Even after its incorporation in the realm of Charles V in 1536, Groningen remained independent. It continued to be so in the early years of Philip II's reign. The town authorities made the local church tolerant and broad. Even the separatist Mennonites were accepted until the government in Brussels forced the local magistrates to take action against secret conventicles. Between the broad "established church" and the Mennonites, there was hardly room for a Reformed community. It thus remained small until 1566.