Article: Christianity And The Witch Hunt Era (1/12)April 13, 2007
The European witch hunting era is one of the most appalling atrocities in Christian history, and has stigmatised the Christians of the Middle Ages (as well as Christianity generally), as superstitious, irrational, ignorant, and inhumane. But whilst there is no excusing the perpetrators, or those who encouraged the craze, certain facts should be understood which demonstrate that this madness was in fact not characteristic of Christianity, nor even characteristic of Christianity in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but a strange incongruity in almost 2,000 years of Christian history.
The following charges have been directed at Christianity generally, and the established church specifically:
* That 9 million people were killed as a result of the witch hunts
* That the witch hunts were the product of a deliberate campaign by the established church to suppress an ancient pagan ‘mother goddess’ religion, or (more generally), to suppress women
* That the witch hunts were the result of hysterical anti-heresy efforts carried out by the Inquisition
* That the witch hunt era came to an end as a result of the ‘Age of Reason’, the rise of science, and a declining belief in the supernatural
The following article (in seven parts), examines these claims.