SIGNS OF THE TIMES – Anabaptist Inquisition

“The Christian martyrs are blood witnesses, who suffered violent deaths for the sake of their Christian faith. This concept of martyrdom presupposes that the penalty was not applied for insurrection or any other crime, but was based on the victim’s religious faith.”

When the Catholic Church, with the aid of the government, developed into a strong organization, martyrdom did not cease, as one might suppose. Instead, the large church, having won recognition, now applied the very methods of suppression which it had formerly suffered, to all extra-ecclesiastical groups that refused to recognize its creed, its power politics, and its lax moral standards. There were therefore martyrs at once among the heretics, or those who in general opposed the prevailing church doctrine.”

“There was no religious movement that was so radically suppressed at that time as the Anabaptist movement. Catholic and Protestant government and clergy with few exceptions attempted to exterminate it by the same methods.”

“In order to combat Anabaptism, Charles created a new form of the Inquisition for the Netherlands. Whereas previously the bishops were responsible to keep heresy out of their territory, Charles appointed imperial inquisitors who were authorized to appoint regional inquisitors. By this act Charles made the conflict with heresy a matter of state,…

Excerpts from … Global Anabaptist Encyclopedia Online

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