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Anabaptism is a Protestant denomination, which originated in the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. The term covers Mennonites, Hutterites, Amish and Brethren. The Anabaptist movement started in January 1525 in Zurich, Switzerland, when the first Anabaptist baptismal service took place.

The name Anabaptism derives from Greek terms for re-baptism (Greek ανα (again, twice) +βαπτιζω (baptize), thus "re-baptizers") and was originally used as a pejorative term. Anabaptists require that candidates be able to make their own declarations of faith and so refuse baptism to infants. As a result, they were heavily persecuted during the 16th century and into the 17th by both other Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Anabaptists practice believer's baptism, believe in the priesthood of all believers and a symbolic meaning of the Lord's Supper, postulate the separation of church and state, and refuse to do military service and to take oaths. Ordinances are baptism and the Lord's Supper. Some groups also practice foot washing. The terminology sacrament is generally rejected. Apart from that they have no generally accepted doctrine and no central organisation. Today there are more than 1.6 million anabaptists worldwide.

No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ
Menno Simons' motto from 1 Corinthians 3:11

Selected article

Nonresistance (or non-resistance) is generally defined as "the practice or principle of not resisting authority, even when it is unjustly exercised". At its core is discouragement of, even opposition to, physical resistance to an enemy. It is considered as a form of principled nonviolence or pacifism which rejects all physical violence, whether exercised on individual, group, state or international levels. Practitioners of nonresistance may refuse to retaliate against an opponent or offer any form of self-defense. Nonresistance is often associated with particular religious groups.

Sometimes non-resistance has been seen as compatible with, even part of, movements advocating social change. An often-cited example is the movement led by Mohandas Gandhi in the struggle for Indian Independence. While it is true that in particular instances (e.g. when threatened with arrest) practitioners in such movements might follow the line of non-resistance, such movements are more accurately described as cases of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. (More...)

Selected biography

Michael Sattler preaching in the woods.

Michael Sattler (c. 1490 – 21 May 1527) was a monk who left the Roman Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation to become one of the early leaders of the Anabaptist movement. He was particularly influential for his role in developing the Schleitheim Confession.

Born in approximately 1490 in Staufen, Germany. Sattler became a Benedictine monk in the cloister of St. Peter and most likely became prior. He left St. Peter's probably in May 1525 when the monastery had been overcome by the troops from the Black Forest fighting in the peasant's war. He later married a former Beguine named Margaretha. When Sattler arrived in Zurich is not known except that he was in town before being expelled from the city November 18, 1525 in a wave of expulsions of foreigners resulting from the November 6–8 disputation on baptism. Some believe that Sattler is to be identified as the "Brother Michael in the white coat," mentioned in a document dated March 25 of that year, thus placing Sattler in Zurich before Snyder's estimation of when he left St. Peter's. Snyder believed that Sattler possibly arrived in Zurich to attend that disputation.

He became associated with the Anabaptists and was probably rebaptised in the summer of 1526. He was involved in missionary activity around Horb and Rottenburg, and eventually traveled to Strasbourg. In February 1527 he chaired a meeting of the Swiss Brethren at Schleitheim, at which time the Schleitheim Confession was adopted. (More...)

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