Divine retribution?

From “Scapegoats: The Gospel Through the Eyes of Victims” by Jennifer Garcia Bashaw

When the Bubonic Plague devastated Europe in the fourteenth century, killing millions, clerics saw it as divine retribution for the Jew’s “blasphemous and satanic” practices. This hatred and blame trickled down to the towns and villages, and in the years after the Black Death hit, thousands of Jews were murdered, accused of poisoning the food and the wells and sickening the population. In many towns throughout and children – were herded into the town squares and burned to death. The height of the murderous craze occured from 1348 to 1351, but Europeans continued to burn Jews as scapegoats until the plague died out several years later. The history of European Christian anti-Semitism and violence against the Jews does not conclude when the plague ends, however. In August 1492, Spain forced Jews to flee the country if they would not convert to Catholicism. Half of Spain’s Jewish population had already converted to Christianity during the fifteenth century, due to the intense persecution, pogroms, and attacks they faced at the hands of the church.

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