25 Facts About Mennonites


Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons of Friesland.

FactSnippet No. 633,600

Mennonites can be found in communities in 87 countries on six continents.

FactSnippet No. 633,601

Early history of the Mennonites starts with the Anabaptists in the German and Dutch-speaking regions of central Europe.

FactSnippet No. 633,602

Mennonites questioned the doctrine of transubstantiation but was reluctant to leave the Roman Catholic Church.

FactSnippet No. 633,603

Mennonites soon became a leader within the Anabaptist movement and was wanted by authorities for the rest of his life.

FactSnippet No. 633,604

Mennonites's name became associated with scattered groups of nonviolent Anabaptists whom he helped to organize and consolidate.

FactSnippet No. 633,605

Mennonites had to build their churches facing onto back streets or alleys, and they were forbidden from announcing the beginning of services with the sound of a bell.

FactSnippet No. 633,606

Some branches of Mennonites have retained this "plain" lifestyle into modern times.

FactSnippet No. 633,607

Traditionally, Mennonites sought to continue the beliefs of early Christianity and thus practice the lovefeast, headcovering, nonresistance, the sharing of possessions and nonconformity to the world; these things are heavily emphasized in Old Order Mennonite and Conservative Mennonite denominations.

FactSnippet No. 633,608

Moderate Mennonites include the largest denominations, the Mennonite Brethren and the Mennonite Church.

FactSnippet No. 633,609

The Holdeman Mennonites do not believe that the use of modern technology is a sin in itself, but they discourage too intensive a use of the Internet and avoid television, cameras and radio.

FactSnippet No. 633,610

Conservative Mennonites are generally considered those Mennonites who maintain somewhat conservative dress, although carefully accepting other technology.

FactSnippet No. 633,611

Russian government officials invited Mennonites living in the Kingdom of Prussia to farm the Ukrainian steppes depopulated by Tatar raids in exchange for religious freedom and military exemption.

FactSnippet No. 633,612

Beyond expropriation, Mennonites suffered severe persecution during the course of the Civil War, at the hands of workers, the Bolsheviks and, particularly, the Anarcho-Communists of Nestor Makhno, who considered the Mennonites to be privileged foreigners of the upper class and targeted them.

FactSnippet No. 633,613

Many Russian Mennonites actively collaborated with the Nazis, including in the rounding up and extermination of their Jewish neighbors, although some resisted them.

FactSnippet No. 633,614

Many German-Russian Mennonites who lived to the east were deported to Siberia before the German army's invasion and were often placed in labor camps.

FactSnippet No. 633,615

World's most conservative Mennonites are the Mennonites affiliated with the Lower and Upper Barton Creek Colonies in Belize.

FactSnippet No. 633,616

Swiss-German Mennonites who immigrated to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries and settled first in Pennsylvania, then across the midwestern states, are the root of the former Mennonite Church denomination, colloquially called the "Old Mennonite Church".

FactSnippet No. 633,617

Conservative Mennonites include numerous groups that identify with the more conservative or traditional element among Mennonite or Anabaptist groups but not necessarily Old Order groups.

FactSnippet No. 633,618

Old Colony Mennonites are conservative Mennonite groups who are the majority of German speaking so-called Russian Mennonites that originated in the Chortitza Colony in Russia, including the Chortitza, Reinlander, and Sommerfelder groups, which are now most common in Latin America and Canada.

FactSnippet No. 633,619

In contemporary society, Mennonites are described either as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins, or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination.

FactSnippet No. 633,620

Switzerland had 2350 Mennonites belonging to 14 Congregations which are part of the Konferenz der Mennoniten der Schweiz, Conference mennonite suisse .

FactSnippet No. 633,621

Mennonites have been portrayed in many areas of popular culture, especially literature, film, and television.

FactSnippet No. 633,622

Notable novels about or written by Mennonites include A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, Peace Shall Destroy Many by Rudy Wiebe, The Salvation of Yasch Siemens by Armin Wiebe, A Year of Lesser by David Bergen, A Dream of a Woman by Casey Plett, and Once Removed by Andrew Unger.

FactSnippet No. 633,623

Mennonites have been depicted on television, including the show Pure, and in episodes of Schitt's Creek, Letterkenny and The Simpsons, which was created by Matt Groening, himself of Russian Mennonite descent.

FactSnippet No. 633,624