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A Mennonite is an adherent to an Anabaptist movement descended primarily from the "Swiss Brethren" in Zurich, Switzerland, based in part on teachings in the 1500s by Menno Simons in the Netherlands. They practice adult (believer's) baptism, pacifism (correctly it is called non-resistance), simple living and have an emphasis on community. Mennonites do not reject the notion of sola scriptura. Mennonites historically believe in applying the Scriptures to everyday life in the context of community.

Most are of German or Swiss descent, and live as very hard-working farmers. Most Mennonites live in the U.S. (Pennsylvania to Indiana, and Great Plains) and Canada (Prairie Provinces); Some live in Argentina and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Some Old Order and Conservative Mennonites have a simple way of living, wear traditional clothes and avoid modern technology. Other Mennonites use the same types of technology and wear the same types of clothes as other modern people.

Amish and Mennonites

The Amish and Mennonite churches share the same beliefs concerning baptism, non-resistance, and basic Bible doctrines. They differ in matters of dress, technology, language, form of worship, and application of the Bible.[1]

Disaster relief

Mennonites are strongly involved with disaster relief, particularly through the Mennonite Central Committee [2] Mennonite Disaster Services [3] and Christian Aid Ministries.[4] They also distribute fair trade goods through Ten Thousand Villages shops. Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit program of the Mennonite Central Committee.[5] Some of the more conservative Mennonites channel aid through their own ministries and churches.

Separation and distinct beliefs

The Old Order Mennonites, Amish and Conservative Mennonites are distinctive from most denominations because they do not use the same level of technology as most other people living in the world today. Despite common stereotypes, this is not out of a belief that technology is inherently evil. Many believe that modern technology could potentially harm their community in other ways, however. The level of technology allowed may differ from one Old Order or conservative group to another. Some may choose to allow vehicles (generally plain black) and other modern technologies, while others do not. Some of these communities also do not meet in churches rather in homes.

See also


  1. Lancaster PA & the Amish Country website
  2. Mennonite Central Committee
  3. Mennonite Disaster Service Website
  4. Christian Aid Ministries Website

External links