Those of English heritage, bewildered by the state of the world today (in relation to religion), would do well to remember a part of our own history …
On this day [January 16th] 429 years ago, the English Parliament outlawed Roman Catholicism. This 1581 statute stated that it was an “act to retain the Queen’s Majesty’s subjects in their obedience” and made it high treason to “reconcile anyone or to be reconciled to ‘the Romish religion.'” It forbade people to go to Mass; persons breaking the law were subject to fines as well as a year in jail. An English man or woman could avoid these troubles by renouncing the Pope and joining the Anglican Church. Most of the English martyrs in the Catholic Church come from the time of Elizabeth’s reign.
“The most important legacy of Elizabeth I was to make the Anglican Catholic Church forever free from the control of Rome. When she died in 1603 her cousin King James VI of Scotland became James I, King of England. Yes, he is the one whose name may be on your English Bible, The King James Version.”
Enjoy the quote above, but the author’s search is limited. He is, no doubt, influenced by the act of January 16, 1581. Though we Christians play nice these days, I suspect that the events of 1581 still form much of the “God-thought” of the Protestant masses.
A Wiki list of Catholic Martyrs of the English Reformation.