The introduction of Christian pluralism into German society had profound results. Religious conversions of political rulers were common and had widespread implications for subjects and foreigners alike. Religious segregation, rather than toleration, was the rule until the 19th century. Several regions in the north and east developed almost exclusively Lutheran populations, and many localities in the south became overwhelmingly Catholic. Mixed populations, particularly in imperial cities such as Augsburg, did exist, but they were rigidly segregated by religious affiliation.
Meanwhile, despite the efforts of both Protestant and Catholic reformers, many people continued beliefs and practices with pre-Christian origins. The common belief in magic helped fuel a widespread fear of witches. Throughout Europe, as many as 100,000 individuals were executed as witches, mostly between 1550 and 1650. Of these, perhaps three-quarters of the prosecutions took place within the Holy Roman Empire. Most accusations in Germany quickly developed into local panics and large-scale purges. Prosecutions were common in Protestant and Catholic lands alike. "Germany" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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