War and the destruction of minority people have sadly been a part of human history. During the rise of Christianity in Europe, leaders used the Church to empower the destruction of people groups. Amongst these were Muslim and Jewish populations.
The most important element of addressing the topic of the Crusades is owning the entire history of our faith. The Crusades were a very dark period for Christians. The church became hyper-politicized and used its influence to order out the destruction of non-conforming groups. We must own that throughout history people have come and distorted the mission of the church to their own will. When we approach this topic it is hard to not naturally become defensive.