The Massacre of Mérindol took place in 1545, when Francis I of France ordered that the Waldensians of the village of Mérindol be punished for dissident religious activities
The Protestant doctrinal assault on the Mass, especially rankled Francis, and the crackdown on Protestants brought burnings and other types of murder in many places. Francis I may have wanted an enlightened kingdom, united against foreign enemies, but his resistance to ecclesiastical reform brought only continued internal disruption and religious intolerance. In some provinces, the majority of people became Protestants, known hereafter as Huguenots. Most historians estimate that eventually about 10% of France became firmly Protestant, primarily of the Genevan/Calvinist camp, more than a million strong. Nonetheless, Francis began a precedent of persecution of Huguenots, and resistance to biblical Protestantism that was followed by his royal descendants for the next two centuries.