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An historical period which has no specific start or end dates yet spanned just over two centuries, beginning in Continental Europe, spreading to the British Isles, and finally ending in the United States.

Due to Church-promoted mass hysteria and paranoia, the Witch-Craze was a time when simply being accused of Witchcraft could have you summarily executed without even having the benefit of a fair trial. It is estimated that between 500,000 and 4,000,000 people were slaughtered on the charges of witchcraft and heresy during this time, a European genocide almost as devastating as the Holocaust yet little remembered due to its socio-political rammafications.

It is because of the Witch-Craze and the hordes of maddness it ensued that the West adoped a separation of Church and State, known as Secularism with the intent of never letting any single religion commit genocide against another.

Also out of the Witch-Craze we find fraternal organizations such as Freemasonry establishing themselves with the intent of fostering inter-religious dialogue and the cooperation between religious groups so necessary for any functioning society.

The only path to avoiding another Witch-Craze or Holocaust is interreligious understanding and mutual tolerance of differing interpretations of what we mean when we think of "God."
"History teaches us from the Witch-Craze that interreligious tensions are what leads to tragedies like the Holocaust"
by Brother Pigeon May 26, 2004
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