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The Moravian Anabaptists

Moravia. A royal edict issued by Ferdinand in the spring of 1535 says:

"It is a well-known fact that in the Netherlands the Anabaptists, committed to prison and held in subjection, have in the sequel begun to rebel against authority. Accordingly, neither Lutherans nor Zwinglians, nor, in fine, any sect, will suffer among them these heretics; it is, therefore, the will and intention of his Majesty not to suffer them any more in Moravia."[1]

Against their own wishes probably, against their own interests certainly, the Moravian nobles yielded to the royal command, and the Diet issued an order for the banishment of all Anabaptists. There was the less disposition to resist the royal policy, doubtless, because of the excesses that the Anabaptists were now committing at Münster. True, these people in Moravia had shown no such lawless and violent tendencies, but were they not also Anabaptists? And what might they not do if they had the opportunity? The argument was, at any rate, sufficiently plausible to silence objections and quiet tender consciences, if such there were among the persecuting party.

  1. Quoted by Heath, Anabaptists, p. 75. Similar edicts, of various dates, are given in the chronicles. Beck, Geschichts-Bücher, p. 177 et al.