The Knights Templar Begin, 14th Century, A History of the Christian Church, Lesson 12, 8-9

Another sect that was persecuted with great energy during this century was the Knights Templar. Although, if what they were accused of is true, they deserved to be removed from the list of religious organizations. The Knights Templar dated from the time of the Crusades when they were organized to protect the pilgrims to the Holy Land. However, because they were a warlike organization, their objectives became confused and they degenerated in character as they increased in riches.

By this time in the 14th Century, they were accused of being the enemy of all religions, and were obligated to spit upon the image of Christ as part of their initiation. As a consequence of these accusations, all the Knights who could be found on the appointed day or thereafter, were arrested. If they did not confess their crimes, they were put to death. Those who did confess were released. The whole order was extinguished by order of the Council of Vienna in 1311 AD.

With the exception of the Knights Templar, we notice that the other sects persecuted in this century were of a sort that was seeking to reform the Christian religion. These sects were no doubt laying the groundwork for the greater reform leaders of the next century, who in turn, paved the way for Luther in the 16th Century.

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