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Religion - The Foundation of Europe's History

            There are many things that shaped and molded Europe's great history, but religion really tops the list of these factors. From the rise of Christianity, to the Reformation, Europe goes through various events that form it as it is today. .
             When the might of the Roman Empire reached all the way to the Jewish land of Judea, the fate of religion was about to be decided forever. Although many of the Jewish people were Romanized, and left their old religious beliefs behind, members of that society still held their values and had faith that a Messiah would soon appear. This man was thought to be Jesus who was born around 5 B.C. At the age of 30, he along with many disciples or apostles, spread a newfound religion of Christianity which taught that everybody had a personal relationship with god. This easily spread fast throughout the Roman Empire, even after Jesus" death. The amount of followers of Christianity nearly quadrupled from 325-500 A.D. A church and clergy was soon developed, with priests, bishops and popes. In 380 A.D., Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire. Not too long after that, the Roman Empire began to fall apart and that led Europe into its dark ages. .
             The next big part that religion played in European history was the beginning of the Crusades. The Crusades were wars fought over land rights in the Holy Land of Palestine and Israel in western Asia. Battles still rage on even today over these lands, but not involving major European nations. These wars were fought for economic goals and religious motives, but it was religion that sparked up all of the fire. After over 200 years of fighting, the spirits of the Crusaders were put out by the commonness of unsuccessful battles and campaigns. The Crusades had great long-term effects on Europe. The failure of later Crusades lessened the power of the Pope. Furthermore, the Crusades weakened feudal nobility.

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