Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness

Front Cover
Prometheus Books, Mar 5, 2010 - Religion - 267 pages
In 1583 in Vienna, a 16-year-old girl suffered stomach cramps. A team of Jesuits exorcized her for eight weeks. The priests announced that they had expelled 12,652 demons from her, demons that her grandmother had kept as flies in glass jars. The grandmother was tortured into confessing that she was a witch who had engaged in sex with Satan. She was then burned at the stake. This was one of perhaps one million such executions during three centuries of witch-hunts.

In 1989 in Moradabad, India, a pig caused hundreds of people to kill one another when the animal walked through a Muslim holy ground. Muslims, who think pigs are an embodiment of Satan, accused Hindus of driving the pig into the sacred spot. Members of both faiths went on a rampage, stabbing and clubbing. The pig riot spread to a dozen cities and left two hundred dead.

A squad of armed Islamic zealots raided a Christian church at Behawalpur, Pakistan, on October 28, 2001, killing the minister, fourteen worshipers, and the church's police guard.

It is said that there is never enough religion in the world to make people love one another--just enough to make them hate one another. Incendiary blends of fundamentalist religion, politics, nationalism, and ethnic zealotry engender countless examples of atrocity in the name of faith and orthodoxy. If anything, religious persecution is more savage now than everbefore in the history of mankind.

HOLY HORRORS chronicles the grim spectrum of religious persecution from ancient times to the present. Fully illustrated with drawings, woodcuts, and photographs, the book recounts such historic religious persecution as the Crusades, the Islamic jihads, the Catholic wars against heretics, the Inquisition, witch-hunts, and the Reformation. It also chronicles modern-day atrocities, including the Holocaust, the seemingly insoluble Catholic-Protestant schism in Northern Ireland, religious tribalism in in Lebanon, and the barbaric cruelty of the theocracy in Iran.

 

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A short, easy to read volume that details instances of religiously inspired violence throughout history. The author does not stint the religions commonly thought of as non-violent, including Buddhism in his catalog of horrors. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

A short, easy to read volume that details instances of religiously inspired violence throughout history. The author does not stint the religions commonly thought of as non-violent, including Buddhism in his catalog of horrors. Read full review

Contents

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7
Blood Libel
43
Puritans
117
Enlightenment
129
Sepoy Mutiny
137
Bahai
141
Russian Pogroms
149
Armenia
153
Sudan
175
Ulster
179
Ionestown
185
Lebanon
193
Iran
199
Muslim Gore
205
A Force for Good?
217
Epilogue
227

The Holocaust
157
India
167
Bibliography
235
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

James A. Haught (Charleston, WV) is the editor of the Charleston Gazette, West Virginia's largest newspaper. He is the author of 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Couruge to Doubt and four other books.

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