Blood libel

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Blood libel (also blood accusation[1][2]) refers to a false accusation or claim[3][4][5] that religious minorities, almost always Jews[citation needed][dubious ], murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims have–alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]

The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover.[citation needed] The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted[citation needed], and historically blood libel claims have often been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr[citation needed], a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise[citation needed]. A few of these have been even canonized as saints.[citation needed]

In Jewish lore, blood libels were the impetus for the creation in the 16th century of the golem of Prague by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel. Many popes have either directly or indirectly condemned the blood accusation, and no pope has ever sanctioned it.[7] These libels have persisted among some segments of Christians to the present time, and recently Muslims as well.

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