihood not genuine - usually they paid lip service to Christianity in order not to be killed. By about the third generation however, the children knew no other religion, and in this way Christianity replaced the original Indo-European religions.

    GERMAN SETTLEMENT

    The Teutonic Knights also encouraged already Christianized Germans to settle in Prussia. This served a double purpose - not only could the new arrivals police the new converts, but also the Teutonic Knights realized very clearly that the easiest way to change the nature of a society was to change its inhabitants.

    By 1300, the Teutonic Knights were one of the most powerful organizations in Germany, controlling territory which stretched from the Baltic Sea into central Germany, a private empire which saw them engaging in, on average, eight major wars every year.

    BATTLE OF TANNENBURG - KNIGHTS DEFEATED

    However, the Teutonic Knights slowly ran out of pagans to convert. By 1386 the last of the major non-Christian tribes in the north, the Lithuanians, had all more or less been converted, and the order started to lose the reason for its existence.

    In addition to this, the methods employed by the order had not endeared it to the local population, even though they were all now Christians. This enmity flared up into a new war when in 1409, the King of Poland invited all enemies of the Teutonic Knights to participate in a campaign against the order.

    This led to the defeat of the order at the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410. In 1525, the order's grand master Albrecht of Hohenzollern became a Protestant and dissolved the order in Prussia. Scattered elements of the order lived on but the last were finally expelled in 1591 from the Baltic.

    LATER CHRISTIANITY

    So it was that Christianity came to be the dominant religion of Europe - the first religion to convert by mass murder.

    The original White religion had never tried to convert followers upon pain of death, and had never waged a war in its name - and as such it was psychologically unprepared to do battle with a Middle Eastern religion which engendered a genocidal fanaticism amongst its followers.

    Once the Christians had run out of pagans to kill, they turned upon themselves in a violent and bloody fratricidal conflict which saw the Church split and the various protagonists kill each other in a crazed blood lust.

    Fully one third of the entire White race was killed in a series of major Christian Wars in Europe - these events are dealt with in a later chapter, along with the effect of Christianity upon the development of science, history, art and social life.


    Source

    This is a book which is easy to read as progression is not tedious I recommend everyone on Skadi to read it. Follow the link in my signature.
    Although the word "Commando" was wrongly used to describe all Boer soldiers, a commando was a unit formed from a particular district. None of the units was organized in regular companies, battalions or squadrons. The Boer commandos were individualists who were difficult to control, resented formal discipline or orders, and earned a British jibe that"every Boer was his own general".

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