European Religious Persecution

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


The Edict of Milan

In 313, the emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Constantine, met with Eastern Roman Empire emperor Lucinius. They declared Christianity the official religion of the Empire and therefore began the 1,600 year history of the most horrible persecution of the European Jews. Although Jews lived unmolested in Roman lands and even served as officers in the Roman army, the Christian majority persecuted the European Jews for 1,600 years, including the horrors of the Crusades and finally the Nazi horrors. There is a direct line from these early persecutions and the holocaust. For example, the Nazi government prohibited sexual relations between non-Jews and Jews. This prohibition was already in force in Germany and other European countries shortly after Christians became powerful enough to promote such decrees. One reason for these persecutions was the claim that anyone who was not a Christian was a traitor to the state and therefore a danger to the government.

The belief that all subjects of any king or prince must support the same religion as the monarch was believed all over Europe, so that all living in France or Austria had to be Catholic while all Swedes and northern Germans had to be Lutherans. This led to the 30 Years’ War from 1618 to 1648, when the war concluded with the Peace of Westphalia. Then it was agreed that all subjects of the numerous kings, princes, etc., would have to support the religion of the government, so that all Prussians had to be Lutherans and all Austrians Catholics. Only the Jews were not Christians and therefore suspect of being traitors in all European countries, as there was no Jewish country anywhere.

Knowing all this, the founding fathers of the United States included in the U.S. constitution the first amendment, which prohibits Congress to legislate religion in any manner. That first amendment has made it possible for American Jews to attain equality with all other citizens and  to assume important positions in government such as  state governor, senator, and representative in Congress.

There is no country on earth outside the United States which treats the Jewish minority as equals.

Even in Canada, reputedly a democracy, Jews must  pay for private Jewish schools and pay a school tax to support Catholic and non-Catholic public schools. This constitutes a direct discrimination against Canadian Jews.

Throughout European history, Jews had to pay extra Jew taxes, were second class citizens everywhere, and were finally consigned to the gas ovens because they were held in contempt as unbelievers and traitors in all Christian and Muslim countries. In all these countries, Jews were told that they needed to convert to Christianity or Islam or be the victims of well-deserved misery. The Koran teaches Muslims to kill all Jews, as Muslims throughout the world have made Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” or “My Fight” their favorite book, while labeling him a “great man.”

The centuries old contempt for Jews is today particularly visible on the campuses of American colleges and universities, as neither professors nor students who  support Judaism are welcome in

American higher education. Labeling themselves  “liberals” or “progressives,” the latter day persecutors of the 21st century Jews are  the spiritual children of Hitler, who was, after all, a Roman Catholic.

Shalom u'vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Gender, Sex, & Status (2019).

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