|Goa inquisition -1561. voiceofvedas.com|
In 1510 the Portuguese conquered Indian Goa which became a major center of the spice trade.Their stay in the Indian subcontinent lasted over 450 years and were instrumental in spreading Christianity in India, where the natives had been following altogether different faiths for more than 2000 years! However, basically all the faiths preach the same thing: love and compassion, not yielding to evil temptations of life.
Christianity in Goa reached its 'Golden Age' in late 1600s and early 1700s with over 300 churches. The 16th-century monument, the Cathedral or Sé, is a good example and, perhaps, is the largest church in Asia, as well as larger than any church in Portugal.
No sooner had the Portuguese military led by admiral Afonso de Albuquerque captured Goa in a battle from the Bijapur Sultan Ismail Adil Shah on the 25 th of November,1510 than they began preaching Christianity and, in some places, forcing tens of thousands of Hindu residents to convert to Christianity. Sometimes, they resorted to violent preaching in their anxiety to spread the Gospel of Christ as quickly as they could far and wide.This was done only after firmly they set their foot in Goa and subsequent fortification of their settlements. In 1540, they went on a rampage and destroyed 300 ancient Hindu temples. Thus the Portuguese had begun to earn the ire of Hindu community.
Even long before the introduction of inquisition in 1560 at the instigation of Fr. Francis Xavier, the priests had been harassing and coercing the natives - Hindus, Muslims and even Jews to follow the Christian faith; they, in the name of Lord, committed half of the horrors that people experienced during the inquisition.
P. Salomon and I. S. D. Sassoon state that 'between the Inquisition's beginning in 1561 and its temporary abolition in 1774, some 16,202 persons were brought to trial by the Inquisition. Of this number, it is known that 57 were sentenced to death and executed in person; another 64 were burned in effigy. Others were subjected to lesser punishments or penanced, but the fate of many of the Inquisition's victims is unknown.'
When the Portuguese rulers in Lisbon came to know that people were leaving Goa en mass to escape religious conversion, torture, and death on account of treacherous inquisition, they decided to put an end to it. The Portuguese evangelists of Goa never followed the virtues and values of Christian faith of love and compassion as propagated by Jesus Christ. A serene, beautiful Goa became a land of horror, savagery, torture and religious fanaticism and there was no semblance of Christian mercy and charity across Goa.
The Goa inquisition came to an end in 1812 when the attrocities on the natives peaked. Unlike the Jewish holocaust during the Nazi occupation in Europe (world war II), the official records on victims of inquistion in Goa - which otherwise would have become valid evidence were wantonly destroyed by the culprits. A large number of people during the inquisition period left Goa and settled down in other parts of India including Muslim-majority areas. A big chunk of people moved over to places like Mangalore, etc in Karnataka and settled down there for good. In the annals of Indian history the inquisition period in Goa was the darkest one - it is the saga of victims of religious persecution of innocent people who stoically
suffered pain and sorrow to uphold their age-old custom and faith in God. Indeed, a harrowing period that stll carries scars of terrorized people.
|Portuguese Goa old Goa in red. en.wikepedia.org|
|Goa inquisitionThe Hindu|
Rao, R. P. Portuguese rule in Goa: 1510-1961 ( Bombay; New York: Asia Publishing House, 1963)- An abstract of it is given in R. S. Whiteway's Rise of the Portuguese Empire in India (London, 1898).
Alfredo DeMello. "The Portuguese Inquisition in Goa". DightonRock. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
Salomon, H. P. and Sassoon, I. S. D., in Saraiva, Antonio Jose. The Marrano Factory. The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians, 1536–1765 (Brill, 2001), pp. 345–7.