One of the most famous examples of a Holy War were the Crusades, in which Christian armies went to the Holy Land to recover Christian sacred places from the Muslims. Justified as a war, as it was fought to right the wrongs done against Christianity. The spirit of Holy War was shown by Pope Urban II in 1095 who, absolving the soldiers of all their sins, said at the start of the First Crusade: ‘Let this be your war-cry because this world is given to you by God. When an armed attack is made upon the enemy, let this one cry be raised by all the soldiers of God; it is the will of God!…whoever shall determine upon this holy pilgrimage and shall make his vow to God to that effect and shall offer himself to God as a living sacrifice, shall wear the sign of the cross of the Lord on his forehead.’ The first Crusades captured Jerusalem and slaughtered all non-Christian citizens.

Advertisements