The split between the English and the Roman Catholic Church is often misunderstood, and many people believe that Henry VIII chose to leave the church because the Pope would not grant him a divorce. This is factual, but the Pope’s lack of acquiescence to his demands did not help matters....

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There have always been people who want clarification on any subject, but many of them throughout history have understood that questioning religious beliefs could be a dangerous subject. Those who were prepared to face the consequences were brave indeed, and many of them suffered horribly. Their questions resulted in them...

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In previous centuries, religious institutions were often supported by governments. This factor provided them with the means to exercise religious control over large populations, and they were often able to control even those in charge of the governments. Combined with the lack of ability to travel very far, many people...

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There have been many times when those who are in charge of religious institutions have not appreciated any person going against the main tenets of their beliefs, and punishment has often been a way to keep them in line. For those who found they could not accept a particular ritual or explanation, there would be consequences. Some people simply asked innocent questions requesting clarification, but others have knowingly gone against the tide. Each type of person has often faced severe consequences, but they were much worse in the past than they are today.

The ease of mobility has lessened the ties to a particular religious institution, and many disagreements today are handled by the person changing their affiliation. It was much different in the past when people had little or no ability to travel far, and the controls over them were much stronger. These differences between the past and present have created an interesting mix of results.