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Massacres in the name of a peaceful faith

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Burning people alive in the name of God's love.
Preach to the choir
Icon religion.svg
Crux of the matter
Speak of the devil
An act of faith
As long as people continue to believe absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
Religion is based... primarily and mainly upon fear. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand-in-hand.
—Bertrand Russell, British philosopher.[2]

There have, in the course of history, been numerous massacres by believers in YHWH, Allah and Jesus. This is something they don't like to mention when they talk of God's love, or Allah the merciful and compassionate. Fuck'em, here's a list of their crimes:

Old Testament

See the main article on this topic: Old Testament
  • Ten massacres of the enemies of God ("enemies of God" includes children laughing at someone's bald patch, 2 Kings 2:23-24).
  • We won't go into all the massacres God had the Israelites commit against the Canaanites and others in Exodus, since the evidence indicates those never actually happened. Pointing that out makes literalists unhappy, but it gets Christians and Jews off the hook for some large-scale atrocities that their (physical or spiritual) ancestors never actually committed.

Roman Empire

See the main article on this topic: Roman Empire
  • State-sanctioned murder of Christians by pagans until Christianity became the official religion.
  • State-sanctioned murder of pagans by Christians until there were no more pagans left.
    • Of particular note are numerous massacres of pagans by Christian mobs in the fourth and fifth centuries CE.

Middle Ages

See the main article on this topic: Middle Ages
Constant pogroms followed by expulsions plagued the entire Jewish population of Europe for many centuries.
If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished by death.
—"Ordinances concerning Saxony" — legal code issued by Charlemagne, c. 782 CE[3]
  • The Muslim conquests (ordered by Muhammad, carried on after his death) shortly after Islam's foundation, led to numerous massacres of pagan Arabs and Iranian Zoroastrians for not converting to Islam.
    • Massacre of Banu Quarayza: Muhammad's forces betrayed an alliance with Arabic Jews and slaughtered them, killing between 600-900.[4]
  • Sasanian conquest of Jerusalem: Jews purchased thousands of Christian prisoners from the Persian Empire and massacred them.[5]
  • Massacre of Verden: in October 782 after the Saxon pagans rebelled against forced Christianization, Charlemagne had 4,500 captive rebel Saxons executed. Historian Alessandro Barbero comments that the most likely inspiration for the mass execution of Verden was the Biblical tale of the total extermination of the Amalekites and conquest of the Moabites by David.[6][7]
  • The Granada Massacre of 1066: A Muslim mob crucified a Jewish vizier and brutally massacred the city's Jewish population.[8][9] About 4,000 killed.[10]
  • The Crusades: an estimated 20 million victims in the Middle East over the centuries of religious warfare, based on contemporary estimates.[11]
    • Rhineland massacres: Crusaders during the First Crusade commit mass murder against the Jewish population of western Germany.[12] About 12,000 killed.[13]
    • 1097 Antioch massacre: Crusaders murder thousands of Muslim and Christian civilians, unable to tell them apart.[14]
    • 1098 Ma'rra massacre: Weary and hungry Cruasders kill and cannibalize about 20,000 Muslim civilians.[15]
    • Battle of Ascalon: 200,000 Muslims slaughtered "in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ."[11]
    • 1099 Jerusalem massacre: Crusaders butcher Jerusalem's Muslim and Jewish population in a cold-blooded act of ethnic cleansing.[16]
    • Richard the Lionheart's massacre: The king of England ordered the execution of 2,700 Muslim prisoners due to Saladin's failure to pay a ransom.[17]
    • Albigensian Crusade: Crusaders murder over 200,000 Cathars in France.[18]
    • The Sack of Constantinople in 1204: Crusaders destroy the Byzantine capitol, killing an unknown but high number of their fellow Christians.[11][19]
  • Massacre of the Latins: In 1182, Eastern Orthodox Christians wiped out the Catholic population of Constantinople, killing 60,000 to 80,000.[20][21]
  • Timurid conquests: Islamic Mongol ruler Timur, also called Tamerlane, led a reign of terror over southern Asia while calling himself the "defender of Islam", committing genocides against Indian Hindus, Egyptian and Turkish "usurpers", and Middle Eastern Christians.[22][23] He justified his campaigns against his fellow Muslims by describing them as "bad"; one infamous incident saw him behead 90,000 people in Baghdad so he could build towers with their skulls.[24] In total, Timur killed an estimated 17 million people on his insane quest for Islamic dominance and purification.[25]
  • The Valentine's Day Massacre: Several hundred to 2,000 Jews were burned to death in Strasbourg by Christians blaming them for the Black Death.[26]
  • Attack on Mainz: A Christian mob attacked the Jewish population of Mainz, Germany and killed 3,000 due to hysteria over the Black Death.[27]
  • 1391 massacres: A Catholic priest in Seville, Spain incited the city's Christians into mass killing over 10,000 Jews during their holy week.[28]

Early Modern era

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Religion of peace!
  • Spanish Inquisition: Torquemada alone is estimated to be responsible for about 10,000 executions.[11]
  • Polotsk drownings: Ivan the Terrible ordered his soldiers to drown 300 Jews to death for refusing to convert to Christianity.[29]
  • The German Peasant's War: German peasants inspired by the ideals of the Protestant Reformation rose up against the Catholic Church, resulting in a war that killed 100,000 people.[30]
  • The Münster Rebellion: Anabaptists took over the city of Münster and turned it into a brutal theocracy; local Catholics responded by killing 600 people and torturing the movement's three leaders to death.[31]
  • Toulouse riots: Huguenots and Catholics clash violently over the span of a week, killing 3,000 to 5,000 people.[32]
  • Massacre in Florida: Spanish colonial troops massacre about 200 French colonists in Florida, only sparing the Catholics.[33]
  • The Spanish Terror: During the Dutch Revolt, Spanish armies destroyed multiple Dutch Protestant cities to put down religious/nationalist rebels, killing more than 8,000.[34][35]
  • The 1572 Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France leaves up to 30,000 Protestants dead.[36] It was just one part of the French Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants that raged for most of the 16th century.
  • Witch trials: 40,000 women put to death by hysterical Christian witch trials during Europe's wars of religion.[37]
  • Thirty Years War: Tensions between the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor and various Protestant states spiraled into a devastating continental war that killed between five and ten million people.[38]
    • The Sack of Magdeburg: Imperial Catholic armies destroyed the city of Magdeburg, killing 20,000 Protestants.[39]
  • The Ulster Massacres: Irish Catholics rose up against the English in 1641, in the process slaughtering 4-12,000 Protestants.[40]
    • The Protestants later got their revenge thanks to Oliver Cromwell's notoriously brutal conquest of Ireland. Cromwell and many of his army were Puritans who considered all Roman Catholics to be heretics, and so for them the conquest was partly a crusade. 40% of Ireland's pre-war population died.[41] Cromwell is still a hated figure in Ireland.
  • Chmielnicki Pogrom: In 1648, Cossacks under Bohdan Chmielnicki rose up against Polish rule in Ukraine, in the process attempting to exterminate all Jews in the region and killing at least 100,000 people.[42]

Victorian era

  • The Constantinople Massacre of 1821 was orchestrated by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire against the Greek community of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in retaliation for the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence.[43] As soon as the first news of the Greek uprising reached the Ottoman capital, there occurred mass executions, pogrom-type attacks, destruction of churches, and looting of the properties of the city's Greek population. The events culminated with the hanging of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Gregory V.
    • Not to be outdone by the Turks, the Greeks after capturing the city of Tripolitsa (Tripoli) showed everyone how it's properly done. Up to 30,000 Muslims were killed and the whole Jewish population was wiped out.[44]
  • Haun's Hill massacre: A Missouri mob murdered 17 Mormons acting on an "Extermination Order" issued by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs.[45]
  • Mountain Meadows massacre: Mormon militia killed up to 140 unarmed members of the Baker-Fancher emigrant wagon train.[46]
  • Russian Tsarist pogroms (first wave): An 1881-4 wave of violence targeted Jews in southwest Imperial Russia, featuring mass rapes and killing an unknown-but-high number of Jews.[47]

Twentieth century

Victims of the 1903 Kishinev pogrom.
  • Russian Tsarist pogroms (second wave): A 1903-1906 wave of pogroms killed at least 2,500 people.[48] It's likely that the Russian state press helped instigate the violence to distract from the disastrous failures of the Russo-Japanese War.[49]
  • Adana massacre: Pogroms target Armenian Christians in 1909, resulting in 20,000 to 30,000 deaths.[50]
  • Lvov pogrom: Polish militias murdered about 150 people in the chaos of the Polish-Ukrainian War in 1918.[51]
  • Late Ottoman Genocides: Ottoman soldiers attempted to eradicate Armenian Christians, killing 1.8 million[52]. This happened concurrently with the Greek Genocide, where the Turks killed between 450,000 and 750,000 Greek Christians.[53]
  • Azerbaijan genocides: Christian Armenian nationalists slaughtered 50,000 people, including Jews and Azerbaijani Muslims.[54]
  • Indian Partition: Millions of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were killed during the partition of India in tit-for-tat massacres between all three, with a total death toll of up to two million.[55]
  • Guatemalan genocide: Paramilitaries under Efraín Ríos Montt's government massacred indigenous Mayan villagers, killing almost 200,000.[56]
  • Algerian Civil War: Islamic fundamentalists killed about 60,000 people.[57]
  • Malisbong Massacre: Filipino armed forces murdered about 1,500 Moro Muslims inside a mosque.[58]
  • Karantina Massacre: Lebanese Christian militias murdered 1,500 people in a Palestinian slum district.[59]
  • Damour Massacre: Palestinian militias murdered the residents of a Christian town south of Beirut in retaliation for the Karantina Massacre, killing between 150 and 582 people.[60]
  • The Sabra and Shatila Massacre: Israel allowed a Lebanese Christian militia to enter a Palestinian refugee camp; the militia proceeded to massacre at least 800 civilians.[61]
  • Tel el-Zaatar Massacre: Lebanese Christian militias attacked a Palestinian refugee camp, killing between 1,000 and 1,500.[62]
  • The Troubles: In large part a religious civil war,[63] the conflict in Northern Ireland resulted in 3,500 deaths, of which 1,785 were civilian.[64]
  • Bosnian Genocide: Serbs in Bosnia attempted to exterminate Bosnian Muslims, killing more than 8,000 people.[65]

Twenty-first century

  • 9/11: Al Qaeda terrorist attack in the United States that killed 2,977 and was motivated by religious anger at non-Muslim US forces based near Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia.[66]
  • 2002 Gujarat riots: Hindus and Muslims clashed for days in Gujarat, killing between 1,000 and 2,000.[67]
  • 2003 Iraq War: President George W. Bush claimed that God told him to "end tyranny in Iraq".[68] The war and the resulting chaos has claimed the lives of over 182,000 civilians and counting.[69]
  • The back and forth murder of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims based on a mythical claim to some worthless barren desert the Holy Land.
  • Routine executions and honor killings in the Middle East in the name of tribal morality.
  • Muslims persecute and murder Christians during the Arab Spring, currently ongoing in Egypt and Syria.
  • DAESH, AKA the result of the unnecessary war mentioned above, i.e. numerous crimes on the lands occupied by them plus exporting the Jihad to the world.
  • DAESH acts of genocide the Yazidi ethno-religious group, killed some 8,000 people.[70]
  • 2017 Al Shabaab truck bombings in Mogadishu, Somalia killed at least 537.[71]
  • Peshawar School Massacre: The Taliban attacked a school in Pakistan, killing 141 people, 132 of whom were children.[72]
  • Sri Lanka Easter bombings: ISIS-aligned suicide bombers attacked churches in Sri Lanka, killing 253 people.[73]
  • Boko Haram mass shooting at a Nigerian funeral in 2019 that killed at least 65 people.[74]

Massacres in the name of secular humanism

Two tumbleweeds rolling across the screen, from left to right.

See also


  1. Antireligion. Wikiquote.
  2. Bertrand Russell. Wikiquote.
  3. Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae
  4. Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret (1956), p. 79. William Muir (2003), The life of Mahomet, Kessinger Publishing, p. 317, ISBN 9780766177413
  5. A Forgotten Chapter Of Jewish History The Jewish Magazine
  6. Barbero, Alessandro (2004). Charlemagne: Father of a Continent, pages 46–47. University of California Press.
  7. Was Charlemagne a Mass Murderer?
  8. See the Wikipedia article on 1066 Granada massacre.
  9. Lucien Gubbay (1999). Sunlight and Shadow: The Jewish Experience of Islam. New York: Other Press. p. 80. ISBN 1-892746-69-7.
  10. Granada Jewish Encyclopedia
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Jesus: Myth or Reality? Google Books.
  12. The Rhineland Massacres of Jews in the First Crusade: Memories Medieval and Modern Cambridge
  13. Edward H. Flannery, The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism. Paulist Press, 1985: 93.
  14. Harari, Yuval Noah (2007). "The Gateway to the Middle East: Antioch, 1098". Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100–1550. The Boydell Press. pp. 53–73.
  15. December 12, 1098: Siege of Ma’arra, 20,000 Massacred and Cannibalized?! History and Headlines
  16. Crusaders massacre of Jerusalem was done in cold-blood, not religious frenzy, historian argues
  17. Richard The Lionheart Massacres The Saracens, 1191 Eyewitness to History
  18. Kill Them All The History Press
  19. Fourth Crusade HistoryNet
  20. Massacre of the LatinsWikipedia
  21. Gregory, Timothy (2010). A History of Byzantium. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-4051-8471-7.
  22. Tamerlane’s Reign of Terror History Answers UK
  23. 10 Terrors Of The Tyrant Tamerlane Listverse
  24. The Death of Tamerlane History Today
  25. J.J. Saunders, The history of the Mongol conquests (page 174), Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1971, ISBN 0812217667
  26. 1349: A Valentine's Day Massacre in Alzace Haaretz
  27. Robert S. Gottfried (11 May 2010). Black Death. Simon and Schuster. pp. 74–. ISBN 978-1-4391-1846-7.
  28. 1391 Jewish History
  29. Polotsk Jewish Virtual Library
  30. German Peasants War (1524 – 1525): Uprising of the Poor ThoughtCo
  31. The gruesome story of a radical Isis-like movement that once ruled Münster The Local
  32. See the Wikipedia article on 1562 Riots of Toulouse.
  33. The Spanish Massacre the French in Florida, 1565. Eyewitness to History
  34. Spanish FuryWikipedia
  35. The Dutch War of Independence Military History Matters
  36. Chadwick, Henry; Evans, G. R. (1987). Atlas of the Christian church. London: Macmillan. p. 113. ISBN 0-333-44157-5.
  37. Why Europe’s wars of religion put 40,000 ‘witches’ to a terrible death Doward, Jamie. The Guardian. 06.01.18
  38. White, Matthew. "The Thirty Years' War (1618-48)". Necrometrics. ND.
  39. Battle of Magdeburg Britannica
  40. Bloody history of the 1641 rebellion is published online BBC News
  41. How many died during Cromwell’s campaign? History Ireland
  42. Bogdan Chmielnicki Jewish Virtual Library
  43. See the Wikipedia article on Constantinople massacre of 1821.
  44. See the Wikipedia article on Siege of Tripolitsa.
  45. [1] Today I Found Out
  46. The Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 and the Trials of John D. Lee: An Account Famous Trials.
  47. What Were Pogroms? My Jewish Learning
  48. Weinberg, Robert. The Revolution of 1905 in Odessa: Blood on the Steps. 1993, p. 164.
  49. The Pogroms of 1903 - 1906
  50. Adalian, Rouben Paul (2012). "The Armenian Genocide". In Totten, Samuel; Parsons, William S. (eds.). Century of Genocide. Routledge. pp. 117–56. ISBN 9780415871914. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  51. Antisemitism and its opponents in modern Poland. Cornell University Press. pp. 127–129, 133–137, 143. ISBN 9780801489693.
  52. See the Wikipedia article on Armenian Genocide.
  53. {{|Greek genocide|}}
  54. Azerbaijanis Remember Victims Of March Genocide By Armenian Nationalists Caspian News
  55. Talbot, Ian; Singh, Gurharpal (2009), The Partition of India, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-85661-4 p. 2
  56. Jose Efrain Rios Montt International Justice Monitor
  57. Killing sprees rip apart Algeria Rebellion The Baltimore Sun
  58. 1,500 Moro massacre victims during Martial Law honored Minda News
  59. See the Wikipedia article on Karantina massacre.
  60. See the Wikipedia article on Damour massacre.
  61. A Preventable Massacre New York Times
  62. Fall of Tal el-Zaatar and Jisr el-Basha Civil Society Knowledge Centre
  63. Northern Ireland : religious war or social conflict? Le Journal International
  64. "Sutton Index of Deaths". Sutton, Malcom. Conflict Archive on the Internet.
  65. Bosnia-Herzegovina US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  66. 9/11 anniversary: Understanding extremist motives could stop further violence. The Conversation.
  67. See the Wikipedia article on 2002 Gujarat riots.
  68. George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq' The Guardian
  69. Iraqi Civilians Costs of War
  70. See the Wikipedia article on Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL.
  71. See the Wikipedia article on 14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings.
  72. Pakistan: Three years after 140 died in the Peshawar school massacre, what has changed? The Independent. Archived.
  73. Sri Lanka attacks: Death toll revised down by 'about 100' BBC
  74. Suspected Boko Haram attack on a funeral leaves 65 dead in Nigeria, official says. CNN.