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‘We have come to civilize you,’ said the colonisers who were roasting men and women alive on stakes over accusations of witchcraft

Author: Akshita Bhadauria
Publication: Opindia.com
Date: September 29, 2021
URL:      https://www.opindia.com/2021/09/europe-medieval-church-witch-hunting-burning-stake-colonisation-civilise-indians-conversions/

Experts say that between the 15th and 18th century, around 60,000 persons were systematically executed in Europe for being witches. The favourite targets of the Church were single women, widows and marginalised members of the society.

 “The Indian agriculturalist is poor, woefully poor..Indian village life, as I see it, is labouring under two major handicaps: poverty and ignorance…”

“India, as every informed man is aware, is preponderantly a land of villages, and the major portion of Indian mission work is in the village. It follows, then, that if our missionary work is to be effective, it must make a definite contribution to village life,” read an excerpt from The Journal of Religion published in the late 1890s and written by Clifford Manshardt (1897-1989) an American sociologist and author.

India was looked down upon as the land of poverty, snake charmers and cows. The millennials can understand this from the famous Bollywood dialogue below.

For an average Indian, the Brits got English education, railways and iconic buildings and “Christianity” to India. The suave, silent and suited looters are often credited with ‘civilizing’ the otherwise ‘uncivilized’ society. At least that’s what the popular narrative, often written in the West’s version, says. Here’s an example of a troll belittling Hindus.


What we are not taught, however, is the history of these very sophisticated looters who stepped on the land wearing different facades to imperialize and annihilate it from its roots.

In this article, we deal with only the ones who came here to ‘spread the word of God.’

‘An incomplete mission’
Author Pankaj Saxena in his presentation on ‘Christianity and the Dark Ages’ on The Uncrossing revealed, “The Christians believe that Jesus will come again, but not until everyone is either dead or a Christian.”

I am sure many readers will scoff at this, dismissing it as some ancient local folklore.

“Half a million Indian communities still lack any witnessing body of believers, meaning four out of five Indians will go their entire lives without knowing a single Christian. Why India? Because God loves this nation. And He has called us to bring His light to India,” reads the landing page of an evangelical organization Mission India’s website.


Mission India Website

Pretty sure the website cannot be considered a part of any traditional folklore.

Saxena further revealed that the conversions will not stop until everyone is a Christian.

“Our Lord commands us to, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations.’ “All peoples”—tribes, castes, and ethnic groups,” reads a paragraph of another missionary organization named India Gospel Outreach.

But how did the ‘word of God’ spread before websites?

The author in his presentation further spoke about Emperor Constantine. Without diving much into the details, let us just say that Constantine to retain his power made Christianity the main religion of Rome, and created Constantinople, which became the most powerful city in the world.

With the rise of Christianity, began the decline of civilization. No, this is no typing mistake but a leaf from the past.

Soon, practicing Pagan religion in public or private was banned. Greek and Roman temples were turned to dust. Libraries and any other place that dispensed knowledge were destroyed.

Roman Temples & Libraries in ruins. Image Source: Ancient History Lists

As a side note, here is what a pastor has to say about Hindus and Hindu temples. “If I was a dictator, I would do what the Portuguese did, that is, convert everyone to Christianity. People say Hinduism is a peaceful religion but it is not. I would destroy all their temples and idols..”

Mission Kaali - Say No To Conversion @missionkaali

terrorist? Nah! But not less than that. A pastor following #bible saying he will destroy temples forcefully convert Hindus and kill people teaching yoga. Yeah thats so much religious tolerance coming in from the west

September 27, 2021

Bathing was considered a sin and women were looked at as beings working on the orders of satan. Even the practice of medicine was banned and suffering was said to be a ‘gift from God.’

This is how France, Italy, Greece, Spain, England, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and others were Christianized.

A lost battle?
As per Saxena, the rise of Islam left Christians scratching their head as ‘how could God’s own army lose?’ What followed was not a pretty sight.

The Christians then believed that their fellow Christians, especially the new converts are not ‘Christian’ enough. Thus began the gory period of inquisitions and genocides.

Heretics, Jews and learned women were persecuted for the crimes they did not commit. Thomas Aquinas, an Italian philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church justified the persecution by saying, “If ordinary criminals are justly doomed to death, much more may heretics be justly slain.”

The bad actions were justified with the support of verses from the Bible. For example,

“Blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death,” reads Leviticus 24:16.

With this, inquisitors began to gather townspeople for interrogation. People were asked to confess their crimes and denounce others. Informing the inquisitors of crimes committed by others in the town was the only hope to reduce torture.

In a bid to escape torture and punishment, the townsmen came up with fictitious and bizarre imaginary crimes. They charged Jews with abducting Christian children, ritually sacrificing them and drinking their blood.

They were banished, made to wear a yellow badge (reminded of Hitler?) and tortured till death. Some of the torture methods and devices include slow roasting on a stake in full public view, burning feet and using tools such as skin crusher, head crusher, iron mask with a funnel to pour hot oil from the mouth, breaking wheel and quartering machine.

Torture Tools. Image Source: Reddit


‘Women are the work of devil’
After visiting the history of the Christian world especially from the middle ages, it becomes very difficult to take sermons from the West on feminism or women’s equality.

Here’s what some Church scholars said about women. St. Clement of Alexandria said, “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman,” while St Peter called them the “weaker vessel.”

The scholars simply furthered what the Bible preached. For example, 1 Corinthians 7:1 of the New Testament says, “It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman.”

Timothy 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

This is how the inquisitors, in a bid to persecute women produced a women’s pact with a devil, thereby, declaring her a ‘witch-doctor’ or ‘servant of the devil.’

Depiction of ‘witch-trials.’ Image Source: Edinburgh Live

There were special torture tools invented for women such as breast rippers, impalement, hanging, pushing off a bridge and more. The targets of these ‘witch hunts’ were women who practised rural medicine, used herbs and local remedies to ease birthing pain and other ailments, midwives and any woman who did not ‘fall in line’ as per the Church’s command.

Experts say that between the 15th and 18th century, around 60,000 persons were systematically executed in Europe for being witches. The favourite targets of the Church were single women, widows and marginalised members of the society.

Why should one care about it now?
“Over 45 years ago, a preacher named Prasada Rao had the vision to share the love of God with the people of Andhra Pradesh, India. Now there are more than 10,000 believers in more than 400 villages within 200 miles of Repalle, where the story began in the heart of one man,” reads the website page of another missionary organization.


Makes one wonder about this love! A former practising Christian Maria Wirth in a Facebook post narrating an anecdote wrote, “….I also told the students that I lost faith in Christianity already as a teenager because I could no longer believe that God is so cruel and will send the majority of human beings into eternal hellfire only because they don’t accept Jesus as their saviour.”

Time and again members of the non-Abrahamic sects asserted that the issue is not conversion but what happens after conversion or the objective of conversions. In our previous report, we mentioned how a hamlet was never at peace after the villagers were made to convert on the pretext of healing or education.

Here’s a case where a woman was held captive for two months and forced to eat beef by Christian missionaries in Bhipura village in Supaul district, Bihar.

Now the question is, why would the “civilized” consider a woman to be beneath a man, destroy the beliefs of others or roast someone to death?

Watch ‘The Uncrossing’ for more discussions around Christian Fundamentalism.
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