The Inquisition was created in the Middle Ages (13th century) and was directed by the Roman Catholic Church. It was made up of courts that judged all those considered a threat to the doctrines (set of laws) of this institution. All suspects were persecuted and tried, and those who were convicted served sentences ranging from temporary or life imprisonment to death at the stake, where the convicts were burned alive in the public square.
The persecuted were not given the right to know who had denounced them, but in return they could say the names of all their enemies to ascertain this medieval court. Over time, this form of judgment was gaining more and more strength and taking over European countries such as Portugal, France, Italy and Spain. However, in England, there was no firmament of these courts.
Many scientists have also been persecuted, censured, and even condemned for defending ideas contrary to Christian doctrine. One of the best-known cases was the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who narrowly escaped the fire by claiming that planet Earth revolved around the sun (heliocentrism). So was not the Italian scientist Giordano Bruno who was tried and sentenced to death by the court.
Women also suffered at this time and were constant targets. Inquisitors considered witchcraft all practices that involved healing through teas or remedies made from herbs or other substances. The "medieval witches" who were nothing more than knowledgeable about the healing power of plants also received violent and cruel treatment.
This movement became increasingly powerful, and this fact attracted political interests. During the fifteenth century, the king and queen of Spain took advantage of this force to persecute the nobles and especially the Jews. In the first case, they reduced the power of the nobility, while in the second, they took advantage of this power to torture and kill the Jews, taking their goods from them.
During this sad time in history, thousands of people were tortured or burned alive on accusations that were often unfair and unfounded. With increasing power in his hands, the Great Inquisitor even challenged kings, nobles, bourgeois and other important personalities of the society of the time. Finally, this persecution of heretics and Protestants was completed only in the early nineteenth century.
Inquisition in Brazil
In Brazil, the courts came to be installed in the colonial period, but they were not as strong as in Europe. Especially in the Northeast, some cases of heresies related to the behavior of Brazilians were tried, besides persecuting some Jews who lived here.