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Before the short-lived First Republic in 1868, any religious expression deviating from the RCath Church was not tolerated. Prot preaching had begun in various places since the 1850s. With the active help of British, especially Scottish evangelists, Luis de Usoz y Rio began to distribute Bibles and evangelical tracts. Other evangelists were Francisco de Paula Ruet and Manuel Matamoros. Several of them found refuge in Gibraltar, where a small Prot community had been established. Manuel Matamoros and others were arrested in 1860; their trial raised protests throughout Europe. In response to these appeals, the government decided to expel the Prot leaders from the country. The political developments after the Napoleonic wars began to create a new situation. In 1868 freedom of worship was constitutionally guaranteed. In 1868 the Iglesia Reformada Española was formed. A year later an assembly was called for the purpose of bringing together the various communities. In 1871 another attempt was made, and, with the addition of new communities, the church became the Iglesia Cristiana Española. It adopted its own confession of faith. In 1880 a split took place; one of the pastors left the church and founded, together with a few communities, the Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, which adopted the liturgy of the Angl churches. In 1890, with the addition of communities in Northern Spain, the name of the church changed again to Iglesia Evangélica Española (IEE). The confession of faith remained unchanged until 1955 when the Meth Church of Catalonia and the Baleares was incorporated into the IEE.
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