8.22.2003

Blood Libel Quote:

From this page: The Making of a Martyr
"Ironically, the precursor of the blood libel was not directed at the Jews but at the early Christians. At the time, the Christians were a breakaway Jewish sect whose rapid growth was threatening the stability of the Roman Empire. Christian theology was so filled with anthropomorphic references and rites that the Romans accused the early Christians of murdering their own children in order to use their blood for ritual purposes. This charge swept through the Roman Empire and gained widespread credibility among the citizenry. After their own conversion to Christianity, the blood accusation lay dormant for centuries, but when the European Christian societies sought to oppress the Jews, who were flourishing and prospering in their midst, the accusation was resuscitated, embellished and directed at the Jewish people. Since the Jews were blamed for murdering the Christian savior, whose last meal before his crucifixion had been the Passover seder, the allegation contended that every Passover the Jews re-enacted this crucifixion with yet another innocent Christian victim. The original victims of the accusation had become the accusers of a new victim.

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