Mennonites combine 2 denominations which are Christian and Anabaptist. The name is derived from the writings and teaching of Frisian Menno Simons (1496 -1561). The Swiss founder’s believed in the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. The Protestant states and Roman Catholic wanted to persecute the Mennonites for their beliefs. The Roman Catholics and Protestants started fighting the Mennonites, the majority of Mennonites survived by fleeing to near by states. Mennonites would rather flee than fight to states that were more tolerant of their radical belief in adult baptism.
Mennonites are the direct descendants of the Anabaptist movement of the sixteenth century. Along with Quakers and the Church of the Brethren, Mennonites are known for being pacifists.
After the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the first Mennonites migrated to Canada seeking relief as conscientious objectors to military pressures. Yet in Asia and Africa, many are still agrarian producers, and in Belize, the Mennonites provide nearly all the food consumed and Marketed in the country. The Swiss Mennonites bred remarkably productive dairy cattle.
The Russian Mennonites got the attention of United States and Canada based on their marketing and production of famous hard winter turkey red wheat. Others became known for merino sheep raising, orchards, and their dairy herds.
For example, the Holdeman strictly limit interaction not only with non-Mennonites but with members of other Mennonite groups. Marriage carries strict rules. Historically, Mennonites were forbidden to marry non-Mennonites and, in some cases, members of other Mennonite groups.
Again because Mennonites do not fight, many Mennonites arrived in Canada after World War I and II. During that time frame they had harrowing experiences as refugees. In the nineteenth century large numbers of Mennonites came from northern Europe, some by way of Russia. Currently there are over one million members world-wide.
The church, they argued, must remain separate from the state and secular or worldly affairs.
A new leader, Menno Simons, drew the remnants together. Rejecting polygamy and returning to the older Anabaptist beliefs, he spent twenty-five years visiting scattered groups of Anabaptists and in uniting them in the church that bears his name.
Their adherence to Christian pacifism, rejection of infant baptism, and refusal to accept the dictates of the state on religious matters resulted in persecution and forced migrations once again from one country to another.