13 Facts About Anabaptists


Early Anabaptists formulated their beliefs in a confession of faith called the Schleitheim Confession.

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Anabaptists believe that baptism is valid only when candidates freely confess their faith in Christ and request to be baptized.

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Anabaptists require that baptismal candidates be able to make a confession of faith that is freely chosen and so rejected baptism of infants.

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Anabaptists were heavily persecuted by state churches, both Magisterial Protestants and Roman Catholics, beginning in the 16th century and continuing thereafter, largely because of their interpretation of scripture, which put them at odds with official state church interpretations and local government control.

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Anabaptists are considered to have begun with the Radical Reformation in the 16th century, but historians classify certain people and groups as their forerunners because of a similar approach to the interpretation and application of the Bible.

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Medieval dissenters and Anabaptists who held to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount share in common the following affirmations:.

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Research on the origins of the Anabaptists has been tainted both by the attempts of their enemies to slander them and by the attempts of their supporters to vindicate them.

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Persecution of Anabaptists was condoned by the ancient laws of Theodosius I and Justinian I which were passed against the Donatists, and decreed the death penalty for anyone who practised rebaptism.

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Unlike Calvinists, Anabaptists failed to gain recognition in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 and as a result, they continued to be persecuted in Europe long after that treaty was signed.

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Anabaptists heavily emphasize the importance of obedience in the salvation journey of a believer.

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Anabaptists insisted upon the "free course" of the Holy Spirit in worship, yet still maintained it all must be judged according to the Scriptures.

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Neo-Anabaptists have been noted for their "low church, counter-cultural, prophetic-stance-against-empire ethos" as well as for their focus on pacifism, social justice and poverty.

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Anabaptists were early promoters of a free church and freedom of religion.

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