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The Advancement of the Crusaders and the Church - Research Paper Example

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The Advancement of the Crusaders and the Church

The crusades were a series of wars by Western European Christians to recapture the Holy Land from Muslims, which lasted till late 13th century1. Though there were various subtle factors behind the crusades, the first and the most noticeable one was the aggression by Islamic rulers. A look into the factors behind crusades makes it evident that they, in no way, advanced the cause of Christ because they were against the Christian worldview. The history of crusades As far back as in the third century, Christians used to visit the Hold Lands to see the places of Christ’s life. Though the place was conquered by Muslim rulers, pilgrimages continued without my disruption as Caliph Harun al-Rashid accommodated Christian pilgrims. However, the situation went wrong when the Egyptian ruler of Palestine in the 11th century, known as Hakim, started torturing the Christian pilgrims. He destroyed Constantine’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher and declared himself as God incarnate2. The Turks were advancing with enormous power. By 1050, they had a state in Persia and within five years, they reached Baghdad and up to Aegean in Anatolia. Soon Byzantine was defeated at Manzikert and a new sultanate was started at Nicaea. In the year 1071, Jerusalem became a part of the new Seljuk state of Syria. It was in this disorder and anarchy that General Alexius I Comnenus came to power in Byzantine. As already known, there was a split between the Eastern and Western churches. So, Pope Gregory VII found it a good opportunity to unite the Churches by spreading the holy war to Asia. So, he offered to send an army of western knights under his own leadership to Byzantine. Similarly, Pope Urban II offered military help to Byzantine against Turks. Pope Urban II pointed out in his speech at the Council of Clemont in 1095 the hardships faced by the Eastern Christians and the pilgrims to Jerusalem. He declared that God would assist those who would fight for their brothers. Another declaration was that the sins of those who died in the work of God would be forgiven. Thus, enormous numbers of people joined the Crusade. Seeing the great Crusader armies, Turks surrendered Nicaea without a war. The crusaders advanced through Dorylaeum and soon, Edessa, a strategically important imperial city, was conquered and it became the first crusader state3. Soon, Jerusalem and Antioch were conquered by the Crusaders, and Baldwin of Edessa became the first king of Jerusalem. Within no time, the crusader states grew wealthy with the local resources. Admittedly, it was not the military order of the crusaders that helped them, but it was the lack of unity among the Muslims that allowed the crusader survival there. Soon, the Muslims united and a re-conquest was the result. Thus, in 1144, Edessa was captured by Muslims. At this point, St. Bernard preached the second crusade. As he managed to attract masses, King Louis VII of France and King Conrad III of Germany reached the East in what is called the Second Crusade. However, this time, the Crusade was destined to fail. First lf all, the local lords feared that the newcomers would take away their kingdoms and hence, the newcomers were in conflict with the local lords. Thus, the crusaders failed to conquer Damascus in 1149. The Muslim re-conquest continued undisturbed. Saladin of Egypt was a great ruler who managed to bring Syria and Mesopotamia under his control. By 1183, his brother was the ruler of ...Show more


THE ADVANCEMENT OF Crusaders and the Church (COLLEGE) Table of Content I. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………….2 II. THESIS STATEMENT……………………………………………2 III. THE HISTORY OF CRUSADES……………………………….2 IV…
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