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The Difference is that the Aztecs actually had a good God, Quetzacoatl that some were begginging to worship again so that the sacrifices would not be necessary. They knew the sacrifices were wrong and that they had to turn to the good Gods and Quetzacoatl, and Hernan Cortez (a Christian) exploited this to brutally wipe out their empire and convert them to evil.
The Aztecs believed in blood sacrifice which involved both animals and people. To them, they thought the gods were owed their own blood and that sacrificing that was an important part of their faith. To the Christian Spanish who arrived to witness their culture, it was terrifying barbarity. To the Aztecs, they used human sacrifice to appease their gods as well as send a subtle message to those they conquered.