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Religious persecution in Modern Europe

In Modern Europe, despite the emergence of the notion of civil tolerance, people were required to live and worship according to the prescriptions of the State-approved or established Church and to dissent from them was punishable by prison or death. The history of the Huguenots is a good example of religious discrimination in that period. They were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Due to their influence, Catholic hostility to them grew and these tensions caused several Wars of Religion in France. Open conflict began with a massacre at Wassy on 1 March 1562, when dozens of Huguenots were killed. This episode was the beginning of a religious conflict which lasted many decades. Like the Cathars or Bogomils during the Middle Ages, the Huguenots were considered heretics and persecuted because of their faith.

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