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Word Count: 444
Religious riots in France during the sixteenth century were a direct result of the tensions between Protestants and Catholics The rioters felt a sense of legality and legitimacy and carried out their violent acts in ways specific to their own beliefs Rioters legitimized their acts through feelings of religious duty and commitment Riots occurred because numerous religious teachings to exterminate other denominations were interpreted as Gods will If thy brotherentice thee secretly saying Let us go serve other gods which thou hast not knownthou shalt surely kill him and afterwards the hands of all the people Such biblical passages were used by both Protestant and Catholic priests as justification of violence Clergy often blamed the other denomination for whatever battles that had been recently lost or crops that had failed Rioters felt they were serving the community by ridding it of the dreaded pollution and that by doing so were saving themselves from the wrath of God Their goals were to defend their true doctrine and refute the false doctrine through dramatic challenges and tests of violence The government set an example to the people that certainly did not discourage riotous acts In some instances magistrates could start the riots and more often were participants And surely the barbaric and bloody executions carried out by the state encouraged an acceptance and enjoyment of violence Because of all the outside influences rioters subconsciously dehumanized their victims and saw them only as devilish pollutants resulting in a lack of guilt or shame Almost every riot documented has a related disturbance often occurring during denominational events especially processions The festive colorful processions of the Catholics only maddened the Protestants who felt that the celebrations were abominations to their own doctrines and must be quelled As far as differences between the Catholic and Protestant riots the latter were marked by large-scale destruction of Catholic properties sensing danger in the wrongful use of material objects The Protestants also
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