Freedom of Religion - CATHOLICS vs. PROTESTANTS

This artistic interpretation—by an unnamed artist / engraver from the 18th century—symbolizes King Friedrich Wilhelm I welcoming some of the Salzburg exiles to Prussia after they were expelled from Salzburg. Image online via Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image for a better view.


Without any laws to prevent religious persecution (or laws in place to stop it when it occurred), Catholics and Protestants tormented each other for centuries. With each side thinking it had the only correct answers, death and torture were frequent results.

In 1554, Catholic authorities in Ghent killed two Dutch Mennonites. The method of death could hardly be more cruel: first strangling, then burning, then finally killing with an iron pitchfork. (Victims were David van der Leyen and Levina Ghyselins.)

Protestants were no better. In Glasgow, on March 10, 1615, they killed John Ogilvie (Ogilby), a Jesuit priest, by hanging. Afterwards, they mutilated his body.

The reigning Catholic ruler in Salzburg kicked 20,000 Lutherans out of the Austrian city on Reformation Day, October 31, 1731. Many froze to death as they wandered, homeless, through the winter. Others survived and ultimately came to America.

A couple, exiled from Salzburg, tried to figure out what to do next. Where could they go and not be persecuted? Follow this link to a Library of Congress picture summing up their quandary. Note their knapsacks and what they are holding. The translated caption between them says:

We are driven into exile for the Gospel's sake; we leave our homeland and are now in God's hands.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: Jun 28, 2019

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"CATHOLICS vs. PROTESTANTS" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2009. Feb 18, 2020.
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