document 7 - The Spread of Christianity a Mission or a Crusade Christianity is currently the world\u2019s most popular religion with roughly 1.2

document 7 - The Spread of Christianity a Mission or a...

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The Spread of Christianity: a Mission or a Crusade? Christianity is currently the world’s most popular religion, with roughly 1.2 billion Catholics and over 900 million Christians of other denominations. Undeniably, the popularity of Christianity todays is due to the ongoing spread of Christian ideals and beliefs, which was at its fastest during the Crusades and religious military campaigns of the medieval era. One could say that a flash point occurred during the life of Martin Luther – a time during which many Christians were turning away from the Catholic Church, as bibles and pro- reformation writings were becoming increasingly available to the lower class with the help of the printing press. This, of course prompted the Counter Reformation efforts of the Catholic Church, which, like the Crusades, involved similar tactics of persecution that lead to more violence and the deaths of those who would not renounce their Protestant views. The spread of Christianity has an extremely violent history. However, evangelism continues today through some not-so-violent means, such as missions programs in churches, high schools, and colleges. Needless to say, today’s methods of spreading the Christian faith are not as forceful as the methods used to do so during medieval and early modern history. This is because there is a fundamental difference between sharing beliefs with a culture and forcing beliefs upon a culture. In medieval and early modern history, Christian principles were enforced, whereas today they are shared. Pssst... we can write an original essay just for you Any subject. Any type of essay. We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline. GET YOUR PRICE 121 writers online I believe that today’s evangelical outreach to underdeveloped countries that would benefit from hearing the word of God is a wonderful development, but this is a far cry from the methods of the Catholic Church, which have involved using force to coerce foreign cultures to accept the religion. While the Catholic Church has used forceful approaches to gain followers in the past, this is not to say that the Catholic Church itself is to blame for today’s religious violence and persecution. In many cases throughout the second half of the millennium, Christianity (of many denominations; not just Catholicism) has been used as a tool for Western Imperialist powers to gain a foothold in foreign state societies with the intentions of overthrowing them and gaining more land, resources, and capital for the motherland. More recently, in the 19th and 20th centuries, long-term missions involved strategies that echoed imperialist strategies. Though not as drastic or violent as the strategies used earlier in history, missions during the 19th and 20th centuries, similar to Western Imperialism, often caused unwanted cultural overlap. I believe that such tactics, although they have facilitated the advance of Christianity worldwide, should certainly be frowned upon and should no longer be repeated. This is

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