The Pope's envoy to the Albigensian Crusade, Arnaldo Amalric, ordered his troops to storm the city of Beziers to annihilate the Cathar heresy in 1209. Before the massacre began, he issued an order that has become a compendium of religious violence: "Kill them all, God will recognize his own".
No matter which way you look, the history of the creeds is filled with death and destruction.
And it is not necessary to have studied the Middle Ages or the wars of religion in Europe, it is enough to have seen some television news in recent decades.
Several international courts have considered the murder of 8,000 Muslim men by Serb ultranationalists in Srebrenica in July 1995 to be genocide. In the war in Lebanon, Christian militias killed thousands of Palestinians (women and children, mainly) in the camps of Sabra and Shatila in September 1985. To describe that massacre, the British journalist Robert Fisk wrote in a chronicle —collected in the book
Enough of Lies
(RBA), coordinated by John Pilge— the following: “After having seen a hundred corpses, we stop counting."
Feijóo: “You will not see a Catholic kill in the name of his religion.
Other towns have some citizens who do."
Considering that there are creeds superior to others, and that some are peaceful and others violent, as the leader of the PP, Alberto Nuñez Feijóo, maintained when he stated "you will not see a Catholic or a Christian kill in the name of their religion", not only reflects a worrying ignorance of the past and the present, but rather represents a vision of the world that responds only to a part of reality.
It is true that religious wars have marked world history for centuries —although they were almost always conflicts of power and control of territory—, but it is not the only way of looking at the past.
And it is not just about the idealized —and highly debated— coexistence of the three religions in al-Andalus or the multiculturalism of the late Austro-Hungarian empire.
In many times and places,
Despite the coldness —being generous— of Pius XII in the face of the Holocaust, hundreds of Polish or French Catholics risked their lives to protect Jews from Nazi persecution.
And there was even a European country, many times forgotten, that did not hand over its Jews after a popular revolt: the majority of Bulgarian Jews survived the Holocaust, as the political scientist Ivan Krastev recalled this weekend at the Hay Festival in Cartagena. de Indias —a literary meeting in which they talked more about politics than literature.
Krastev explained that they were protected by the Orthodox priests, although the government, an ally of Nazi Germany, was willing to deport them.
“The trick,” Krastev recalled, “was to tell the Germans that they were going to hand over the Jews.
What they didn't say was when."
And they always left it for the next day.
“The growing wave of public protests, which included an intervention by the bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church,” reports the Holocaust encyclopedia of the Shoah Museum in Washington, “finally forced Tsar Boris to change his mind and cancel the deportations in May from 1943″.
Still today, just a few steps from each other, the magnificent 16th-century Banya Bashi mosque —around 9% of Bulgaria's population is of Turkish origin— coexists in Sofia;
the central synagogue —in which the ladino can be heard— and the orthodox cathedral.
It is a living part of European history that far-right parties are deliberately trying to erase.
Unfortunately, seen what has been seen, they are not the only ones.
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