MENNONITES, ANABAPTISTS, BAPTISTS
One of many protestant denominations like for example Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Huguenots (French Protestants), Lutherans. They separated from Roman Catholic Church in XVI and XVII century. The chief leaders of Mennonites were the following priests: in Holland (1536) - Menno Simmons - a priest in Witmarsum (Friesian), Obbe and Dirk Philips; in Germany (1527) - Pilgram Marpeck, Thomas Muenzer; in Switzerland (1525) - Konrad Grebel, Juergen Blaurock, Felix Manz. The Mennonites were involved in anabaptism. It was a religious movement which emerged from Reformation and was opposed to the money-based and organized Christianity such as: Roman Catholic Church and non-radical reformation. Mennonites believe that the Bible is the source of inspiration and tradition. They refuse to rule. The politics is the root of all evil. They reject military service to keep peace all over the world. Mennonites accept only two sacraments: baptism of adults (also known as "believer's baptism") and The Eucharist. Jesus Christ, like for other Protestants (Calvinists, Lutherans) is the ultimate personality and the Absolute Divinity. The Easter is the greatest celebration. The Cross is the most important spiritual symbol. The Mennonite Church was set up in XVI century, mainly on the basis of the ideology described in "Fondamentboek" by Menno Simmons (1539). During Reformation, Menno as well as other ex-roman-catholic priests e.g. Martin Luther, left the Roman Catholic Church to establish a new religious branch. Martin Luther was the most famous church reformer. In addition, lutheranism was soon officially accepted by the authorities in Germany and in a few other European countries. It was not the case in regard to mennonitism and calvinism which occurred to be actually less popular in Europe. However, Menno Simons (Dutch reformer), Ulrich Zwingli (Swiss reformer) and John Calvin were also great individuals who longed for reforming the Roman Catholic Church.
Many Mennonites as well as Baptists, Methodists, Quakers and Huguenots (French Calvinists) left The Old Continent. Most of them emigrated to the U.S.A. and Canada. As for Mennonites, they also settled in other parts of the world: Paraguay (South America), Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine (Crimea). In the U.S.A. Mennonites established GERMANTOWN. Since 1863 it has been a bustling with activity centre of the Mennonite Church. According to their doctrine, a human being should live in compliance with the strict moral standards. Their hardline rules are not easy to practice. Mennonites do not accept, divorce, incest, abortion (every human life is divine and sacred), drug and substance abuse, crime, fashion, violence and war, lust for money and sex. They think that parents are very important to us and should be cared for.
We do not know too much about Mennonites who found themselves in Poland. Some of them arrived in Polish Pommern when they were escaping from the Netherlands in XVI-XVII century. After 1945 they emigrated, mainly to the U.S.A.. In Poland, there are not many members of Mennonite Church now. But there is the chapel and the name of the street (ulica Menonitów) in Danzig (Gdansk) (see the pictures which I have taken during my stay in this city). Currently, the Mennonite's chapel in Danzig (Gdansk) belongs to the Pentecostal Church. Mennonites have no governing body and hierarchy. They constitute, like other Protestants, the set of independent, small communities called congregations. Most Mennonites in the world are Americans but more and more of them can be found in South America (Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil).
The common label employed for the members of Protestant sects in XVI century who ignored an infant's baptism and promoted baptism of adults (the appropriate phrase is actually "believer's baptism"). The first Anabaptist bunches appeared in 1525, Switzerland. The founder of anabaptist movement in Germany was Thomas Muenzer - a preacher in Zwickau. Anabaptists stood against the organizational and hierarchic foundation of the Christian church (like papism). That fact may have caused their persecution in Western Europe. Anabaptists were also regarded as one of the branches of "THE SECOND REFORMATION" or "RADICAL AND SPIRITUAL REFORMATION". The pejorative name "Anabaptists" referred to their negative attitude towards infant baptism. Anabaptist approval of adult baptism could have been associated with the fact that Jesus Christ was baptized by Saint John when he was a grown-up and a strongly believing person (see the picture - Baptism of Jesus Christ). The another reason was the fact that unlike infant baptism, only baptism of adults was biblical.The Scripture contained numerous accounts of adults who became Christians and were baptized in the biblical river "Jordan".
So, in accordance with their doctrine, every individual should have been baptized only when he
or she was old enough to understand what he or she was doing. It can be noted that anabaptists were spreading leftist heresy around, those times. Supporting anarchy, the idea of small communities, the bunches of people helping each other, they were trying hard to fight against poverty and misery. In addition, they helped the weak and the neglected. Anabaptists represented a garden variety of social and cultural backgrounds. Some might have been of Jewish descent. The others could have been German, Swiss or Dutch religious nonconformists or anti-conformists who strived to quit the religion of Roman Catholic Church. Many mennonites were just German, Swiss or Dutch common people, peasants, yokels. Yet, some people following the Menno Simmons teachings may have come from noble or even artistocratic families. Sometimes, the blue-blooded aristocrats who were involved in anabaptism and mennonitism could have been deprived of high social status, good reputation, ownership and wealth.
Popularity of the Anabaptist movement amongst the members of the underclass (peasants and beggars) brought about the uprising which took place in 1535, in Muenster (John from Leida). The famous leader of German peasants revolt was Thomas Muenzer (ex-roman-catholic priest and preacher in Zwickau). It was brutally suppressed by the Church Officials. Many Anabaptists were imprisoned, the social spirit and sense of justice were abused. Anabaptists were simply dubbed "heretics" and "devils". They used to live in a permanent danger zone. Moreover, Anabaptist doctrine was rejected by other official churches both Catholic and Protestant. It was believed that it had been totally false. Today, it is not the case because many other Protestants, besides Mennonites, especially those who belong to the Baptist and Pentecostal Church, are supposed to be grounded in the tradition of Anabaptist movement.
The Protestant branch which occurred in England at the beginning of XVII century. The founders of Baptist Church (as well as Pentecostals) might have been inspired by Anabaptist and Mennonite ideology. However, unlike Mennonites, Baptists have the positive views on the state and military service. They accept only baptism of adults (it happens by immersion as it used to be in the biblical river "Jordan") and The Bible (The Scripture) as the only source of Christian tradition, faith and moral standards. They approve of total separation between The State and The Church. Baptists as well as for example Jesuits are known for establishing missions in the distant areas of our world. Today, in the U.S.A. most Protestants are Baptists.
THIS IS SMASHING
SITE ABOUT ANABAPTISTS
ANABAPTIST MOVEMENT HISTORY SITE
COOL SITE ABOUT ANABAPTISTS/MENNONITES IN USA
THIS IS ANOTHER SITE CONCERNING ANABAPTISTS
GROUPS OF BELIEVERS CALLED "BRETHREN" SITE