24 Facts About Russian Mennonites


Russian Mennonites are traditionally multilingual with Plautdietsch as their first language and lingua franca.

FactSnippet No. 472,199

Term "Russian Mennonites Mennonite" refers to the country where they resided before their immigration to the Americas and not to their ethnic heritage.

FactSnippet No. 472,200

Russian Mennonites lived alongside Nogais—semi-nomadic pastoralists—in the Molotschna region of southern Ukraine starting from 1803, when Russian Mennonites first arrived, until 1860, when the Nogai Tatars departed.

FactSnippet No. 472,201

Russian Mennonites provided agricultural jobs to Nogais and rented pasture from them.

FactSnippet No. 472,202

The Russian Mennonites government permitted farms to be divided in half or quarters and ordered release of the village's communal land.

FactSnippet No. 472,203

Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, commonly referred to as Holdeman Mennonites after the founder of the church, is a theologically conservative plain dress denomination founded in the United States but made up primarily of descendants of Russian Mennonites, including many former members of the Kleine Gemeinde.

FactSnippet No. 472,204

Main body of Russian Mennonites continued to be congregational in organization until 1882 when the General Conference of Mennonite Congregations in Russia was formed.

FactSnippet No. 472,205

Russian Mennonites associated with many Mennonite leaders, including Leonhard Sudermann.

FactSnippet No. 472,206

In 1859, Joseph Hottmann, a former associate of Wust met with a group of Russian Mennonites to discuss problems within the main Mennonite body.

FactSnippet No. 472,207

Old Colony Russian Mennonites consist of a number of groups that are still quite conservative, including Sommerfelder, Reinlander, and Old Colony, as well as groups that are no longer as conservative such as the Christian Mennonite Conference, which is evangelical in doctrine.

FactSnippet No. 472,208

Russian Mennonites were particularly alarmed at the possibility of losing their exemption from military service and their right for schools to use the German language, which they believed was necessary to maintain their cultural and religious life.

FactSnippet No. 472,209

Russian Mennonites's intervention convinced the more liberal Mennonites to stay.

FactSnippet No. 472,210

The precedent of non-resistant national service had been established years before and the Russian Mennonites therefore had a system to handle military service requests at the outbreak of war.

FactSnippet No. 472,211

Russian Mennonites played a central role in exploiting slave labor at Stutthof concentration camp, and some, recruited into SS units, served as guards at concentration camps or perpetrated massacres.

FactSnippet No. 472,212

Russian Mennonites settled much of South Central Kansas, which owes its reputation as a wheat-producing state in large measure to its early Mennonite settlers.

FactSnippet No. 472,213

The following year the Russian Mennonites, who had experience with dry land farming in Russia, quickly took advantage of its characteristics, resulting in rapid expansion of the milling industry in the state.

FactSnippet No. 472,214

The Russian Mennonites settled mostly in Manitoba in areas east and west of the Red River, called East Reserve and West Reserve.

FactSnippet No. 472,215

Second wave of Russian Mennonites came out of Russia after the bloody strife following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and a third wave in the aftermath of World War I These people, having lost everything they had known, found their way to settlements in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario and in many regions of the United States.

FactSnippet No. 472,216

Emigration from Canada to Mexico and Paraguay in the 1920s was a reaction to the introduction of universal, secular compulsory education in 1917 requiring the use of the English language, which the more conservative Russian Mennonites saw as a threat to the religious basis of their community.

FactSnippet No. 472,217

Neuland and Volendam Colonies were founded 1947 by Russian Mennonites who fled the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.

FactSnippet No. 472,218

All other Mennonite colonies in Latin America were formed by Russian Mennonites who settled in North America since 1870, partly via Mexico and Belize.

FactSnippet No. 472,219

Bolivia soon became the refuge for Russian Mennonites who wanted to flee the influences of modern society.

FactSnippet No. 472,220

Old Colony Russian Mennonites went from Mexico to Belize in 1959 and to Argentina in 1986.

FactSnippet No. 472,221

Worsening poverty, water shortages and drug-related violence across northern Mexico have provoked large numbers of Russian Mennonites living in the Mexican states of Durango and Chihuahua to relocate abroad in recent years, especially to Canada and other regions of Latin America.

FactSnippet No. 472,222