October 29 in Slovenian History: All Protestant Teachers & Preachers Ordered to Leave Carniola

By , 29 Oct 2019, 11:17 AM Lifestyle

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In 1598 Ferdinand II of the Habsburgs issued a decree that all Protestant teachers and preachers had to leave Carniolan cities and squares in 14 days.

In Slovenia Protestantism was most effective and widely spread in the 16th century during the Reformation. The Protestant movement – its most popular form in Carniola was Lutheranism – supported the development of Slovenian literary language, which allowed for Slovenian literature and education to spread for the first time, and the first public library was opened. All this enabled and directed the development of Slovenia to a modern nation.

In response to all of this the Catholic Church initiated the Counter-Reformation, also called the Catholic Reformation, a period of Catholic resurgence which began with the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) and, in greater part but not completely, ended with the conclusion of European wars of religion in 1648.

In Slovenian lands the Counter-Reformation arrived at the end of the 16th century and was led by the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand II, who ordered the Protestant groups of of inner Austria to return to the Catholic faith or leave the country.

During the Counter-Reformation special religious commissions were established, which, accompanied by soldiers, expelled Protestant preachers, abolished Protestant schools, demolished Protestant churches and cemeteries, burned books, and expelled Protestant families who refused to renounce their religion. In Styria they were led by Bishop Martin Brener and in Carniola and Carinthia by Tomaž Hren.

Following the Counter-Reformation’s onset, publication of Slovenian books died out and Protestantism was only preserved in Prekmurje.

Currently the most famous living Protestant in Slovenia is perhaps Milan Kučan, Slovenia’s first president, who was born into a Lutheran teacher’s family in Prekmurje.

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