How did Christianity persecute polytheism?

May 2017
62
China
How did Christianity persecute polytheism, after Constantine converted Christianity?
Which century did christians became the religion of most of Europe's main populations?
How they did that?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the jews in their territory?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the muslims in their territory?
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
If you repost the first question under Ancient History, Kookaburra Jack will answer it fully, although perhaps not fairly.

Christianity started in the Mideast, not Europe, moved to Greece and Rome, and then moved north. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_centers_of_Christianity

Medieval Christians treated Jews very badly--expelling them from England and Spain, among other countries, and from time to time engaging in anti-Jewish riots.

With respect to Muslims, Medieval Christians regarded those in Europe as invaders--as in fact they were--and expelled them from southern Italy, Sicily and Spain as quickly as they could.
 
Feb 2017
137
Latin America
"How did Christianity persecute polytheism, after Constantine converted Christianity?"

In the case of Hellenic religion, by defunding Hellenic temples, converting them to churches, occasionally destroying them, as well as by forbidding animal sacrifice and a number of public festivals like gladiator fights and the Olympics. In more extreme cases, sacking and burning entire cities, though this was done by Arian Christians in antiquity and not Roman ones.

In the case of the rest of European religions, again by forbidding animal sacrifice, human sacrifice as well, converting altars and temples (the few that existed, anyway, since European religions are characterised by their prominent lack of temples) into Christian altars and churches while putting laws that threatened violence for those who did not attend Mass (though these were very rarely enforced so they don't really count) as well as the occasional execution of a priests and key non-Christian figures, and also through conquest and mass killing in more extreme cases, as it occurred with Charlemagne in Germany and again with the Crusaders around the 13th century in Lithuania; however the last one was the exception and not the the rule.


"Which century did christians became the religion of most of Europe's main populations?"

By the end of the Viking age around the middle of the 11th century, when the key regions of Europe, that is, Great Britain, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and Central Europe, were mostly Christian.

"How they did that?"

Aside from the persecution mentioned above, mostly through Christian missionaries who converted monarchs and other rulers who then proceeded to fund and build chapels, cathedrals, monasteries and convents to spread the Christian religion. Missionaries managed to convert said monarchs and rulers by compromising Christian orthodoxy and engaging in religious syncretism. A good example of this syncretism is the Old Saxon work "Heliand" which is a fascinating fusion of Gospel stories with Germanic mythology.

"How did the medieval Christian countries treat the jews in their territory?"

As second-class citizens who were treated even worse than indigenous European polytheists. They were left alone in this status for the most part, but there were occasional periods of very bloody persecutions. Some Jews did manage to obtain prominence in spite of this, and a unique European Jewish culture, with its own literature and other arts, also developed.

"How did the medieval Christian countries treat the muslims in their territory?"

Muslim diplomats were treated with respect and honour no different than Christian diplomats. As for Muslim populations in general, there really are only four cases of this in Europe in the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, the Caucasus and the Balkans.

In the case of Sicily, a Sultanate dominated it for about two or three centuries between the 8th or 9th century until the 11th or 12th century when Normans reconquered it. Muslims were converted to Christianity in the same way Hellenes and indigenous Europeans were converted as I mentioned above, though the process in Sicily might have been bit more violent. In the case of Iberia, the Spanish reconquest in 1492 led to a bloody persecution with the installation of a particular Inquisition as well as the reduction of Muslims to second-class citizens, who were then expelled completely a century later which is why you don't see Muslims in Spain anymore except for modern immigrants who don't predate the 20th century.

The case of the Caucasus is particular as it is basically colonialism. Historically the Muslims were treated like other European colonised peoples, that is, as exploited and oppressed peoples by the ruling Russians who conquered them. The period has been in periodic rebellion ever since said Russian conquest, with the bad luck of still not obtaining independence to this day.

The Balkans has been far more peaceful, though. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire for instance gave full recognition to the Muslims living in their Balkan territories, while during the war for Greek independence, the new Christian Greek monarchy didn't even notice its own Muslim population, and the same with the rest of ex-Ottoman territories that became independent. Only WWI, WWII and the Yugoslavian War of the 90s can count as periods of persecution in the Balkans, but the Muslims in this case weren't targeted any more than their Balkan Christian compatriots.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,024
Portugal
How did Christianity persecute polytheism, after Constantine converted Christianity?
Which century did christians became the religion of most of Europe's main populations?
How they did that?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the jews in their territory?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the muslims in their territory?
Too many questions. We could write a book with these!

The Christianization was many times a slow process that lived together with polytheism. There were region were many local gods, and fairies, were slowly replaced by local Saints, and Christianized. This allowed the local population the pray in the same places but under a Christian umbrella.

The treatment of Jews changed much according to the timeline and the region. Obviously, as they were not the dominant elites in the Christian kingdoms, they could be seen as second class citizens, even so, in the Iberian Peninsula, during the long Medieval period, they had their own neighbourhood, could practice their religion, had their cult places, and a representation before the king. Usually these communities had different roles that the Christian ones. And some (especially Jews) could be quite influent in the court (as merchants, bankers, physicians, seers…). Even so they were sometimes persecuted by the population and riots occur.

In some period this changed allot, with an increase of intolerance. Still in the Middle Ages with the Muslim, especially in the Early Modern period with the Jews.

Medieval Christians treated Jews very badly--expelling them from England and Spain, among other countries, and from time to time engaging in anti-Jewish riots.
It is important to note that although there were riots against Jews in the Medieval times, their persecutions and expulsion from Spain only occurred in the Modern Times.

In the Middle Ages, there were even kings in Spain, like Alfonso X from Castile, that were known as king of the three religions.
 
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JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,907
USA
How did Christianity persecute polytheism, after Constantine converted Christianity?
Which century did christians became the religion of most of Europe's main populations?
How they did that?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the jews in their territory?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the muslims in their territory?


As for the last two questions this depends on the time and place. In some Christian societies of the middle ages Jews and Muslims got by just fine or they even flourished in some cases. The Kingdom of Jerusalem for example was tolerate of Jews and Muslims where as King Edward I of England for example banished Jews from England in 1290...an edict overturned over 350 years later by Oliver Cromwell.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_world_contributions_to_Medieval_Europe

Here is an excerpt from a past post of mine on another board, talking about the very topic you bring up,


Throughout the middle ages one can find a # of Muslim and Christian Kingdoms which practiced a notable level of chivalry.

One of the great Kingdoms of the middle ages was the Norman Kingdom of Sicily.

Muslims, Jews, Byzantine Greeks and Latin Normans worked together to form a society that created some of the most extraordinary buildings the world has ever seen. Indeed, for one brief shining moment Arab-Norman Sicily was the most civilized place in the western world, even beyond the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, a place coarse and crude by comparison, where other Normans had set themselves up as kings.


Norman Sicily


Even Muslims flourished in Crusader states

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/01/30/even-muslims-flourished-in-crusader-states/



This was because, as Hamilton puts it, “once their rule had been established the Franks proved remarkably tolerant in their treatment of non-Christian subjects.” He notes that “the Franks allowed complete religious freedom to all their subjects.

http://www.defenderofjerusalem.com/muslims-.html
 
Apr 2017
306
The Ancient World
To answer the first question, see the following chronology

http://https://www.rassias.gr/9011.html

In regard to the Christian population, it is estimated that by the year 300CE they reached more than 50 percent of the total population of the Empire. The shocking thing is that the population was only at 10 percent in the year 200 CE. After Constantine, conversions were often forced. We polytheists are returning though to reclaim our right.
 
Feb 2017
137
Latin America
To answer the first question, see the following chronology

http://https://www.rassias.gr/9011.html

In regard to the Christian population, it is estimated that by the year 300CE they reached more than 50 percent of the total population of the Empire. The shocking thing is that the population was only at 10 percent in the year 200 CE. After Constantine, conversions were often forced. We polytheists are returning though to reclaim our right.

Sure, and what were these "often forced" conversions? Is it "forced" conversion to stop crucifixions, gladiator fights, or Olympic games with blood sports like boxing and pankration? What about animal sacrifice? It's ironic how neo-Hellenes go on about Christian cruelty but forget the cruelty of the ancient world which was no less.

And again, what "often forced" conversions? You will be hard pressed to find examples of executions of Hellenes and even destruction of temples by the Roman authorities. Neither were the conversion of temples "forced" except, again, in a few occasions.

And yes, I've read Rassias, the same guy who doesn't cite a single source for what he says and also dishonestly grabs instances of violence that was directed at the common people in general regardless of religion, and where Christians would have been the most affected and not Hellenes, to present them as anti-Hellenic persecution when they were not. It's like saying the Roman Emperors were persecuting Christians during the Crises of the Third Century due to their constant sacking and destruction of cities in which many Christians surely died, even though they weren't actually intentionally persecuting Christians, and Hellenes were the most affected by them.

And why is it worrying that the Christian population grew to 50% of the Roman Empire by 300 CE (completely inaccurate by the way, but just for the sake of argument let's accept this figure)? Only a bigot thinks that way. Of course, if Christianity had grown violently that would be different, but that's not the case here since you're talking about Christian growth from 200 to 300 CE, before Constantine converted. Such conversion wasn't violent.

Then again, you're the same guy that engages in anti-Semitic stereotyping of Jews as Shylockian figures without even trying to give an explanation of why they are like that:

1) Religious: Jews believe they are the chosen people and their religious texts contain many stories of suffering, piety, resistance and endurance, which they value as virtues. Proselytism was practised from time to time (mainly towards women), but otherwise non-Jews (according to Jewish custom) were strictly avoided or used for Jewish advantages.

2) Cultural: Jews not only maintain close communities, but also have gained cultural experience from travelling and trading throughout other lands, which makes them collectively astute.

3) Economical: Jews have always flocked to cities in order to seek a mercantile livelihood or to become money-lenders and craftsmen. Their close communities spread throughout many cities and cultural experience ensures their prosperity. Most foreign Jews were of the middle class and rarely poor, and hence the laws that sought to retrain their wealth.

4) Political: Jews at home fiercely fought for cultural independence and would never take part in political affairs abroad until they were very well established and assimilated (I.e. beginning from about 250 years ago in Europe). However, they were not unwilling (not unsuccessful) to court the wealthy and royal families for protection and profit. Their closely connected communities in Europe and beyond also allowed them to gain an upperhand with important news and knowledge of general affairs, in order to anticipate advantages and dangers, when they arose.
(And before you say anything, no, I don't think the Hellenic religion was evil and that it was okay to be persecuted. I for one think it's a great ancient religion that makes you enter in communion with God and makes you grow as a better person, contrary to the reactionary, sectarian and historically illiterate neo-Hellenism of Vlassis Rassias that you seem to be advocating.)
 
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johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,777
Cornwall
How did Christianity persecute polytheism, after Constantine converted Christianity?
Which century did christians became the religion of most of Europe's main populations?
How they did that?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the jews in their territory?
How did the medieval Christian countries treat the muslims in their territory?
The answer to all questions is more or less 'differently and variably' depending on time and place.

The only pretty much constant (but not always) is the persecution of jews. Pedro often publishes a list on here of all the anti-jewish riots/incidents in history.

The Aragon of Alfonso I El Battalador treated jews and muslims in it's conquered areas with equal status to christians, whereas the Castille and Aragon of Ferdinand and Isobella persecuted them to the point of expulsion.

So tell me - how did 'Christian countries treat their jews?' See what I mean?

Just to confuse further - muslims (and jews presumably) used to call the Christians 'polytheists' - all this Father, Son, Holy Sprit business.
 
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