666 Christian Crimes

1700 - 1799


Catholic priests in New York could be sent to prison for life, and New York Catholics were denied the right to vote. [Engh, 192]


British author Daniel Defoe was pilloried, fined and imprisoned for fourteen months for writing a satirical religious tract, The Shortest Way with Dissenters. The tract recommended executing nonconformists in order to frighten others. "Several prominent Anglican churchmen took the proposal seriously and endorsed the policy." [Engh, 229]


Maryland criminalized conversion to Catholicism. Catholics were not allowed to teach school. Irish servants were heavily taxed to discourage more immigration. A few years later, new laws prevented Catholics from voting or holding public office. [Engh, 191]


Deist Matthew Tindal published The Rights of the Christian Church in England. He, his publisher and printer were all prosecuted. [Cross, 1360]


Kimpa Vita (who called herself "St. Anthony") and her assistant ("St. John") were burned as heretics in the Christian African kingdom of Kongo. [Engh, 150]


Matthew Tindal published A Defense of the Rights of the Christian Church. The book was burned on order of the House of Commons because it was thought to undermine Christianity. [Cross, 1360]


"... King Louis XIV proudly declared that all Protestantism had been suppressed in France." [Haught, 1990, 96]


Protestants were violently persecuted in the Rhineland Palatinate. [Haught, 1990, 130]


"Christian religious teaching prohibited in China." [Grun, 328]


English writer Thomas Woolston was put under lifetime house arrest for doubting the Resurrection and Bible miracles. [Haught, 1990, 131]


Two competing monastic orders of the Ethiopian Church accused each other of heresy. The emperor David III took sides with one group and massacred the monks of the other. [Engh, 156]


"... a ninety-six-year-old woman named María Bárbara Carillo was sent to the stake at Madrid...." [Kirsch, 202]


A Scottish woman was burned as a witch. [Haught, 1990, 78]


The bishop of Gdansk, Poland, demanded the expulsion of Jews but the city council declined. The bishop then raised a mob which killed them. [Haught, 1990, 129]


The printer and publisher of the works of Michael Servetus were imprisoned and all copies of the books were burned. Servetus was burned by Calvinists in 1553 for unorthodox ideas about the Trinity. [Engh, 229]


The crime of obscenity, founded on religious grounds, was enacted in England. The highest court affirmed that Christianity was part of the common law of England and that offenses against it and morals should be punished. [Engh, 229]


"Mass expulsion of Protestants from Salzburg." [Grun, 336]


Eighty-three people were burned at the stake in Lisbon. [Kirsch, 197]


Archbishop Firmian forcibly expelled 20,000 Protestants from Salzburg province. [Haught, 1990, 130]


Freemasons were denounced by Clement XII, and later popes also condemned them. In France, Italy, and other Latin countries Freemasonry was openly hostile to the Church and to religion. In England, Germany, and other Germanic countries they professed a non-doctrinal Christianity. Catholics are prohibited from joining the Freemasons, with the penalty being excommunication. In more recent times Freemasonry demands belief in God from its members and is not hostile to religion. It is concerned primarily with philanthropic and social activities. [Grun, 338; Cross, 527]


"Pogroms in Russia." [Grun, 342]


A nun was burned as a witch in Wurzburg. [Haught, 1990, 78]


French Catholics nullified all Protestant marriages and baptisms. [Haught, 1990, 132]


At his own request, Fr. Junipero Serra was appointed Head Inquisitor of Sierra Gorda, Mexico. He wrote that the native people "... are addicted to the most detestable and horrible crimes of sorcery, witchcraft, and devil worship...." Serra later brought his inquisitorial techniques to the California mission system. [Jose Ignacio Rivera, "Father Serra And The Skeletons of Genocide," in Leedom, 270-271]


"... Jacob Ilive was sentenced to three years hard labor for writing and printing an attack on the orthodox opinions of the bishop of London." [Engh, 229]


In Maryland, the law forced Catholics to pay twice the property tax that Protestants paid. [Engh, 191]


Virginia made it illegal for a Catholic to own a firearm or to own a horse worth more than five pounds. [Engh, 192]


In Puritan Massachusetts a man was whipped for jokingly saying that "God was a damned fool for ever making a woman." [Engh, 190]

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote much the same thing and was made a saint. [See 1265-73.]


The Jesuits were expelled from Portugal amid many accusations, from plotting assassinations to perpetrating frauds in the colonies. [Johnson, 1976, 353; Grun, 350]


Jews were executed in Nancy, France, on unfounded allegations of host-nailing. [Haught, 1990 52]


"The Portuguese Inquisition burned its last condemned heretic...." [Kirsch, 203]


Seventy-year-old Peter Annet was sentenced to a "mitigated" twelve months hard labor, plus two sessions in the pillory, a fine, and a surety for his good behavior, after pleading guilty to a charge or blasphemy for printing a deist weekly, the Free Enquirer. [Engh, 230]


A boy, Chevalier de La Barre, in Abbeville, France, was tortured and killed for criticizing the church. [Haught, 1990, 10]


"Inquisition abolished in France." [Grun, 356]


Fr. Junipero Serra, in Monterey, California, wrote to the governor requesting soldiers to help bring back native Americans who had fled the mission. The letter evidences Serra's practice of forced residency. [Jose Ignacio Rivera, "Father Serra And The Skeletons of Genocide," in Leedom, 272-273]


Fr. Junipero Serra wrote to a priest to resist the military's plan to get native Americans to work for them. He added, "... no Indian has authority to dispose of his people without the consent of the Fathers." [Jose Ignacio Rivera, "Father Serra And The Skeletons of Genocide," in Leedom, 274.]


Fr. Junipero Serra wrote to the governor that native Americans had no ability to manage their own affairs. He recommended punishing all malcontents and added, "... the natives of these parts will, in the course of time, develop into useful vassals for our religion and for our State ...." [Jose Ignacio Rivera, "Father Serra And The Skeletons of Genocide," in Leedom, 274.]


"The unhappy treatment which the Franciscans give the Indians renders the Indian condition worse than slaves. The fathers aim to be independent and sovereign over the Indians and their wealth." [Governor Felipe de Neve, July 4, 1780, during the tenure of Fr. Serra (in Costo and Costo., 132)]


Pope Pius VI tried to get Joseph II of Austria to revoke his freedoms of religion and of the press. [Grun, 362]


Switzerland performed the last legal execution of a witch. The witch-hunts had been directed "not by superstitious savages, but by learned bishops, judges, professors, and other leaders of society." [Haught, 1990, 78-79]




© R. Paul Buchman 2011