Why was Massachusetts intolerant towards other religions in the colonies?

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samson98 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The Puritans left England due to persecution from the Anglican Church. They founded Massachusetts so they could practice their religion freely and without oppression. Consequently, many students are surprised to find that Massachusetts did not offer complete religious freedom. In fact, Massachusetts was very restrictive of the forms of Christianity which could be practiced therein, and one could face expulsion (as Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson did) for teaching what colonial leaders considered to be unorthodox or heretical teachings. The reason Massachusetts did not tolerate other religions is that they did not found the colony to promote religious tolerance, they founded it as a place for Puritans to practice their religion freely. Had one protested this policy, the colonial leaders would likely have suggested followers of other religions found their own colonies, as the Puritan leaders of Massachusetts had done.

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