Zillerthal a valley of Tyrol, stretching for about five miles along the Ziller, between Salzburg and Innsbrtick, and inhabited by about 15,000 souls, has become memorable in Church history on account of the infamous manner in which the Roman Catholic clergy succeeded in suppressing an evangelical rising which took place in our century. As in other countries of Germany, the Reformation found its way into Salzburg and Tyrol, but it was suppressed, in the latter part of the 16th century, in Salzburg, by the archbishops, and in Tyrol by the government, in connection with the nobility and the ecclesiastics. In 1730 archbishop Frinian inaugurated a cruel persecution, with a view of exterminating all adherents to the evangelical faith. Nevertheless it reappeared in the Zillerthal in the beginning of the present century. As soon as the Roman clergy became aware of the danger, the number of, priests was doubled in the villages and the strictest watch was kept. When, in 1832, the emperor Francis of Austria visited the valley, the evangelical Zillerthalers petitioned him in behalf of their religion. The emperor promised to do what he could. When the Roman clergy became aware of this, they resorted to violent measures. The toleration edict of Joseph II, and the stipulations of the congress of Vienna, were thrown aside, and, instigated by the fanatical clergy, the provincial estates of Tyrol decreed that no split in the Church of the country should be allowed, that those who would not conform to the Church of Rome should leave the country and settle under an evangelical prince. But before this could be effected the Evangelicals had to suffer many things. Being under the ban of the Church, their neighbors were warned against holding any kind of intercourse with them. The children of the Evangelicals were forced to frequent the Roman Catholic schools where they were placed on separate seats, as "children of the devil," apart from the "Christian children." When, after eleven years of perpetual chicanery, the Evangelicals were advised from Vienna that they could emigrate, they addressed themselves to Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, in 1837, and by his humane intercession they were allowed to sell their estates and remove to his dominions, where they were settled, four hundred and forty-eight souls, in Hohen-Mittel, and Nieder-Zillerthal, in Silesia. See Rheinwald, Die Evangelischegesinnten im Zillerthal (Berlin, 1837); Evangelische Kirchenzeitung (1835), pages 813- 815, 820-823; (1836), page 132; (1837), page 343; Herzog, Real- Encyklop. s.v. (B.P.)

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.