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He receives an immense tract of land west of the Delaware River from King Charles II (in repayment for a debt owed Penn's father) and establishes the "holy experiment" of Pennsylvania.The colony's founding documents include provisions for religious toleration, freedom of the press and statements of equality that include women, but not slaves.By the early 1600s, Franciscan friars report that hundreds of Pueblos are converting to Catholicism, but they notice that many of the "converted" Pueblos continue to practice their own religion.They ban Native ceremonies, burn religious icons, destroy sacred places and demand the colony's soldiers enforce the one true faith.Thomas Jefferson, then a Virginia state assemblyman, receives the petition and joins forces with the Baptists to propose the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia.Written by Thomas Jefferson and first submitted in 1779, the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom proposes ending state support of the Anglican Church.Later advocates for religious freedom argue that religious liberty should be defined as a natural right rather than as a right afforded by a civil government.The first major mass movement in American history, the Great Awakening changes the way people experience God.
Outspoken, opinionated and well versed in the Bible, Hutchinson accuses the ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of teaching false doctrine and asserts that God has spoken to her directly -- a claim considered heresy in Puritan theology.
Following his arrest for preaching without a license, Baptist Jeremiah Moore preaches to crowds through the bars of his jail cell.
In October, he delivers a petition to the Virginia State Assembly -- signed by 10,000 dissidents -- demanding that Baptists be able to freely worship without fear of prosecution.
Other religions, termed "dissenting religions," do not have freedom of worship.
By the time of the Revolutionary War, nine colonies have established state religions.