Lead: During the European religious wars of the early 1600s, Jan Amos Comenius, a Czech Protestant pastor, forced to flee his homeland, gained international reknown as one of the founders of modern education.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Unity of the Brethren was one of the communities that grew from the teachings of early Czech reformer Jan Hus. After Hus’ execution for heresy by the Roman Catholic Church in 1415 at the Council of Constance, small groups of the faithful, such as the Brethren, kept alive Hus’ teachings until they found wider acceptance in the Lutheran reformation a century later. After initial gains by Protestants in northern Germany, by the 1570s a re-invigorated Roman Church was determined to reverse the course of reform by any means, spiritual or violent. The conflict between Protestants and Catholics came to climax in the horrendous violence of the Thirty Years War that consumed central Europe from 1618-1648. One of the hot spots of fighting was the Bohemian province of Moravia and it was from that sad, beset land, that Bishop Jan Amos Comenius led a small band of Brethren into Poland and what would be for him a life of exile.

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