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Six Year Blog Anniversary WINNERS: Carla Gade - Pattern for Romance audiobooks go to Andrea Stephens and Megs Minutes and winner of Love's Compas is Terressa Thornton, PEGG THOMAS's signed copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection is Debra Smith, Janet Grunst's debut book goes to Kathleen Maher, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winner's choice goes to: Connie Saunders, Denise Weimer's print winner of, Angela Couch's winner's choice goes to Susan Johnson, Debra E. Marvin reader's choice of any of her novellas or a paperback of Saguaro Sunset novella -- Teri DiVincenzo and Lynne Feurstein, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's "For Love or Country" go to: Lucy Reynolds, Bree Herron and Mary Ellen Goodwin, Shannon McNear's winners are Becky Dempsey for Pioneer Christmas and Michelle Hayes for Most Eligible Bachelor, Roseanna White's winner for Love Finds You in Annapolis is Becky Smith.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Persecution in the Colonies



While many Christians escaped persecution by coming to America, some Christian groups faced persecution in the colonies as well. Here are some instances of that persecution.

In Jamestown, America's first permanent English settlement, people were required to attend the Anglican Church (the church of England) regularly. Later in Virginia, taxes were paid to the church and Sunday laws required attendance at least once a month.

Many denominations got around that law by meeting three times a month at their own church and going to the Anglican Church once a month, but some felt they were denying Christ by compromising their beliefs to go to a church they didn't agree with. The punishment was normally a hefty fine.

In 1643, Virginia enacted a law which stated that only those were permitted to preach and teach, publicly or privately, whose beliefs conformed to those of the Church of England. This meant that any church meetings held by Quakers, Baptists, or other denominations were considered illegal.

It was worse for those who were considered to have blasphemed the name of God. The punishment for that crime was imprisonment or death.

The Puritans who established settlements in Massachusetts also persecuted those who disagreed with them. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were among those who were banished and formed settlements in other colonies.

Eventually Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Congregationalist Puritans formed colony and community churches throughout New England. Anyone who disagreed with the doctrine of the colony's church was banished, severely punished, or sometimes executed.

Quakers received the most severe persecution in the colonies. My ancestors, the Willis' and the Brinton's were among the Quakers who came to America to escape persecution only to have their lands ceased and be imprisoned in the colonies.

As more settlers of different denominations and religions came to America, tolerance of the different beliefs became more prevalent. By the Revolutionary War, many of our founding fathers believed in the principle of religious tolerance. Men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enacted laws and the first amendment of the Constitution to prevent an establishment of any religion so that all denominations and religions had freedom to practice their beliefs in the public area. Unfortunately, a false interpretation of that amendment is now being used to stop Christians from practicing their beliefs in public, and a new religious intolerance is sweeping America.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this information, I had no idea! Since I don't live in the US now, can you explain what you mean in the last sentence about new religious intolerance?
    Thank you, Karen Rink

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    1. Hi Karen. I'm referring to the politically correct culture that criticizes Christians for some of their beliefs.

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  2. The only intolerance I see today is aimed at Christians. Everyone else seem to have rights. I believe it will only get worse. Christians need to support one another now more than ever.
    Love reading Colonial Quills!

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  3. Great post, thank you for sharing. It's interesting that Christians came to America to get away from persecution only to continue it for a time here, as I read in your post. Thankfully that changed. Sad to see how persecution for Christians is sweeping across America today. I pray daily for America.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. I agree. This started as a Christian nation, and now Christianity is the target for persecution.

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  4. Thank you for the post. As late as the 1770's, the Methodist who met in the John Street Church in New York City got around the local ordinance that forbid church buildings of other denominations by having a fireplace inside the structure.

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    1. I didn't know that, Freeborng. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. In my upcoming release, Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter, I touch on prejudice towards Catholics, even in Pennsylvania which was very open minded toward many faiths. Nice post!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. Your upcoming release sounds interesting.

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