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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Have 250 million been killed in the name of Christianity?

Have 250 million been killed in the name of Christianity?

Some years ago, I read this figure of 250 million murdered in the name of Christianity over the past nearly 2,000 years. The supporting data for this massive amount of deaths is not easy to find, so I'm collecting evidence here. In my search, I have found some interesting quotes such as the following, in response to the question of exactly how many have been slaughtered by Christ's minions.


Johnathan said...

The reason there is no supporting data for such a high number of deaths is because it does not exist. Christian’s killed a lot of people, and Christianity was claimed as motivation behind heinous crimes for sure. According to my calculations however, if 250 million is divided up evenly among 20 centuries, it comes out to about 125,000 deaths a year or 12.5 million killed every hundred years. The problem is that even in the bloodiest period of Christian History, the crusades, estimates for total deaths for all the Crusades combined range from between 1.5 and 5 million people killed over the course of just over 200 years or so. This is according to the University of Princeton’s published materials regarding religious history on the Crusades at any rate. I think I saw a figure as high as 9 million killed in the Crusades, but I can’t qualify it, but even if it was 9 million, over a period of two centuries it still falls far short of an average of 12.5 million killed every century. I doubt that history missed millions of deaths outside the Crusades, so I doubt you will ever substantiate the claim of 250 million. I think the second highest number I saw was 69 million killed in the name of Christianity on a Google search, you might try that for supporting documentation.

Loved you books BTW.

Acharya S said...

Thank you, but perhaps you did not read the thread that was the subject of this post? If we are able to break down the numbers of the some 270 million allegedly murdered in the name of Islam - which occurred in even less time - then it is quite likely that we can enumerate the 250 million purportedly slaughtered in the name of Christianity.

Here are the numbers on Islam:

120 million Africans
60 million Christians
80 million Hindus
10 million Buddhists

(These figures are cited in the original thread that is the subject of this post.)

With Christianity, we would factor in millions of Native Europeans - some claim nine million is actually a low figure.

Then there are the millions of African slaves whose treatment was largely justified by Christianity and the Bible (when it wasn't being justified by Islam and the Koran).

And, of course, the inhabitants of North, Central and South America slaughtered by various invaders.

I believe the 250 million figure includes those killed by Christian soldiers in both World Wars as well, but that point is debatable, I suppose, as to whether or not it was Christianity or some other (monetary) motive. It is doubtless, however, that the soldiers were amped up on the notion of "defending Jesus," as they are today with the "Jesus rifles," etc.

125,000 deaths a year for 2,000 years is not that difficult to envision in consideration of the expansionist policies of the Christian Church. Indeed, again, some scholars think the figure is even higher than that.