666 Christian Crimes

1600 - 1699


Giordano Bruno, who espoused Copernican theory, was burned in Rome. [Haught, 1990, 66]


"Some [witch] hunters were paid by results: Balthasar Ross, minister to the Prince-Abbot of Fulda made 5393 guilden out of 250 victims...." [Johnson, 1976, 311]


Ethiopia had always been and still is Monophysite. The Ethiopian Church followed the ritual and doctrine of the Egyptian Coptic Church and its bishops were ordained by the patriarch of Alexandria. Catholic Christian Susenyos, emperor of Ethiopia, forced Ethiopia's bishops and priests to be re-ordained, re-consecrate all churches and re-baptize all believers in the Catholic faith. Susenyos crushed the rebellions that followed. He was succeeded by his son, Fasilidas, who reversed his father's actions and began persecuting Catholics. [Engh, 156; Jenkins, 234]


The Extirpation of Idolatry in South America "condemned 1618 people as pagan priests or priestesses, absolved 18,893 other people after due penance, destroyed 1769 major shrines, 7288 household shrines, and 1365 mummies." [Engh, 185-186]


Twenty-nine people were condemned as witches in Navarre; six were burned alive. [Kirsch, 188]


"... some witches were burned in Logroño, the first known instance of such a punishment by the [Spanish] Inquisition." [Lippy, 11-12]


"Last recorded burning of heretics in England." [Grun, 274]


"Iyeyazu, Shogun of Japan, accused the [Christian] missionaries of 'wanting to change the government of the country and make themselves masters of the soil.'" [Ellerbe, 88]


The Inquisition declared Galileo's ideas heretical. He then renounced his ideas to avoid punishment. [Catholic Encyclopedia, "Galileo"]

"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin." - Cardinal Bellarmino, during the trial of Galileo (1615)

The church admitted its error and reinstated Galileo in 1993, almost 380 years later.


"Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné's 'Histoire Universelle,' a Huguenot-inspired survey from 1553 to 1602, officially burnt in Paris." [Grun, 274]


The church banned all works advocating the Copernican system. That system was allowed to be taught as hypothesis, not fact. Copernicus' treatise, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, was put on the Catholic Index of forbidden books. Although it was removed from the Index in 1757, Catholics were still not allowed to read it until 1828. [Catholic Encyclopedia, "Galileo"; Cross, 341; Manchester, 91, 295]


"Catholic oppression intensified in Bohemia." [Grun, 276]


The Thirty Years' War engulfed all of Europe and killed more peoplenumbered in the millionsthan any other religious war in history. Central Europe became a wasteland and Germany's population was reduced from about 18 million to 4 million. The war was the result of the Catholic Holy Roman Empire attempts to stamp out Calvinism. There was no clear winnerthe war ended because the combatants were exhausted. The Peace of Westphalia also recommended an end to the Vatican's temporal power. [Haught, August 1990; Haught, 1990, 106-107]


"Lucilió Vanini, Italian Catholic philosopher, burned as a heretic." [Grun, 278]


Von Dornheim burned 600 witches at Bamberg. Many were falsely accused by those who were tortured until they implicated others. [Johnson, 1976, 311]


Wurzburg's Bishop von Ehrenberg killed nineteen priests, a seven year old, and his own nephew among the more than 900 "witches" he had burnt. [Johnson, 1976, 311]


The English Parliament passed an act prohibiting swearing and cursing. [Ellerbe, 107]


The Collegium de Propaganda Fide (Sacred Congregation of Propaganda) was founded. It is the department of the pontifical administration charged with the spread of Catholicism and with the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs in non-Catholic countries. [Grun, 282; Catholic Encyclopedia, "Sacred Congregation of Propaganda"]


"In the Bavarian prince-bishopric of Eichstatt, 274 were burned in the year 1629 alone." [Johnson, 1976, 311]


Pope Urban VIII suppressed the Jesuitesses (founded in 1609 by Englishwoman Mary Ward) for "insubordination." [Catholic Encyclopedia, "Pope Urban VIII"]


The German city of Magdeburg was sacked. 30,000 Protestants were killed before the 30 Years War ended. [J.H. Robinson, ed., Readings in European History, 2 vols. (Boston: Ginn, 1906), 2:211-212; found at http://history.hanover.edu/texts/magde.html ]


Protestants printed a Catholic document written by a Jesuit, Friedrich Spee, which read: "Torture fills our Germany with witches and unheard-of wickedness, and not only Germany but any nation that attempts it. ... If all of us have not confessed ourselves witches, that is only because we have not all been tortured." [Johnson, 1976, 311]


The Inquisition forced Galileo to repudiate the Copernican theory that the earth revolves around the sun. In 1965, 332 years later, the Roman Catholic Church finally revoked its condemnation of Galileo. [Grun, 286; Ellerbe, 44]

Where did Galileo's soul reside until 1965? NOTE: In 1992 John Paul II rejected the finding of a papal commission and refused to reverse Galileo's conviction.


A New England General Court forbade garments "... with any lace on it, gold or thread ... also all cutworks, embroidered or needlework caps, bands and rails ... all gold and silver girdles, hatbands, belts, ruffs, beaver hats." [Ellerbe, 104]


"Welsh Puritan Roger Williams banished from Massachusetts; establishes Providence, RI; proclaims complete religious freedom." [Grun, 288]


"Introduction of new liturgy into Scotland causes riots." [Grun, 288]


A Catholic revolt in Shimabara, Japan, led to the ban of Christianity and contacts with Europeans. Zealous Christians convinced the government that they put loyalty to their religion ahead of loyalty to the state. [Garraty and Gay, 638, 637]


"A [New England] law in 1639 prohibited the custom of drinking toasts or health-drinking as an 'abominable' pagan practice." [Ellerbe, 152]


The massacre of Ireland began. Catholics murdered thousands of English Protestants. [Forbush, XVII]


Civil war in England led to the disestablishment of the Church of England and the establishment of Presbyterianism in its place. [Cross, 266]


"Dismissal of Anglican professors at Oxford University." [Grun, 294]


Pope Innocent X condemned that part of the Peace of Westphalia which prescribed religious toleration and equality. Centuries of succeeding popes continued that condemnation, calling it atheistic and insane. [DeRosa, 37,145]


In the Ukraine, Orthodox priests and peasants rallied behind the Cossack Boydan Chmielnicki (Bohdan Kmelnistsky). Some Jews fled back to Poland but others were massacred. Cossacks got help from Orthodox Russia. 100,000 Jews died in 300 communities. Later, Ukraine was taken from Catholic Poland and annexed to Orthodox Russia. [Haught, 1990,126]


"John Stearne: 'Confirmation and Discovery of Witchcraft'." [Grun, 294]


"John Milton: 'The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates,' defense of Charles I's execution [in 1649]." [Grun, 294]


A New England law prohibited "short sleeves, whereby the nakedness of the arm may be discovered." [Ellerbe, 104]


"James Ussher: 'Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti' (giving beginning of world as 4004 B.C.)" [Grun, 294]


A Massachusetts law was passed prohibiting Sunday walks and visits to the harbor as being a waste of time. To enjoy oneself on the Sabbath was considered a terrible offense. [Ellerbe, 103]


English Quaker James Naylor (or Nayler) (1618-1660) was called the new Messiah by his followers. He was imprisoned and severely punished for blasphemy. He eventually repented and was released. [Grun, 296; Cross, 940-941]


Maryland repealed its religious toleration law. [Engh, 191]


Troops from France and Savoy massacred Waldensians in the mountain valleys of northern Italy. [Eng, 169]


Puritan Massachusetts arrested ten Quakers as soon as they arrived, and confiscated and burned their books. [Engh, 190]


Christian clergy in Swabia denounced Jewish doctors as diabolical sorcerers: "It is better to die with Christ than to be healed by a Jew doctor with Satan." [Kirsch, 171]


"Children as young as ten were charged by the tribunal at Toledo...." [Kirsch, 202]


Puritan Massachusetts outlawed celebration of Christmas. [Engh, 189]


"... the Corporation Act incapacitated from holding office in any corporation all who did not first qualify by taking the sacrament according to the Anglican rite...." [Catholic Encyclopedia, "Nonconformists"]


"Writings of Descartes put on the Index." [Grun, 302]


The Conventicle Act, against Nonconformists, forbade meetings of more than five people. Nonconformists were those who refused to conform to the official rites of the Church of England. Eventually, the term came to be associated with the Puritans. [Grun, 302; Catholic Encyclopedia, "Nonconformists"]


The Five Mile Act restricted Nonconformist ministers from being within five miles of a town without official authorization. Violators were imprisoned. [Grun, 302; Catholic Encyclopedia, "Nonconformists"]


Patriarch Nikon's reforms triggered "Raskol" (Great Schism) in the Russian Orthodox Church. [Grun, 304; Cross, 1139]


William Penn was imprisoned for unorthodox (Church of England) writings. He was freed by a jury in 1670, who were in turn imprisoned for their verdict. On appeal, the jury and Penn were freed. [Cross, 1042]


John Lewis and Sarah Chapman were brought before the New London court for "sitting together on the Lord's Day, under an apple tree in Goodman Chapman's orchard." [Ellerbe, 104]


This period was called the "killing time." James II persecuted Puritans. Puritans who went to Massachusetts to escape the persecution, persecuted others. [Haught, 1990, 122]


King Charles II, his wife and 50,000 others gathered in Madrid to be entertained by a 12-hour auto-da-fé. 188 condemned heretics were displayed and 51 were "relaxed" (burned at the stake). [Kirsch, 196]


"58,000 French Huguenots forced to conversion." [Grun, 312]


"93 Jewish families expelled from Bordeaux." [Grun, 312]


French King Louis XIV revoked the edict of Nantes, which had been issued by King Henry IV (Henry of Navarre) in 1598. The edict had allowed French Protestants religious freedom. After the revocation, Protestant public worship was forbidden; Protestants were forbidden to assemble in private homes; Protestant ministers had to convert to Catholicism within fifteen days or leave the country; parents were forbidden to teach their children Protestantism and were ordered to have them baptized by a priest and sent to Catholic schools; emigration was forbidden. Thousands of French Protestants were exiled. [Catholic Encyclopedia, "Huguenots"; Grun, 312]


The Church of England was established as the colony of Maryland's official religion. Denying church doctrine or excessive swearing could be punished by fines, prison, and even tongue-boring. [Engh, 191]


"Twenty alleged witches were killed and 150 imprisoned" in Massachusetts by Puritans. [Haught, 1990, 122-124]


"Secret society, Knights of the Apocalypse, founded in Italy to defend the church against the antichrist." [Grun, 316]


All New Hampshire residents were required to swear an oath against Catholicism. [Engh, 191]


Thomas Aikenhead was hanged in Scotland for denying the divinity of Christ. [Engh, 229]




© R. Paul Buchman 2011