What do the Taeufer believe

Anabaptists

Anabaptism is a specific form of Christianity. These Christians find that one should take Jesus Christ as an example. You are against violence and want to live in a community in which believers have equal rights.

There were and are many different groups of Anabaptists. They got their name because they think baptism is particularly important. They mean that one should not be baptized as a baby, but as an adolescent or an adult. Only then can one understand what it is about: through baptism one becomes a member of the community of believers.

For a while they were also called Anabaptists. The Greek word anabaptists means the same thing. When Anabaptism arose, Christians in Europe were all baptized as infants. That is why they had to be baptized again as adults, the Anabaptists found.

Why were Anabaptists persecuted?

Anneken Hendriks was a woman in the Netherlands. She was cremated 500 years ago: she was found to be an Anabaptist.

Anabaptism emerged after 1500, as did the Reformation. The Anabaptists were often persecuted: unlike most Protestants, they did not want to serve the state. Because if you are a judge or a soldier, for example, you sometimes have to approve of violence.

A few Anabaptist groups were in favor of violence. They wanted to force other Christians to become Baptists too. Or they were for the peasants in the peasant wars.

In the city of Munster in Westphalia, one group even managed to become rulers. These Anabaptists from Munster killed many of their opponents. However, this Anabaptist was probably not so much concerned with faith, but above all with power and money.

Who are the Anabaptists today?

In a Hutterite school, an Anabaptist community

Most of the Anabaptists today do not live in Europe, but in America or Russia. They emigrated there centuries ago. Many of them still speak German or a German dialect. The most famous and largest groups are the Amish, the Mennonites and the Hutterites.

The Amish are about 300,000 people in the United States, mostly in the northeast of the country. They want to live like they did 500 years ago, without cars and without electricity. As a result, they do not use radios or televisions, computers, cell phones and similar devices. Instead of zippers, they use buttons and many similar things. They are very religious but peaceful. If you want to punish someone badly, don't talk to him anymore. The Hutterites come from Switzerland and other countries. They too emigrated to North America, albeit much later.

Mennonites get their name from Menno Simons. 500 years ago he lived in the Netherlands, more precisely in Friesland. Mennonites live in North America, South America, and Russia. Some live just as strictly and traditionally as the Amish and the Hutterites.

  • Menno Simons was a pastor from Friesland.

  • Amish people still travel by horse and cart, not in a car.


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