A Short History of Buddhist Violence Against Christians
It is a myth that Buddhists are the most peaceful people in the world.
Crusades! Witch burnings! Inquisition! Pedophile priests! I’ve heard it all before. Every Catholic has.
However, if you know the reality behind these historical events, you quickly learn there is more Black Legend hype, atheist hysteria and secularist ignorance than historical reality to these accusations. Worse still, those who use these words against Catholics have fooled themselves into thinking we recoil in horror at their mention like a vampire offered a bowl of garlic soup.
Despite themselves, the ignoratti (i.e., those who are ignorant of history) and aliterati (i.e., those who hope to protect their ignorance of history by refusing to read history books) grace us with a great blessing―they know nothing about these events other than Dan Brown’s lies.
In reality, only 3,000 people died in the Spanish Inquisition, and none of them at the hands of Catholic priests. Instead, torture and executions were handled by secular officials working for the Spanish government. In fact, most inquisitors were laymen studying to be secular lawyers and hoping to advance their careers.
Pedophile priests? Even one is a horror but, thankfully, only 0.004 percent of Catholic priests in the past 70 years have been correctly accused of pedophilia.
Religion the main cause of wars? Hardly. Gordon Martel’s The Encyclopedia of War says that only 7 percent of wars were fought for religious reasons. That means secularism and those dedicated to it are responsible for 93 percent of wars.
As for the nonsense about who has killed the most number of people, the “winners” are non-believers. Atheist Mao Zedong killed 80 million people with the help of his atheistic assistants. Atheist Stalin killed another 20 million people, mostly through starving them to death. The most evil jihadist the world has ever known, Tamerlane, only killed 17 million people in his lifetime. All in all, atheists have killed 275 million people in the past two centuries, including launching the Modern Era’s first genocide―the Vendean Massacre―against Catholic non-combatants―men, women, children, the elderly and invalids.
But the stupidest, most pernicious and risible factoid in the clumsy hands of intellectually-deficient fundamentalist atheists is the myth that Buddhists are the most peaceful people in the world.
The current media attention on the genocide/ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya by the peaceful Buddhists of Burma has been going on for many years now. The violence is orchestrated by Buddhist monk U Wirathu―the man whom Time magazine’s editors in 2013 identified on their cover with the headline, ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror.’ It was this gentle monk who likened Muslims to the African carp―an invasive species―insisting that they are inherently violent, prone to breed quickly, and want to eat their own kind.
Let’s also keep in mind the equally peaceful Buddhists of the Bodu Bala Sena or Buddhist Power Force (BBS) of Sri Lanka who slaughter Christians and Muslims. The head pacifist monk, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, talks of his Buddhism in terms of race claiming that non-Buddhists (i.e., Christians) are racially inferior and are valid targets for extermination.
But, it’s argued among know-nothings that this violent Buddhism is a modern perturbation. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Prince Ashoka (272-232 B.C.), having adopted Buddhism, launched the military putsch/slaughter of most of the Indian subcontinent, creating the world’s first Buddhist empire. Without going into gory details, very few people are stupid enough to think the prince was liberating anyone peacefully. The blood of 100,000 soldiers and civilians stain this devout and peaceful Buddhist’s hands.
Please also recall that many the Japanese who attacked Pearl Harbor were also Buddhists, as were the gentle, peace-loving Buddhist scientists who manned Unit 731 and the other bio-chemical research centers/extermination camps in which American, Chinese, Filipino and Korean civilians and POWs were tortured and medically-experimented upon. Buddhists also captained and manned the Japanese death ships where Allied POWs were similarly tortured to death.
But despite the history books being replete with Buddhists and their violence, anti-Christians hold them up as the paragon of “love and compassion.” It seems they’ve forgotten that Japanese samurai were all devotees of Zen Buddhism―the most “peaceful” permutation of peaceful Buddhism. But the samurai were hardly pacifists—they were bloodthirsty warriors who killed on command, if the price was right.
But of all the victims of Buddhist violence in the past 500 years, it has been Catholics who have suffered the worst.
The 16th century Vietnamese Emperor Minh Mạng place great restrictions on Catholicism, condemning it as a "heterodox doctrine" simply because Catholics rallied for Duyệt, his rival for his throne. Minh Mạng issued an imperial edict that forced all missionaries to stop proselytizing and, once Duyệt died, ordered his posthumous humiliation, the desecration of his tomb, the execution of 16 Catholic relatives and the arrests of his Catholic colleagues. More than 300,000 Christians died in the various resulting persecutions. The 117 proclaimed saints represent the many unknown martyrs.
Catholic Koreans didn’t fare better against the Buddhists. There were four major Buddhist–led persecutions on the Korean peninsula― the 1839 Ki-hae Persecution, the 1846 Pyong-o Persecution, the 1866 Pyong-in Persecution and the current Communist oppression. Prior to horrors committed by communist atheists in North Korea, where Catholics have been effectively wiped out in that country, the previous persecution took place in 1866, in which 50 percent of all Catholics there were killed. That amounts to approximately 10,000 Catholics dead at the hands of Korean Buddhists in the course of 100 years. Of all these martyrs, 79 were beatified in 1925 and 24 more were beatified in 1968. All together, 103 martyrs were canonized by Pope St. John Paul II on May 6, 1984. In addition, Pope Francis beatified Paul Yun Ji Chung and 123 of his companions in August 2014. Currently, Korea has the fourth-largest number of saints in the Catholic world.
The 26 Catholic Martyrs of Japan were crucified by the open-minded Buddhist in that country on Feb. 5, 1597 in Nagasaki.
Over a period of 15 years, persecution continued sporadically. Between 1617 and 1632, 205 missionaries and native Christians were executed for their faith. They are known collectively as the 205 Catholic Martyrs of Japan Christian teaching disintegrated until the arrival of Western missionaries in the 19th century.
The 16 Martyrs of Japan (1633–1637) were a group of missionaries from the Philippine Province of the Dominican Order who were slaughtered for refusing to deny Christ.
The 188 Martyrs of Japan (1603-1639) were lay people and religious priests who were killed because they believed in the Prince of Peace. They were beatified on Nov. 24, 2008, by Pope Benedict XVI
The Augustine Recollects Martyrs (1632) were two Spanish Augustinians arrived in Japan from Manila to evangelize the Japanese. The peaceful Japanese Buddhist authorities found out and hunted them down. They were arrested and martyred on Dec. 11, 1632.
However, these blessed martyrs aren’t the total number of Christians klled at the hands of Japanese Buddhists. The names of the greater number of them are known only to God. For example, in AD 1637, one of the worse persecutions in Christian history took place in the Shimabara Rebellion. The leader was a devout 15-year-old Catholic samurai named Amakusa Shiro Tokisada. Tokugawa Iemitsu, the peaceful Buddhist Shogun, wanted to eradicate Christianity and Christian from Japan and launched a yearlong siege on 40,000 Catholics held up in Hara Castle. They lost the war and all 40,000 were tortured and crucified. Thankfully, there were so many Buddhists present in Japan otherwise things would have gone very badly for the Catholics there.
The Martyrs of Songkhon were slaughtered by Thailand’s xenophobic Buddhist government on December 16–26, 1940. They were beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on Oct. 22, 1989. Other persecutions in the kingdom produced even more martyrs.
The Martyr Saints of China, also known as St. Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, were 87 Chinese Catholics and 33 Western missionaries, martyred between the mid-17th century to AD 1930.
An additional 30,000 Chinese converts died in the Boxer Rebellion when xenophobic Buddhists slaughtered Christian missionaries and other foreigners.
On Jan. 15, 1648, the anti-Christian Manchus invaded the region of Fujian and tortured and killed the Dominican priest Saint Francisco Fernández de Capillas while he was praying the Rosary. He’s considered a protomartyr of China.
Countless other Christians were slaughtered since then including five Spanish missionaries in the 18th century (1715–1747) as a result of the machinations of the Buddhist Yongzheng Emperor and his successor, the Qianlong Emperor.
In AD 1748, two Dominican bishops and 4 priests were killed in this period including: Bishop Peter Sanz, Bishop Francis Serrano, Joachim Royo, John Alcober and Francis Diaz.
In the early 19th-century, an additional 25 Christians were martyred.
The Martyrs of Shanxi (July 9, 1900 (known also as the Taiyuan Massacre), were Franciscan Friars which included two bishops: Saint Gregory Grassi and Francis Fogolla.
The Martyrs of Southern Hunan were three additional 100 Franciscan Friars and religious sisters and several Salesians who were killed on Feb. 25, 1930 at Li-Thau-Tseul.
Atheist communists are the newest permutation of hatred against Christians in China. This has been nonstop since 1950 with the outbreak of the Korean War.
The total number of Catholic martyrs in China is difficult to count, but one estimate is approximately 2-3 million over the past 500 years.
But what of the Dalai Lamas? Even the peaceful xenophobic leaders of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism has Christian blood on his hands. The 13th Dalai Lama ordered his monks to slaughter 500 Tibetan Catholic families and raze churches, orphanages, schools and hospitals in March 1905.
When I present this information to people who hold a Disneyesque view of Buddhism, they are quick to insist that the number of Christians killed by Buddhists is incomparable to the number of Buddhists killed by Christians. However, when asked for source of this information, they just fall back on rehashed Black Legend nonsense where, magically, feelings are somehow more important that facts. My recommendations that they read books rather than lie their way through a conversation never sits well with this crowd.