"In the 11th century, wild Turkish nomads gained possession of the Muslim kingdoms in the Near East, converted to Mohammedanism, and threatened Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire and center of Greek Orthodox Christianity. The Byzantine emperor, recognizing the tremendous power of the Catholic Church, appealed for military aid, not to the kings of Europe but to the Pope of Rome. The Church was sympathetic to this appeal, because the Turks were molesting Christians making pilgrimages to Palestine, the Holy Land. Consequently, Pope Urban II, in 1095, issued a call for a religious war, called a Crusade, against the Muslims to restore Christian control over Jerusalem and the Holy land. The Pope's call for a Crusade met with great enthusiasm. It attracted religious persons who held that "God wills it," nobles who hoped to acquire new lands and great riches, middle-class merchants who hoped for increased trade, serfs who hoped to escape from feudal oppression, and adventurers who wanted travel and excitement. But above all people wanted to free the Holy City of Jerusalem, holiest shrine of Christianity."
I love that last sentence! Were there Christian zealots who believed it? No doubt. My sceptical self thinks she sees ulterior motives on the parts of the Emperor and the Pope. I can well see the greed of the nobles and merchants, serfs hoping for a better lot, and those of the adventurous or escapist nature.
Important to note, don't you think, that the Jews, Christians, and Muslims all claim dependency from Abraham, thus all claim the city "Holy".
1095 to 2010. Differences?