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The Mennonites
Mennonites
are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist
Anabaptist
denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland
Friesland
(which today is a province of the Netherlands). Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The early teachings of the Mennonites
Mennonites
were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist
Anabaptist
followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
and Protestant
Protestant
states. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites
Mennonites
have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism.[2] In contemporary 21st-century society, Mennonites
Mennonites
either are described only as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins[3][4] or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination. There is controversy among Mennonites
Mennonites
about this issue, with some insisting that they are simply a religious group while others argue that they form a distinct ethnic group.[5] Historians and sociologists have increasingly started to treat Mennonites
Mennonites
as an ethno-religious group,[6] while others have begun to challenge that perception.[7] There is also a discussion about the term "ethnic Mennonite". Conservative Mennonite
Conservative Mennonite
groups, who speak Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
German, Plautdietsch
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
Anabaptists
worldwide as of 2015 (including Mennonites, Amish, Mennonite
Mennonite
Brethren, Hutterites
Hutterites
and many other Anabaptist
Anabaptist
groups formally part of the Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference).[1] Mennonite
Mennonite
congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite
Mennonite
practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population. Mennonites
Mennonites
can be found in communities in at least 87 countries on six continents. The largest populations of Mennonites
Mennonites
are to be found in Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India and the United States.[8] There are German Mennonite
Mennonite
colonies in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia,[9] Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay,[10] and Paraguay,[11] who are mostly descendants of Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites
Mennonites
who formed as a German ethnic group in what is today Ukraine.[citation needed] Today, fewer than 500 Mennonites
Mennonites
remain in Ukraine.[12] A relatively small Mennonite
Mennonite
presence, known as the Algemene Doopsgezinde Societeit, still continues in the Netherlands, where Simons was born.[13]

Contents

1 Radical Reformation 2 Fragmentation and variation 3 Russian Mennonites 4 Jakob Ammann
Jakob Ammann
and the Amish
Amish
schisms 5 North America

5.1 Moderate to progressive Mennonites

5.1.1 "Old" Mennonite
Mennonite
Church (MC) 5.1.2 Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA 5.1.3 Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada

5.2 Conservative Mennonites 5.3 Old Order Mennonites 5.4 Alternative service 5.5 Schisms 5.6 Schools

5.6.1 Secondary schools

5.6.1.1 Canada 5.6.1.2 United States

5.6.2 Controversy in Quebec 5.6.3 Post-secondary schools

5.6.3.1 Canada 5.6.3.2 United States

5.7 Sexuality, marriage, and family mores

6 Theology 7 Service projects 8 Worship, doctrine, and tradition 9 Membership

9.1 Organization worldwide 9.2 Organization: North America 9.3 Organization: Europe

10 In popular culture 11 See also 12 Notes 13 Further reading 14 External links

Radical Reformation[edit] Main article: Radical Reformation

Spread of the early Anabaptists, 1525–1550

The early history of the Mennonites
Mennonites
starts with the Anabaptists
Anabaptists
in the German and Dutch-speaking parts of central Europe. The German term is "Täufer" or "Wiedertäufer" ("Again-Baptists" or "Anabaptists" using the Greek ana ["again"]). These forerunners of modern Mennonites
Mennonites
were part of the Protestant
Protestant
Reformation, a broad reaction against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church. Its most distinguishing feature is the rejection of infant baptism, an act that had both religious and political meaning since almost every infant born in western Europe was baptized into the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church. Other significant theological views of the Mennonites
Mennonites
developed in opposition to Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
views or to the views of other Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther
Martin Luther
and Huldrych Zwingli. Some of the followers of Zwingli's Reformed church thought that requiring church membership beginning at birth was inconsistent with the New Testament
New Testament
example. They believed that the church should be completely removed from government (the proto–free church tradition), and that individuals should join only when willing to publicly acknowledge belief in Jesus
Jesus
and the desire to live in accordance with his teachings. At a small meeting in Zurich on January 21, 1525, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock, along with twelve others, baptized each other.[14] This meeting marks the beginning of the Anabaptist
Anabaptist
movement. In the spirit of the times, many groups followed, preaching about reducing hierarchy, relations with the state, eschatology, and sexual license, running from utter abandon to extreme chastity. These movements are together referred to as the "Radical Reformation". Many government and religious leaders, both Protestant
Protestant
and Roman Catholic, considered voluntary church membership to be dangerous—the concern of some deepened by reports of the Münster Rebellion, led by a violent sect of Anabaptists. They joined forces to fight the movement, using methods such as banishment, torture, burning, drowning or beheading.[15]:142 Despite strong repressive efforts of the state churches, the movement spread slowly around western Europe, primarily along the Rhine. Officials killed many of the earliest Anabaptist
Anabaptist
leaders in an attempt to purge Europe of the new sect.[15]:142 By 1530, most of the founding leaders had been killed for refusing to renounce their beliefs. Many believed that God did not condone killing or the use of force for any reason and were, therefore, unwilling to fight for their lives. The pacifist branches often survived by seeking refuge in neutral cities or nations, such as Strasbourg. Their safety was often tenuous, as a shift in alliances or an invasion could mean resumed persecution. Other groups of Anabaptists, such as the Batenburgers, were eventually destroyed by their willingness to fight. This played a large part in the evolution of Anabaptist
Anabaptist
theology.

Menno Simons

In the early days of the Anabaptist
Anabaptist
movement, Menno Simons, a Catholic priest in the Low Countries, heard of the movement and started to rethink his Catholic faith. He questioned the doctrine of transubstantiation but was reluctant to leave the Roman Catholic Church. His brother, a member of an Anabaptist
Anabaptist
group, was killed when he and his companions were attacked and refused to defend themselves.[citation needed] In 1536, at the age of 40, Simons left the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church. He soon became a leader within the Anabaptist
Anabaptist
movement and was wanted by authorities for the rest of his life. His name became associated with scattered groups of nonviolent Anabaptists
Anabaptists
whom he helped to organize and consolidate.[citation needed] Fragmentation and variation[edit] During the 16th century, the Mennonites
Mennonites
and other Anabaptists
Anabaptists
were relentlessly persecuted. This period of persecution has had a significant impact on Mennonite
Mennonite
identity. Martyrs Mirror, published in 1660, documents much of the persecution of Anabaptists
Anabaptists
and their predecessors. Today, the book is still the most important book besides the Bible
Bible
for many Mennonites
Mennonites
and Amish, in particular for the Swiss-South German branch of the Mennonites. Persecution was still going on until 1710 in various parts of Switzerland.[16] Disagreements within the church over the years led to other splits; sometimes the reasons were theological, sometimes practical, sometimes geographical.[original research?] For instance, near the beginning of the 20th century, some members in the Amish
Amish
church wanted to begin having Sunday Schools and participate in progressive Protestant-style para-church evangelism. Unable to persuade the rest of the Amish, they separated and formed a number of separate groups including the Conservative Mennonite
Conservative Mennonite
Conference. Mennonites
Mennonites
in Canada and other countries typically have independent denominations because of the practical considerations of distance and, in some cases, language. Many times these divisions took place along family lines, with each extended family supporting their own branch. The first recorded account of this group is in a written order by Countess Anne,[citation needed] who ruled a small province in central Europe. The presence of some small groups of violent Anabaptists
Anabaptists
was causing political and religious turmoil in her state, so she decreed that all Anabaptists
Anabaptists
were to be driven out. The order made an exception for the non-violent branch known at that time as the Menists. Political rulers often admitted the Menists or Mennonites
Mennonites
into their states because they were honest, hardworking and peaceful. When their practices upset the powerful state churches, princes would renege on exemptions for military service, or a new monarch would take power, and the Mennonites
Mennonites
would be forced to flee again, usually leaving everything but their families behind. Often, another monarch in another state would grant them welcome, at least for a while.

Mennonite
Mennonite
churches blended into city architecture to avoid offending the religious sensibilities of the majority. Doopsgezinde Gemeente, Amsterdam.

While Mennonites
Mennonites
in Colonial America
Colonial America
were enjoying considerable religious freedom, their counterparts in Europe continued to struggle with persecution and temporary refuge under certain ruling monarchs. They were sometimes invited to settle in areas of poor soil that no one else could farm. By contrast, in The Netherlands, the Mennonites (nl: Doopsgezinden) enjoyed a relatively high degree of tolerance. The Mennonites
Mennonites
often farmed and reclaimed land in exchange for exemption from mandatory military service.[citation needed] However, once the land was arable again, this arrangement would often change, and the persecution would begin again. Because the land still needed to be tended, the ruler would not drive out the Mennonites
Mennonites
but would pass laws to force them to stay, while at the same time severely limiting their freedom. Mennonites
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. In addition, high taxes were enacted in exchange for both continuing the military service exemption, and to keep the states' best farmers from leaving.[citation needed] In some cases, the entire congregation would give up their belongings to pay the tax to be allowed to leave. If a member or family could not afford the tax, it was often paid by others in the group. A strong emphasis on "community" was developed under these circumstances. It continues to be typical of Mennonite
Mennonite
churches. As a result of frequently being required to give up possessions in order to retain individual freedoms, Mennonites
Mennonites
learned to live very simply. This was reflected both in the home and at church, where their dress and their buildings were plain. The music at church, usually simple German chorales, was performed a cappella. This style of music serves as a reminder to many Mennonites
Mennonites
of their simple lives, as well as their history as a persecuted people. Some branches of Mennonites
Mennonites
have retained this "plain" lifestyle into modern times. Russian Mennonites[edit] Main article: Russian Mennonite The "Russian Mennonites" (German: "Russlandmennoniten")[17] today are of German language, tradition and ethnicity. They are descended from Dutch Anabaptists, who came from the Netherlands and started around 1530 to settle around Danzig and in West Prussia, where they lived for about 250 years. During that time they mixed with German Mennonites from different regions. Starting 1791 they established colonies in the south-west of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
(present-day Ukraine). Their ethno-language is Plautdietsch, a German dialect of the East Low German group, with some Dutch admixture. Today the majority of traditional Russian Mennonites
Mennonites
uses Standard German
Standard German
in church and for reading and writing. In the 1770s Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great
of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
acquired a great deal of land north of the Black Sea
Black Sea
(in present-day Ukraine) following the Russo-Turkish War and the takeover of the Ottoman vassal, the Crimean Khanate. Russian government officials invited Mennonites
Mennonites
living in the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
to farm the Ukrainian steppes depopulated by Tatar raids in exchange for religious freedom and military exemption. Over the years the Mennonite
Mennonite
farmers were very successful. Between 1874 and 1880 some 16,000 Mennonites
Mennonites
of approximately 45,000 left Russia. About nine thousand departed for the United States (mainly Kansas
Kansas
and Nebraska) and seven thousand for Canada (mainly Manitoba). In the 1920s Russian Mennonites
Mennonites
from Canada started to migrate to Latin America (Mexico and Paraguay), soon followed by Mennonite
Mennonite
refugees from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Further migrations of these Mennonites
Mennonites
led to settlements in Brazil, Uruguay, Belize, Bolivia and Argentina. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Mennonites
Mennonites
in Russia owned large agricultural estates and some had become successful as industrial entrepreneurs in the cities, employing wage labor. After the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
and the Russian Civil War (1917–1921), all of these farms (whose owners were called Kulaks) and enterprises were expropriated by local peasants or the Soviet government. Beyond expropriation, Mennonites
Mennonites
suffered severe persecution during the course of the Civil War, at the hands of workers, the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
and, particularly, the Anarcho-Communists of Nestor Makhno, who considered the Mennonites
Mennonites
to be privileged foreigners of the upper class and targeted them. During expropriation, hundreds of Mennonite
Mennonite
men, women and children were murdered in these attacks.[18] After the Ukrainian–Soviet War
Ukrainian–Soviet War
and the takeover of Ukraine by the Soviet Bolsheviks, people who openly practiced religion were in many cases imprisoned by the Soviet government. This led to a wave of Mennonite
Mennonite
emigration to the Americas (U.S., Canada and Paraguay). When the German army invaded the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the summer of 1941 during World War II, many in the Mennonite
Mennonite
community perceived them as liberators from the communist regime under which they had suffered. When the tide of war turned, many of the Mennonites
Mennonites
fled with the German army back to Germany where they were accepted as Volksdeutsche. The Soviet government believed that the Mennonites
Mennonites
had "collectively collaborated" with the Germans. After the war, many of the Mennonites in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
were forcibly relocated to Siberia
Siberia
and Kazakhstan and many were sent to gulags, as part of the Soviet program of mass internal deportations of various ethnic groups whose loyalty was seen as questionable. Many German-Russian Mennonites
Mennonites
who lived to the east (not in Ukraine) were deported to Siberia
Siberia
before the German army's invasion and were also often placed in labor camps. In the decades that followed, as the Soviet regime became less brutal, a number of Mennonites
Mennonites
returned to Ukraine and Western Russia where they had formerly lived. In the 1990s the governments of Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine gave these people the opportunity to emigrate, and the vast majority emigrated to Germany. The Russian Mennonite
Russian Mennonite
immigrants in Germany from the 1990s outnumber the pre-1989 community of Mennonites by three to one. By 2015 the majority of Russian Mennonites
Mennonites
live in Latin America, while tens of thousands live in Germany and Canada. The world's most conservative Mennonites
Mennonites
(in terms of culture and technology) are the Mennonites
Mennonites
affiliated with the Lower and Upper Barton Creek Colonies in Belize. Lower Barton is inhabited by Plautdietsch
Plautdietsch
speaking Russian Mennonites, whereas Upper Barton Creek is mainly inhabited by Pennsylvania German
Pennsylvania German
speaking Mennonites
Mennonites
from North America. Both groups do not use motors and paint.[19] Jakob Ammann
Jakob Ammann
and the Amish
Amish
schisms[edit] Main articles: Amish
Amish
and Subgroups of Amish In 1693 Jakob Ammann
Jakob Ammann
led an effort to reform the Mennonite
Mennonite
church in Switzerland and South Germany to include shunning, to hold communion more often, and other differences. When the discussions fell through, Ammann and his followers split from the other Mennonite
Mennonite
congregations. Ammann's followers became known as the Amish
Amish
Mennonites
Mennonites
or just Amish. In later years, other schisms among Amish
Amish
resulted in such groups as the Old Order Amish, New Order Amish, Kaufman Amish
Amish
Mennonites, Conservative Mennonite
Conservative Mennonite
Conference and Biblical Mennonite
Mennonite
Alliance. North America[edit]

Germantown Mennonite
Mennonite
Meetinghouse, built 1770

Ten Thousand Villages
Ten Thousand Villages
Store in New Hamburg, Ontario

Persecution and the search for employment forced Mennonites
Mennonites
out of the Netherlands eastward to Germany in the 17th century. As Quaker Evangelists moved into Germany they received a sympathetic audience among the larger of these German- Mennonite
Mennonite
congregations around Krefeld, Altona-Hamburg, Gronau and Emden.[20] It was among this group of Quakers
Quakers
and Mennonites, living under ongoing discrimination, that William Penn
William Penn
solicited settlers for his new colony. The first permanent settlement of Mennonites
Mennonites
in the American colonies consisted of one Mennonite
Mennonite
family and twelve Mennonite-Quaker[21] families of German extraction who arrived from Krefeld, Germany, in 1683 and settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Among these early settlers was William Rittenhouse, a lay minister and owner of the first American paper mill. Jacob Gottschalk was the first bishop of this Germantown congregation. This early group of Mennonites
Mennonites
and Mennonite-Quakers wrote the first formal protest against slavery in the United States. The treatise was addressed to slave-holding Quakers
Quakers
in an effort to persuade them to change their ways.[22] In the early 18th century, 100,000 Germans from the Palatinate emigrated to Pennsylvania, where they became known collectively as the Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Dutch (from the Anglicization of Deutsch or German.) The area had been repeatedly overrun by the French in religious wars, and Queen Anne had invited the Germans to go to the British colonies. Of these immigrants, around 2,500 were Mennonites
Mennonites
and 500 were Amish.[23] This group settled farther west than the first group, choosing less expensive land in the Lancaster area. The oldest Mennonite meetinghouse in the United States is the Hans Herr House
Hans Herr House
in West Lampeter Township.[24] A member of this second group, Christopher Dock, authored Pedagogy, the first American monograph on education. Today, Mennonites
Mennonites
also reside in Kishacoquillas Valley
Kishacoquillas Valley
(also known as Big Valley), a valley in Huntingdon and Mifflin counties in Pennsylvania. During the Colonial period, Mennonites
Mennonites
were distinguished from other Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Germans in three ways:[25] their opposition to the American Revolutionary War, which other German settlers participated in on both sides; resistance to public education; and disapproval of religious revivalism. Contributions of Mennonites
Mennonites
during this period include the idea of separation of church and state and opposition to slavery. From 1812 to 1860, another wave of Mennonite
Mennonite
immigrants settled farther west in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois
Illinois
and Missouri. These Swiss-German speaking Mennonites, along with Amish, came from Switzerland and the Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
area. These immigrants, along with the Amish
Amish
of northern New York State, formed the nucleus of the Apostolic Christian Church
Apostolic Christian Church
in the United States. There were also Mennonite
Mennonite
settlements in Canada, who emigrated there chiefly from the United States ( Upstate New York
Upstate New York
and Pennsylvania):

St. Jacobs, Ontario
St. Jacobs, Ontario
c.1819 Kitchener, Ontario/ Waterloo, Ontario
Waterloo, Ontario
c. 1800s Cambridge, Ontario
Cambridge, Ontario
c. 1830s Markham, Ontario, c. 1800–1820s Stouffville, Ontario c. 1803–1805

During the 1880s, smaller Mennonite
Mennonite
groups settled as far west as California, especially around the Paso Robles
Paso Robles
area.[26][27] Moderate to progressive Mennonites[edit] "Old" Mennonite
Mennonite
Church (MC)[edit]

Mennonite
Mennonite
Church logo

The Swiss-German Mennonites
Mennonites
who emigrated to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries and settled first in Pennsylvania, then across the midwestern states (initially Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas), are the root of the former Mennonite
Mennonite
Church denomination (MC), colloquially called the "Old Mennonite
Mennonite
Church". This denomination had offices in Elkhart, Indiana, and was the most populous progressive Mennonite
Mennonite
denomination before merging with the General Conference Mennonite Church
General Conference Mennonite Church
(GCMC) in 2002. Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA[edit] Main article: Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA

Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
logo

The Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
(MCUSA) and the Mennonite Church Canada are the resulting denominations of the 2002 merger of the (General Assembly) Mennonite
Mennonite
Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church. Total membership in Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
denominations decreased from about 133,000, before the merger in 1998, to a total membership of 120,381 in the Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
in 2001.[28] In 2013 membership had fallen to 97,737 members in 839 congregations.[29] In 2016 it had fallen to 78,892 members after the withdrawal of the Lancaster Mennonite
Mennonite
Conference.[30] Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
remains the hub of the denomination but there are also large numbers of members in Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, and Illinois.[31] In 1983 the General Assembly of the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church met jointly with the General Conference Mennonite Church
General Conference Mennonite Church
in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in celebration of 300 years of Mennonite
Mennonite
witness in the Americas. Beginning in 1989, a series of consultations, discussions, proposals, and sessions (and a vote in 1995 in favor of merger) led to the unification of these two major North American Mennonite
Mennonite
bodies into one denomination organized on two fronts – the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA and the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada. The merger was "finalized" at a joint session in St. Louis, Missouri
Missouri
in 1999, and the Canadian branch moved quickly ahead. The United States branch did not complete their organization until the meeting in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
in 2001, which became effective February 1, 2002. The merger of 1999–2002 at least partially fulfilled the desire of the founders of the General Conference Mennonite Church
General Conference Mennonite Church
to create an organization under which all Mennonites
Mennonites
could unite. Yet not all Mennonites
Mennonites
favored the merger. The Alliance of Mennonite
Mennonite
Evangelical Congregations represents one expression of the disappointment with the merger and the events that led up to it. Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada[edit] Main article: Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada

Mennonite Church Canada logo

Mennonite Church Canada is a conference of Mennonites
Mennonites
in Canada, with head offices in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Currently (2003) the body has about 35,000 members in 235 churches. Beginning in 1989, a series of consultations, discussions, proposals, and sessions led to the unification of two North American bodies (the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church & General Conference Mennonite
Mennonite
Church) and the related Canadian Conference of Mennonites
Mennonites
in Canada into the Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
and the Mennonite Church Canada in 2000. The organizational structure is divided into five regional conferences. Denominational work is administered through a board elected by the delegates to the annual assembly. The MCC participates in the Canadian Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and the Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference. Conservative Mennonites[edit] Main article: Conservative Mennonites Conservative Mennonites
Mennonites
include numerous groups that identify with the more conservative or traditional element among Mennonite
Mennonite
or Anabaptist groups but not necessarily Old Order groups. The majority of Conservative Mennonite
Conservative Mennonite
churches historically has an Amish
Amish
and not a Mennonite
Mennonite
background. They emerged mostly from the middle group between the Old Order Amish
Amish
and Amish
Amish
Mennonites. For more, see Amish Mennonite: Division 1850–1878.[32] Those identifying with this group drive automobiles, have telephones and use electricity, and some may have personal computers. They also have Sunday school, hold revival meetings, and operate their own Christian schools/parochial schools. Old Order Mennonites[edit] Main article: Old Order Mennonite The Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonite
are living a lifestyle similar or a bit more liberal than the Old Order Amish. There were more than 27,000 adult, baptized members of Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
in North America and Belize in 2008/9. The total population of Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
groups including children and adults not yet baptized normally is two to three times larger than the number of baptized, adult members, which indicates that the population of Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
was roughly between 60,000 and 80,000 in 2008/9. Alternative service[edit] Mennonites
Mennonites
in Canada were automatically exempt from any type of military service during World War I
World War I
by provisions of the Order in Council of 1873,[citation needed] yet initially many were imprisoned for their beliefs until this was affirmed by the government of the time.[citation needed] During World War II, Mennonite
Mennonite
conscientious objectors were given the options of noncombatant military service, serving in the medical or dental corps under military control, or working in parks and on roads under civilian supervision. Over 95% chose the latter and were placed in Alternative Service camps.[33] Initially the men worked on road building, forestry and firefighting projects. After May 1943, as a labour shortage developed within the nation, men were shifted into agriculture, education and industry. The 10,700 Canadian objectors were mostly Mennonites
Mennonites
(63%) and Doukhobors (20%).[34]

Mennonite
Mennonite
conscientious objector Harry Lantz distributes rat poison for typhus control in Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi
(1946).

In the United States, Civilian Public Service
Civilian Public Service
(CPS) provided an alternative to military service during World War II. From 1941 to 1947, 4,665 Mennonites, Amish
Amish
and Brethren in Christ[35] were among nearly 12,000 conscientious objectors who performed work of national importance in 152 CPS camps throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The draftees worked in areas such as soil conservation, forestry, fire fighting, agriculture, social services and mental health. The CPS men served without wages and with minimal support from the federal government. The cost of maintaining the CPS camps and providing for the needs of the men was the responsibility of their congregations and families. Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central Committee
coordinated the operation of the Mennonite
Mennonite
camps. CPS men served longer than regular draftees, not being released until well past the end of the war. Initially skeptical of the program, government agencies learned to appreciate the men's service and requested more workers from the program. CPS made significant contributions to forest fire prevention, erosion and flood control, medical science and reform of the mental health system. Schisms[edit] Prior to emigration to America, Anabaptists
Anabaptists
in Europe were divided between those of Dutch/North German and Swiss/South German background. At first, the Dutch/North German group took their name from Menno Simons, who led them in their early years. Later the Swiss/South German group also adopted the name "Mennonites". A third group of early Anabaptists, mainly from south-east Germany and Austria were organized by Jakob Hutter
Jakob Hutter
and became the Hutterites. The vast majority of Anabaptists
Anabaptists
of Swiss/South German ancestry today lives in the US and Canada, while the largest group of Dutch/North German Anabaptists are the Russian Mennonites, who live today mostly in Latin America. A trickle of North German Mennonites
Mennonites
began the migration to America in 1683, followed by a much larger migration of Swiss/South German Mennonites
Mennonites
beginning in 1707.[36] The Amish
Amish
are an early split from the Swiss/South German, that occurred in 1693. Over the centuries many Amish
Amish
individuals and whole churches left the Amish
Amish
and became Mennonites
Mennonites
again. After immigration to America, many of the early Mennonites
Mennonites
split from the main body of North American Mennonites
Mennonites
and formed their own separate and distinct churches. The first schism in America occurred in 1778 when Bishop Christian Funk's support of the American Revolution led to his excommunication and the formation of a separate Mennonite
Mennonite
group known as Funkites. In 1785 the Orthodox Reformed Mennonite
Mennonite
Church was formed, and other schisms occurred into the 21st century. Many of these churches were formed as a response to deep disagreements about theology, doctrine, and church discipline as evolution both inside and outside the Mennonite
Mennonite
faith occurred. Many of the modern churches are descended from those groups that abandoned traditional Mennonite
Mennonite
practices. Larger groups of Dutch/North German Mennonites
Mennonites
came to North America from the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
after 1873, especially to Kansas
Kansas
and Manitoba. While the more progressive element of these Mennonites
Mennonites
assimilated into mainstream society, the more conservative element emigrated to Latin America. Since then there has been a steady flow of Mennonite emigrants from Latin America to North America.[citation needed] These historical schisms have had an influence on creating the distinct Mennonite
Mennonite
denominations, sometimes using mild or severe shunning to show its disapproval of other Mennonite
Mennonite
groups. Some expelled congregations were affiliated both with the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite
Mennonite
Church. The latter did not expel the same congregations. When these two Mennonite
Mennonite
denominations formally completed their merger in 2002 to become the new Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada denominations, it was still not clear, whether the congregations that were expelled from one denomination, yet included in the other, are considered to be "inside" or "outside" of the new merged denomination. Some Mennonite conferences have chosen to maintain such "disciplined" congregations as "associate" or "affiliate" congregations in the conferences, rather than to expel such congregations. In virtually every case, a dialogue continues between the disciplined congregations and the denomination, as well as their current or former conferences.[37] Schools[edit] Several Mennonite
Mennonite
groups have their own private or parochial schools. Conservative groups, like the Holdeman, have not only their own schools, but their own curriculum and teaching staff (usually, but not exclusively, young unmarried women). Secondary schools[edit] This list of secondary Mennonite
Mennonite
Schools is not an exhaustive list. Most are members of the Mennonite
Mennonite
Schools Council, endorsed by the Mennonite
Mennonite
Education Agency.[38] Canada[edit]

Mennonite
Mennonite
teacher holding class in a one-room, eight-grade school house, Hinkletown, Pennsylvania, March 1942

Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Brethren
Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba Mennonite
Mennonite
Collegiate Institute, Gretna, Manitoba Mennonite
Mennonite
Educational Institute, Abbotsford, British Columbia Rockway Mennonite
Mennonite
Collegiate, Kitchener, Ontario Rosthern Junior College, Rosthern, Saskatchewan Westgate Mennonite
Mennonite
Collegiate, Winnipeg, Manitoba

United States[edit]

Belleville Mennonite
Mennonite
School, Belleville, Pennsylvania Bethany Christian Schools, Goshen, Indiana Central Christian School, Kidron, Ohio Christopher Dock
Christopher Dock
Mennonite
Mennonite
High School, Lansdale, Pennsylvania Eastern Mennonite
Mennonite
School, Harrisonburg, Virginia Freeman Academy, Freeman, South Dakota Greenwood Mennonite
Mennonite
School, Greenwood, Delaware Immanuel Schools, Reedley, California Iowa Mennonite
Mennonite
School, Kalona, Iowa Lancaster Mennonite
Mennonite
High School, Lancaster, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mennonite
Mennonite
High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sarasota Christian School, Sarasota, Florida Western Mennonite
Mennonite
School, Salem, Oregon

Controversy in Quebec[edit] Quebec
Quebec
does not allow these parochial schools, in the sense of allowing them to have an independent curriculum. As of 2007, the Quebec
Quebec
government imposed a standard curriculum on all schools (public and private). While private schools may add optional material to the compulsory curriculum, they may not replace it. The Quebec
Quebec
curriculum is unacceptable to the parents of the only Mennonite
Mennonite
school in the province.[39] They said they would leave Quebec
Quebec
after the Education Ministry threatened legal actions. The Province threatened to invoke Youth Protection services if the Mennonite
Mennonite
children were not registered with the Education Ministry; they either had to be home-schooled using the government approved material, or attend a "sanctioned" school. The local population and its mayor supported[40] the local Mennonites. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada wrote that year to the Quebec
Quebec
government to express its concerns[41] about this situation. By September 2007, some Mennonite
Mennonite
families had already left Quebec.[42] Post-secondary schools[edit] Canada[edit]

Bethany College, Hepburn, Saskatchewan Canadian Mennonite
Mennonite
University, Winnipeg, Manitoba Columbia Bible
Bible
College, Abbotsford, British Columbia Conrad Grebel
Conrad Grebel
University College, Waterloo, Ontario
Waterloo, Ontario
(part of the University of Waterloo) Menno Simons
Menno Simons
College, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Manitoba
(part of Canadian Mennonite University but affiliated with and located at the University of Winnipeg). Steinbach Bible
Bible
College, Steinbach, Manitoba

United States[edit]

Bethel College, North Newton Kansas

Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio Eastern Mennonite
Mennonite
University, Harrisonburg, Virginia Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, California Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas Rosedale Bible
Bible
College, Rosedale, Ohio Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas

Sexuality, marriage, and family mores[edit] The Mennonite
Mennonite
church has no formal celibate religious order similar to monasticism, but recognizes the legitimacy of and honours both the single state and the sanctity of marriage of its members. Single persons are expected to be chaste, and marriage is held to be a lifelong, monogamous and faithful covenant between a man and a woman. In conservative groups, divorce is discouraged, and it is believed that the "hardness of the heart" of people is the ultimate cause of divorce. Some conservative churches have disciplined members who have unilaterally divorced their spouses outside of cases of sexual unfaithfulness or acute abuse.[citation needed] Until approximately the 1960s or 1970s, before the more widespread urbanization of the Mennonite
Mennonite
demographic, divorce was quite rare. In recent times, divorce is more common, and also carries less stigma, particularly in cases where abuse was known. The Mennonite Brethren Church
Mennonite Brethren Church
and the Conservative Mennonite Conference have been nearly unanimous in their condemnation of homosexuality.[43] A few North American Mennonite
Mennonite
churches identify as LGBT-affirming churches. Congregations have been disciplined by or expelled from their regional conferences for taking such a stance,[44][better source needed] while other congregations have been allowed to remain "at variance" with official Mennonite Church USA policy.[45][better source needed] Some pastors who performed same-sex unions have had their credentials revoked by their conference,[46] and some within the Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
have had their credentials reviewed without any disciplinary actions taken.[47][48] Most recently, the Mountain States Mennonite
Mennonite
Conference licensed an openly gay pastor in February 2014.[49] Theology[edit] Mennonite
Mennonite
theology emphasizes the primacy of the teachings of Jesus
Jesus
as recorded in New Testament
New Testament
scripture. They hold in common the ideal of a religious community based on New Testament
New Testament
models and imbued with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount. Their core beliefs deriving from Anabaptist
Anabaptist
traditions are:[citation needed]

Salvation
Salvation
through faith in Jesus
Jesus
Christ. The authority of scripture and the Holy Spirit. Believer's baptism
Believer's baptism
understood as threefold: Baptism
Baptism
by the spirit (internal change of heart), baptism by water (public demonstration of witness), and baptism by blood (martyrdom and asceticism or the practice of strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline). Discipleship understood as an outward sign of an inward change. Discipline in the church, informed by New Testament
New Testament
teachings, particularly of Jesus
Jesus
(for example Matthew 18:15–18). Some Mennonite churches practice the Meidung (shunning). The Lord's Supper understood as a memorial rather than as a sacrament or Christian rite, ideally shared by baptized believers within the unity and discipline of the church.[50]

One of the earliest expressions of Mennonite
Mennonite
faith was the Schleitheim Confession, adopted on February 24, 1527. Its seven articles covered:

The Ban (excommunication) Breaking of bread (Communion) Separation from and shunning of the abomination (the Roman Catholic Church and other "worldly" groups and practices) Believer's baptism Pastors in the church Renunciation of the sword (Christian pacifism) Renunciation of the oath (swearing as proof of truth)

The Dordrecht Confession of Faith
Dordrecht Confession of Faith
was adopted on April 21, 1632, by Dutch Mennonites, by Alsatian Mennonites
Mennonites
in 1660, and by North American Mennonites
Mennonites
in 1725. There is no official creed or catechism of which acceptance is required by congregations or members. However, there are structures and traditions taught as in the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite
Mennonite
Perspective[51] of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA. In 1911 the Mennonite
Mennonite
church in the Netherlands (Doopsgezinde Kerk) was the first Dutch church to have a female pastor authorized; she was Anna Zernike.[52] Service projects[edit] The Mennonite
Mennonite
Disaster Service, based in North America, is a volunteer network of Anabaptist
Anabaptist
churches which provide both immediate and long-term responses to hurricanes, floods, and other disasters in the U.S. and Canada.[53] Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central Committee
(MCC), founded on September 27, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois,[54] 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.[citation needed] In 1972, Mennonites
Mennonites
in Altona, Manitoba, established the MCC Thrift Shops[55] which has grown to become a worldwide source of assistance to the needy.[56] Since the latter part of the 20th century, some Mennonite
Mennonite
groups have become more actively involved with peace and social justice issues, helping to found Christian Peacemaker Teams
Christian Peacemaker Teams
and Mennonite
Mennonite
Conciliation Service.[57] Worship, doctrine, and tradition[edit]

Interior of the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Friedelsheim, Germany

Interior of the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Giethoorn, Netherlands

Mennonite
Mennonite
farmer's wife dressmaking, Pennsylvania, 1942

There is a wide scope of worship, doctrine and traditions among Mennonites
Mennonites
today. This section shows the main types of Mennonites
Mennonites
as seen from North America. It is far from a specific study of all Mennonite
Mennonite
classifications worldwide but it does show a somewhat representative sample of the complicated classifications within the Mennonite
Mennonite
faith worldwide. Moderate Mennonites
Mennonites
include the largest denominations, the Mennonite Brethren and the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church. In most forms of worship and practice, they differ very little from other Protestant
Protestant
congregations. There is no special form of dress and no restrictions on use of technology. Worship styles vary greatly between different congregations. There is no formal liturgy; services typically consist of singing, scripture reading, prayer and a sermon. Some churches prefer hymns and choirs; others make use of contemporary Christian music with electronic instruments. Mennonite
Mennonite
congregations are self-supporting and appoint their own ministers. There is no requirement for ministers to be approved by the denomination, and sometimes ministers from other denominations will be appointed. A small sum, based on membership numbers, is paid to the denomination, which is used to support central functions such as publication of newsletters and interactions with other denominations and other countries. The distinguishing characteristics of moderate Mennonite churches tend to be ones of emphasis rather than rule. There is an emphasis on peace, community and service. However, members do not live in a separate community—they participate in the general community as "salt and light" to the world (Matt 5:13,14). The main elements of Menno Simons' doctrine are retained but in a moderated form. Banning is rarely practiced and would, in any event, have much less effect than those denominations where the community is more tight-knit. Excommunication
Excommunication
can occur and was notably applied by the Mennonite Brethren to members who joined the military during the Second World War. Service in the military is generally not permitted, but service in the legal profession or law enforcement is acceptable. Outreach and help to the wider community at home and abroad is encouraged. The Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central Committee
(MCC) is a leader in foreign aid provision. Traditionally, very modest dress was expected, particularly in conservative Mennonite
Mennonite
circles. As the Mennonite
Mennonite
population has become urbanized and more integrated into the wider culture, this visible difference has disappeared outside of conservative Mennonite
Mennonite
groups. The Reformed Mennonite
Reformed Mennonite
Church, with members in the United States and Canada, represents the first division in the original North American Mennonite
Mennonite
body. Called the "First Keepers of the Old Way" by author Stephen Scott, the Reformed Mennonite
Reformed Mennonite
Church formed in the very early 19th century. Reformed Mennonites
Mennonites
see themselves as true followers of Menno Simons' teachings and of the teachings of the New Testament. They have no church rules, but they rely solely on the Bible
Bible
as their guide. They insist on strict separation from all other forms of worship and dress in conservative plain garb that preserves 18th century Mennonite
Mennonite
details. However, they refrain from forcing their Mennonite
Mennonite
faith on their children, allow their children to attend public schools, and have permitted the use of automobiles. They are notable for being the church of Milton S. Hershey's mother and famous for the long and bitter ban of Robert Bear, a Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
farmer who rebelled against what he saw as dishonesty and disunity in the leadership. The Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, a group often called Holdeman Mennonites
Mennonites
after their founder John Holdeman, was founded from a schism in 1859.[58] They emphasize Evangelical conversion and strict church discipline. They stay separate from other Mennonite
Mennonite
groups because of their emphasis on the one-true-church doctrine and their use of avoidance toward their own excommunicated members. The Holdeman Mennonites
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.[citation needed] The group had 24,400 baptized members in 2013.[59]

Mennonite
Mennonite
horse and carriage

Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
cover several distinct groups. Some groups use horse and buggy for transportation and speak German while others drive cars and speak English. What most Old Orders share in common is conservative doctrine, dress, and traditions, common roots in 19th century and early 20th century schisms, and a refusal to participate in politics and other so-called "sins of the world". Most Old Order groups also school their children in Mennonite-operated schools.

Horse and Buggy Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
came from the main series of Old Order schisms that began in 1872 and ended in 1901 in Ontario, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Midwest, as conservative Mennonites
Mennonites
fought the radical changes that the influence of 19th century American Revivalism had on Mennonite
Mennonite
worship. Most Horse and Buggy Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
allow the use of tractors for farming, although some groups insist on steel-wheeled tractors to prevent tractors from being used for road transportation. Like the Stauffer or Pike Mennonites
Mennonites
(origin 1845 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania), the Groffdale Conference, and the Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonite
Conference of Ontario, they stress separation from the world, excommunication, and the wearing of plain clothes. Some Old Order Mennonite
Mennonite
groups are unlike the Stauffer or Pike Mennonites
Mennonites
in that their form of the ban is less severe because the ex-communicant is not shunned, and is therefore not excluded from the family table, shunned by their spouse, or cut off from business dealings. Automobile Old Order Mennonites, also known as Weaverland Conference Mennonites
Mennonites
(having their origins in the Weaverland District of the Lancaster Conference—also calling "Horning"), or Wisler Mennonites in the U.S. Midwest, or the Markham-Waterloo Mennonite
Mennonite
Conference having its origins from the Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
of Ontario, Canada, also evolved from the main series of Old Order schisms from 1872 to 1901. They often share the same meeting houses with, and adhere to almost identical forms of Old Order worship as their Horse and Buggy Old Order brethren with whom they parted ways in the early 20th century. Although this group began using cars in 1927, the cars were required to be plain and painted black. The largest group of Automobile Old Orders are still known today as "Black Bumper" Mennonites
Mennonites
because some members still paint their chrome bumpers black.

Stauffer Mennonites, or Pike Mennonites, represent one of the first and most conservative forms of North American Horse and Buggy Mennonites. They were founded in 1845, following conflicts about how to discipline children and spousal abuse by a few Mennonite
Mennonite
Church members. They almost immediately began to split into separate churches themselves. Today these groups are among the most conservative of all Swiss Mennonites
Mennonites
outside the Amish. They stress strict separation from "the world", adhere to "strict withdrawal from and shunning of apostate and separated members", forbid and limit cars and technology and wear plain clothing. Conservative Mennonites
Mennonites
are generally considered those Mennonites
Mennonites
who maintain somewhat conservative dress, although carefully accepting other technology. They are not a unified group and are divided into various independent conferences and fellowships such as the Eastern Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Conference. Despite the rapid changes that precipitated the Old Order schisms in the last quarter of the 19th century, most Mennonites
Mennonites
in the United States and Canada retained a core of traditional beliefs based on a literal interpretation of the New Testament
New Testament
scriptures as well as more external "plain" practices into the beginning of the 20th century. However, disagreements in the United States and Canada between conservative and progressive (i.e. less emphasis on literal interpretation of scriptures) leaders began in the first half of the 20th century and continue to some extent today. Following WWII, a conservative movement emerged from scattered separatist groups as a reaction to the Mennonite
Mennonite
churches drifting away from their historical traditions. "Plain" became passé as open criticisms of traditional beliefs and practices broke out in the 1950s and 1960s.[citation needed] The first conservative withdrawals from the progressive group began in the 1950s. These withdrawals continue to the present day in what is now the growing Conservative Movement formed from Mennonite
Mennonite
schisms and from combinations with progressive Amish
Amish
groups. While moderate and progressive Mennonite
Mennonite
congregations have dwindled in size, the Conservative Movement congregations continue to exhibit considerable growth.[citation needed] Other conservative Mennonite
Mennonite
groups descended from the former Amish- Mennonite
Mennonite
churches which split, like the Wisler Mennonites, from the Old Order Amish
Amish
in the latter part of the 19th century. (The Wisler Mennonites
Mennonites
are a grouping descended from the Old Mennonite Church.) There are also other Conservative Mennonite
Conservative Mennonite
churches that descended from more recent groups that have left the Amish
Amish
like the Beachy Amish
Amish
or the Tennessee Brotherhood Churches. Progressive Mennonite
Mennonite
churches allow LGBT
LGBT
members to worship as church members and have been banned from membership in some cases in the moderate groups as result. The Germantown Mennonite
Mennonite
Church in Germantown, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
is one example of such a progressive Mennonite
Mennonite
church.[60] Some progressive Mennonite
Mennonite
Churches place a great emphasis on the Mennonite
Mennonite
tradition's teachings on peace and non-violence.[citation needed] Some progressive Mennonite
Mennonite
Churches are part of moderate Mennonite
Mennonite
denominations (such as the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA) while others are independent congregations. Membership[edit]

Children in an Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonite
community selling peanuts near Lamanai
Lamanai
in Belize

In 2009, there were 1,616,126 Mennonites
Mennonites
in 82 countries. The United States had the highest number of Mennonites
Mennonites
with 387,103 members, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 220,444 members. The third largest concentration of Mennonites
Mennonites
was in Ethiopia with 172,306 members, while the fourth largest population was in India with 156,922 members. Europe, the birthplace of Mennonites, had 64,740 members.[1] Africa has the highest membership growth rate by far, with an increase of 10% to 12% every year, particularly in Ethiopia due to new conversions. African Mennonite
Mennonite
churches underwent a dramatic 228% increase in membership during the 1980s and 1990s, attracting thousands of new converts in Tanzania, Kenya, and the Congo.[61] Programs were also founded in Botswana and Swaziland during the 1960s.[62] Mennonite
Mennonite
organizations in South Africa, initially stifled under apartheid due to the Afrikaner
Afrikaner
government's distrust of foreign pacifist churches, have expanded substantially since 1994.[62] In recognition of the dramatic increase in the proportion of African adherents, the Mennonite World Conference
Mennonite World Conference
held its assembly in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 2003.[61] In Latin America growth is not a high as in Africa, but strong because of the high birth rates of traditional Mennonites
Mennonites
of German ancestry. Growth in Mennonite
Mennonite
membership is slow but steady in North America, the Asia/Pacific region and Caribbean region. Europe has seen a slow and accelerating decline in Mennonite
Mennonite
membership since about 1980.[63] Organization worldwide[edit]

Bethesda Mennonite
Mennonite
Church in Henderson, Nebraska, U.S.

Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonite
children from San Ignacio, Paraguay.

The most basic unit of organization among Mennonites
Mennonites
is the church. There are hundreds or thousands of Mennonite
Mennonite
churches and groups, many of which are separate from all others. Some churches are members of regional or area conferences. And some regional or area conferences are affiliated with larger national or international conferences. Thus, there is no single authorized organization that includes all Mennonite
Mennonite
peoples worldwide. For the most part, there is a host of independent Mennonite
Mennonite
churches along with a myriad of separate conferences with no particular responsibility to any other group. Independent churches can contain as few as fifty members or as many as 20,000 members. Similar size differences occur among separate conferences. Worship, church discipline and lifestyles vary widely between progressive, moderate, conservative, Old Order and orthodox Mennonites
Mennonites
in a vast panoply of distinct, independent, and widely dispersed classifications. For these reasons, no single group of Mennonites
Mennonites
anywhere can credibly claim to represent, speak for, or lead all Mennonites
Mennonites
worldwide. The twelve largest Mennonite/ Anabaptist
Anabaptist
groups are:

Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Brethren
(426,581 members on six continents worldwide)[64] Old Order Amish
Amish
(300,000 in North America) Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia (120,600 members; 126,000 more followers attending alike churches)[65] Old Colony Mennonite
Mennonite
Church (120,000 in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Belize and Argentina) Communauté Mennonite
Mennonite
au Congo 87,000 members Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
with 78,892 members in the United States[30] Old Order Mennonites
Mennonites
with 60,000 to 80,000 members in the U.S., Canada and Belize Kanisa La Mennonite
Mennonite
Tanzania with 50,000 members in 240 congregations Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland or Deutsche Mennonitengemeinden with 40,000 members in Germany[66] Mennonite Church Canada with 31,000 members in 225 congregations across Canada[67] Conservative Mennonites
Mennonites
with 30,000 members in over 500 U.S. churches[68] Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
with 24,400 members, of whom 14,804 (2013 data) were in United States, 5,081 in Canada, and the remainder being found in various countries of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.[59]

The Mennonite World Conference
Mennonite World Conference
is a global community of 95 Mennonite and Brethren in Christ
Brethren in Christ
Mennonite
Mennonite
national churches from 51 countries on six continents. It exists to "facilitate community between Anabaptist-related churches worldwide, and relate to other Christian world communions and organizations", but it is not a governing body of any kind. It is a voluntary community of faith whose decisions are not binding on member churches. The member churches of Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference include the Mennonite
Mennonite
Brethren, the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA, and the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada, with a combined total membership of at least 400,000, or about 30% of Mennonites
Mennonites
worldwide. Organization: North America[edit]

Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church
Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church
in rural Goessel, Kansas

In 2015, there were 538,839 baptized members organized into 41 bodies in United States, according to the Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference.[8] The largest group of that number is the Old Order Amish, perhaps numbering as high as 300,000.[citation needed] The U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches comprises 34,500 members.[64] 27,000 are part of a larger group known collectively as Old Order Mennonites.[69][70] Another 78,892 of that number are from the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church USA.[30] Total membership in Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
denominations decreased from about 133,000, before the MC-GC merger in 1998, to about 114,000 after the merger in 2003. In 2016 it had fallen to under 79,000. Membership of the Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
is on the decline.[30][63] Canada had 143,720 Mennonites
Mennonites
in 16 organized bodies as of 2015.[8] Of that number, the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Brethren
Churches had 37,508 baptized members[64] and the Mennonite Church Canada had 31,000 members.[67] As of 2012, there were an estimated 100,000 Old Colony Mennonites
Mennonites
in Mexico.[71][72] These Mennonites
Mennonites
descend from a mass migration in the 1920s of roughly 6,000 Old Colony Mennonites
Mennonites
from the Canadian provinces of Manitoba
Manitoba
and Saskatchewan. In 1921, a Canadian Mennonite delegation arriving in Mexico received a privilegium, a promise of non-interference, from the Mexican government. This guarantee of many freedoms was the impetus that created the two original Old Colony settlements near Patos Nuevo Ideal, Durango, Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua and La Honda, Zacatecas
Zacatecas
as well as many communities in Aguascalientes.[73] On the other hand, the Mennonite World Conference
Mennonite World Conference
cites only 33,881 Mennonites
Mennonites
organized into 14 bodies in Mexico.[8] Organization: Europe[edit]

Mennonite
Mennonite
Church in Hamburg-Altona, Germany

Germany has the largest contingent of Mennonites
Mennonites
in Europe. The Mennonite World Conference
Mennonite World Conference
counts 47,202 baptized members within 7 organized bodies in 2015.[8] The largest group is the Bruderschaft der Christengemeinde in Deutschland ( Mennonite
Mennonite
Brethren), which had 20,000 members in 2010.[64] Another such body is the Union of German Mennonite
Mennonite
Congregations or Vereinigung der Deutschen Mennonitengemeinden. Founded in 1886, it has 27 Congregations with 5,724 members and is part of the larger "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Gemeinden in Deutschland" or AMG (Assembly/Council of Mennonite
Mennonite
Churches in Germany),[74] which claims 40,000 overall members from various groups. Other AMG member groups include: Rußland-Deutschen Mennoniten, Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinden(Independent Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Brethren
congregations), WEBB-Gemeinden, and the Mennonitischen Heimatmission.[66] However, not all German Mennonites belong to this larger AMG body. Upwards of 40,000 Mennonites
Mennonites
emigrated from Russia to Germany starting in the 1970s.[74] The Mennonite
Mennonite
presence remaining in the Netherlands, Algemene Doopsgezinde Societeit or ADS (translated as General Mennonite Society), maintains a seminary, as well as organizing relief, peace, and mission work, the latter primarily in Central Java and New Guinea. They have 121 congregations with 10,200 members according to the World Council of Churches,[13] although the Mennonite World Conference
Mennonite World Conference
cites only 7680 members.[8] Switzerland had 2350 Mennonites
Mennonites
belonging to 14 Congregations which are part of the Konferenz der Mennoniten der Schweiz (Alttäufer), Conférence mennonite suisse (Anabaptiste) (Swiss Mennonite Conference).[75] In 2015, there were 2078 Mennonites
Mennonites
in France. The country's 32 autonomous Mennonite
Mennonite
congregations have formed the Association des Églises Évangéliques Mennonites
Mennonites
de France.[76] Once home to tens of thousands of Mennonites, the number of Mennonites in Ukraine in 2015 totaled just 499. They are organized among three denominations: Association of Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Brethren
Churches of Ukraine, Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
(Ukraine), and Evangelical Mennonite
Mennonite
Churches of Ukraine (Beachy Amish
Amish
Church – Ukraine).[12]

Christianity
Christianity
portal Anabaptism
Anabaptism
portal

The U.K. had but 326 members within two organized bodies as of 2015.[8] There is the Nationwide Fellowship Churches (UK) and the larger Brethren in Christ Church
Brethren in Christ Church
United Kingdom.[77] Additionally, there is the registered charity, The Mennonite
Mennonite
Trust (formerly known as "London Mennonite
Mennonite
Centre"), which seeks to promote understanding of Mennonite
Mennonite
and Anabaptist
Anabaptist
practices and values.[78] In popular culture[edit] Mennonites
Mennonites
have been portrayed in many areas of popular culture, especially literature and television. Notable novels about and/or written by Mennonites
Mennonites
include A Complicated Kindness
A Complicated Kindness
by Miriam Toews, Peace Shall Destroy Many by Rudy Wiebe and A Year of Lesser
A Year of Lesser
by David Bergen. Rhoda Janzen's memoire Mennonite
Mennonite
in a Little Black Dress was a best-seller. In 2007, Mexican director Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
directed Silent Light, the first ever feature film in the Russian Mennonite
Russian Mennonite
dialect of Plautdietsch. In 2017, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
produced the TV series Pure, a drama about conservative Mennonites
Mennonites
in Southern Ontario. Mennonites
Mennonites
feature prominently "The Dark Road" episode of the TV series Longmire. Mennonites
Mennonites
have also been featured in or mentioned on The Simpsons
The Simpsons
and Modern Family. Satire site The Daily Bonnet pokes fun at Mennonite
Mennonite
culture and religion. See also[edit]

Church of God in Christ, Mennonite Eastern Mennonite
Mennonite
Missions Hutterites Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
Archives Mennonite
Mennonite
denominations Mennonite
Mennonite
settlements of Altai Mennonites
Mennonites
in Argentina Mennonites
Mennonites
in Belize Mennonites
Mennonites
in Bolivia Mennonites
Mennonites
in Mexico Mennonites
Mennonites
in Paraguay More-with-Less Cookbook Orthodox Mennonites Simple living Ten Thousand Villages The Daily Bonnet Virginia Mennonite
Mennonite
Missions Vincent Harding Guy Hershberger Hans Reist John Howard Yoder

Notes[edit]

^ a b c "Global Statistics – 2015 Directory; Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference". Mwc-cmm.org. July 14, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.  ^ "Historic Peace Churches". Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved January 12, 2013.  ^ "Who are the Mennonites?". Third Way Cafe. Retrieved January 12, 2013.  ^ "Did you know..." Mennonite
Mennonite
Historical Society of Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2013.  ^ "The Mennonite
Mennonite
Game". Mennonite
Mennonite
Historical Society of Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2013.  ^ "Multicultural Canada: Mennonites". Multiculturalcanada.ca. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2016.  ^ "Ethnicity". Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved January 12, 2013.  ^ a b c d e f g "Statistics" (PDF). Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference. MWC-CMM.org. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ "Bolivian Reforms Raise Anxiety on Mennonite
Mennonite
Frontier". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ Aus Montevideo: Galizische Mennoniten in Uruguay (November 1, 2012). " Mennonites
Mennonites
from Galitzia in Uruguay". Galizien.org. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012.  ^ Antonio De La Cova (December 28, 1999). "Paraguay's Mennonites resent 'fast buck' outsiders". Latinamericanstudies.org. Retrieved October 29, 2011.  ^ a b "Ukraine". MWC-CMM.org. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ a b "Member Churches – Mennonite
Mennonite
Church in the Netherlands". World Council of Churches. World Council of Churches. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ Strasser, Rolf Christoph (2006). "Die Zürcher Täufer 1525" [The Zurich Anabaptists
Anabaptists
1525] (PDF) (in German). EFB Verlag Wetzikon. p. 30. Retrieved January 28, 2012.  ^ a b Murray, Stuart (2010). The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith. Herald Press. ISBN 978-0-8361-9517-0.  ^  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Mennonites". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  ^ "Ukrainian Mennonite
Mennonite
General Conference – GAMEO". Gameo.org. October 8, 1926. Retrieved November 13, 2012.  ^ Rempel, John G. (1957). "Makhno, Nestor (1888–1934)". Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved November 1, 2010. Two hundred forty names appear on a list of November 1919 of those murdered in Zagradovka. In Borzenkovo in the village of Ebenfeld alone 63 persons were murdered, and in Steinbach of the same settlement 58 persons.  ^ "Altkolonier-Mennoniten in Belize". Taeufergeschichte.net. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2014.  ^ Smith p.139 ^ Smith p.360. Smith uses Mennonite-Quaker to refer to Quakers
Quakers
who were formerly Mennonite
Mennonite
and retained distinctive Mennonite
Mennonite
beliefs and practices. ^ "First Protest Against Slavery, 1688". Qhpress.org. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ Pannabecker p. 7. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes J. Michael Sausman (August 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Hans Herr House" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 14, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.  ^ Pannabecker p. 12. ^ http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Paso_Robles_First_Mennonite_Church_(Paso_Robles,_California,_USA) ^ http://gameo.org/index.php?title=San_Marcos_Mennonite_Church_(Paso_Robles,_California,_USA) ^ "North America" (PDF). Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2009.  ^ Bender, Harold S.; Stauffer Hostetler, Beulah (January 2013). Mennonite
Mennonite
Church (MC). Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved May 2, 2015.  ^ a b c d Huber, Tim (Jan 26, 2016). "Lancaster's distancing shrinks roll: A few churches want to stay with MC USA; others are dropped from denomination's membership number". Mennonite
Mennonite
World Review. Retrieved August 31, 2016. "MC USA's new, lower membership total is based on only 1,091 members from LMC"(Lancaster Mennonite
Mennonite
Conference)  ^ "2000 Religious Congregations and Membership Study". Glenmary Research Center. Retrieved December 16, 2009.  ^ "An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite
Conservative Mennonite
Groups", Intercourse PA 1996, pages 122–123. ^ Gingerich p. 420. ^ Krahn, pp. 76–78. ^ Gingerich p. 452. ^ Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975, I, 292–293. ^ "Homosexual and bisexual orientation among Mennonites". Religioustolerance.org. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ " Mennonite
Mennonite
Education Agency > Home". Mennoniteeducation.org. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ Westen, John-Henry; Elizabeth O'Brien (September 14, 2007). "Forced Education in Homosexuality and Evolution Leads to Exodus of Mennonites from Quebec". LifeSiteNews.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2007. Retrieved October 29, 2011.  ^ "Townsfolk sad to see Mennonites
Mennonites
move away". The Gazette. Canada.com. August 16, 2007. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2011.  ^ Hutchinson, Don (September 8, 2007). "Faith-Based Education May Result in Loss of House and Home in Quebec". christianity.ca. Archived from the original on September 8, 2007. Retrieved October 29, 2011.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ Johns, Loren L. "Homosexuality and the Mennonite
Mennonite
Church". AMBS.edu. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2016.  ^ Huber, Tim. "MWR : Eastern District cuts ties with Germantown church". Mennoworld.org. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013.  ^ "Western District amends one resolution, tables another". The Mennonite. July 1, 2012. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013.  ^ "Southeast Conference removes ministerial credential". Themennonite.org. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ "Central District takes 2-part action on pastor's credentials". Mennoworld.org. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ "Decision not to discipline pastor stands at WDC". Themennonite.org. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ "First Openly Gay Pastor
Pastor
Approved by Mennonite
Mennonite
Conference as License Approved". Christiasnpost.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ In connection with the Lord's Supper, some Mennonites
Mennonites
practice feet washing as a continuing outer sign of humility within the church. Feet washing was not originally an Anabaptist
Anabaptist
practice. Pilgram Marpeck before 1556 included it, and it became widespread in the late 1500s and the 1600s. Today it is practiced by some as a memorial sacrament, in memory of Christ washing the feet of his disciples as recorded in the thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. ^ "Confession of Faith in a Mennonite
Mennonite
Perspective". Archived from the original on May 29, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2007.  ^ "Mankes-Zernike, Anna (1887–1972)". gameo.org. Retrieved April 10, 2016.  ^ " Mennonite
Mennonite
Disaster Service". Retrieved May 30, 2007.  ^ Gingerich, Melvin, Service for Peace, A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service, Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central Committee
(1949) p. 16. ^ "MCC Thrift Shops". Thrift.mcc.org. Retrieved September 13, 2016.  ^ CBC, The World at Six, March 17, 2012 ^ " Mennonite
Mennonite
Conciliation Service". Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2007.  ^ Hiebert, P. G. (1955). " Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
(CGC)". Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. GAMEO. Retrieved September 15, 2015.  ^ a b "Where we are". Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. Retrieved September 15, 2016.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2006.  ^ a b Donald B. Kraybill (2010). Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites
Hutterites
and Mennonites. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 3–4.  ^ a b Robert Herr and Judy Zimmermann Herr, "Building peace in South Africa: A case study in the Mennonite
Mennonite
program” in From the Ground Up – Mennonite
Mennonite
Contributions to International Peacebuilding (Oxford U. Press, 2000), edited by Cynthia Sampson and John Paul Lederach, pp. 59–69. ^ a b " Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Membership Statistics". Mcusa-archives.org. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.  ^ a b c d Lohrenz, John H. (April 2011). " Mennonite Brethren
Mennonite Brethren
Church". Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. GAMEO. Retrieved October 11, 2016.  ^ [2] Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b "Mennoniten in Deutschland". Mennoniten.de. Archived from the original on April 28, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012.  ^ a b "About Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada". Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada. Mennonite
Mennonite
Church Canada. Retrieved October 11, 2016.  ^ 2008 CLP church directory ^ Stephen Scott: An Introduction to Old Order: and Conservative Mennonite
Mennonite
Groups, Intercourse, PA 1996. ^ Donald B. Kraybill (2010). Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites
Hutterites
and Mennonites. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 251–258.  ^ Cascante, Manuel M. (August 8, 2012). "Los menonitas dejan México". ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved February 19, 2013. Los cien mil miembros de esta comunidad anabaptista, establecida en Chihuahua desde 1922, se plantean emigrar a la república rusa de Tartaristán, que se ofrece a acogerlos  ^ "The Mennonite
Mennonite
Old Colony Vision: Under siege in Mexico and the Canadian Connection" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 4, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2014.  ^ [3] Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b "Member Churches – Mennonite
Mennonite
Church in Germany". World Council of Churches. World Council of Churches. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ "Switzerland". MWC-CMM.org. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ "France". MWC-CMM.org. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ "United Kingdom". MWC-CMM.org. Retrieved September 21, 2016.  ^ "The Mennonite
Mennonite
Trust". Menno.org. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

Epp, Marlene. Mennonite
Mennonite
Women in Canada: A History (Winnipeg, University of Manitoba
Manitoba
Press, 2008. xiii + 378 pp.) Gingerich, Melvin (1949), Service for Peace, A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service, Mennonite
Mennonite
Central Committee. Harder, Helmut and Miller, Larry, “ Mennonite
Mennonite
Engagement in International Ecumenical Conversations: Experiences, Perspectives, and Guiding Principles,” Mennonite
Mennonite
Quarterly Review 90 (2016), 345–71. Heisey, M. J. "' Mennonite
Mennonite
Religion was a Family Religion': A Historiography," Journal of Mennonite
Mennonite
Studies (2005), Vol. 23 pp 9–22. Hinojosa, Felipe (2014). Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical Culture. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Horsch, James E. (Ed.) (1999), Mennonite
Mennonite
Directory, Herald Press. ISBN 0-8361-9454-3 Krahn, Cornelius, Gingerich, Melvin & Harms, Orlando (Eds.) (1955). The Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia, Volume I, pp. 76–78. Mennonite
Mennonite
Publishing House. Mennonite
Mennonite
& Brethren in Christ
Brethren in Christ
World Directory 2003. Available On-line at https://web.archive.org/web/20060203202348/http://www.mwc-cmm.org/Directory/index.htm Pannabecker, Samuel Floyd (1975), Open Doors: A History of the General Conference Mennonite
Mennonite
Church, Faith and Life Press. ISBN 0-87303-636-0 Shearer, Tobin Miller (2010). Daily Demonstrators: The Civil Rights Movement in Mennonite
Mennonite
Homes and Sanctuaries. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 392. ISBN 0-8018-9700-9.  Scott, Stephen (1995), An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite
Mennonite
Groups, Good Books, ISBN 1-56148-101-7 Smith, C. Henry (1981), Smith's Story of the Mennonites
Mennonites
(5th ed. Faith and Life Press). ISBN 0-87303-060-5

External links[edit]

Look up Mennonite
Mennonite
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Find more aboutMennoniteat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons Texts from Wikisource Data from Wikidata

Mennonite
Mennonite
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Global Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO) Mennonite
Mennonite
World Conference The Swiss Mennonite
Mennonite
Cultural and Historical Association  "Mennonites". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. 

v t e

Anabaptism

Background

Protestant
Protestant
Reformation Radical Reformation Waldensians Petr Chelčický Moravian Church German mysticism Zwickau prophets Congregationalism

Movements

Swiss Brethren Hutterites Batenburgers Mennonites Old Order Mennonites Conservative Mennonites "Russian" Mennonites Old Order Amish Beachy Amish Amish
Amish
Mennonites Abecedarian Schwenkfelders Schwarzenau (German Baptist) Brethren Brethren in Christ
Brethren in Christ
Church Bruderhof Apostolic Christian Church Peace churches

History

Ausbund German Peasants' War Münster Rebellion Martyrs Mirror Schleitheim Confession Dordrecht Confession of Faith

Theology

Theology of Anabaptism Apostolic succession/Great Apostasy Church discipline Communalism/Communism Freedom of religion Memorialism Nonconformity to the world Nonresistance Pacifism Priesthood of all believers Separation of church and state/free church Sola scriptura

Practices

Agape feast/Lovefeast Believer's baptism Foot washing Ordnung Plain dress Shunning Simple living

Notable Anabaptists

Felix Manz Conrad Grebel Pilgram Marpeck Michael Sattler Hans Denck Jacob Hutter Balthasar Hubmaier Bernhard Rothmann Dirk Philips Menno Simons Jakob Ammann Alexander Mack

Portal: Anabaptism

Authority control

GND: 4038633-

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