Religion: Centenary

The "oldest Protestant church" in western Christendom celebrated a centennial last week. In 1179 a rich Lyons merchant named Peter Waldo took a vow of poverty and defied the Pope by preaching and interpreting the Bible on his own. Excommunicated as a heretic, Waldo fled to the hills with his followers. For nearly 700 years the Waldenses held out against papal persecution in the valleys of the Cottian Alps. A hundred years ago they were granted religious freedom. But their centennial found today's Waldenses still worried about their status under Italy's present...

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