Anti-Semitism is the hatred of the Jewish people. The term was first used by a German in 1879, William Marr, who founded the League for Anti-Semitism

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The Justinian Code

The Justinian Code was an edict of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-564). A section of the code negated civil rights for Jews. Once the code was enforced, Jews in the Empire could not build synagogues, read the Bible in Hebrew, gather in public places, celebrate Passover before Easter, or give evidence in a judicial case in which a Christian was a party. Decrees by the early Catholic Church (partial list)

  • Synod of Elvira (306)_prohibited intermarriage and sexual intercourse between Christians and Jews, and prohibited them from eating together.

  • Councils of Orleans (533-541)_prohibited marriages between Christians and Jews and forbade the conversion to Judaism by Christians.

  • Trulanic Synod (692)_prohibited Christians from being treated by Jewish doctors.

  • Synod of Narbonne (1050)_prohibited Christians from living in Jewish homes.

  • Synod of Gerona (1078)_required Jews to pay taxes to support the Church.

  • Third Lateran Council (1179)_prohibited certain medical care to be provided by Christians to Jews.

  • Fourth Lateran Council (1215)_required Jews to wear special clothing to distinguish them from Christians.

  • Council of Basel (1431-1443)_forbade Jews to attend universities, them from acting as agents in the conclusion of contracts between Christians, and required that they attend church sermons.


The Catholic Church launched a series of nine holy wars from 1096-1272. The purpose of these wars was to march to the Holy Land of Palestine and liberate it from Moslem "infidels." Along the way, the crusaders massacred all "infidels" in their path who refused to be baptized on the spot to Christianity. Thousands of Jews were massacred in Germany and France.

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