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Ministers such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards encourage individuals to make an immediate, intense and personal connection with the Divine.

This emphasis on personal choice threatens to undermine the authority of ministers in established churches.

Williams' colony of Providence guarantees freedom of conscience and becomes a haven for religious dissidents.

Outspoken, opinionated and well versed in the Bible, Hutchinson accuses the ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of teaching false doctrine and asserts that God has spoken to her directly -- a claim considered heresy in Puritan theology.

Other religions, termed "dissenting religions," do not have freedom of worship.

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Hundreds from both sides die in the fighting; more than half of the Catholic priests are murdered. The son of a successful British admiral, William Penn is imprisoned six times for being a Quaker in Anglican England.

Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams establishes a colony he names "Providence" in present-day Rhode Island.

Williams had quarreled with Puritan authorities over their theology, their decision to remain within the Church of England and their failure to pay Native Americans for their land.

Later advocates for religious freedom argue that religious liberty should be defined as a natural right rather than as a right afforded by a civil government.

The first major mass movement in American history, the Great Awakening changes the way people experience God.

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