.

Tea Party Winners: Vicki Talley McCollum's Never Say Goodbye, A National Park Romance novella goes to: Caryl Kane, Deanne Patterson, Deana Dick, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners, Roseanna White's winners - , Gabrielle Meyer's winners -, Deb Marvin's winners -

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

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

      Delete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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

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

      Delete
  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.

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

      Delete
  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!

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

      Delete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!