Heretic – (noun) 1. A person holding an opinion or belief which goes against that which is popular or generally accepted.
2. A term used to label a person who believes differently than what is taught or allowed by ‘the church’.
Unlike what the Catholic church spread, heretics were rarely pagans or non-believers. In fact, in many cases, heretics had a stronger and more realist belief in the Christian God than many of the church’s followers. Heretics simply believed that the church’s ways were wrong and corrupt, which lead them to follow their own beliefs.
Many heretics read and translated the New Testament bible themselves and followed it literally rather than accepting the translation and guidance provided by the church leadership. This defiance was seen as a threat to the church’s power over the people, and resulted in many heretics being exiled or put to death.
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