An Appalling Bloodguilt
14. What reason does the strong angel give for the severity of Jehovah’s judgment, and what did Jesus similarly say when he was on the earth?
14 In conclusion, the strong angel tells why Jehovah judges Babylon the Great so severely. “Yes,” says the angel, “in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” (Revelation 18:24) When on earth, Jesus told the religious leaders in Jerusalem that they were accountable for “all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel” onward. Accordingly, that crooked generation was destroyed in 70 C.E. (Matthew 23:35-38) Today, another generation of religionists bears bloodguilt for its persecution of God’s servants.
15. How was the Catholic Church in Nazi Germany bloodguilty on two counts?
15 In his book The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, Guenter Lewy writes: “When Jehovah’s Witnesses were suppressed in Bavaria on April 13  the Church even accepted the assignment given it by the Ministry of Education and Religion of reporting on any member of the sect still practicing the forbidden religion.” The Catholic Church thus shares responsibility for consigning thousands of Witnesses to concentration camps; its hands are stained by the lifeblood of hundreds of Witnesses who were executed. When young Witnesses, such as Wilhelm Kusserow, showed that they could die courageously by a firing squad, Hitler decided that the firing squad was too good for conscientious objectors; so Wilhelm’s brother Wolfgang, at 20 years of age, died by the guillotine. At the same time, the Catholic Church was encouraging young German Catholics to die in the army of the fatherland. The bloodguilt of the church is plain to see!
16, 17. (a) What bloodguilt must be charged to Babylon the Great, and how did the Vatican become bloodguilty regarding the Jews who died in Nazi pogroms? (b) What is one way in which false religion is to blame for the killing of millions of people in hundreds of wars in modern times?
16 However, the prophecy says that the blood of “all those who have been slaughtered on the earth” must be charged to Babylon the Great. That has certainly been true in modern times. For example, since Catholic intrigue helped to bring Hitler to power in Germany, the Vatican shares in a terrible bloodguilt with regard to the six million Jews that died in Nazi pogroms. Further, in our time, well over a hundred million people have been killed in hundreds of wars. Is false religion to blame in this connection? Yes, in two ways.
17 One way is that many wars are related to religious differences. For example, the violence in India between Muslims and Hindus in 1946-48 was religiously motivated. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. The conflict between Iraq and Iran in the 1980’s was related to sectarian differences, with hundreds of thousands being killed. Violence between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland has taken thousands of lives. Surveying this field, columnist C. L. Sulzberger said in 1976: “It is a dismal truth that probably half or more of the wars now being fought around the world are either openly religious conflicts or involved with religious disputes.” Indeed, it has been so throughout the turbulent history of Babylon the Great.
18. What is the second way in which the world’s religions are bloodguilty?
18 What is the second way? From Jehovah’s viewpoint, the world’s religions are bloodguilty because they have not convincingly taught their followers the truth of Jehovah’s requirements for his servants. They have not convincingly taught people that God’s true worshippers must imitate Jesus Christ and show love toward others regardless of their national origin. (Micah 4:3, 5; John 13:34, 35; Acts 10:34, 35; 1 John 3:10-12) Because the religions making up Babylon the Great have not taught these things, their adherents have been drawn into the vortex of international warfare. How evident this was in the two world wars of the first half of the 20th century, both of which started in Christendom and resulted in fellow religionists’ slaughtering one another! If all who claimed to be Christians had adhered to Bible principles, those wars could never have taken place.
19. What appalling bloodguilt does Babylon the Great carry?
19 Jehovah lays the blame for all this bloodshed at the feet of Babylon the Great. Had the religious leaders, and particularly those in Christendom, taught their people Bible truth, such massive bloodshed would not have occurred. Truly, then, directly or indirectly, Babylon the Great—the great harlot and world empire of false religion—must answer to Jehovah not only for “the blood of prophets and of holy ones” whom she has persecuted and killed but for the blood “of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” Babylon the Great does indeed carry an appalling bloodguilt. Good riddance when her final destruction takes place!
[Box on page 270]
The Price of Compromise
Guenter Lewy writes in his book The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany: “Had German Catholicism from the start adhered to a policy of resolute opposition to the Nazi regime, world history might well have taken a different course. Even if this struggle had ultimately failed to defeat Hitler and prevent all of his many crimes, it would in this view have raised the moral prestige of the Church immeasurably. The human cost of such resistance would undeniably have been great, but these sacrifices would have been made for the greatest of all causes. With the home front unreliable, Hitler might not have dared going to war and literally millions of lives would have been saved. . . . When thousands of German anti-Nazis were tortured to death in Hitler’s concentration camps, when the Polish intelligentsia was slaughtered, when hundreds of thousands of Russians died as a result of being treated as Slavic Untermenschen [subhumans], and when 6,000,000 human beings were murdered for being ‘non-Aryan,’ Catholic Church officials in Germany bolstered the regime perpetrating these crimes. The Pope in Rome, the spiritual head and supreme moral teacher of the Roman Catholic Church, remained silent.”—Pages 320, 341.