East Germany history an unfinished conversation

Jun 22, 2020 by and

Bruno Götzke, a Mennonite pastor and refu­gee from East Prussia, sensed early in 1953 the police were taking too much interest in his efforts to establish roughly a dozen new centers of worship for...

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History: Inventors improved the harvest

Jun 15, 2020 by

Summer is here and with it farmers’ annual hopes for plentiful yields of wheat, oats and other crops. The equipment to harvest those crops has improved dramatically over the years, and three Mennonite...

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Agreement clears way for Swiss fortress exhibit

Jun 1, 2020 by and

Anabaptists in Switzerland spent centuries avoiding a fortress that served as a prison. Now, after more than a decade of effort, a group of Swiss Mennonites is on the cusp of finally getting back in. The Swiss...

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Book review: Seditions, Confusion and Tumult

May 18, 2020 by

The question left Layton Boyd Friesen befuddled: Why were the 16th-century Anabaptists so reviled and persecuted? The answer Friesen had learned — that they lived in an age when people ­didn’t tolerate...

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Should Anabaptists still rebaptize?

Apr 20, 2020 by

“Anabaptist” literally means to rebaptize. This was a nickname given to a group of radical reformers in the 16th century. A number of denominations have sprung from this movement. Adult believers baptism...

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A personal Anabaptist political manifesto

Dec 23, 2019 by

“The worldly are armed with steel and iron, but Christians are armed with the armor of God, with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and with the Word of God.” Schleitheim Brotherly Union,...

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History: From Dirk Willems to Hurricane Camille

Dec 23, 2019 by

Another year is about to pass into history. But before it does, let’s recognize some of the anniversaries of 2019 that commemorated special events and developments in the annals of Anabaptism. 450 years ago...

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History: Mennonite sisterhood of service

Nov 11, 2019 by

In 1890, American Mennonite women had few opportunities to serve the church in a formal capacity. Pastoral ministry was reserved for men, and Mennonite mission work was still in its infancy. David ­Goerz...

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Welcome the stranger

Oct 28, 2019 by

Anabaptist history is defined by migrations, typically to escape persecution or pursue opportunity. What can get overlooked, on the flip side, is the welcome that made each chapter possible. Northern German...

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Heifer International celebrates 75 years

Oct 21, 2019 by and

CASTAÑER, Puerto Rico — Over 75 years of service around the world, Heifer International has helped bring more than 34 million families out of poverty. It all began in Puerto Rico as a project of the Church...

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History: How Congo became a Mennonite stronghold

Sep 30, 2019 by

Aaron Janzen believed passionately in missions. A member of the Mennonite Brethren from Mountain Lake, Minn., he wrote of the value of leaving “homeland, kin and kindred, ease, comfort, physical and...

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History: Enduring witness of the ‘Bloody Theater’

Aug 19, 2019 by

The 17th century has been called the Dutch Golden Age, when the Nether-lands rose to international prominence in commerce, art and science. It was a gleaming era of prosperity for many, including...

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From Zimbabwe to the world

Aug 5, 2019 by and

HESSTON, Kan. — The growth of early shares in companies like Microsoft and Apple pales in comparison to Jacob E. Stauffer’s 1894 investment in Brethren in Christ missions. His $5 gift at a general...

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History: Big family begat bigger church

Jul 8, 2019 by

Christian (1788-1846) and Christiana Buzzard Holdeman (1788-1865) had Mennonite church leaders in their family tree. Christian’s father had been a minister, while Christiana’s great-grandfather was the...

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MCC celebrates, serves where its work began

Jul 1, 2019 by and

KHORTITSA, Ukraine — Under shade trees in a city park on June 16, about 40 Anabaptists shared a picnic of corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa. The unusual menu held symbolic meaning. It was a “relief...

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The central purpose

Jul 1, 2019 by

Mennonite Central Committee wasn’t meant to last 100 years. In the beginning, it was, in fact, a committee, with a specific task — to save the lives of starving Mennonites in Ukraine. It proved too good an...

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‘500-year-old Bible study’ resumes

Jun 24, 2019 by and

ZURICH, Switzerland — Five centuries after Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli suggested Anabaptists be “cast to the ravens,” Anabaptists from Mennonite World Conference are joining spiritual descendants of...

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Book review: Captive

Jun 10, 2019 by

Captive is a coming-of-age novel about friendship and self-discovery in the context of war, pacifism and the little-known story of German prisoners of war in the United States during World War II. About...

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Nonconformity’s perils

May 13, 2019 by

Born from schism as a mark of truest obedience to the Lord, Anabaptists are better at breaking than binding. When the Reformation didn’t reform enough 500 years ago, Anabaptists went further, many paying the...

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Swiss forgive, don’t forget

May 6, 2019 by and

It took about 490 years for government officials in Bern, Switzerland, to ask forgiveness for persecution of Anabaptists. It took less than two to get a response from Swiss Mennonites. Delegates from every...

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Embarrassing graffiti

Apr 29, 2019 by

I agree with the concern expressed by Tim Huber in “Shame­ful Tourists” (Editorials, April 1). This past year, we visited the Trachselwald castle along with our tour group (TourMagination, “Life and...

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Shameful tourists

Apr 1, 2019 by

Switzerland is a land of beauty and Anabaptist history. Many North American Mennonite and Amish people visit to get in touch with their faith’s roots. Most Swiss hosts are too gracious and polite to offer...

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Anabaptists: best supporting actors

Feb 25, 2019 by and

A new film dramatizing the life of Reformation leader Ulrich Zwingli is giving moviegoers a chance to see early Swiss Anabaptist leaders on the big screen — as long as they can get to Switzerland. The...

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Great Trek’s legacy

Feb 18, 2019 by and

The 39 families who followed Claas Epp into the Central Asian wilderness to avoid military conscription and meet Christ’s return in the late 19th century have received undo derision from descendants of other...

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Long-delayed exhibit is set to open in Uzbekistan

Feb 18, 2019 by and

A decade after its opening was canceled, a historical exhibit about a band of Mennonites from Ukraine who migrated far eastward in the 1880s to avoid military service and meet Christ’s return will finally go...

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