Land of the Brave

Puritans

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Puritans
Puritans were the names given to members of a church congregation and is used to describe their beliefs and religions. Refer to

What is a Puritan?
The Puritans were strongly opposed to the Catholic Church. The Puritan colonists believed that the Church of England, also known as the Anglican church, should make more reforms to remove all the traces and trappings of the Roman Catholic Church. A Pilgrim was a member of a distinct group of puritans who were not only against the Anglican church but also called for total separation from the church.

The religion practised in New England was strictly Puritan and the Puritans did not tolerate any other religions - refer to Pilgrims and Puritans.

Puritans - Religious Freedom
The Puritans and the Pilgrims wanted religious freedom. The Pilgrim Fathers left England for America in 1620 looking for religious freedom. In 1630 another religious group left England in search of religious freedom. This group was called the Puritans (hence the term "Puritans").

Puritans
The Puritans wanted the Church of England to become pure by getting rid of Catholic practices. The Puritan wanted to "purify" the Church of England of its remaining Catholic influence and rituals and to return to the simple faith of the New Testament. The Puritans did not want to separate entirely from the Church of England. The Puritan wanted to make reforms or changes.

Puritans - Catholics and Protestants
It is helpful to understand the differences between the Catholic and Protestant religions to fully understand the beliefs of the Puritans. England had broken away from the Catholic Church during the reign of King Henry VIII to form the Protestant Church of England (aka the Anglican church). During the early 1500's all of the people in England practised the Roman Catholic religion. The doctrine and practises of the Catholic Church and religion were questioned during the period called the Reformation. The ideas and beliefs of men such as the German Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) prompted a new religion which called Protestantism. The word 'Protestant' was adopted when supporters of Martin Luther formally protested against efforts to limit the spread of Luther's new ideas.

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