Mass murder is the killing of large numbers of people.
More specific terms for mass murder
The twentieth century has seen some of the greatest examples of mass murder, tragically. Instead of simply speaking of "mass murder", the word "genocide" is often used to refer to these incidents, especially in the case of killing all those of a particular ethnic group by their own government (see also democide, or ethnocide if the grouping is based on religion). According to Black's Law Dictionary, the term was popularized by the 1948 "Genocide Convention" of the United Nations, to deal with the special problems posed by the Holocaust, and international wishes to prevent a recurrence of the same.
Dinesh D'Souza wrote:
- It is strange to witness the passion with which some secular figures rail against the misdeeds of the Crusaders and Inquisitors more than 500 years ago. The number sentenced to death by the Spanish Inquisition appears to be about 10,000. Some historians contend that an additional 100,000 died in jail due to malnutrition or illness.
- These figures are tragic, and of course population levels were much lower at the time. But even so, they are minuscule compared with the death tolls produced by the atheist despotisms of the 20th century. In the name of creating their version of a religion-free utopia, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong produced the kind of mass slaughter that no Inquisitor could possibly match. Collectively these atheist tyrants murdered more than 100 million people.
- Christian Science Monitor: Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history