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Dávid (1520-1579) was one of the leading figures of the Protestant Reformation and also the first martyr of the church founded by him.
Born around 1520 in Kolozsvár to a tanner of Saxon nationality, Dávid pursued theological studies in Wittemberg and Frankfurt am Oder, upon completion of those returning to become a Roman Catholic parish priest, but soon thereafter joined the Lutheran arm of the Reformation.
In 1568, under the influence of Hungarian King and first Transylvanian Prince János Zsigmond (John Sigismund), the Diet of Torda (now Turda, Romania) passed the Edict of Torda, considered the world’s first law of religious freedom.
In 1571, however, János Zsigmond was succeeded by staunch Roman Catholic István Báthory at the helm of Transylvania, who instituted a policy of religious persecution. Dávid was imprisoned for life in 1572 and died in the prison of Déva Castle in 1579.