Anabaptist

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Anabaptism is a Christian denomination that developed during the Protestant Reformation (commonly referred to as the Radical Reformation) of the sixteenth century. Among the most well-known of these groups are the Amish, Hutterites and the Conservative Mennonites.

Core Beliefs

  • Adult Baptism - the term Anabaptist is literally "re-baptizer", they believed that every believer should make an adult commitment to Jesus, and reject infant baptism.
  • Voluntary Church membership & Separation of church and state - Anabaptists do not believe that the church and government should be linked, and that all who lived should be free to worship at which ever church they wanted. It was typical during the reformation that if a person lived in a Catholic area that they attended a Catholic church or face persecution, and if they lived in a Protestant area that they attend a Protestant church or face persecution.
  • Gelassenheit (yieldedness) Anabaptists called for placing the way of Jesus above self- and group-interest.
  • Pacifism (non-resistance) The Anabaptists interpreted Jesus' command to love one's enemies (Matthew 5:43–45) as a real command, and they embraced His teaching that, because His kingdom was "not of this world," His disciples would not fight their enemies with the weapons of this world (John 18:36). They "resist not evil." They do not sue at law nor exact revenge. They also do not lobby or exact pressure on the government and willingly pay taxes.


The Anabaptists were different from both their Protestant and Catholic brothers and often found themselves persecuted by other Christians. Many Anabaptists were martyred during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They would survive the persecution, and added to their numbers, and some eventually migrated to North America. The most numerous Anabaptist immigrants were Mennonites who took their name from an early Dutch Anabaptist leader named Menno Simons. The Amish and the Hutterites were two other Anabaptist groups that migrated to North America. The Brethren in Christ Church [1] is a Christian Church in the Anabaptist tradition.

References

  1. http://www.bic-church.org/about/history.asp The Brethren in Christ Church Official Website

http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A533ME.html Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online article: Anabaptism

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