History: When Mennonites persecuted Mennonites

Jun 18, 2018 by

Since Anabaptism’s birth nearly five centuries ago, adherents have been persecuted for their faith by civil authorities, from Austrian archdukes to American courts to Vietnamese police. For the Mennonite...

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History: A Beachy Amish dalliance while on the lam

May 7, 2018 by

He arrived in the Beachy Amish community as Bill Sousa, a drifter with an aimless soul. He left as Ernest Collins, a convicted felon who rejected his brief dalliance with Anabaptism. Nearly 40 years later, his...

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History: How confirmation came to be

Mar 26, 2018 by

Martin Bucer has been called “the father of Protestant confirmation.” That makes the early Anabaptists, particularly Pilgram Marpeck, grandparents of the now-common rite. Bucer was a Catholic monk who was...

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History: Lancaster chooses its own path

Feb 12, 2018 by

Lancaster Mennonite Conference’s divorce from Mennonite Church USA became official Jan. 1. The separation reflects the tensions that have plagued the denomination since its inception, but it says more about...

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History: Remembering some anniversaries

Jan 1, 2018 by

As 2017 passes into the annals of history, let’s remember some of the year’s more important and interesting Anabaptist anniversaries. 475 years ago (1542) — Authorities in Leeuwarden, capital of the...

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Book review: ‘Plain Meetinghouses’

Dec 4, 2017 by

With all the attention given to the way plain Anabaptists live their daily lives, it’s easy to forget that they are, at a fundamental level, a worshiping people. Beth Oberholtzer and John Herr have created...

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History: Alternative history — what if?

Nov 20, 2017 by

What if? It’s one of the great history games, speculating on alternative outcomes if events had happened differently. What if Abraham Lincoln had decided not to go to the theater on April 14, 1865? What if...

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Still BIC but no longer Brethren

Oct 30, 2017 by and

The Canadian BIC has swapped a noun for a verb. After years as the Brethren in Christ, the 67-congregation Anabaptist denomination has renamed itself the Be in Christ Church of Canada. The change, which had...

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Yoders celebrate 300 years in America

Oct 9, 2017 by and

SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. — Perhaps no other name is as closely linked with the American Mennonite and Amish faiths than Yoder. It’s the 598th most common last name in the United States, according to the U.S....

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History: Catalyst of Anabaptist ideas

Oct 9, 2017 by

Five hundred years ago, on Oct. 31, 1517, German monk and theology professor Martin Luther challenged the Roman Catholic Church by nailing his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg. This simple act ...

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History: White supremacist’s racist ‘faith’

Aug 28, 2017 by

More than 5,200 miles separate Charlottesville, Va., from the now-disappeared Russian Mennonite col­ony of Molotschna. But according to the geography of racial and ethnic hatred, they’re located virtually...

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Book review: ‘Re-Envisioning Service’

Jul 31, 2017 by

The greatest success of the Civilian Public Service era is not the effect it had on the church during World War II, as significant as that was. Rather, its crowning achievement was the resulting ethos of...

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History: Bethlehem ’83: coming together and apart

Jul 17, 2017 by

When the General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church met in Bethlehem, Pa., in 1983 for their first joint convention, MC moderator Ross Bender and his GC counterpart, Jacob Tilitzky, placed their...

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Guatemalan seminary leader knows Jesus heals

Jun 12, 2017 by and

ELKHART, Ind. — Willi Hugo Perez was 10 years old when he lost his father. During Guate­mala’s 36-year civil war, Marco Tulio Perez was accused of being a communist, tortured in front of his family and...

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Freeman Academy confronts its rural challenges

May 1, 2017 by and

FREEMAN, S.D. — The clanging and clinking of plates, cutlery, pots and pans. The metallic hum of the sausage grinder. The sizzle of New Year’s cookies in the fryer. The wafting strains of music. The...

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History: An antiwar conspiracy?

Apr 24, 2017 by

The president had squeaked by in the general election. A key plank in his platform had been opposition to foreign military intervention. But in a matter of months after his inauguration, he reversed...

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History: The ‘Anabaptists’ who weren’t

Jan 30, 2017 by

Before the Radical Reformation and before the Protestant Reformation were the Waldensians. While Protestant Christianity celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2017 and Anabaptists prepare to do likewise in eight...

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Book review: ‘Righting America at the Creation Museum’

Jan 16, 2017 by

Susan L. Trollinger and Wil­liam Vance Trollinger Jr. describe the Creation Museum as an arsenal for the Christian Right’s culture wars. It’s an apt analogy, but perhaps a better comparison would be a...

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History: Who can get the Amish vote?

Nov 7, 2016 by

Despite a drive to garner Old Order Amish votes this year, historical evidence suggests Donald Trump won’t get them as tries to become the 45th president of the United States. Two Republican operatives...

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The CO Mennonites once found objectionable

Aug 15, 2016 by

Nearly 50 years ago, the self-proclaimed greatest boxer of all time became the greatest religious conscientious objector to war of all time. Because of his Muslim faith, Muhammad Ali, the talented and...

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