Statue to honor martyr

Jun 18, 2018 by and

STEINBACH, Man. — Manitoba sculptor Peter Sawatzky has been commissioned to create a bronze statue of martyred Anabaptist Dirk Willems. Based on an engraving of Willems by Jan Luyken in Martyrs Mirror, the...

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Group seeks forgiveness for trauma of Münster

Jun 11, 2018 by , and

MÜNSTER, Germany — An unprecedented time of forgiveness came in May to the site of a notorious and violent Anabaptist uprising. A litany of healing and exchanges of understanding were part of a national...

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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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No guarantees for this life

Mar 5, 2018 by

God doesn’t promise that if we obey him we will have an awesome life. Nor a decent life. Or even life itself. Anneken Jans was a young heiress who chose to be baptized as an adult, an illegal practice in the...

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Shaped by persecution

Jan 29, 2018 by

As part of a privileged Christian majority, do Mennonites in North America still carry remnants of their martyr past? For centuries, persecution shaped the character of Mennonite communities. Early Anabaptists...

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Account of an Anabaptist immigrant

Jan 10, 2018 by

My name is Henry Clemmer. I was Henrich (or Heinrich) until I immigrated to an English-speaking colony in Pennsylvania. My last name also has many variations in Switzerland from where my family originates:...

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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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Former prison becomes Swiss Mennonite couple’s home

Dec 11, 2017 by and

Spears to pruning hooks. Swords to plowshares. And since April 1, Anabaptist prison to cozy apartment. Already a tourist hotspot for Mennonites, portions of Trachselwald Castle could even become an...

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Did the Anabaptist reformers ‘win’?

Nov 29, 2017 by and

Theologian Karl Barth, a supreme definer of Christianity in the twentieth century, continues to influence Christian thinkers, notably with his admonition, “The church must always be reformed.” Not many...

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Swiss official offers apology for persecution

Nov 27, 2017 by and

It can’t change the past, but it can impact the future. In surprise comments delivered in early November, a government official in Bern, Switz­erland, requested forgiveness for persecution by the church and...

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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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What faith cannot do

Oct 30, 2017 by

Faith is a miracle worker. It moves mountains and heals the sick and brings about the impossible. Faith is the evidence of a world unseen. But did you know that there is something faith cannot do? The past few...

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Anabaptists only one facet of World War I dissent

Oct 24, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many events have honored heroism and sacrifice during World War I, a different kind of conference gathered in an unlikely place to pay tribute to those who opposed the Great War a...

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‘Muted Voices’ conference recalls Hutterite martyrs

Oct 23, 2017 by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The tale of four Hutterite conscientious objectors who refused even to wear a military uniform, let alone serve in the U.S. Army during World War I, is well known in Hutterite colonies and...

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Fundamentally flawed: How Mennonites failed to be faithful

Oct 23, 2017 by

I grew up believing my Mennonite religious tradition originated as a part of the Anabaptist movement. I would’ve been incredulous if someone had told me then that our theological underpinnings originated...

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No halfway liberty

Oct 9, 2017 by

The protest that shook the world began 500 years ago this month. On a church door in the Saxon town of Wittenberg, an obscure German monk posted 95 statements of dispute with Catholicism. It was Oct. 31, 1517....

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Muted voices in World War I, and today

Sep 12, 2017 by and

An unsuccessful effort to locate artifacts related to World War I conscientious objection was an unexpected blessing for developers of an exhibit that will be featured at a symposium on the topic this October...

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Hutterite elder sought progress, lamented division

Sep 5, 2017 by and

Jacob Kleinsasser, a Hutterite elder whose broad vision for the betterment of Hutterite society included embracing education as a positive force, died Aug. 8 at Crystal Spring Hutterite Community in Manitoba....

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Would we stand strong?

Jul 13, 2017 by and

Six Brethren were arrested 300 years ago in Solingen, Germany. What was their crime? In 1716, the six men, ages 22 to 33, had been baptized as adults. This crime was a capital offense, the punishment could be...

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‘From death to life’

Mar 27, 2017 by

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. — Col. 3:15 On Easter morning in April 1528 in Augsburg, Germany, almost 100 Anabaptists were rounded up by...

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Transformed by the Word

Mar 23, 2017 by

Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events launched by Mennonite World Conference to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. “Transformed by the Word: Reading Scripture in...

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Book review: ‘Martyrs Mirror: A Social History’

Feb 27, 2017 by

Martyrs Mirror has shaped the Anabaptist tradition more powerfully than any book besides the Bible. That is the premise of David L. Weaver-Zercher’s masterful new history of Thieleman J. van Braght’s...

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Remembering a faith journey of 500 years

Feb 20, 2017 by and

AUGSBURG, Germany — A Mennonite World Conference event looking forward to the 500th anniversary of Anabaptism looked back on the movement’s foundation in the primacy of Scripture. Regional Anabaptists and...

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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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Reformation at 500

Jan 30, 2017 by

Mennonites have claimed to be a “third-way” movement, neither Catholic nor Protestant. Yet we descend from the Protestant Reformation. Anabaptism emerged from the religious and political protest Martin...

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