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The greatest ransom ever paid
Posted by Blackrose on 30 March 2012
We must recall the sordid story of how Christianity was spread at the point of sword and temptation. Only one instance which amply exemplified the typical attitude of the Christian missionaries, who were inspired by this noble job, may be cited here.
Francisco Pizarro planned his expedition against the Incas of America in the year 1524-25. The purpose of expedition was to reap a harvest of not only gold, but also souls. As father Fernando de-laque, a Roman catholic priest promised support for the expedition, they bound themselves through a contract to discover and subdue the countries and provinces lying south of the Gulf belonging to the Emperor of Peru and to divide among themselves the whole of conquered country and to allow father Velverde , who accompanied them, to gather the harvest of souls for Christianity.
No sooner had they entered the dominion then these Christians started with their programme of plunder and massacre. Yet they were forgiven. The Inca Empire was too confident of itself and too forgiving because the people there were simple, honest, broad hearted and believing.
The ordinary people had never seen a horse before. People riding such strange creatures incited their curiosity and awe. While the handful of Spaniards kept marching into the territory, the emperor sent a message greeting the strangers, welcoming them to his land and invited them to his court, though they had entered the country without permission. He sent them some gifts as an expression of his trust. Pizarro sent back some gifts informing that Inca that they had come from a prince far beyond the sea and having heard for victories of Inca king they had come to see him and to aid him against his enemies.
The party of Pizarro reached the city of Cazamarka where a meeting was arraigned between him and the emperor Atahualpa on 15th November 1532. The city had a triangular plaza larger than any in Spain and they were to meet there. The emperor with his retinue entered unarmed. Pizarro had had hidden armed men I the surrounding houses. When the emperor reached the plaza there was none to greet him. He asked where were the strangers. Father Velverde then entered with cross in one hand and Bible in the other and explained that they had come to convert him to Christianity. Father Velverde explained the Christian doctrine to him, and asked him to subordinate to the king of Spain. The emperor replied ," I will not subordinate to any other man. Your emperor may be a great prince. I do not doubt is as I see that he has sent his subject s so far across the ocean, and I am willing to hold him as a brother. As regards my faith, I shall not change it. You own god ( Christ) was put to death by the very men whom he had created , but my god still lives on in heaven and looks down on his children"
At that father Velvrde went to Pizarro's hiding place and said," We are wasting our breath talking to this dog-set or at once I absolve you"Â
Pizarro gave his signal and the armed Spaniards massacred the unarmed Incas and the emperor was taken prisoner. Atahualpa then suggested to Pizarro that he would fill his room with solid gold if he was released. Pizarro agreed. The emperor's order was dispatched to the palaces and temples to bring the necessary amount of gold which had been preserved for generations. The room was filled with gold, but Atahualpa was not released. The Christian missionary signed, along with others, the decision to burn the emperor alive for the crime of not becoming a Christian.
The emperor took it all calmly as befitting his office and dignity. A pyre was made and the Inca King , bound in irons, was placed on that pyre. Father Velverde , who had signed the decision to rob the emperor of his body decided to make another try at saving his soul!. He asked the emperor to change his faith, which the empire once again refused Now the missionary promised that if the emperor became Christian he would not be burnt alive. In this situation the empire accepted the baptism. The Christian missionary kept his promise-Atahulpa was not burnt alive, but he was strangled to death.
This is the story of the first American Christian. Not only that , according to the Guinness book of world records, historically the greatest ransom ever paid was for the Atahualpa by the Incas to Francisco Pizarro in 1532-33 at Cajamarca, Peru, worth in modern money more than $ 150 million.
This is how Christianity was introduced in South America. The loot from Inca emperor enriched Spain and Europe. Great works of sculpture and art wrought in gold were melted by the unappreciative invaders and ship after ship of treasures emptied the American Indian wealth into Europe.
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