French-Speaking Protestants in Quebec (19th Century (French Canadian…
French-Speaking Protestants in Quebec
Among first colonists and explorers and settlers from beginning of 18th century onward. Pierre Dugua de Monts - arrived in North America in 1604
Samuel de Champlain - born into a Protestant family. Baptized and married according to Catholic rites.
1628 - Louis XIV prohibited immigration of Protestants in New France but Protestants from France migrated. More than 800 settled in the colony between 1632-1759.
1864 - Protestant worship banned in private. "Secret Protestants" - hid their faith and participated in Roman Catholic worship. Formally there were few Protestants but never completely absent
1830s - English-Speaking Protestants tried to create missionary societies to try to convert people. Belief Catholics were inferior and wanted to convert towards British superiority.
French Canadian Missionary Society (FCMS)
Founded in 1839 by Anglophone Protestant clergy. Common goal was to convert French Canadians by applying 3 pronged strategy
Went door to door to distribute Bibles to French Canadian Catholics.Bible has several different chapters than the Catholic Bible. Peddlers were not always well received. Strong resistance but some people converted. Rallies explained "errors of Catholicism"
1881 - society dissolved. Took over by French Canadian Presbyterian preachers. Charles Chiniquy former Catholic priest became Presbyterian minister. Suspended a bunch of times because of sexual assault.
Opened small places of worship. Conversions were common. Protestants called "Swiss" because they were French- Canadian Protestants and there was no separation between Catholicism and French-Canadian identity, they were deemed "something else" (also most pastors came from Switzerland)
Small schools and large colleges. Survived into 20th century. French-Canadian bourgeois families would sen their children. Best colleges. 1880 there were 4000 active French-Speaking members of Protestant churches
Call from English-Speaking Protestants to unite in the name of Christian unity. Small rural communities were divided between Presbyterians, Methodists and Congregationalists - hard to have 3 separate places of worship. Discussed ways to unite. 1924 United Church of Canada Act.
UCC did not have an official French name. 41 French-speaking congregations joined the UCC. Became officially bilingual.
Groups appeared in 20th century. Emergence of Hispanic, Haitian and African Protestant groups. Minority to Catholic majority in Quebec . Migration of Protestant Francophones not over.