This knowledge database shares a wide variety of data about the churches, conciliar and confessional bodies related to the WCC (statistics on church memberships, number of churches, congregations, pastors, links, etc.), as well as information about the different regions and countries they represent.

Mennonite churches

Mennonite and related churches are known as "Historic Peace Churches". They derive originally from the non-violent Anabaptist movement that emerged in Europe as a radical expression of the 16th century Reformation. Mennonites take their name from the Netherlands reformer and early influential leader Menno Simons (c.1496-1561). Migration, due initially to persecution, and mission spread the movement around the world. Today more than 70 percent of Mennonite Christians live in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

At the centre of Anabaptist-Mennonite faith stands Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour, and model of life. The church as the body of Christ continues Christ's life and ministry in the world. At least three features shape the church in Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective. The church is a community of believers who seek to follow in daily life the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. Believers who voluntarily confess the lordship of Christ receive baptism as the sign of the new covenant and of their commitment to a life of discipleship. Believers' baptism means also membership in the church and responsibility for its welfare. Autonomous from the state, the church lives under the authority of the word of God as set forth in the Bible. The text is best understood in the context of the community of disciples inspired by the Spirit. Social and personal ethics in a life of discipleship is a core part of the gospel. Followers of Jesus Christ live in the world to serve humankind through action and proclamation. Love of enemies and refusal of violence in the struggle for justice are understood as New Testament imperatives. Rejection of seeking wealth, and acting in favour of economic sharing, is frequently emphasized. Mennonite and related churches claim unity with all believers who confess Jesus Christ and seek to live the way of discipleship. Many cooperate with other Christian churches, especially in peacemaking, service, and mission.



Last updated: 1.1.2006