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Jonn Calvin

John Calvin

In the mid 1500s A.D., another religious leader by the name of John Calvin began working to bring about reform in the Catholic Church. Like Huldrych Zwingli, Calvin lived in Switzerland, and wanted to set up a theocracy.

John Calvin

By 1541 A.D., John Calvin had managed to set up his theocracy in Geneva. The city government forced all citizens to attend church several times a week and had very strict rules about what people could and could not do.

John Calvin wrote a book, which he called The Institutes of The Christian Religion. This book became quite popular in his day, and would become very influential among future reformers.

Calvin’s most important teaching was that mankind could not control or change anything in this earth life. Calvin believed that everything was controlled by God, the past, the present, and the future. He called this doctrine predestination. According to this doctrine, certain people were predestined to heaven, while others were predestined to hell. They believed that an individual could do nothing to change their predestination.

As they worked to insure that their people practiced the religious teachings that were required by law, they put many people to death for various crimes against the church, such as witchcraft, or being too Catholic.