5-NEW CHRISTIANS

How the Jews became enemy #1 of the Church of Rome.

 

When, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, the prelates decided to revamp the image of the revered messiah Apollonius by changing his name and turning him into the son of God, the founding fathers had a problem. The Apollonius look alike had to be an Essene from Palestine, and that meant he had to be a Jew. How does one build a Roman religion based on the teachings of a Jew? They did it by likening the money-lending Jews of the Temple of Jerusalem to Jews in general. By conjuring up a story where the new messiah was violently opposed to these usurers, and where these usurers were responsible for his horrible death on the cross, it would be one way to turn him into a very likeable Jew. Furthermore, the faithful would readily accept the idea that their long-departed messiah, Christ in Greek, had accomplished many miracles and was indeed Son of God. But that created a problem, for the Roman Christians were now inclined to believe that Jews were responsible for the death of their messiah, and they wouldn’t be unduly upset in the future to see Jews tortured, burned at the stake, or despoiled and banned from their homes. Unfortunately, that’s how it turned out, and that’s why Jews were transformed into the formidable foe that they would become. It’s not that the Jews had wanted it so, it’s just that the Christian Church made it so.

Geographically, France is the hub of Europe, and it naturally became the cornerstone of Christianity when the Church of Rome took over the administration of Gaul and the Western Roman Empire after Constantin’s departure for Byzantium. Clovis, the Church’s first anointed king was a Franc. During his reign, he had his hands full persecuting the Arians and the barbarians, the Appolinius followers who refused to accept the Nicene Creed that stated their messiah was Son of God. But once the great majority of Appolinius followers throughout Gaul had been forced to convert to Christianity, it was the Jews’ turn. In 629 CE, the Pope directed King Dagobert to expulse the Jews from Christian Gaul, which we know today as France. Later, in 996 CE, when King Robert the Pious came to power in France, an untold number of Jews were burned at the stake. When in 1009 the Muslims burned the alleged Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Christians blamed the Jews, and consequently many French Jews were tortured and massacred. Later, in 1096 CE, Jews started being systematically despoiled, and burned at the stake or expulsed from the realm. It was the start of the first crusade, and Philip 1st and his noblemen took advantage of the situation in order to replenish their coffers. By despoiling the Jews and killing untold numbers of Jews they were killing two birds with one stone. Philip was not only doing his Christian duty but he had found a way to finance the crusade ordered by Pope Urban II. Over the next centuries, when King Philippe Augustus and others needed money they would let the Jews back in for a fee, and the whole process would start over again. However, in 1394 CE, Charles VI officially declared the definite expulsion of Jews from France, and most of the 100 000 affected Jews made their way to Spain.

They chose Spain not only because it was France’s neighbor, but it was also because the Muslims were by then in full control of Spain and were tolerant towards other religions. And because the French Jews were moneymen and businessmen, the Muslims were favorably disposed in welcoming them. However, as the Christians started reconquering the Iberian Peninsula, at the first opportunity, in 1478 CE, the Pope ordered an inquisition. The Jews were again forced to convert to Christianity, and if they refused, they were burned at the stake. Understandably, many Sephardim chose to convert while continuing to practise their religion in secret, and they became known as marranos. However, they were expelled from Spain in 1492 CE and went to Portugal. Not surprisingly, soon after, the Pope ordered inquisitions in that country, and in 1540 CE, many of the great Sephardic families fled to the Netherlands, an ex-Spanish colony, and made it their homeland. William the Silent, a tolerant man, had gained that colony’s independence from Spain, and though fully aware of the Sephardim’s dubious conversion to Christianity, he welcomed them, labelling them new Christians.

When, in 1602 CE, the ‘new Christians’, the Sephardim, joined forces with the ‘Protestant Christians’, the Huguenots, in Amsterdam, it sparked the creation of the world of credit, the great world that we enjoy today.

 

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