The Crusades: Significance for Christianity Today Essay

Words: 1745
Pages: 7

Give a brief account of The Crusades. What significance do they still have for Christianity today? What should contemporary Christians learn from them?

In this essay, this writer will give a brief account of The Crusades, demonstrate the significance they still have for Christianity today and what lessons contemporary Christians should learn from them.

The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars launched between 1095 and 1291 by the Christian states of Europe against the Saracens who were Moslems. The name Crusade is derived from an old French word ‘crois’, meaning ‘the cross’. The idea was to urge Christian warriors to go to Palestine and free Jerusalem and other holy places from Muslim domination (Internet Source 1). The first Crusade
…show more content…
It established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Eight further Crusades followed. The second one failed in their attempt to take the city of Damascus. The third Crusade ended in 1192 with a compromise with the English king, Richard the Lion-Heart. The fourth crusade led to the sacking of Constantinople, where a Latin Kingdom of Byzantium was set up in 1204.The Children's Crusade of 1212 ended with thousands of children being sold into slavery, lost, or killed (Haag 2011:185-188). Other less disastrous Crusades occurred until about the end of the thirteenth century. The last Latin outpost in the Muslim world fell in 1291 (Towey 2013: 284). These Crusades still have a significance for Christianity today.

The Crusades demonstrated the role, wealth and the power of the Catholic Church in influencing and achieving great results at the world stage. The Pope was entrusted with the armies and other resources of Christendom to execute The Crusades. The first Crusade had the effect of uniting the participating countries, binding them together in a single super army to defend their common heritage and religion against a common enemy. This paradigm of co-operation is much evident in the world-wide ecumenical work. The Christian Church can speak with one clear voice on issues of poverty, war and injustice. It also seems that part of the Roman Catholic Church’s wealth today originally came from the activities of The Crusades. This wealth was responsible for building magnificent