John Huss

John Huss was born in 1373 in Bohemia (present day Czech Republic). Following his years of education and serving as a pastor, he became rector of the University of Prague. During the early 1400′s Huss was greatly impacted by the teachings of John Wycliff which were brought to Prague by students from England. As Huss taught and preached against the control of the Holy Roman Empire over the Bohemian nation, his views of reform, much like Wycliff, were brought into question by the Roman Church for they controlled the empire.

In 1415 Huss was invited to attend the Council of Constance. He was assured of his safety by the Emperor. However, in spite of the promise of safety, he was seized and thrown into a foul dungeon. He was ill-treated and accused of heresy and tried. Both his and Wycliff’s views were condemned, and after refusing to renounce his teachings, Huss was burned at the stake by order of the council on July 6, 1415.

Though persecutors may destroy men’s bodies, they are hard pressed to destroy ideas, and the ideas of John Huss lived on and were spread by his followers who became known as the United Brethren in about 1450. It was from this group of believers that the Moravian church, which still exists today, came about.

Huss also may be said to have indirectly influenced John Wesley, who founded the Methodist Church, for it was the Moravians who helped lead Wesley to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The teaching of Huss also had a strong impact on Martin Luther as he faced similar problems in Germany in the 1500′s.