This, to me, seems like such an obvious answer that I am flabbergasted that in much of the world, the de facto reality on the ground is “NO”. Even in cases where on paper there is religious freedom (e.g. enshrined in a constitution), there are significant social, economic, and political consequences of swimming upstream against the cultural tide.
I often think of Baptists as being the wild-eyed radicals of the Reformation. The Reformation started out relatively innocuously – 95 Theses being nailed to a church door in Wittenberg. Luther and Calvin and other magisterial reformers, despite their reforming impulses, still thought in terms of a State Church that was a reformed version of the existing church. In other words, there would still be an official church, with government sanction and support, and the norm would be that everyone in that country would belong to that church. Continue reading