Goa Inquisition - how Hindus were tortured and terrorized by the Portuguse Christian Missionaries

"Killing, raping and looting have been common practices in religious societies, and often carried out with clerical sanction. The catalogue of notorious barbarities – wars and massacres, acts of terrorism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the chopping off of thieves’ hands, the slicing off of clitorises and labia majora, the use of gang rape as punishment, and manifold other savageries committed in the name of one faith or another — attests to religion’s longstanding propensity to induce barbarity, or at the very least to give it free rein.  ......There is a reason the Middle Ages in Europe were long referred to as the Dark Ages; the millennium of theocratic rule that ended only with the Renaissance (that is, with Europe’s turn away from God toward humankind) was a violent time".
    ― Jeffrey Tayler  (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/inquisition)

"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, find, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards humanity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support error and roguery all over the earth" - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

 Jesus Christ never said that his Gospel of Love and Care should be spread far and wide around the world  through violent means. Unfortunately, in the early centuries and later when European Imperialism took the world by storm, the guardians of Christian faith considered the followers of other faiths  across the globes were pagans or heretics. They were against idolatry and, in particular, the one prevailing in India. They thought the Hindu religion was inferior because the Hindus were  worshiping  evils and demons  in idol forms. When the Europeans gained power and pelf, there developed a nexus between the rulers and religious authorities. The rulers were highly influenced by the religious heads. They pushed scientific explanation and rational thinking to the back seat.  As for the preachers, with help from the king, they  were more focused on spreading Christianity across the continents, unmindful of using violence against the harmless natives, than improving the spiritual quality of their  own people in their countries. The causality of this unprecedented onslaught on other faiths was the loss of culture, tradition and religious freedom of natives "in their own land" across the world. Among the European countries Spain and Portugal, who initially dominated the sea routes  with better navigational skill and sturdy ships, discovered new lands and  were hell-bent on spreading Christianity by using fear psychosis. Violence and torture became weapons to spread Roman Catholicism.  If Christ were alive to witness such demonic missionaries, engaging in evangelical work with a double-edged  sword in one hand and  Cross in the other,  literally he himself  would have  become furious and  made them sit on the sharp edge of a spear atop the tall iron pole.

Heaven and hell. Patheos

Vasco da Gama made a great feat on the 20th of May 1498 by discovering the direct sea route to India. Portugal lost  thousands of lives and dozens of ships just  to find a sea route to India. This major maritime discovery not only opened the flood gates for the greedy European powers  but also the Pandora's Box. Since this discovery of sea route to coastal Malabar, Kerala  European Imperialism had got a big boost and, in the later centuries, the British became masters and spread their wings across the globe using Machiavellian tactics.

Goa, India map. south india tourism

Goa-Inquisition and  torture of Hindus and others:

In the wake of  inquisition in Goa  in 1560 demolition of Hindu
temples,  forceful conversion to Christianity under threats, enacting  of  anti-Hindu laws, economic punishments, physical and mental tortures,  social discrimination, committing atrocities on the Hindus, had become part of Portuguese Colonialism initiated  by none other than St. Francis Xavier.  He changed the beautiful and quiet place of Goa into a ghastly  and  spine-chilling place of horror in the name of preaching Christianity. In the early colonial time, Portuguese offered free food, education, job etc., as incentives to get the natives converted to  the new faith. However, this tactics did not go well and the natives did not fall for it.

Thanks to  St. Francis Xavier, the prime promoter of Goa Inquisition; being a demonic preacher, he broke every  soothing word of LOVE uttered by Christ, an embodiment of love and compassion. The Goan inquisition, according to various works by Indian  and  foreign historians, is regarded as the most maniacal and murderous inquisition ever executed by the fanatical Portuguese Catholic  missionaries. 

 Hector writes about St Francis Xavier's evangelism: In the matter of conversion, Xavier held exceedingly crude ideas. His great aim was to get hold of the younger portion of the population…Xavier is said to have baptized seven hundred thousand natives, whom he left as ignorant as he found them. His motto seems to have been quantity not quality.

This nauseating and degenerating phase lasted from 1560 to 1812 in Goa. The inquisition  in Goa  was devised and supervised by a tribunal headed by a judge from Portugal with  two judicial henchmen. The judge had the authority to hand down  punishments as he  deemed fit and was not answerable to no one except to Lisbon.
When King Joao III  was the ruler of Portugal, much emphasis was given to the spread of Christianity and thus a Bishop office came up in 1588 in Goa and later in Cochin to carry on the evangelical work on a grand scale. 

In the name of Christianity ....China Social Platforms Article

 Viceroy Joao de Castro  was advised by the Portugal ruler to accelerate the spread of Christianity in Goa and adjacent places. Further, he also ordered his officers to root out any form of idolatry and removal of places of worship other than Christianity. They did not even spare sculptures or images depicting Hindu gods.

They considered the Brahmins their arch enemies. The religious heads were armed with special powers to give severe punishments  to non-Christians / infidels with no room for either mercy or appeal. 

In the early stages of colonization ethnic cleansing  was the central theme and the Portuguese  continued their inhuman act with impunity. Besides, the fanatical  missionaries razed down  thousands of non - Christian temples and places of worship all over the Europe, West Asia and North Africa. The Portuguese friars and priests, upon their landing in Goa, immediately got into business  and  continued their religious fanaticism   by way of 'desecrating and destroying the Hindu temples'.

Crypto-Hinduism was a criminal offense in early Portuguese Goa. People, who were accused of being   being Crypto-Hindus, were arrested and tried by the tribunal.  Dozens put to death by the Catholic Christian Portuguese government in Goa, for the simple reason that they never became true Christians. Portuguese also targeted other faiths Buddhism, Judaism and Islam.


According to Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski, the Goa inquisition tormented  its  new Christian population who were formerly Hindus. Since 1560 over 16,000 cases had been  tried over a 200-year period from 1560 when the Portuguese established their rule. 

When Crypto-Hinduism trials were banned in 1812, the Portuguese purposely destroyed the individual case files. It is reported that nearly 70% of those found guilty of Crypto Hinduism were executed during the worst period in Goa.  The horrible fact is many were put to death even before the death pronouncement was made and to hoodwink the public and media, the government carried out mock-execution where an effigy of the convicted person was publicly burnt.

According to P. K. Paliwal President, Hindu Writers" Forum New Delhi, 'the mafia of global media in India and outside cannot erase this criminal record of Inquisition and Carnage in Goa from the pages of history'. In his Monograph on "Atrocities on Hindus by Christian Missionaries in Goa" he talks about the worst violence let loose on the Hindu population under the patronage of the Portuguese Catholic missionaries. Most of the churches in Goa were built atop the land that was once occupied by the Hindu temples. 

Dr. T. R. De Souza, Christian Historian pointed out  at least from 1540 onward  "All the Hindu idols disappeared because all the temples were destroyed and their sites and building materials were fully utilized to erect new Christian Churches and chapels".

In the name of Christianity and Church ...pfarmenia.wordpress.com

Paliwal also brought to light the suppression and intimidation of Hindus by Jesuits and Franciscans. In 1510 and later Mass Baptism was  held every year on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25). To get maximum number of neophytes, the Jesuits would visit the Hindu quarters and  had the black African slaves smear beef pieces on the lips of the Hindus, especially Brahmins, thus (purportedly) making them "untouchable". For these people, only option open was conversion to Christianity. Their main targets were mainly Saraswat Brahmins  who were native to Goa. 

The King of Portugal  ordered that the "Brahmins in Goa  should be banished."

Various Viceregal and Church council decrees banished the Hindu priests from the Portuguese territories; the public practices of Hindu rites including 'marriage rites' were banned.
The Unassuming Atheist - WordPress.com


The Inquisition Laws ran into  230 pages
with graphic details and the palace where the Inquisition was conducted  behind closed doors was called  the Big House. It was nothing but a Horror House or Torture Chamber run by psychopaths in the name of religion. The stillness of nights was frequently broken by intense screaming  and  cries of agony by the victims -  men, women, and children. The myriads of torture methods followed by the crazy  and perverted Jesuits had crossed  the limits  of human decency and it was quite mind-boggling as to how such Christian preachers had witnessed blood-letting and torture  without any remorse.  One could hear the cries of  pain  at a distance on the  quiet street of Goa when they were subject to violent flogging, slicing of eye-lids and dismembering other parts of the body, etc.,  all  right before  their dismayed and horrified  relatives. 

As part of brutality, the henchmen in religious garb could amputate a  man  so carefully and cooley that the victim  remained conscious with his torso and a head. The gory incidents were  supervised by the clergy with glee. The various acts of violence and torture by the Church plunged Portugal and the Church into decadence.

Among the Hindus, Brahmins and gold  smiths were severely punished and tortured. The former were priests, the latter were makers of various idols of worship.  On April 2, 1560, the viceroy ordered that the Brahmans should be  banished from  Goa and other lands under the control of Portugal and in November, 1563 the religious head ordered punishment and persecution of Hindus and take over of their properties within a given time - say, one month. In February 1575,  the Governor promulgated that if any Brahman who had been expelled on the ground that his presence was prejudicial to the interests of Christianity made an unauthorised entry, his estate would be confiscated. (Priolkar p117).

The religious heads kept an eye on Brahmins and other people among the Hindus who were against conversion to Christianity.  If they formed road blocks, they should be driven out of Goa. 

In the name of his Majesty I order that no Hindu can or shall perform marriages." "The marriages of the supplicants are superstitious acts or functions which include Hindu rites and ceremonies as well as cult, adoration and prayers of Hindu temples."

They banned  the followings:  prohibition of Hindu rites and ceremonies  (Vide: Viceroy's order on March 13, 1613 and again on 31-1-1620), then Hindu marriages in Goa.  It invited  a hefty fine, one third of which would be paid to the accuser and two-thirds applied to the expenses of His Majesty’s Navy. (Cunha Rivara, VI p.201; Priolkar p. 118- 119). 

Ban on  Upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony), in particular, among Brahmins (1585). The Third Concilio Provincial made recommendation to the king in this regard. (vide:Priolkar, p122).

Ban on the Hindu Priests: (vide: December, 1567, the King D. Sebastiao's order).  There was no place for  any Hindu preachers, jyotshi, (Astrologer), yogi, (Mystics), Guru (Religious teacher) of temples or Muslim Kaji or any other person related to the religion of the Hindus. When failed to do so, they would be captured and forced to work in the docks  (Cunha Rivara vol. iv p.69, Priolkar p 123). 

Compulsory  participation  of Hindus and their families in the teaching of Holy Gospel at certain assigned places of worship (vide:  December 4, 1567 and 1715  order; Cunha Rivara vol.6 19-66;Priolkar p 123).
King gave specific orders that if Indian Christians are employed in the governments, they should not be on par with those of Portuguese workers (vide: February 1, 1718). First priority was given to Portuguese white men.
Loss of  their Rights and Privileges:  The Hindus  lost their rights and privileges as native Goans  i.e.  It meant countless members of the village  lost their right to receive jonoa i.e. share in the income of village community. (Vide:  December 11, 1573, order  the Governor). 
No movements of Hindu pundits and physicians on horse back or on palki (palanquin) , etc  were allowed and  they  were  fined if found violating the laws in force. (vide:  December 15, 1572,.(Priolkar p 140).

People will be arrested, tortured and jailed for a long period for whimpering a prayer, keeping an idol or anything elated to other religion. Hindus and  small community of Jews  became victims.

Based on the order in June, 1557 and on April 3, 1582 and Jan 12 1591) by the king D. Joao government departments were  not not allowed to use the service of the pundits. All Hindus' jobs would be  taken over by  Christians. No body should  enter the houses of Brahmins or have any dealings with them. (Priolkar p 124-127).

The Christian council (vide: Priolkar p 187) Prohibited the use of non - Christian doctors and even barbers  for personal care. They considered them infidels (1587; Priolkar p 187).

Abolishment of Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana and also “Missionary Position”.
Aggressive Evangelist. The Christian Post

Any literature related to Hindu Dharma in Marathi, Konkani or any other language faced  strict ban. Consequently , Konkani language could not make any progress for more than two centuries. Sanskrit and Marathi books containing any matter related to idolatry were burnt to ashes. The censorship was done by specially appointed Qualificadors to examine books printed from outside or texts before printing to remove any written matter against Christianity of catholic denomination. People reading prohibited books were given punishment. They adopted the same policy toward European books before the Inquisition.  Even the book printer had to get prior permission from the council in charge of Inquisition.

The demolition of the Hindu temples was undertaken vigorously at the  initiative of  the Vicar of India Minguel Vaz , a close follower of Fr. Francis Xavier and Diago Borba after getting  kings orders in October, 1546 and, consequently,  most of Hindu temples were pulled down by the fanatical officials and religious heads. Earlier,  a beautiful temple on Diwari island  was destroyed in 1515 itself. Divar Chorada and Jua region were almost bereft of Hindu temples. This was done in conformity with the religious policy against idolatry in this region.  Minguel Vaz after seeking kings orders in October,1546 to suppress Hindu Dharma and spread Christianity, he commenced to destroy Hindu temples and suppress idolatry. (Priolkar p.76)  Mungel Vaz –  submitted in November 1545, a forty one point program to convert the Hindus of Goa, personally visited Portugal and, returned to India (October 1546) with an order from King to the Governor to take stringent measures against the Hindus (Priolkar p.75).

A policy of "Regour of Mercy" was adopted to get rid of idol worship and temples. The artisans were not allowed to make any form of idols, be they in metals or stones and persons in charge of certain churches could barge into any Brahmin or any other house in search of idols.

According to  Prof. Pessurlencar, based on information available in the Government archives of Goa, hundreds of temples were destroyed in the 57 villages of Salsete, and 40 villages of Bardez region. Francisco Pais Tombe da ltha de Goa edas Terras de Salsete (1952)gave  a list of 156 temples pulled down in Goa in 1549.  According to the " History of Christianity in India", 280 temples were destroyed by the Jesuits in Salsete (p 333), and another 300 by the Franciscans in Bardez (p342)  as confirmed by Silva Regoalso (p.408). Portuguse did not leave places like Baseen, Bandra, Thana and Bombay where they pulled down countless Hindu temples. They also built the church in the place where they destroyed the Hindu temple. Example: "The Church of Cortalim is erected on the same site where formerly idol of Mangesh was worshiped" A Hindu temple in the Elephanta cave became a chapel. They also converted a Masjid into a church in this region.

The unfortunate fact is a large number of Hindus - native residents  of Goa were first converted and then persecuted by the church and the state from 1560 all the way to 1812! The anti- Hindu laws were enacted  during Inquisition and often ruthlessly implemented to punish the Hindus, particularly the Brahmins who happened to be guarding the temples and guiding the people to follow the path of righteousness.

It was the Portuguese Colonialism that introduced violence and mayhem in Goa and Kerala  in the 16th and 17th centuries and disturbed the tranquility and peace of mind of the natives all in the  name of religion. Until they made their exit in the 1960s from Goa, Portugal remained a rogue nation.

"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world". - Voltaire (French Philosopher, 1694-1778)

James Madison (American Statesman, 1751-1836, Co-Author Declaration of Independence) declared in 1810 "during almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution". 

For further reading:  Atrocities on Hindus by Christian Missionaries in Goa by Dr K.V. Paliwal, published by Hindu Writers’ forum Brutality and Destruction by the Portugese in Malabar and Goa and   The Goa Inquisition by Mr A. K Priolkar, published by Voice of India,