Occupied with wikipeding for the past week. Here I present a summary of all knowledge accrued.
Came to know of the Great Schism in Christianity which led to the formation of Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Just goes to show that sometimes people don’t require an issue to squabble. Even the most trivial issues can boil over into great disputes. The question of whether to eat leavened bread or not was the cause of the feud between the two sects. But the above mentioned schism was more due to the division of the Roman Empire into two. Reminds me of Gulliver’s Travels where the Lilliputs are at war because of differences over the right way to eat a boiled egg – from the rounded end, or from the sharp end. Turns out it was the the argument between consubstantiation and transubstantiation in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church that led to disputes. Also the major difference between Islam and Christianity is the fact that the former refuses to recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, eventhough he is mentioned in the Koran. The reason why the Ahmadis are persecuted in Pakistan is because they believe their Messiah is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Delved into the history of Yugoslavia. It is beyond my wildest imagination how Tito managed to unite the Yugoslavian nations under one banner. It is almost like a mini India. The Albanians for instance consist of Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox Christians. Yet they maintain a very strong unity. Acquainted myself with the Kosovo Conflict, histories of Serbia and Bosnia&Hersegovinia. Found out to my surprise that there are very few Protestants in France. Protestantism was declared illegal by the Edict of Fontainebleau and the protestants were persecuted. The Huguenots ( term used to describe the Protestants of France ) who numbered about two million fled France and settled in places like South Africa, the U.S of A, and other parts of the world. George Washington himself had proven huguenot ancestry. From the wiki,
“The exodus of Huguenots from France created a kind of brain drain from which the kingdom did not fully recover for years. The French crown’s refusal to allow Protestants to settle in New France was a factor behind that colony’s slow population growth, which ultimately led to its conquest by the British.By the time of the French and Indian War, there may have been more people of French ancestry living in Britain’s American colonies than there were in New France.”
Protestantism is now alive only in the Northern countries of Europe ( with the exception of the Republic of Ireland ). It seems that the Counter-Reformation movement had a significant impact. Only in countries like Latvia where the terrain meant that the Counter Reformation movement couldn’t reach them, and Hungary which was ruled at that time by Suleiman I, have retained a significant number of Protestants apart from the Northern countries. It is also important to observe that the U.S. of A has been a melting pot of various kinds of people who fled away from their homelands in search of security. The English, the early Spanish settlers, the French, the Huguenots, the Germans who came in the 19th century, the Jews, it goes on.
Delved into the history of Brittany and the Celtic Nations. The French are fanatics. What else would explain signs that read ““It is forbidden to spit on the ground and to speak Breton”. There are around 3 lakh speakers of Breton. But the number of teens and children who speak it are quite small. Rest assured it will be extinct in a couple of decades thanks to the active efforts of the French government. The South-West part of England ( Cornwall ) is also Celtic. No wonder I have not heard of any county named Cornwall which plays cricket.
There is more to write. I spent the last night reading the race theories of anthropologists. Will update this post in a few hours with a couple of sentences summarizing what I read.