Ever wonder how the Spanish Inquisition came to be? King Ferdinand married his cousin Isabella and the two of them went about reuniting their kingdom. Problem is… they had a cruel way of going about it. I guess they thought things would be better if everyone in the kingdom was one religion. They eventually succeeded, but at great cost to non-Christians.
Spain had a large Muslim population because for centuries, the country had been ruled by the Moors and there were plenty of Jews because the Moors let them be. But the Christians finally won back the Spanish provinces and the king and queen were dead set on straightening things out… they wanted unity. There were also too many different languages and too much lawlessness. Some districts were ruled by religious leaders, while other regions had developed governments. Ancient Spain was in disarray.
So they brought out the mounted police, the Holy Brotherhood (Santa Hermandad), a police force on horseback who let feudal war lords know who was boss. Then the monarch set up their famous system of inquiry, The Inquisition it was called. They brought people into court and interrogated them. Basically, it was… you’re going to be a Christian. You are not going to pretend you are a Christian; you are really going to be a Christian. And if you’re not, you’ll be expelled from the kingdom. And by the way, on your way out… leave everything here, including your gold. You wealthy Moors and Jews, leave your land to the kingdom, your cattle also stays. And all those agricultural fields and trees you planted? We’ll take that too. Next!
What really made the monarch angry were the Moors and Jews who converted to Catholicism but who weren’t really Christian. They hated that. Imagine the nerve of them, going to church on Sunday but when at home practicing Islam or Judaism. And Christians who didn’t accept the monarch’s idea of what it meant to be a Catholic… they were punished too. Ferdinand and Isabella burned people to death. They tied them to crosses and started fires at their feet. No kidding. That’s one of the reasons why the New World became populated. People were running from serious oppression. Trouble is… the Inquisition followed them. That’s when we see The Mexican Inquisition in the history books. And that’s why there are Catholics who take DNA tests and find out they are Jewish. Well what do you know? Nobody said anything. Would you?
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy II – Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors. Available here:
Secret Genealogy II: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-II-Christian-Ancestors/dp/1484053222
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