Religious persecution is what prompted many of our ancestors to emigrate to America. It wasn't because they were being denied equal rights or being made fun of. Their lives (and ours) depended on it!
In this famous work by Thielman Bracht, called "The Bloody Theatre, or Martyr's Mirror", the cruel and wicked treatment of Christians from the time of Christ through the 16th Century is well documented. The Book can be read here: [Index to periods]
In this book you can read true stories like that of the execution of Dutch Anabaptists David van der Leyen and Levina Ghyselins. The two were strangled and burned in the marketplace by Catholic authorities at Ghent in 1554. These events perpetuated the faith of Mennonites even to this day. (Read the story in Vol. 2 on pages 57 to 58 of the book below).
Another book by the same author, "A Martyrology of the Churches of Christ, commonly called Baptists, during the era of the Reformation", (Thieleman Janszoon van Bracht, 1625-1664; Jan Luiken 1649-1712; Benjamin Millard, and Edward Bean Underhill, 1813-1901; Publication date 1850) also provides graphic detail of the extreme persecution these Christians experienced. [Volume 1] [Volume 2]
Shown here is the Index for both volumes, which is found in Volume 2. Take a look and see if you recognize any names from your ancestry. [Notice, the index for Volume 1 starts on page 451 and the index for Volume 2 follows, beginning on page 453.]
Several of my ancestors experienced this persecution first hand, particularly in the Daniels branch of my tree.
See also "Why they Sailed from Leyden".
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. To covet truth is a very distinguished passion." - George Santayana