Information for "Mennonite"

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The Mennonites are Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland (at that time, a part of the Holy Roman Empire). Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their radical belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In contemporary 21st-century society, Mennonites either are described only as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination. There is controversy among Mennonites about this issue, with some insisting that they are simply a religious group while others argue that they form a distinct ethnic group.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Some historians and sociologists treat Mennonites as an ethno-religious group,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> while other historians challenge that perception.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> There is also a discussion about the term "ethnic Mennonite". Conservative Mennonite groups, who speak Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch (Low German), or Bernese German fit well into the definition of an ethnic group, while more liberal groups and converts in developing countries do not.

There are about 2.1 million Anabaptists worldwide as of 2015 (including Mennonites, Amish, Mennonite Brethren, and many other Anabaptist groups formally part of the Mennonite World Conference).<ref name="membershipNumbers"/> Mennonite congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population. The largest populations of Mennonites are in India, Ethiopia,<ref name=Szdfan>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United States. Mennonites can also be found in tight-knit communities in at least 87 countries on six continents or scattered amongst the populace of those countries. There are German Mennonite colonies in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and Paraguay,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> who are mostly descendants of Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites who formed as a German ethnic group in what is today Ukraine. A small Mennonite congregation continues in the Netherlands where Simons was born.

The Mennonite Disaster Service,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> based in North America, provides both immediate and long-term responses to hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. Mennonite Central Committee provides disaster relief around the world alongside their long-term international development programs. Other programs offer a variety of relief efforts and services throughout the world.

Since the latter part of the 20th century, some Mennonite groups have become more actively involved with peace and social justice issues, helping to found Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Conciliation Service.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Mennonite sections
Intro  Radical Reformation  Fragmentation and variation  Russian Mennonites  Jakob Ammann and the Amish schisms  North America  Theology  Worship, doctrine, and tradition  Membership  See also  Notes  Further reading  External links  

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Page creatorBender235 (Talk | contribs)
Date of page creation22:26, 25 October 2015
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