St. Jorge’s Castle
In my three months stay, I have learned that religion in Spain was established centuries ago in 400 c.e. It was then that the Romans conquered Spain and brought their Latin language, along with Christianity. They named the country Hispania, and stayed for 700 years bringing their roman attributions to the country. During this time, the root of religion was planted.
Today, religion has played a tremendous role in Spain’s society. Many royals and civilians praised their religion, fought for their religion, and did anything possible to keep their beliefs. Walking through St. Jorge’s castle, reminded me that religion wasn’t always holy.
Before coming to Spain, I had no knowledge regarding the country’s religious history. Being here has taught me that the country has had a notoriously religiously evil past specifically during the Spanish Inquisition.
What do you believe in? and why? The question of belief will always be depended on your religion. In general, the talk of religion is a very sensitive one. It is sensitive in the way that it can evoke disagreement, rivalry, and in the inquisitions case, death.
The visit to the castle has shown me the evil that swept through the country. The Spanish Inquisition isn’t taught in the american education system, therefor I had no knowledge of it prior to my stay. I was shocked to learn that the Inquisition leaders were religious figures like popes, and priests.
In short, the Spanish Inquisition was an era in which catholic nobles, and monarchs forcefully converted Jewish, and Muslim civilians to Catholicism. If they didn’t convert, they were stripped and tortured to change their beliefs. Many have tortuously died for what they believe in. Yet those who did convert, were always looked down upon.
The Inquisition lasted from 1478 to 1834. Four decades of evil, torture, and corrupt. Spain during this time also conquered new territories, giving rise to the catholic religion in countries like Mexico. The strong religious influence had an effect in my culture and family beliefs.
These are traditions and beliefs that are still celebrated to this day. From the immaculate conception, to dia de los reyes. I am surrounded by Spanish beliefs that have been enforced on my ancestors centuries ago. The same force that has killed the people who chose to not believe, or believe in a different religion.
I’m very thankful to my mother, who never forced me into a church, or ever persuaded me of what I should or should not believe in. With the help from my roommate Erin, who has years of private catholic school, I caught a glimpse of the catholic biblical stories my mother believes in.
I was told I’m the first person she’s met who has been raised without any religious persuasion. Coming here, I can now understand why my mother chose to let me believe in a religion or non religion I desire. This is because my mother is just as open-minded as I am. She insists that I have the power to explore, thus choosing my own path.