― Jeffrey Tayler (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/inquisition)
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, find, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards humanity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support error and roguery all over the earth" - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Jesus Christ never said that his Gospel of Love and Care should be spread far and wide around the world through violent means. Unfortunately, in the early centuries and later when European Imperialism took the world by storm, the guardians of Christian faith considered the followers of other faiths across the globes were pagans or heretics. They were against idolatry and, in particular, the one prevailing in India. They thought the Hindu religion was inferior because the Hindus were worshiping evils and demons in idol forms. When the Europeans gained power and pelf, there developed a nexus between the rulers and religious authorities. The rulers were highly influenced by the religious heads. They pushed scientific explanation and rational thinking to the back seat. As for the preachers, with help from the king, they were more focused on spreading Christianity across the continents, unmindful of using violence against the harmless natives, than improving the spiritual quality of their own people in their countries. The causality of this unprecedented onslaught on other faiths was the loss of culture, tradition and religious freedom of natives "in their own land" across the world. Among the European countries Spain and Portugal, who initially dominated the sea routes with better navigational skill and sturdy ships, discovered new lands and were hell-bent on spreading Christianity by using fear psychosis. Violence and torture became weapons to spread Roman Catholicism. If Christ were alive to witness such demonic missionaries, engaging in evangelical work with a double-edged sword in one hand and Cross in the other, literally he himself would have become furious and made them sit on the sharp edge of a spear atop the tall iron pole.
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In the wake of inquisition in Goa in 1560,
demolition of Hindu temples, forceful conversion to Christianity under threats, enacting of anti-Hindu laws, economic punishments, physical and mental tortures, social discrimination, committing atrocities on the Hindus, had become part of Portuguese Colonialism initiated by none other than St. Francis Xavier. He changed the beautiful and quiet place of Goa in to a ghastly and spine-chilling place of horror in the name of preaching Christianity. In the early colonial time, Portuguese offered free food, education, job etc., as incentives to get the natives converted to the new faith. However, this tactics did not go well and the natives did not fall for it.
Thanks to St. Francis Xavier, the prime promoter of Goa Inquisition; being a demonic preacher, he broke every soothing word of LOVE uttered by Christ, an embodiment of love and compassion. The Goan inquisition, according to various works by Indian and foreign historians, is regarded as the most maniacal and murderous inquisition ever executed by the fanatical Portuguese Catholic missionaries.
Hector writes about St Francis Xavier's evangelism: In the matter of conversion, Xavier held exceedingly crude ideas. His great aim was to get hold of the younger portion of the population…Xavier is said to have baptized seven hundred thousand natives, whom he left as ignorant as he found them. His motto seems to have been quantity not quality.
This nauseating and degenerating phase lasted from 1560 to 1812 in Goa. The inquisition in Goa was devised and supervised by a tribunal headed by a judge from Portugal with two judicial henchmen. The judge had the authority to hand down punishments as he deemed fit and was not answerable to no one except to Lisbon.
When King Joao III was the ruler of Portugal, much emphasis was given to the spread of Christianity and thus a Bishop office came up in 1588 in Goa and later in Cochin to carry on the evangelical work on a grand scale.
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They considered the Brahmins their arch enemies. The religious heads were armed with special powers to give severe punishments to non-Christians / infidels with no room for either mercy or appeal.
In the early stages of colonization ethnic cleansing was the central theme and the Portuguese continued their inhuman act with impunity. Besides, the fanatical missionaries razed down thousands of non - Christian temples and places of worship all over the Europe, West Asia and North Africa. The Portuguese friars and priests, upon their landing in Goa, immediately got into business and continued their religious fanaticism by way of 'desecrating and destroying the Hindu temples'.
Crypto-Hinduism was a criminal offense in early Portuguese Goa. People, who were accused of being being Crypto-Hindus, were arrested and tried by the tribunal. Dozens put to death by the Catholic Christian Portuguese government in Goa, for the simple reason that they never became true Christians. Portuguese also targeted other faiths Buddhism, Judaism and Islam.
Goa inquisition tormented its new Christian population who were formerly Hindus. Since 1560 over 16,000 cases had been tried over a 200-year period from 1560 when the Portuguese established their rule.
When Crypto-Hinduism trials were banned in 1812, the Portuguese purposely destroyed the individual case files. It is reported that nearly 70% of those found guilty of Crypto Hinduism were executed during the worst period in Goa. The horrible fact is many were put to death even before the death pronouncement was made and to hoodwink the public and media, the government carried out mock-execution where an effigy of the convicted person was publicly burnt.
According to P. K. Paliwal President, Hindu Writers" Forum New Delhi, 'the mafia of global media in India and outside cannot erase this criminal record of Inquisition and Carnage in Goa from the pages of history'. In his Monograph on "Atrocities on Hindus by Christian Missionaries in Goa" he talks about the worst violence let loose on the Hindu population under the patronage of the Portuguese Catholic missionaries. Most of the churches in Goa were built atop the land that was once occupied by the Hindu temples.
Dr. T. R. De Souza, Christian Historian pointed out at least from 1540 onward "All the Hindu idols disappeared because all the temples were destroyed and their sites and building materials were fully utilized to erect new Christian Churches and chapels".
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The King of Portugal ordered that the "Brahmins in Goa should be banished."
Various Viceregal and Church council decrees banished the Hindu priests from the Portuguese territories; the public practices of Hindu rites including 'marriage rites' were banned.
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As part of brutality, the henchmen in religious garb could amputate a man so carefully and cooley that the victim remained conscious with his torso and a head. The gory incidents were supervised by the clergy with glee. The various acts of violence and torture by the Church plunged Portugal and the Church into decadence.
Among the Hindus, Brahmins and gold smiths were severely punished and tortured. The former were priests, the latter were makers of various idols of worship. On April 2, 1560, the viceroy ordered that the Brahmans should be banished from Goa and other lands under the control of Portugal and in November, 1563 the religious head ordered punishment and persecution of Hindus and take over of their properties within a given time - say, one month. In February 1575, the Governor promulgated that if any Brahman who had been expelled on the ground that his presence was prejudicial to the interests of Christianity made an unauthorised entry, his estate would be confiscated. (Priolkar p117).
The religious heads kept an eye on Brahmins and other people among the Hindus who were against conversion to Christianity. If they formed road blocks, they should be driven out of Goa.
In the name of his Majesty I order that no Hindu can or shall perform marriages." "The marriages of the supplicants are superstitious acts or functions which include Hindu rites and ceremonies as well as cult, adoration and prayers of Hindu temples."
They banned the followings: prohibition of Hindu rites and ceremonies (Vide: Viceroy's order on March 13, 1613 and again on 31-1-1620), then Hindu marriages in Goa. It invited a hefty fine, one third of which would be paid to the accuser and two-thirds applied to the expenses of His Majesty’s Navy. (Cunha Rivara, VI p.201; Priolkar p. 118- 119).
Ban on Upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony), in particular, among Brahmins (1585). The Third Concilio Provincial made recommendation to the king in this regard. (vide:Priolkar, p122).
Ban on the Hindu Priests: (vide: December, 1567, the King D. Sebastiao's order). There was no place for any Hindu preachers, jyotshi, (Astrologer), yogi, (Mystics), Guru (Religious teacher) of temples or Muslim Kaji or any other person related to the religion of the Hindus. When failed to do so, they would be captured and forced to work in the docks (Cunha Rivara vol. iv p.69, Priolkar p 123).
Compulsory participation of Hindus and their families in the teaching of Holy Gospel at certain assigned places of worship (vide: December 4, 1567 and 1715 order; Cunha Rivara vol.6 19-66;Priolkar p 123).
King gave specific orders that if Indian Christians are employed in the governments, they should not be on par with those of Portuguese workers (vide: February 1, 1718). First priority was given to Portuguese white men.
Loss of their Rights and Privileges: The Hindus lost their rights and privileges as native Goans i.e. It meant countless members of the village lost their right to receive jonoa i.e. share in the income of village community. (Vide: December 11, 1573, order the Governor).
No movements of Hindu pundits and physicians on horse back or on palki (palaquin) , etc were allowed and they were fined if found violating the laws in force. (vide: December 15, 1572,.(Priolkar p 140).
People will be arrested, tortured and jailed for a long period for whipering a prayer, keeping an idol or anything elated to other religion. Hindus and small community of Jews became victims.
Based on the order in June, 1557 and on April 3, 1582 and Jan 12 1591) by the king D. Joao government departments were not not allowed to use the service of the pundits. All Hindus' jobs would be taken over by Christians. No body should enter the houses of Brahmins or have any dealings with them. (Priolkar p 124-127).
The Christian council (vide: Priolkar p 187) Prohibited the use of non - Christian doctors and even barbers for personal care. They considered them infidels (1587; Priolkar p 187).
Abolishment of Kama Sutra by Vatsayana and also “Missionary Position”.
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The demolition of the Hindu temples was undertaken vigorously at the initiative of the Vicar of India Minguel Vaz , a close follower of Fr. Francis Xavier and Diago Borba after getting kings orders in October, 1546 and, consequently, most of Hindu temples were pulled down by the fanatical officials and religious heads. Earlier, a beautiful temple on Diwari island was destroyed in 1515 itself. Divar Chorada and Jua region were almost bereft of Hindu temples. This was done in conformity with the religious policy against idolatry in this region. Minguel Vaz after seeking kings orders in October,1546 to suppress Hindu Dharma and spread Christianity, he commenced to destroy Hindu temples and suppress idolatry. (Priolkar p.76) Mungel Vaz – submitted in November 1545, a forty one point program to convert the Hindus of Goa, personally visited Portugal and, returned to India (October 1546) with an order from King to the Governor to take stringent measures against the Hindus (Priolkar p.75).
A policy of "Regour of Mercy" was adopted to get rid of idol worship and temples. The artisans were not allowed to make any form of idols, be they in metals or stones and persons in charge of certain churches could barge into any Brahmin or any other house in search of idols.
According to Prof. Pessurlencar, based on information available in the Government archives of Goa, hundreds of temples were destroyed in the 57 villages of Salsete, and 40 villages of Bardez region. Francisco Pais Tombe da ltha de Goa edas Terras de Salsete (1952)gave a list of 156 temples pulled down in Goa in 1549. According to the " History of Christianity in India", 280 temples were destroyed by the Jesuits in Salsete (p 333), and another 300 by the Franciscans in Bardez (p342) as confirmed by Silva Regoalso (p.408). Portuguse did not leave places like Baseen, Bandra, Thana and Bombay where they pulled down countless Hindu temples. They also built the church in the place where they destroyed the Hindu temple. Example: "The Church of Cortalim is erected on the same site where formerly idol of Mangesh was worshiped" A Hindu temple in the Elephenta cave became a chapel. They also converted a Masjid into a church in this region.
The unfortunate fact is a large number of Hindus - native residents of Goa were first converted and then persecuted by the church and the state from 1560 all the way to 1812! The anti- Hindu laws were enacted during Inquisition and often ruthlessly implemented to punish the Hindus, particularly the Brahmins who happened to be guarding the temples and guiding the people to follow the path of righteousness.
It was the Portuguese Colonialism that introduced violence and mayhem in Goa and Kerala in the 16th and 17th centuries and disturbed the tranquility and peace of mind of the natives all in the name of religion. Until they made their exit in the 1960s from Goa, Portugal remained a rogue nation.
"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world". - Voltaire (French Philosopher, 1694-1778)
James Madison (American Statesman, 1751-1836, Co-Author Declaration of Independence) declared in 1810 "during almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution".
For further reading: Atrocities on Hindus by Christian Missionaries in Goa by Dr K.V. Paliwal, published by Hindu Writers’ forum Brutality and Destruction by the Portugese in Malabar and Goa and The Goa Inquisition by Mr A. K Priolkar, published by Voice of India,