The Effect of European Religions Essay

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From the 16th to 18th century, Europe underwent various religious changes that had an enormous impact on the religious state of Europe as a whole. It tested nearly all rulers regarding their ability to either conform or accept the religious changes in an attempt to tolerate them or disregard any change and not recognize them. Various European rulers took different approaches where some rulers tolerated these new changes under certain conditions and others didn’t practice any kind of toleration. Some rulers were even willing to compromise in regards to religious toleration in order to maintain the peace and unity among their citizens. During and after the Protestant Reformation, European thinkers and rulers believed that toleration would …show more content…
Voltaire not only focused on Christians, but focused on Jews and Muslims as well, which shows a new kind of religious toleration, one that hasn’t been seen before. Catholic churches were beginning to recognize religious toleration as a viable option as evident in Document 4. A contract between the Catholic Church and the town stated that “Christian[s]… gave permission for the Lutherans to use the upper gallery in the Church” (Doc 4). One should note that although this contract shows Catholics as open-minded and peaceful, they also set forth various conditions that limited the Lutherans as to when they could perform their prayers. As one can see, religious toleration was a practice that was followed and respected by various Europeans, but nearly all of them had some kind of conditions that would still make it difficult for the religious minorities to practice their religion freely. Besides the fact that there was an attempt at religious toleration, other European rulers and thinkers denied any kind of religious toleration. For example, Paul Hay du Chastelet believed that “diversity of belief… causes them to hate and despise one another, which… gives rise to conflicts, war, and general catastrophe” (Doc 7). He believed that it would cause internal strife rather than prevent it and believed that one unifying religion should be recognized by the state. It is important to note that Paul was a Catholic aristocrat and may have written this treatise because of the effects that

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