The Crusades were military campaigns of Catholic Christianity, with the aim of occupying Palestinian territories, with biblical places of worship, territories that had never belonged to any European country in the past. The following factors also contributed to the initiation of the Crusades:
- The penetration of the Seljuk Turks in 1071 in Asia Minor (which hindered the free pilgrimage of Christian believers to Palestine).
- The appeal of the Byzantine Orthodox emperor Alexios Komnenos, who felt acutely threatened by the Turks.
- The confessional zeal and the warlike spirit of the time.
- The idea of holy war put into circulation by the papacy, coupled with false promises of forgiveness of sins in the event of death during the Crusades (indulgent).
- The desire for easy and fast enrichment of European adventurers.
- Commercial interests in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Basin.
The Crusades were (along with the forced Christianization of the first centuries after the Edict of Milan in 313, the Iberian Reconquest of the 14th-15th centuries, the Spanish Conquest of Latin America in the 15th-16th centuries, the wars and persecutions of the Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 16th century, the medieval witch hunts and the Inquisition) the greatest crimes committed by the Church against humanity.
Historians estimate that a total of 10 million innocent people were killed by the Church in 1,500 years (between the 4th and 19th centuries), while several million other innocent people were persecuted, tortured, mutilated, exiled, mentally destroyed. During the Seven Crusades, Catholic Christian adventurer troops devastated everywhere they passed (Europe and Asia), killed tens of thousands of Orthodox Christians (revenge for the Great Schism of 1054), and tens of thousands of non-Christian civilians. Asian regions.
Crusade 1 (1096-1099): led to the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and the founding of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with the vassal cities of Akkon, Antioch, Edessa, Tripolis, Beirut, Sidon, Tyros. During the occupation of Jerusalem, the Crusaders slaughtered more than 20,000 inhabitants (including children, the elderly, women).
Crusade 2 (1147-1149): The occupation of Edessa by the Seljuk Turks provoked the Second Crusade. The Crusade, led by the troops of Emperors Konrad III (Germany) and Louis VII (France), ended with a total failure.
Crusade 3 (1189-1192): proposed the reconquest of Jerusalem (entered the Muslim rule in 1187). The crusade did not have the expected success, ending only with the recapture of Akkon and an armistice, through which Muslims allowed unarmed and peaceful pilgrims to enter Jerusalem.
Crusade 4 (1201-1204): initiated by Pope Innocent III against Egypt (the ruler of Jerusalem), quickly abandoned its primary goal, degenerating into a fratricidal war against Orthodox Constantinople, where Western Catholic adventurers temporarily established in 1204 an unviable pro-Catholic kingdom, also numerous small Catholic principalities on the territory of Orthodox Greece, equally unviable principalities. They have committed widespread crimes everywhere.
Crusade 5 (1228-1229): led by sea by the German emperor Friedrich II, recaptures Jerusalem for the last time, a city that will be lost by the Crusaders permanently in 1244.
Crusade 6 (1248-1254): reaches a stalemate in 1250, by taking as prisoner the French King Louis IX, the leader of the Catholic army, redeemed with large sums of money. The Crusade only succeeds in maintaining isolated possessions outside Jerusalem.
Crusade 7 (1270): led by French King Louis IX, fails quickly.
In 1291, the last bastions of Catholic Christians fell into the hands of Muslims (Akkon, Sidon, Tyros, Beirut).