The Hussites

The Hussites were a group of Christian who followed the teachings of Jan Hus, in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic) in the fifteenth century. Their movement was one of the fore-runners of the Protestant Reformation. This religious movement was also propelled by social issues and increasing Czech nationalism. Churches existing today that are related to the Hussite movement include the Moravian Brethren churches and the Czechoslovak Hussite Church.


Hussite Theology

The Hussites had a number of doctrinal differences from the dominant church of the day, the Roman Catholic Church, including their understanding of the definition of the church. Jan Hus taught in his work entitled "Concerning the Church" that the church consisted of believers. Furthermore, church bishops and priests, according to Hussite theology, were only validly in position as long as they led godly lives, and argued against simony, the practice of buying a clerical position.

Hus also taught about the final authority of the Bible over tradition, and denied the abiity of the Pope to forgive sins teaching that only Jesus was the judge and only Jesus could bestow forgivness. As such, Hussites denied the efficacy of indulgences, and it was this denial that eventually led to his execution.

Hussites supported the idea of transubstantiation, unlike the subsequent reformers. However Hussites believed that all believers should receive both the bread and the wine in Communion rather than the bread only as was the practice in the church of the day.



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