Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crusades - Laudable

Just another reminder via Catholic Online: The Middle East was once the Christian heartland – centuries before the rise of the Scimitar.
It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Long before the advent of Islam in the 7th century, the Middle East was the heartland of Christianity. Jesus was a Palestinian Jew. All the major doctrines of Christian theology – the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc. -- were hammered out in the great and ancient Sees that go back to the earliest history of the Church. With the exception of Rome, all were engulfed by Islamic conquest. – Jerusalem, Alexandria (Egypt), Antioch (Syria), and Constantinople – all submerged.

The Muslim conquerors swept over the Arabian peninsula, north into Syria and Persia and further points east, across northern Africa where the great St. Augustine once preached, over the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain and Portugal and north far into modern day France. One by one the islands of the Mediterranean fell. The southern coast of France was pounded for centuries. Right before the Crusades, the Muslims overwhelmed the Balkans and the Anatolian Peninsula. Later, after the Crusades, the jewel of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, fell to the Sultan in 1453.
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