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An edict of toleration is a declaration made by a government or ruler and states that members of a given religion will not be persecuted for engaging in their religious practices and traditions. The edict implies tacit acceptance of the religion rather than its endorsement by the ruling power.
Edicts of toleration in history
- 313 - Roman Emperors Constantine I and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan that legalized Christianity across the whole Empire.
- 1562 - The Edict of Saint-Germain was an edict of limited toleration issued by Catherine de' Medici (the regent for the young Charles IX of France) that ended insistent persecution of non-Catholics (mostly Huguenots). The persecution was a result of the Concordat of Bologna (1516). A massacre of Huguenots a few weeks later began open hostilities in the French Wars of Religion.
- 1568 - The Edict of Torda (or Turda), also known as the Patent of Toleration (Act of Religious Tolerance and Freedom of Conscience), was an attempt by King John II Sigismund of Hungary to guarantee religious freedom in his realm. Specifically, it broadened previous grants (to Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists) to include the Unitarian Church, and allowed toleration (not legal guarantees) for other faiths.
- 1573 - Warsaw Confederation made all Christian confessions equal in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
- 1598 - The Edict of Nantes, issued by the King of France, Henry IV, was the formal religious settlement which ended the first era of the French wars of religion. The Edict of Nantes granted to French Huguenots legal recognition as well as limited religious freedoms, including: freedom of public worship, the right of assembly, rights of admission to public offices and universities, and permission to maintain fortified towns. The Edict of Nantes, however, would be revoked in 1685 by Henry IV's grandson, Louis XIV, who once again proclaimed Protestantism to be illegal in France through the Edict of Fontainebleau.
- 1689 - Parliament in England passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants with Roman Catholics intentionally excluded.
- 1692 - The Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty issued the Chines Edict of Toleration on March 22, recognizing the Roman Catholic Church, barring attacks on their churches and missions, and legalizing the practice of Christianity by Chinese people.
- 1781 - Bohemia
- 1782 - An Edict of Toleration - also known as the Patent of Toleration - issued by the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II, extended religious freedom to non-Catholic Christians living in Habsburg lands, including: Lutherans, Calvinists, and the Greek Orthodox. However, in the end, Joseph's Catholic conscience got the best of him, as he rescinded his own toleration patent while on his deathbed.
- 1787 - An Edict of Toleration, issued by King Louis XVI of France, ended persecutions of non-Catholics - including Huguenots.
- 1839 - Edict of Toleration (Hawaii), was issued by King Kamehameha III to allow Catholic missionaries in addition to Protestants
- ↑ "In the Light and Shadow of an Emperor: Tomás Pereira, S.J. (1645-1708), the Kangxi Emperor and the Jesuit Mission in China", An International Symposium in Commemoration of the 3rd Centenary of the death of Tomás Pereira, S.J., Lisbon, Portugal and Macau, China, 2008, http://www.viadeo.com/hub/affichefil/?hubId=0021blweg7pn3crr&forumId=002hj6ldao5cz20&threadId=00226fi31xx53g5d
- ↑ S. Neill, A History of Christian Missions (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books,964), pp. 189l90.