Dying and/or Killing for the Faith: New Religious Movements and Violence


The year 1492 was a turning point in the history of Iberian peninsula. Ferdinand and Isabella, namely the Catholic Monarchs had led the reconquista to a successful end and thus laid the foundation for the emergence of a powerful state. The unification of the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon had been reached with the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. The military and political struggle for the unity of Spain was completed by the end of the reconquista. They now wanted to reach out to the religious unity. Expulsion of the Jews, namely the problem of the conversos or judeoconversos had been solved. Isabella and Ferdinand hoped that, the Muslims voluntarily adopt the Christian faith and would adjust to their Christian environment. But the conversion campaigns and missionary efforts are run only half-heartedly and therefore remained largely unsuccessful. The Muslims of Andalusia took refuge in the crypto-Islam, that is, they tried in hidden continue to pursue the Islamic religion and outwardly feign assimilation. Task of the Spanish Inquisition was about to verify actual faith of the crypto-Muslims and bring them to justice. The Spanish Inquisition had proceeded very differently on the regional level against the Moriscos. The everyday life of the Moriscos as Christians, with compulsive baptisms and discriminating regulations, was very hard to endure. The purpose of this article is to focus on the unfair practices that the Muslims are faced with and the methods they used to get rid of them.


New religious movements violence apocalyptic belief charismatic leadership