What and where is “le Pays Cathare”, and who were the Cathars?

The story of the Cathars
The “Cathars” themselves were not a race, or a people; they were the followers of a dissident church that flourished in several parts of Europe during the early Mediaeval period.
Catharism – meaning litterally purity  (as in catharsis) – was a sort of proto- Protestantism that promoted values of equality, neighbourliness and charity, and turned its back on the pomp, hierarchy and worldly wealth of the Catholic church of the time. Cathars believed that Earth was ruled by a malevolent God, and that Heaven was the world of the good God: this dualist concept of God was not unique to Catharism, but it was sufficient cause for the Catholic church of the time to brand Catharism as a heresy.

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