Crypto-Protestantism is a historical phenomenon that first arose on the territory of the Habsburg Empire but also elsewhere in Europe and Latin America, at a time when Catholic rulers tried, after the Protestant Reformation, to reestablish Catholicism in parts of the Empire that had become Protestant after the Reformation. The Protestants in these areas strove to retain their own confession inwardly while they outwardly pretended to accept Catholicism.[1] With the Patent of Toleration in the Habsburg Empire in 1781, Protestantism was again permitted, and from that time on most Protestants could live their faith openly once more.

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the term re-emerged to describe aspects of post-conciliar Catholic practice which were Protestant in character, for example Charismatic Catholicism.

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