Twenty-First Century Crusades?
by Chris Cumming
Beginning May 2nd of this year , the new Ridley Scott movie, “Kingdom
of Heaven” depicting the twelfth-century Crusades was released in no less that
54 countries covering Europe, the Middle and Far East. In the few short weeks
since this release, there have been published a number of books, news articles
and editorial pieces covering both the movie and the impact of crusades on
current events. Just what do we know about the Crusades? What was their
purpose? Who instigated them? What prompted these military actions? Who was
affected? How are the crusades linked to events we see unfolding today in both
Europe and the Middle East?
Could we see twenty-first century crusades in the near future that will mimic
those crusades of almost 1,000 years ago? Could this be the incident that will
fulfill the key prophetic event of armies around Jerusalem we read of in Luke
21:20: And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that
the desolation thereof is nigh.
Reasons for the Crusades
The most immediate cause for the Crusades was Muslim incursions into previously
Christian lands. The crusades were mainly directed toward Jerusalem and the
Christian shrine of the Holy Sepulcher. In the movie, we see 200,000 Muslim
warriors surrounding and overcoming Jerusalem. The Catholic Church in Western
Europe fought the Crusades against heretics or in other words, Muslims because
their belief differed from that of the official church. At this time in Europe
was a feudal society controlled by the monarchy, clergy and the knights. The
church had the utmost authority. The Pope was the head of the church and
carried the most religious and political power and influence over the land. The
Crusades were part of the church’s wish to expand its empire.
The Pope was able to grip the whole of Europe with “Crusade Fever”. Part of his
propaganda was to attack the authenticity of the Qur’an and the Prophet
Muhammad, who were both tagged imposters, sorcery, evil, satanic and pagan. The
church actually had citizens believing they could pay their penance for their
sins by going off and slaughtering believers of other religions. History
records at least nine crusades during the 11th, 12th and
13th centuries. Several see direct linkage between those crusades
and current events affecting most of the world.
Today’s Events Seeded by Crusades
In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “Blame
the Crusades”, they begin by speaking of the movie itself. “From swords to
suicide bombers, the West’s relationship with the Middle East hasn’t changed
much in the past millennium. That’s why the film, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ struck
such a chord. It rams home the notion that events during the Crusades eerily
parallel current world affairs. The movie ends by noting that in modern times
there is again conflict in the Middle East. That misses the point. The
Crusades aren’t just a true-life allegory of current world conflicts. In
various ways, they’re a major part of the reason those conflicts exist.”
Later in the article one reads, “The crusades created a mind-set in which Muslim
presence would not be tolerated in Europe, which played out violently when Spain
expelled its Muslims in 1492. Popes had long exhorted European Christians to
sever all relations with Muslims, a call that echoes to this day. Newly elected
Pope Benedict XVI opposes allowing Turkey into the European Union, saying it
runs counter to history; he also deplores European multiculturalism as ‘fleeing
from what is one’s own.’” Our staff writer, Michael Burkert speaks to this in
his word from, “Europe’s
Tolerance May Soon End.” Will these events of old be played out again? In
his commentary, Mr. Burkert states:
“Muslim hatred for the European countries and peoples, who have welcomed them
over the past fifty years, may soon bring about a reaction that will rock the
“There are indications that the breaking point may come soon.”
“European Muslims, through their refusal to assimilate and adopt European
customs and traditions, are rapidly setting the stage for a backlash movement
that may well see the majority of Europe’s indigenous peoples turning against
the Muslim foreigners.”
Matein Khalid, a Dubai-based investment banker just published an
on the Crusades. In it he says, “The Crusades changed both Europe and the
Middle East and their echoes, nine centuries later, still resonate in Arab
politics.” “The modern Arab world was shaped by the Crusades as surely as the
West was. While the Frankish knights and feudal lords squandered fortunes in
the Holy Land, the kings of Europe became stronger, the genesis of the rise of
the nation state in France that culminated in Louis XIV, Napoleon’s conquest of
Egypt and, later, Algerie Francals. The concept of Arab nationalism was
unthinkable without the Crusades.”
Not just Muslims But Jews
When the Popes across these centuries of the Crusades whipped the populace
into a murderous frenzy, other non-Catholic groups were targeted. Jews were
killed in both Europe and the Middle East. Going back to the LA Times article,
“Crusaders often wondered why, if they were fighting Muslims in far-off lands,
they should leave unmolested other 'infidels' closer to home—Jews. Thus the
Crusades gave rise to the first big waves of violent anti-Semitism in Europe,
which would flare for centuries and eventually feed the Nazi Holocaust. This in
turn gave birth to modern Zionism, seen by Muslims as another European
Alan Woods in his recent article, “George
W. Bush and the Crusades” quotes the crusaders themselves regarding the
“We have set out to march a long way to fight the enemies of God in the East,
and behold, before our very eyes are his worst foes, the Jews. They must be
dealt with first." And again: "You are the descendants of those who killed and
hanged our God. Moreover [God] himself said: 'The day will yet dawn when my
children will come and avenge my blood.' We are his children and it is our task
to carry out his vengeance upon you, for you showed yourselves obstinate and
blasphemous towards him ... [God] has abandoned you and has turned his radiance
towards us and has made us his own.” (N. Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium,
We cover both these subjects in news commentaries on
Anti-Semitism in Europe and
Economics and the Crusades
As the Crusades got underway, European merchants saw an opportunity to get
rich by linking up and taking advantage of Middle Eastern trade routes. Clearly
Europe has a strong economic interest in Israel and the Middle East today.
Quoting form the Alan Woods article again:
question was, “could we see events in Europe that would mimic the Crusades and
result in a political, religious and military incursion into Israel and the
Middle East.” As with the Crusades, there are many elements, each of which
could act as indicators that such an event might take place.
“The merchants were even more interested in the success of this venture. The
Turks now controlled the lucrative trade routes to the East, like the famous
Silk Road. The most Christian merchants of Venice, Genoa and other European
ports were completely shut out, and they wanted to get a share of the action.
The crusades were their best chance to do this, moreover under the banner of the
Almighty. This was an opportunity not to be missed.”
Recent events have shown us Europe’s keen interest in Middle Eastern oil and
arms trade. As world tensions increase, we will see this repeated and may
include Europe having to interject itself politically and militarily into Israel
and the Middle East.
Century Crusades? --
What to Look For
1) Continued tension and backlash against Muslims in Europe.
2) Acts of terror increasing throughout
3) An increase in anti-Semitism.
New Anti-Semitism Word from]
4) Growth and increased political power in the Neo-Nazi movement
and/or by one central power.
Nazi Word from]
From the Vatican and the Pope:
5) The Vatican becoming involved in the political affairs of the EU, including a
new constitution that will be embraced by what German chancellor Gerard
Schroeder is calling his “inner circle” of fast-track European Union member
Power of the Pope Word from]
6) The Pope laying even greater emphasis than John Paul II on both doctrine and
authority of the Church.
7) The Pope taking radical steps to bring all sheep back into the fold and
filling the currently empty pews of the Catholic Church.
8) The Vatican demonstrating intolerance for the Muslims in Europe. Possibility
of the Pope speaking negatively toward the Muslim faith, its beliefs and the
Qur’an. He could conceivably call for a new "crusade" against Islam.
9) The Catholic Church getting directly involved in the “Road to Peace” process.
10) A call by the Vatican for Christians throughout the world to make
pilgrimages to Jerusalem. This may or may not be coupled with increased
persecutions and attacks against Christians in Jerusalem and throughout the
11) The Vatican expressing special interest in the Temple Mount and other holy
sites in Jerusalem.
12) A visit by cardinals and/or the Pope himself to Jerusalem
as well as, other Middle East countries.
13) Continued build-up of the EuroArmy
despite initial rejection of constitution.
EuroArmy Word from]
14) News stories speaking to possible EU troop movements to Israel and/or the
Prophecies--Armies Around Jerusalem]
15) The EU taking political and even military steps to insure the flow of oil to
In Israel and Middle East:
16) Destruction of Arab mosques either by Israel or some other catastrophic
event such as an earthquake coupled with walls falling on the Temple Mount.*
17) King of South to push against Europe,
possibly in the form of oil embargo or other means*
Mubarak Emerge As The "King Of The South?" Word from]
The LA Times article ends with a haunting question as it ends its discussion of
the movie depicting the Crusades: “In effect, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ asks the
insipid if sincere question, ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ The more pertinent
question is: How do we change the ending of a story whose plot was cast nearly
1,000 years ago?"
*from Garner Ted Armstrong's list of
what to look for in World
events [stated 13 April 2002]
Breaking News Stories
the latest news stories on this subject. -
story added 1 March 2017
Breaking News Stories Matching Seventeen Predictions Above:
Also reference our Quotes from
The Media on the Crusades:
Description of all the Crusades from
Kingdom of Heaven
Wikipedia Encyclopedia on
Will Benedict XVI Become Known as the..."Pope of Popes?"
Word from: Europe and the Coming State Religion
News Stories used in this commentary -