1415 – Jan Hus, Czech reformer, is burned at the stake in Constance, Germany for “heresy.” He had been outspoken in his appeals for church reform and for political and religious rights for the common people.
Jan Hus (c. 1372 – 1415) was a Czech priest, philosopher, early Christian reformer and Master at Charles University in Prague. After John Wycliffe, the theorist of ecclesiastical Reformation, Hus is considered the first Church reformer, as he lived before Luther, Calvin and Zwingli.
Hus was a key predecessor to Protestantism, and his teachings had a strong influence on the states of Western Europe, most immediately in the approval of a reformist Bohemian religious denomination, and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther himself. He was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, including those on ecclesiology, the Eucharist, and other theological topics.
After Hus was executed in 1415, the followers of his religious teachings (known as Hussites) rebelled against their Roman Catholic rulers and defeated five consecutive papal crusades between 1420 and 1431, in what became known as the Hussite Wars. A century later, as many as 90% of inhabitants of the Czech lands were non-Catholic and some still followed the teachings of Hus and his successors.