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Isaac Backus Defender of Religious Freedom

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 9 months ago

 Defender of Religious Liberty



One of New England’s great preachers, Isaac Backus (1724-1806), was influenced by the Great Awakening and the preaching of George Whitefield. Not long after revival broke out in New England, Backus was ordained as a Reformed Baptist preacher. In sixty years, he traveled over 70,000 miles across the American frontier sharing the gospel. Backus became involved in the tax controversy in Massachusetts. The state imposed an “ecclesiastical tax” upon all citizens to support the state church, the Congregational churches. Even those who did not attend these churches or opposed the beliefs of the churches were still required to pay the tax. If a person refused to pay the tax, their house, land, and possessions were confiscated. If there continued to be no compliance, the individual would be imprisoned. Pastor Backus and other pastors took a stand against this mandatory tax. They believed that the state government had no right to interfere in religious matters and appealed for an end to the tax but were not very successful. Pastor Backus died before the law was finally changed. Pastor Backus was an active and outspoken Patriot during the War for Independence. He preached to the troops and encouraged them to fight for freedom. He defended religious freedom in the other colonies and offered legal aid and advice to those who stood for true liberty. The religious freedoms we enjoy today were secured by great men of God like Isaac Backus.


American Vision P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460, www.americanvision.org . History Unwrapped by Gary DeMar.


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