Lutheran Salzburg refugees in the Netherlands
The historical background
The religion of the ruling prince or bishop determines the faith of the inhabitants. In the region of the Archbishop of Salzburg many Lutherans lived refusing to accept the political rules concerning “cuius region, eius religio” (who’s country, those religion). From 1727 till 1744 Archbishop Leopold Anton van Firmian forced more than 19.000 Lutherans to depart without their belongings. Most of them were accepted in Litauen on behalf of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm. The States General of the Seven United Staetes of the Netherlands invited 800 persons to come to the Netherlands. They were directed to Zealand, especially in the Land of Cadzand in Dutch Flanders. However the States General hardly did their utmost. At last the Amsterdam Lutheran Congregation took the fate of the refugees to their heart by founding a financial trust (Fonds van Cadzand). By collecting money and selling special medals they could afford to buy several properties in Zealand to distribute among the refugees. The Lutheran Church of Groede was founded in the same way.