Anabaptism is a Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation. The movement is seen as an offshoot of Protestantism, although this view has been challenged by some Anabaptists. 4 million Anabaptists live in the world today with adherents scattered across all inhabited continents. In addition to a number of minor Anabaptist groups, the most numerous include the Mennonites at 2.1 million, the German Baptists at 1.5 million, the Amish at 300,000 and the Hutterites at 50,000. In the 21st century there are large cultural differences between assimilated Anabaptists, who do not differ much from evangelicals or mainline Protestants, traditional groups like the Amish, the Old Colony Mennonites, the Old Order Mennonites, the Hutterites and the Old German Baptist Brethren; the early Anabaptists formulated their beliefs in the Schleitheim Confession, in 1527. Anabaptists believe that baptism is valid only when the candidate confesses his or her faith in Christ and wants to be baptized.
This believer's baptism is opposed to baptism of infants, who are not able to make a conscious decision to be baptized. Anabaptists are those. Other Christian groups with different roots practice believer's baptism, such as Baptists, but these groups are not seen as Anabaptist; the Amish and Mennonites are direct descendants of the early Anabaptist movement. Schwarzenau Brethren and the Apostolic Christian Church are considered developments among the Anabaptists; the name Anabaptist means "one who baptizes again". Their persecutors named them this, referring to the practice of baptizing persons when they converted or declared their faith in Christ if they had been baptized as infants. Anabaptists required that baptismal candidates be able to make a confession of faith, chosen and so rejected baptism of infants; the early members of this movement did not accept the name Anabaptist, claiming that infant baptism was not part of scripture and was therefore null and void. They said that baptizing self-confessed believers was their first true baptism: I have never taught Anabaptism....
But the right baptism of Christ, preceded by teaching and oral confession of faith, I teach, say that infant baptism is a robbery of the right baptism of Christ. Anabaptists were and long persecuted starting in the 16th century by both Magisterial Protestants and Roman Catholics because of their interpretation of scripture which put them at odds with official state church interpretations and with government. Anabaptism was never established by any state and therefore never enjoyed any of the privileges that come with it. Most Anabaptists adhered to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount which precluded taking oaths, participating in military actions, participating in civil government; some groups who practiced rebaptism, now extinct, believed otherwise and complied with these requirements of civil society. They were thus technically Anabaptists though conservative Amish, Mennonites and some historians consider them outside true Anabaptism. Conrad Grebel wrote in a letter to Thomas Müntzer in 1524: True Christian believers are sheep among wolves, sheep for the slaughter...
Neither do they use worldly war, since all killing has ceased with them. Anabaptists are considered to have begun with the Radical Reformers in the 16th century, but historians classify certain people and groups as their forerunners because of a similar approach to the interpretation and application of the Bible. For instance, Petr Chelčický, a 15th-century Bohemian reformer, taught most of the beliefs considered integral to Anabaptist theology. Medieval antecedents may include the Brethren of the Common Life, the Hussites, Dutch Sacramentists, some forms of monasticism; the Waldensians represent a faith similar to the Anabaptists. Medieval dissenters and Anabaptists who held to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount share in common the following affirmations: The believer must not swear oaths or refer disputes between believers to law-courts for resolution, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6:1–11; the believer must not offer forcible resistance to wrongdoers, nor wield the sword.
No Christian has the jus gladii. Matthew 5:39 Civil government belongs to the world; the believer belongs to God's kingdom, so must not fill any office nor hold any rank under government, to be passively obeyed. John 18:36 Romans 13:1–7 Sinners or unfaithful ones are to be excommunicated, excluded from the sacraments and from intercourse with believers unless they repent, according to 1 Corinthians 5:9–13 and Matthew 18:15 seq. but no force is to be used towards them. On December 27, 1521, three "prophets" appeared in Wittenberg from Zwickau who were influenced by Thomas Müntzer—Thomas Dreschel, Nicholas Storch, Mark Thomas Stübner, they preached an radical alternative to Lutheranism. Their preaching helped to stir the feelings concerning the social crisis which erupted in the German Peasants' War in southern Germany in 1525 as a revolt against feudal oppression. Under the leadership of Müntzer, it became a war against all constituted authorities and an attempt to establish by revolution an ideal Christian commonwealth, with absolute equality among persons and the community of goods.
The Zwickau prophets were not Anabaptists.
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. Free will is linked to the concepts of responsibility, guilt and other judgements which apply only to actions that are chosen, it is connected with the concepts of advice, persuasion and prohibition. Traditionally, only actions that are willed are seen as deserving credit or blame. There are numerous different concerns about threats to the possibility of free will, varying by how it is conceived, a matter of some debate; some conceive free will to be the capacity to make choices in which the outcome has not been determined by past events. Determinism suggests that only one course of events is possible, inconsistent with the existence of free will thus conceived; this problem has been identified in ancient Greek philosophy and remains a major focus of philosophical debate. This view that conceives free will to be incompatible with determinism is called incompatibilism and encompasses both metaphysical libertarianism, the claim that determinism is false and thus free will is at least possible, hard determinism, the claim that determinism is true and thus free will is not possible.
It encompasses hard incompatibilism, which holds not only determinism but its negation to be incompatible with free will and thus free will to be impossible whatever the case may be regarding determinism. In contrast, compatibilists hold; some compatibilists hold that determinism is necessary for free will, arguing that choice involves preference for one course of action over another, requiring a sense of how choices will turn out. Compatibilists thus consider the debate between libertarians and hard determinists over free will vs determinism a false dilemma. Different compatibilists offer different definitions of what "free will" means and find different types of constraints to be relevant to the issue. Classical compatibilists considered free will nothing more than freedom of action, considering one free of will if, had one counterfactually wanted to do otherwise, one could have done otherwise without physical impediment. Contemporary compatibilists instead identify free will as a psychological capacity, such as to direct one's behavior in a way responsive to reason, there are still further different conceptions of free will, each with their own concerns, sharing only the common feature of not finding the possibility of determinism a threat to the possibility of free will.
The underlying questions are whether we have control over our actions, if so, what sort of control, to what extent. These questions predate the early Greek stoics, some modern philosophers lament the lack of progress over all these centuries. On one hand, humans have a strong sense of freedom, which leads us to believe that we have free will. On the other hand, an intuitive feeling of free will could be mistaken, it is difficult to reconcile the intuitive evidence that conscious decisions are causally effective with the view that the physical world can be explained to operate by physical law. The conflict between intuitively felt freedom and natural law arises when either causal closure or physical determinism is asserted. With causal closure, no physical event has a cause outside the physical domain, with physical determinism, the future is determined by preceding events; the puzzle of reconciling'free will' with a deterministic universe is known as the problem of free will or sometimes referred to as the dilemma of determinism.
This dilemma leads to a moral dilemma as well: the question of how to assign responsibility for actions if they are caused by past events. Compatibilists maintain. Classical compatibilists have addressed the dilemma of free will by arguing that free will holds as long as we are not externally constrained or coerced. Modern compatibilists make a distinction between freedom of will and freedom of action, that is, separating freedom of choice from the freedom to enact it. Given that humans all experience a sense of free will, some modern compatibilists think it is necessary to accommodate this intuition. Compatibilists associate freedom of will with the ability to make rational decisions. A different approach to the dilemma is that of incompatibilists, that if the world is deterministic our feeling that we are free to choose an action is an illusion. Metaphysical libertarianism is the form of incompatibilism which posits that determinism is false and free will is possible; this view is associated with non-materialist constructions, including both traditional dualism, as well as models supporting more minimal criteria.
Yet with physical indeterminism, arguments have been made against libertarianism in that it is difficult to assign Origination. Free will here is predominantly treated with respect to physical determinism in the strict sense of nomological determinism, although other forms of determinism are relevant to free will. For example and theological determinism challenge metaphysical libertarianism with ideas of destiny and fate, biological and psychological determinism feed the development of compatibilist models. Separate classes of compatibilism and incompatibilism may be formed to represent these. Below are the classic arguments bearing upon its underpinnings. Incompatibilism is the position that free will and determinism are logically incomp
Menno Simons was a former Catholic priest from the Friesland region of the Low Countries who became an influential Anabaptist religious leader. Simons was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers and it is from his name that his followers became known as Mennonites. "Menno Simons" is the Dutch version of his name. Menno Simons was born in 1496 in Witmarsum, Holy Roman Empire. Little is known concerning his childhood and family except that he grew up in a poor peasant environment, his father's name was Simon, Simons being a patronym, he had a brother named Pieter. Simons grew up in a disillusioned war-torn country. Friesland was ravaged by war in the late early 16th centuries. Landsknecht soldiers haunted the Frisian lands in the 1490s to force the'Free' Frisians to accept the duke of Saxony-Meissen as their head of state; the duke was the governor of the Netherlands for the Habsburg family. One of the archenemies of the Habsburgs, the Duke of Guelders, invaded Friesland in 1515 and conquered half of it.
Saxony ceded the other half to the Habsburgs. The Frisians tried to regain their freedom but they were too weak and accepted the imperial authority of the Habsburg emperor Charles V. Simons learned Latin and some Greek, he was taught about the Latin Church Fathers during his training to become a priest, he had never read the Bible, either before or during his training for the priesthood, out of fear that he would be adversely influenced by it. When he reflected upon this period in his life, he called himself stupid, he was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1516 at Utrecht. He was appointed chaplain in his father's village Pingjum. Around 1526 or 1527, questions surrounding the doctrine of transubstantiation caused Menno Simons to begin a serious and in-depth search of the Holy Scriptures, which he confessed he had not studied being a priest. At this time he arrived at. Menno's first knowledge of the concept of "rebaptism", which he said "sounded strange to me", came in 1531 after hearing of the beheading of Sicke Freerks Snijder at Leeuwarden for being "rebaptized" ["Snijder", meaning "tailor", was not the family name, since Freerks is the patronym form of Freerk and Sicke was, in fact, a tailor by trade).
A renewed search of the scriptures left Menno Simons believing that infant baptism is not in the Bible. He discussed the issue with his pastor, searched the Church Fathers, read the works of Martin Luther and Heinrich Bullinger. While still pondering the issue, he was transferred to Witmarsum. Here he came into direct contact with Anabaptists and practicing "believer's baptism"; some of the Münsterite disciples came there as well. While he regarded them as misled and fanatical, he was drawn to their zeal and their views of the Bible, the Church, discipleship. In 1535, his brother Pieter was among a group of Anabaptists killed near Bolsward because of his participation in the violent takeover of a Catholic monastery known as the Oldeklooster; this monastery, near Bolsward in the Dutch province of Friesland, was seized on 30 March 1535 by about 300 Anabaptists of Friesland, both men and women, led by Jan van Geelen, an emissary of the Anabaptists of Münster. They thereby from here tried to conquer the entire province.
The imperial stadholder Georg Schenck van Toutenburg was put in charge of capturing the old monastery from the Anabaptists. He supposed that he would be able to do so but found himself compelled to conduct a regular siege. On 1 April he tried to storm it. Four times he had to lead his soldiers into the fire. On the third assault they succeeded in taking several positions; some of the fortifications and the church remained in Anabaptist possession. On 7 April the monastery was stormed after a severe battle. 300 Anabaptists were killed. Of the ones who did not lose their lives in the storming, 37 were at once beheaded and 132, both men and women, taken to Leeuwarden, where 55 were executed there after a short trial. Jan van Geelen escaped. After the death of his brother Pieter, Menno experienced a mental crisis, he said he "prayed to God with sighs and tears that He would give to me, a sorrowing sinner, the gift of His grace, create within me a clean heart, graciously through the merits of the crimson blood of Christ, He would graciously forgive my unclean walk and unprofitable life..."
Menno Simons rejected the Catholic Church and the priesthood on 12 January 1536, casting his lot with the Anabaptists. The exact date of his new baptism is unknown, but he was baptized not long after leaving Witmarsum in early 1536. By October 1536 his connection with Anabaptism was well known, because it was in that month that Herman and Gerrit Jans were arrested and charged with having lodged Simons, he was ordained around 1537 by Obbe Philips. Obbe and his brother, Dirk Philips, were among the peaceful disciples of Melchior Hoffman, it was Hoffman who introduced the first self-sustaining Anabaptist congregation in the Netherlands, when he taught and practiced believers' baptism in Emden in East Frisia. Menno Simons rejected the violence advocated by the Münster movement, believing it was not Scriptural, his theology was focused on separation from this world, baptism by repentance symbolized this. For true evangelical faith is of such a nature that it ca
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice and observance. It includes the freedom to change one's religion or beliefs. Freedom of religion is considered by many people and most of the nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, does not persecute believers in other faiths. Freedom of belief is different, it allows the right to believe what a person, group or religion wishes, but it does not allow the right to practice the religion or belief and outwardly in a public manner. Freedom of religion has been used to refer to the tolerance of different theological systems of belief, while freedom of worship has been defined as freedom of individual action. Freedom from religion is a far more pressing moralistic and peaceful solution.
Each of these have existed to varying degrees. While many countries have accepted some form of religious freedom, this has often been limited in practice through punitive taxation, repressive social legislation, political disenfranchisement. Compare examples of individual freedom in Italy or the Muslim tradition of dhimmis "protected individuals" professing an tolerated non-Muslim religion. In Antiquity, a syncretic point of view allowed communities of traders to operate under their own customs; when street mobs of separate quarters clashed in a Hellenistic or Roman city, the issue was perceived to be an infringement of community rights. Cyrus the Great established the Achaemenid Empire ca. 550 BC, initiated a general policy of permitting religious freedom throughout the empire, documenting this on the Cyrus Cylinder. Some of the historical exceptions have been in regions where one of the revealed religions has been in a position of power: Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Others have been where the established order has felt threatened, as shown in the trial of Socrates in 399 BC or where the ruler has been deified, as in Rome, refusal to offer token sacrifice was similar to refusing to take an oath of allegiance.
This was the persecution of early Christian communities. Freedom of religious worship was established in the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India by Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC, encapsulated in the Edicts of Ashoka. Greek-Jewish clashes at Cyrene in 73 AD and 117 AD and in Alexandria in 115 AD provide examples of cosmopolitan cities as scenes of tumult; the Romans tolerated most religions, including Judaism and encouraged local subjects to continue worshipping their own gods. They did not however, tolerate Christianity until it was legalised by the Roman emperor Galerius in 311; the Edict of Milan guaranteed freedom of religion in the Roman Empire until the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which outlawed all religions except Christianity. Following a period of fighting lasting around a hundred years before 620 AD which involved Arab and Jewish inhabitants of Medina, religious freedom for Muslims and pagans was declared by Muhammad in the Constitution of Medina; the Islamic Caliphate guaranteed religious freedom under the conditions that non-Muslim communities accept dhimmi status and their adult males pay the punitive jizya tax instead of the zakat paid by Muslim citizens.
Though Dhimmis were not given the same political rights as Muslims, they did enjoy equality under the laws of property and obligation. Religious pluralism existed in classical Islamic ethics and Sharia, as the religious laws and courts of other religions, including Christianity and Hinduism, were accommodated within the Islamic legal framework, as seen in the early Caliphate, Al-Andalus, Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Millet system. In medieval Islamic societies, the qadi could not interfere in the matters of non-Muslims unless the parties voluntarily choose to be judged according to Islamic law, thus the dhimmi communities living in Islamic states had their own laws independent from the Sharia law, such as the Jews who would have their own Halakha courts. Dhimmis were allowed to operate their own courts following their own legal systems in cases that did not involve other religious groups, or capital offences or threats to public order. Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in religious practices that were forbidden by Islamic law, such as the consumption of alcohol and pork, as well as religious practices which Muslims found repugnant, such as the Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter.
According to the famous Islamic legal scholar Ibn Qayyim, non-Muslims had the right to engage in such religious practices if it offended Muslims, under the conditions that such cases not be presented to Islamic Sharia courts and that these religious minorities believed that the practice in question is permissible according to their religion. Despite Dhimmis enjoying special statuses under the Caliphates, they were not considered equals, sporadic persecutions of non-Muslim groups did occur in the history of the Caliphates. Ancient Jews fleeing from persecution in their homeland 2,500 years ago settled in India and never faced anti-Semitism. Freedom of religion edicts have been found written during Ashoka the Great's reign in the 3rd century BC. Freedom to practise and propagate any religion is a constitutional right in Modern India. Most major religious festivals of the main communities are included in