The story of the Waldensians' faith and commitment begins in the late twelfth century when the followers of Peter Waldo chose to igre the Church's decree against preaching without authority. Condemned for heresy, they left the city of Lyon and wandered the European countryside. Ruthlessly suppressed by the Inquisition and medieval crusades, their clandestine movement was reduced to a few enclaves by the time Protestant reformers from Switzerland arrived at their foremost settlements in the Cottian Alps between France and Italy. The basic compatibility between the pre-Reformation beliefs of the Waldensians and the ideas of the Swiss reformers eventually led to their adoption of the Calvinist form of Reformed Protestantism. However, by affirming their new faith, they became a conspicuous target for the forces of the Counter Reformation. Torture, imprisonment, exile, and martyrdom all became part of the heritage of the small but vibrant Waldensian Reformed Church that arose in the 1500s. The survival of the Waldensians down to the present, despite the numerous attempts to destroy their traditions and beliefs, is testimony that all things are possible through faith.