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Assembly in the Desert

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At the edge of a wood, the participants are gathered around a pastor who preaches from a removable pulpit.

The revocation of the Edict of Nantes, decided in October 1685 by Louis XIV, abolished the regime of tolerance instituted in 1598 in favor of the Reformation. About a quarter of the 800,000 French Reformed left the kingdom, defying the decrees which forbade them, to seek asylum in the Protestant countries of Europe.

Those who remained were forcibly converted, but many resisted the risk of being thrown into prison, condemned to the galleys and even executed. They met clandestinely to pray in remote places known as the “Desert” and secretly reorganized churches during the 18th century.

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At the edge of a wood, the participants are gathered around a pastor who preaches from a removable pulpit.


L. Bellotti, after Jean-Jacques Storni, 1775
Assembly in the Desert
© International Museum of the Reformation (MIR), Geneva

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