Shannon BrienMrs. RuffGlobal I 924 January 2018Christianity: The Fourth CrusadeAs early as 25 CE in the region of Palestine, the followers of Christianity practiced the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth to meet their spiritual needs. The holy text, especially the Bible, describes the main tenets of the faith and established the historical context of the Age of Christianity. The central beliefs focused on monotheism which was based on Judaic beliefs, the 10 Commandments, and salvation based on the golden rule. Although these beliefs are accepted by the followers of Jesus Christ, various branches developed over time, causing different religious hierarchies and leaders. A major conflict for Christianity arose during the Common Era over the intention of freeing Jerusalem and other holy lands in Palestine. The result of this conflict included people adjusting their religion which was not tolerated, the fall of the Byzantine Empire, loss of money and late payments, and crusaders permanently stationed at Zara. The conflict does not reflect the main beliefs of the religion because there is no toleration for fighting in Christianity.Around 25 CE, Jesus of Nazareth created a series of spiritual beliefs in Palestine to meet the spiritual needs of the people. He first started in Galilee then spread all throughout the Middle East. Jesus of Nazareth was born in 4 B.C. and at first was just a Jewish teacher with a small following (Jesus of Nazareth). Jesus preached teachings in Palestine about the Kingdom of God. Most of his followers claim to have seen him rise from the dead and after seeing this they passed on his message to anyone who would listen (Bailee). His whole purpose to all this was to inform people on the reign of God and if they followed the 10 Commandments and the Bible they would have a spot in his Kingdom (Jesus of Nazareth). Around 30 CE when Jesus Christ was crucified, people started to spread his word of God’s Kingdom and praising him (Bailee). Paul of Tarsus was a huge part of the spread of Christianity and he was an Apostle “out of session” because he never actually met Jesus since he was crucified before he was born. He traveled far and wide to spread his word and gather people to join the church (Melton). The origins of Christianity were a huge part of the growing of the church in the years to come and what the major beliefs of the religion were.The major beliefs of this religion included monotheism, the 10 Commandments, and the message of Jesus Christ. These beliefs can be found in the Old and New Testament; the two parts of the Bible. This religion is a monotheistic religion because Jesus preached of one god only. According to this god, the pathway to the afterlife in heaven was to keep the word of the lord with them and following the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments were a set of laws that you must follow and if you didn’t, it was considered a sin. A sinner was someone who broke one of the laws of the 10 Commandments or the two Greatest Commandments. One of the Great Commandments was to love thy neighbor as thyself which is implying no violence. Violence was not tolerated according to Jesus. He preached to love thy neighbor even an enemy. One of Christianity’s main rituals was a mass, a ceremony preaching the lord, which was held in a church, a holy building dedicated to god and the story of Jesus Christ (Jesus of Nazareth). Christians have seven sacraments. In order of received, Baptism, Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. All of these major beliefs in Christianity unite the Christians, but some major points caused a division in the religion.Various divisions of Christianity developed into branches directed by leaders including Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. The Roman Catholic Church is known as the correct Christian tradition and this branch is led all around the world by the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as the Pope. The Pope governs Roman Catholics of the world from Rome and is assisted by an administrative staff and a group of bishops called the College of Cardinals. This branch started in the cultural split of the Roman Empire and there the Pope started to preach the truth in Christianity. “They maintain that God is a trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human” (Alles 2 par 9). Roman Catholics have been persecuted because of their connection with Jesus Christ and their belief in other gods besides the Roman gods. One-sixth of the world is Roman Catholic and this branch has made great contributions to the cultural heritage of Europe. (Alles 2). The Eastern Orthodox faith is known for having the proper opinions and beliefs. For this branch, it means to stick to the decrees of the seven ancient councils. These are meetings for bishops to review the teachings in regard to Jesus. The Orthodox Churches see themselves as continuing the traditions of the Apostles and preserving “apostolic succession” which means they have an unbroken line of heritage to Jesus’s intimate followers. These churches first rose in the Eastern, Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire and they call their chief officials either patriarchs, archbishops, or metropolitans. The Rise of Islam in the seventh century prevented people from converting to Eastern Orthodox but in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Orthodox faith started to make its way into the United States. In 1970 the Orthodox Church of America was created in Moscow (Alles 1). The Protestant faith began as an effort to reform the Catholic Church of Rome. These leaders wanted to change the Catholic Church back to its original form and they became the “Protestants” because of the nature of their protest. “Protestant Reformation emerged in an environment of self-criticism on the part of the Catholic Church” (Flinn par 2). There were four main groups: Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists, and Anglicans. More and more people who were questioning their faiths accepted the Protestant idea in the twelfth century. The Protestant Reformation officially began with the publication of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses which he nailed to a door of a German church in 1517 which were his opinions about Christianity and the whole purpose of it was to spread his ideas. The Protestants main objection to the doctrine of the Catholic Church was the buying and selling of indulgences and the emphasis on the good works of the grace of God. The Catholic church excommunicated Luther but he continued to study and publish his opinions and developed a Lutheran Church when he had obtained a large following (Flinn). A commonality of all these congregations and variations of faith was to lead people in their faith and to help them reach their full potential with god and go to heaven. That was Jesus’ whole message basically he wanted to help people go down the right path and when their time comes they go to heaven. All of these branches have the same basic principles when it comes down to it, one of their core beliefs being to love thy neighbor even an enemy. The Fourth Crusade was a major conflict for Christianity during the Common Era with the intention of freeing Jerusalem and other holy lands in Palestine. It occurred from 1202 – 1204 and the original destination was to Palestine, but the leader lost control and they ended up attacking Byzantium. It was lead by Pope Innocent III whose main goal was to recover the Holy Land in Palestine that had been taken over by foreigners and to bring it under papal leadership in order to bring more control to the holy lands and to help expand the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Innocent III). One of the main events that took place during this conflict was the harming of people who changed branches of Christianity which is why Innocent III wanted this land back so he could protect them. But in these peoples defense, Jesus did not oppose the harming of them, he, in fact, accepted it. “If anyone abides not in me he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither; and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth,” said Jesus according to the Gospel of St John (xv,6) (Durant). The Fourth Crusade had many results that changed life in the Middle East forever.The end of this crusade resulted in the division of Christianity into Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy along with other social, political, and economic aspects. One outcome was that many people adjusted their religion and it was not tolerated. These people were called heresies and they created many rules on how to deal with them. “All who receive, defend, or aid heretics shall be excommunicated. … Whoever grants them Christian burial shall be excommunicated until he makes proper satisfaction” (the Bull of Nicholas III in 1280) (Durant). These are only a few examples of what the rules were against heretics because they were so frowned upon by adjusting their religion, they did not deserve the same rights as others. A political result of the Fourth Crusade was the fall of the Byzantine Empire because of the mission being diverted to Constantinople. The Christians of the Fourth Crusade claimed power over territories of Byzantine State (Greece). A military result of the crusade was the works with Zara and Prince Alexius. Prince Alexius promised that crusaders could have a permanent military station at Zara in return for their help. A result in the economy was that Alexius IV could not pay back the crusaders for their help due to their lack of money from the disasters in Constantinople that they had to pay for. This resulted in the crusaders staying even longer than planned until they received their promised payment for helping Alexius IV (Andrea).The Christian religion has no toleration for violence or fighting and the Fourth Crusade does not reflect the core beliefs of the religion. Through the 10 Commandments, the Bible and the Two Greatest commandments, it praises only love and kindness. In 25 CE, Jesus of Nazareth helped to meet the spiritual needs of the people by spreading a series of spiritual beliefs in Palestine. The message of Jesus Christ and the Ten Commandments are the major beliefs of the religion found in the Old and New Testament. One of the major conflicts of Christianity with the intention of gaining control over holy lands but was diverted towards the destruction of an empire that arose during the Common Era. The results of this conflict were not they were intended to be, but they did have many religious, political, military and economic points. Christianity’s core beliefs of no violence and to love thy neighbor which is why this crusade was a great sin to god because it involved violence and hatred, not kindness and love. This crusade was a ridiculous attempt at holiness resulting in only sin. Work CitedAlles, Gregory D., and Robert S. Ellwood. “Eastern Orthodox Christianity.” The Encyclopedia of World Religions, Revised Edition, Facts On File, 2006. Modern World History, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/249257?q=branches of christianity. 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