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First explored in 1498 by John Cabot, Maryland was one of the original 13 colonies and has as a capital the city of Annapolis. It was settled in 1634 and was founded as a refuge for persecuted Catholics and with the idea of promoting religious freedom. Puritans from Virginia flooded the area after Virginia dictated that Anglicanism would be the official religion, and the Maryland enacted the Maryland Toleration Act in 1649, which was only the second law that dictated religious tolerance, Rhode Island being the first. The Act stated, in part, “..no person or persons...professing to believe in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth be anyways troubled, Molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion nor in the free exercise thereof within this Province...” This Act was also called the Act Concerning Religion, and it required freedom of worship for all Trinitarian Christians, though it did sentence those who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ to death and/or confiscation of their lands. This act then, left Jews and Unitarians, among others, at risk for death by the state. Additionally, anyone who insulted the Virgin Mary or the apostles could be jailed, fined, or whipped and made it illegal to use the word “heretic,” or any other religious insult, in reference to any Trinitarian. In 1658, Jacob Lumbrozo, of Jewish faith, asserted that the miracles of Jesus were conjuring tricks and that Jesus was not the son of God. He was accused of blasphemy and did not deny saying what he was accused of. He said that he was simply answering questions which were asked of him. The case was eventually dismissed, and his citizenship was restored to him. Five years later, in 1654, the Act was repealed due to the English Civil War. Furthermore, it was declared against the law for Catholics to practice their faith. The Act was reinstated in 1652 by a vote in the colonial assembly, and this time, it would remain law until 1692.





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