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Mythbuster - Christian Killings

Myth: Throughout history, more killing has been done in the name of Jesus than for any other reason.

Fact: That is a total falsehood and can be disproven with the very slightest effort.

Unfortunately, this myth is passed around both by Christians and the enemies of Christ. For some reason they have united in this statement to discredit Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Usually, the evidence they cite is the Crusades and the Inquisition. Can you think of any other time that wars and murders have been waged in the name of Jesus than in the Crusades and the Inquision?

Let's add it up. How many people were killed in the Crusades and the Inquisition?

Crusades: 9 million (half
of which were Christians)
Robertson, History of Christianity: p168
Inquisition: 6,000 Found in various online sources
Other 1 million What about all the other killings? Protestant Kings of England killing Catholics and in turn Catholic kings killing protestants. Don't know how many deaths that adds up to, so let's estimate high at 1 million killings in the name of Jesus.
Total: 10,006,000 Killings done in the name of Christ. That is, of course, 10,006,000 too many.

Now, let's add up some other killings. These few are for the wars the United States were involved in.

American Revolution 4,435
American Civil War 558,052
World War I 8,500,000
World War II 50,000,000
Korean War 644,000
Viet Nam War 1,560,000
Total deaths in some American wars 61,250,000+

I've already made my point. The myth is totally false. In just a few American wars alone over six times as many people have been killed not in the name of Jesus. But such an outrageous statement that more people have been killed in the name of Jesus deserves overwhelming repudiation.

American wars I did not include:

  • War of 1812
  • Spanish/American War
  • Gulf War
  • Iraq War
  • French-Indian War
  • Mexican War
  • several others
None of those were fought in the name of Jesus and all of them incurred deaths.

That is only for American wars. What about other wars?

  • European Thirty-Years War
  • European Hundred-Years War
  • Napoleonic Wars
  • Viking Wars
  • French-Holland Wars
  • And many others
Those involved hundreds of thousands of deaths, if not millions. None of them was done in the name of Jesus.

That's not all. What about the Communist killings?

  • Stalin - 10,000,000 murders in the name of Communism
  • China - unknown tens of millions
  • Cambodia - 3,000,000 in the Killing Fields alone

That's not all. Remember, the statement is "Throughout history, more killing has been done in the name of Jesus than for any other reason." So, all of history was called upon to discredit Jesus. Let's take them at their word. What about all the wars in foreign nations? What about

  • Goths sacking Rome?
  • Vandals sacking Gaul?
  • Ghengis Kahn?
  • Atilla the Hun?
  • Rome-Carthage Wars?
  • Peloponnesian Wars?

Even if we changed the word "Jesus" to read "religion," so that the myth read "Throughout history, more deaths have been caused in the name of religion than in any other way" the statement still remains manifestly false. That even includes the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Those appear to be religious wars although decidedly not "Jesus" wars.

I've named a few wars, but not nearly all the killings. I omitted things like the Nutmeg Wars, Heatherly War of 1836, Osage War, Punic Wars, Trojan Wars, Seminole Wars, and on and on.

The statement, "Throughout history, more killing has been done in the name of Jesus than for any other reason," is utterly false. I can understand why the enemies of the cross, the enemies of Jesus, would want to spread that propaganda, but I'm totally at a lost why Christians would join that conspiracy. To be kind, I suppose the Christians are just deceived and buy into it. But what sort of Christians are they to accept without examination a frontal assult on their own Lord?