Allegory on Joseph´s II Edict of Tolerance (October 13, 1781), water colour painting, 1785 (Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien).
The Edict of Tolerance (German: Toleranzpatent; also referred to as: Edict of Toleration. Patent of Tolerance, Toleration Patent) is a law promulgated by Joseph II on October 13, 1781 granting freedom of worship to non-Roman Catholic Christians (e.g. Protestant Church, Greek Orthodox Church). It also regulated the building and maintenance of schools and churches: non-Roman Catholic communities (with more than 100 members who lived within one hour´s walking distance) were given the right to build schools and churches but without bells and without direct access from the street. In the Edict of Toleration of January 2, 1782 Joseph II regulated the status of Jews in the Habsburg territories, granting them freedom of worship and freeing them from many discriminatory restrictions. This edict was part of important reforms introduced by Joseph II (Josephinism) and led to improved economic conditions of the Jews.
Literature: P. F. Barton (ed.), Im Zeichen der Toleranz, 1981.