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A Brief History of Christian Anti-Semitism by Dan Allison January 9 1999 For sixteen hundred years the Jewish people have been persecuted and murdered by people who worship a Jewish man as their savior the Christians Why did Christian anti-Semitism a seemingly illogical belief given that Jesus himself was a Jew develop How did it evolve and why has it persisted for centuries In the Biblical gospels despite three of the four being ostensibly written by Jews enemies of Jesus are referred to as the Jews Early Christians found themselves in a quandary The savior they worship himself a Jew purportedly was killed by Jews Since at least the fourth century some groups of Christians have actively practiced anti-Semitism taking revenge on Jewish people for murdering the God of Christianity Christians have called Jews devils demons and antichrists Persecution by church officials both Catholic and Protestant was consistent and deadly for over a thousand years Hundreds of thousands possibly millions of Jews were massacred by so-called Christians centuries before the Holocaust Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity in 312 AD Attributing his military successes to God he issued the Edict of Milan making Christianity the Roman Empires official religion It was here in the fourth century that open anti-Semitism emerged A great number of superficial converts wanting to be on the winning side joined the church which was placing overwhelming emphasis on the sacraments The sacraments were thought by many to have a magical content supernaturally protecting against attacks from the devil Those outside the sacramental community -- primarily unconverted Jews -- became seen as people through whom the devil could work his evil purposes 1 Jews were thought to be sorcerers cannibals and child-murderers Attacks by church fathers became increasingly venomous Gregory of Nyasa a Cappadocian bishop wrote that Jews are Companions of the devil race of vipers informers calumniators darkeners of the mind pharisaic leaven Sanhedrin
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