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Apology given for Mennonites persecution

 

STUTTGART, Germany (RNS/ENInews) A global Lutheran assembly in Germany has asked for forgiveness for the 16th-century persecution of Anabaptists, the religious reformers whose modern-day descendants include Mennonites.

“We remember how Anabaptist Christians knew suffering and persecution, and we remember how some of our most honored Reformation leaders defended this persecution in the name of faithfulness,” said Bishop Mark Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation, at a joint service of repentance with Mennonites on July 22.

Anabaptists, whose originally pejorative name means “re-baptizers,” stressed the need to baptize Christian believers, including those who had been baptized as infants. Both Protestants and Catholics persecuted Anabaptists as heretics, and many fled to America.

The successors of the Anabaptists are found in groups such as the Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites.