Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 2. New York: HarperCollins, 2010b. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 11 “Protestantism in France” Loc. 2044-2201.
France was seriously divided in the 16th century between the Protestants and Catholics (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2050). At the start of the Reformation, the French king Francis I had an ambiguous policy toward Protestants. Sometimes they were persecuted and sometimes encouraged (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2058). Across the border, in Navarre, Protestants were encouraged (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2064). After Francis, Henry II was more consistent in persecution, though the first Protestant church in France was organized during his reign (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2065). After his death, amid struggles for reign between Catholics and Protestants, the Protestants, called Huguenots, engaged in an attempt at the throne (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2081). By 1562 they were allowed to practice their faith but not to own places of worship or assemble in arms (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2095). After a Catholic attack on the Protestants there were various religious wars from 1567-1570 (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2103). A treaty in 1570 seemed likely to lead to peace. However, tensions soon arose in August of 1570 (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2118). On August 24, 1572, a huge slaughter took place in Paris (St. Bartholomew’s Day) (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2126). Other Protestants in other provinces were executed as well, with numbers in the tens of thousands” (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2140).
Protestantism continued to make headway in France (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2148). Between 1574 and 1588 there were several conflicts among Protestants and Catholics seeking the throne. The Catholics were not ready for a Protestant king. Philip II from Spain considered making a move for the throne, but eventually Henry IV converted to Catholicism, his fifth conversion, which secured the throne and ended the war (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2187). He subsequently gave the Huguenots considerable freedom and security. He was killed at last by a Catholic who was persuaded he was a Protestant (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2194).
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