Burning the Indians to honour the Redeemer? [Dominican Republic]

This picture shows a genocide of the Indian population as how Friar Bartolome Las Casa described in his work, “A Brief Report on the Destruction of the Indes”:

”They made a gallows just high enough for the feet to nearly touch the ground, and by thirteens, in honour and reverence of our Redeemer and the twelve Apostles, they put wood underneath and, with fire, they burned the Indians alive.”

Friar Bartolome Las Casa was a humanitarian who fought for the human rights of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

When he first arrived in Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1502, Bartolome de Las Casa wanted to make it big. Unexpectedly, he surprised himself by making the decision to become a friar.

After ending his studies in 1526, he followed the instructions of his superiors and went to the Northern coast of Hispaniola to build a monastery. It was in the monastery where he began one of his greatest works, Historia general de las Indias, that took up about 35 years of his life, to give his perspective of how the Native Americans were being terribly treated.


More from “A Brief Report on the Destruction of the Indes”:

“The Christians, with their horses and swords and lances,began to slaughter and practise strange cruelty among them.  They penetrated into the country and spared neither children nor the aged, nor pregnant women, nor those in child labour, all of whom they ran through the body and lacerated, as though they were assaulting so many lambs herded in their sheepfold.

They made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow: or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babes from their mothers’ breast by the feet, and dashed their heads against the rocks. Others, they seized by the shoulders and threw into the rivers, laughing and joking, and when they fell into the water they exclaimed: “boil body of so and so!”…..

They wrapped the bodies of others entirely in dry straw, binding them in it and setting fire to it; and so they burned them. They cut off the hands of all they wished to take alive, made them carry them fastened on to them, and said: “Go and carry letters”: that is; take the news to those who have fled to the mountains.

They generally killed the lords and nobles in the following way. They made wooden gridirons of stakes, bound them upon them, and made a slow fire beneath: thus the victims gave up the spirit by degrees, emitting cries of despair in their torture.

I once saw that they had four or five of the chief lords stretched on the gridirons to burn them, and I think also there were two or three pairs of gridirons, where they were burning others; and because they cried aloud and annoyed the captain or prevented him sleeping, he commanded that they should strangle them: the officer who was burning them was worse than a hangman and did not wish to suffocate them, but with his own hands he gagged them, so that they should not make themselves heard, and he stirred up the fire, until they roasted slowly, according to his pleasure. I know his name, and knew also his relations in Seville. I saw all the above things and numberless others.”


Featured Image from:  http://beyondforeignness.org/1034


6 thoughts on “Burning the Indians to honour the Redeemer? [Dominican Republic]

  1. This is a very stark and sobering post. Thank you for sharing it. It is obvious that the label “Christian” means little unless the bearer treats those around him with the compassion of Christ. I know things like this greatly grieve the heart of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I absolutely agree that “Christian” can be a purposeless label many at times. Yes, indeed. God must be grieving. I had lost my faith in God imagining how he watches all of this happen without intervening. Thinking about how different groups of people pray to hundreds of different Gods have also puzzled me. Still, I am searching although my heart does feel a little at peace when I think about the possibility of God’s plan for us through Christ.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Our questions are a universal trial for all who seek God. Since we know how to pray for our fellow questioners, let us pray for each other and them, remembering that Jesus was prophesied to be “a man of sorrows” centuries before He walked here to mingle His tears with ours. I know He still does.

    May God bless you in your work.

    Liked by 1 person

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