Trail of blood


The Martyrs Mirror (1660), an Ana-baptist martyrology, has as its full title "The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only Upon Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Saviour, From the Time of Christ to the Year A.D. 1660."

A-Fording them a higher profile

By the 1980s, annual visitors to Lancaster County's "Amish country" numbered above 4 million. The 1985 Harrison Ford film "Witness" increased the flood even further (though not doubling it as predicted).

"Are you saved?" … "Ask my neighbors"

As with the family above, the early Brethren (Dunkers)—a cousin movement to the Mennonites and Amish—practiced a lively evangelistic outreach. But the typical Anabaptist emphasis on showing, not just telling, one's faith remained strong. When Brethren evangelist Rufus P. Bucher was asked by a stranger in a railway station, "Brother, are you saved?" He replied that since he might be prejudiced on the question, his interrogator should go ask his wife, children, and neighbors. "I'll be ready to let their answers stand as my own."

You may be more Mennonite than you think

Many American Christians simply assume that the state has no business dictating church beliefs or practices, that a church should be a gathered body of believers rather than a net that scoops up everyone within the area of a parish, and that baptism is a step of obedience upon profession of faith. What most do not know is that Mennonites were the first (surviving) group of Christians to insist on these things, and that they died by the thousands for doing so.

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