Role of Religion in Europe

Topics: Islam, Religion, Caribbean Pages: 3 (875 words) Published: February 26, 2006
The role of religion in Europe
During the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, religion played a major role in the efforts of the Europeans to explore and colonize the new world. The Reconquista became over a period of time a sacred mission to many of the Christian rulers and inhabitants of the peninsula. As soon as this period was finished, Spain started focusing on colonization and expansion. Some of the major events that happened during this period were the Portuguese attacks on the Moslem positions in the northern tip of Africa and the search for Christian allies against Islam. There were many factors that motivated the search for the new world. Some of these factors were religious persecution, cheaper route to the Indies, and the spread of the European religious beliefs. One of the main religion based actions were the attacks on the Moslem positions in Africa by Portugal. They thought the non-Christians of the other countries were less than human. They felt free to make these people slaves and confiscate all of their resources such as gold. Some people see these trips to these countries were for the gold rather than religion. To make the Christian conquerors feel like they were doing the right thing, the pope of the Catholic Church issued Papal Bills, which stated that they were allowed to invade or capture all other enemies of Christ and convert and use them for their own use and profit. Since the Spanish conquistadors were heavily armed for those times, they had no problem conquering the country for slaves and profit. Basically, they had free will to any land that was not under control of a Christian ruler. Some of the Moslems that were captured were forced to convert to Christianity. These Moslems would say they believe in Christianity but secretly they were still worshiping their "false" beliefs. During the Portuguese religious zeal, Portugal looked for Christian allies to aid in the war against the Moslems. They looked for a mythical...
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