The History Behind these Christian People
Anabaptists (Greek ανα (again) +βαπτιζω (baptize), thus, "re-baptizers", German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the Radical Reformation. Various groups at various times have been called Anabaptist, but this article focuses primarily on the Anabaptists of 16th century Europe.
The term "anabaptist" comes from the practice of baptizing individuals who had been baptized previously, often as infants. Anabaptists believe infant baptism is not valid, because a child cannot commit to a religious faith, and they instead support what's called believer's baptism.
The word anabaptism is used in this article to describe any of the 16th century "radical" dissenters, and the denominations descending from the followers of Menno Simons. Today the descendants of the 16th century European movement (particularly the Baptists, Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites, Church of the Brethren, and Brethren in Christ) are the most common bodies referred to as Anabaptist.
Taken from: Anabaptist. (2007, May 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabaptist.
The following websites can provide more information on the Anabaptist movement and beliefs:
The following information is an excerpt from www.anabaptists.org:
- Contemporary groups with early Anabaptist roots include the Mennonites, Amish, Dunkards, Landmark Baptists, Hutterites, and various Beachy and Brethren groups.
- There is no single defining set of beliefs, doctrines, and practices that characterizes all Anabaptists.
- The era of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation in Europe spawned a number of radical reform groups, among them the Anabaptists. These Christians regarded the Bible as their only rule for faith and life. Because of their radical beliefs, the Anabaptists were persecuted by other Protestants as well as by Roman Catholics.
- Mennonites have been characterized historically by a love for the Word of God, and by a strict demand for holiness of life.
- The evangelical and non-revolutionary Anabaptists of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, were somewhat of a trial to the leading reformers because of their radical views on the nature of the church and of the Christian ethic.
- January 21, 1525, is generally considered the birth date of Anabaptism.