The Puritans acquired the label because their primary goals was to "purify" the English church by removing all traces of Roman Catholicism in doctrine and ceremony. Most of their theological views were the same as orthodox Calvinism. Strongest in the 16th and 17th centuries, they advocated strict religious discipline and placed primary emphasis on the Bible rather than on traditions developed in the Christian community.
Eventually, authorities in England grew intolerant of the Puritans' extreme views and they were forced to seek refuge elsewhere, particularly once the restoration of the Church of England occurred between 1660-1662. Some went to Holland and many colonized the northeastern part of the North America. Puritans became accept in England in 1689 with the Act of Toleration.
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What is Christianity?
What are the various Christian groups, denominations, sects and heresies? What are some key concepts in Christian theology? What are some of the most important events in Christian history? All of this and more are covered in the Christianity FAQ.
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A system of human beliefs, ideals and practices which is harder to define than it may at first appear. Read more about how dictionaries, scholars and others have tried to define and explain religion.