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The undertaking of a journey such as Pope Urban II was suggesting was a major, life-changing and life-threatening proposition. He needed to be persuasive and to offer the possibility of great reward for those willing to undertake this potentially very dangerous adventure. The journey would be long and difficult; the enemy would be skilled in fighting and unmerciful to any captives. In an age when the Roman Catholic Church was powerful in the secular as well as religious world, Pope Urban II could inspire kings and knights as well as commoners by promising that those who died while traveling to or fighting in the Holy Land as part of the Crusades against the infidel Muslims would be forgiven all their sins.
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