The Reformation movement launched by Wycliffe and his Lollards in England was intensely opposed and fiercely persecuted by the Roman church. The Reformation movement was largely driven underground in the British Isles. But Wycliffe’s teachings spread to Bohemia where they resulted in a dynamic revival. The two nations of England and Bohemia were linked in 1383 by the marriage of Anne of Bohemia to King Richard II of England. Prague students went to Oxford and English students went to Prague.
Preparation for Reformation
Scripture translations from the persecuted Waldensian refugees had begun entering Bohemia in the 13th Century. When Anne of Bohemia married King Richard II she sent copies of Wycliffe’s writings back to her homeland. Queen Anne’s love for the Bible was shared by many of her countrymen. Soon, Conrad Stickna was preaching the Gospel in the open air to large crowds. Matthew of Janov travelled throughout Bohemia preaching against the abuses of the church. His followers were imprisoned and burned at the stake. John Milic, Archdeacon of the cathedral in Prague, preached fearlessly against the abuses of the church and wrote “Anti-Christ Has Come” over a cardinal’s doorway. He was imprisoned.