The 20th and 21st Centuries are marked by genocide
and murder on an industrial scale. This is nothing new in world
history, only the technology has improved to permit greater
efficiency in killing.
In this site the systematic destruction of the
Cathars and their religion is described.
The Cathars (from the Greek Katharos meaning pure)
were a religious minority mainly resident in southern France, especially
Languedoc and also northern Spain.
Whilst regarding themselves as Christians and
following Gospel teaching they were opposed to the authority of the
Catholic Church and this was to lead to their downfall. The
Albigensian Crusade (1209-1255) was launched against them, followed up
by the terror of the Holy Inquisition, until the last Cathar teacher or
parfait, William Belebaste, was burnt at the stake in 1321.
Languedoc had been a
liberal, pluralistic society. It was culturally different from
northern France with a significant geographical separation and a local language.
The crusaders were from the most
part from the north of France, many such as Simon de Montfort himself
(who had been deprived of his lands during the previous crusade which
raided Constantinople) were out to gain booty. Others were in need
of the indulgences on offer ...
The Albigensian Crusade was the
only crusade to be specifically targeted against Christians - though
others involved attacks on the Greeks of Constantinople. The continual
attacks by the west being a major contributing factor in the city
being lost to the Turks in 1453.
The Albigensian crusade was particularly bloody with the entire
population of Beziers being massacred and the city razed.
Catholics were butchered along with the Cathars, famously when a
commander asked how to tell Cathars from Catholics, he was told, kill
them all, God will know his own.
The Cathars, in contrast, were opposed to violence
and the parfaits would not even use force in their own
site describes places associated with the Cathars and the
Albigensian Crusade. The castles and towns described were not for the most
part built by the Cathars, but used by them.
Many have been partly or wholly reconstructed at later
This work is dedicated to those who are
persecuted because of race or