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Overview of the Crusades

'The Kingdom of Heaven' Movie: Views & Reviews

"This movie says very little about the religions of either side of the battle. In fact, religious leaders on both sides are made out to be fools. Organized religion is not painted in a very positive light. The movie does however contain a moral lesson that people of different nations and religions should strive for peace."

Watch the movie trailer for 'Kingdom of Heaven'

Official 'Kingdom of Heaven' Web site

Overview of the Crusades

An Overview of the Crusades

The trigger for the First Crusade was Emperor Alexius I's appeal to Pope Urban II for mercenaries to help him resist Muslim advances into territory of the Byzantine Empire. The response was much larger, and less helpful, than Alexius I desired, as the Pope called for a large invasion force to not merely defend the Byzantine Empire but also retake Jerusalem.

'Christian Jihad'
Christian Jihad: Killing in Jesus' Name

A discussion of the Crusades from the perspective of an ex-Muslim, Dr. Ergun Caner, author of 'Christian Jihad'. "I guess 'Christian Jihad' was born out of the fact that if they ever had a point -- even though it is a distant point, even though it is not a particularly on-target point -- there was a time in Christian history where we did as bad as Osama bin Ladin has done."

Orlando Bloom & Liam Neeson in Ridley Scott's 'Kingdom of Heaven'
Thoughts on 'The Kingdom of Heaven': A Discussion with Dr. Ted Baehr

The problem with this movie -- and the problem with most of the approaches toward this topic -- is that it tends to think that Christianity and Islam are the same.

1,400 Years of Christian/Islamic Struggle: An Analysis

Did Christianity and Islam meet with the first Crusade? What happened between the Christians and the Muslims prior to the Crusades? Learn the history behind 1,400 years of struggle.

'Crusade of Tears'
A Journey of Souls: Interview with C. D. Baker on the Children's Crusade

Those who did not perish by the natural forces of starvation, disease or exposure were deceptively loaded into ships and sold in the slave markets of North Africa.

Read an excerpt of 'Crusade of Tears'

Order your copy of 'Crusade of Tears'

More Resources

What Was the Children's Crusade?

Pope Urban II: The Dynamo Behind the First Crusade

Pope Urban II's Speech Calling for the First Crusade

What Were the Christian Crusades?

Special section: Understanding Islam

Historical Timeline: 1000 to 2000

Some of the Basics of Islam

What do Muslims believe about Jesus?

What is Islamic Jihad?

Can you explain the Islamic faith?

The Crusades were a time of great upheaval in the world -- and their history is clouded by controversy, legend, heroes, villains, and outright falsehood. The opinions stated on this page are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christian Broadcasting Network. This special section is provided to give readers an opportunity to examine the issues raised from the Crusades and then draw their own conclusions.
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Behind the scenes of the 'Kingdom of Heaven'


The Crusades:
A Panel Discussion

Part 1: The Driving Force Behind the Crusades

Part 2: The Muslim Perspective; The European Perspective; The Vanished Church of North Africa

Part 3: The Motivation of the Roman Church; The Albigensian Crusade; Persecution of the Jews; The East/West Christian Divide

Part 4: The Children's Crusade; Pilgrimages; St. Francis' Meeting with Saladin

Part 5: The Effects of Religious Wars; Lessons Learned from the Crusades


The Crusades & The History of Lebanon

Part 1: The Islamic Invasion of Lebanon & the Christian Reaction

Part 2: The Muslim/Christian Struggle in the Middle Ages

Part 3: The Religious Make-up of Modern Lebanon

CBN periodically offers polls so you the viewer can weigh in on your opinions. Check back often for new polls.

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MEssage Board

Killing in Jesus' name? How should Christians respond today when secularists, Muslims, and others refer to the Crusades in Church history?

Who or what was responsible for the Crusades?

Do you believe the media offers a fair treatment of Christians and Muslims when they talk about the Crusades?

How can a Christian respond to the legacy of the Crusades?
Learn about the reconciliation movement.

Recommended Reading   Online Resources

'A History of the Crusades' by M.W. Baldwin

'The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades' by Jonathan Riley-Smith

'A Concise History of the Crusades' by Thomas F. Madden

'The First Crusade: A New History' by Thomas Asbridge


Onward, Lukewarm Christian Soldiers: BeliefNet

Rethinking The Crusades:

Crusading Against History:

The Crusades and the Rise of Islam

Waging Peace on Islam: Christianity Today

How Could Christians Do This?: Christianity Today