English Parliament Passes Law Ordering Death for Anyone Converting to Catholicism Hot

English Parliament Passes Law Ordering Death for Anyone Converting to Catholicism

Queen Elizabeth I

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The English parliament passes an "Act to retain the Queen's Majesty's Subjects in their due Obedience," a law that prescribes the death penalty for anyone who converts to Catholicism.

The English government has decided to treat conversion as if it were high treason and imposes heavy fines for acts such as hearing Mass and for "recusancy," or failure to attend services at an Anglican church.

This marks a decisively violent and divisive time for the English Reformation. The Elizabethan government has become convinced that Catholics, and Jesuits in particular, pose a serious threat both to the life of Queen Elizabeth I and to the independence of England.

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