We can thank the Dutch for religious tolerance. They were the first. Before New York was New York it was New Amsterdam and we know what that means. “The Dutch.” Now mind you, America’s early Dutch were severe in their religious beliefs. What religion wasn’t severe back in the late 1600’s? But thank you Holland for being the first European country to practice religious tolerance.
Holland’s openness to all forms of religion continues to this day but make no mistake, there never was nor ever will be an absolute or unanimous way of thinking. During the Rembrandt-era, Holland’s Jews were impacted by the anti-Semitism of out-spoken Christian religious leaders. There was even strife between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. And recently, there has been an uptick in political movements that have less tolerance for immigrants and the religious diversity that they bring. In spite of this, tolerance is the norm in Holland.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy II – Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III – From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:
Secret Genealogy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082
Secret Genealogy II: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222
Secret Genealogy III: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X
Secret Genealogy IV: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105
Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU
Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP