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Brethren is a name adopted by several Protestant Christian bodies which do not necessarily share historical roots. As classified in The Pilgrim Church by EH Broadbent, the earliest primitive churches to Paulician Brethren, to Bogomil Brethren, to Anabaptist and to Moravian Brethren were historical Brethren Movement.


Anabaptist groups

These groups grew out of the Anabaptist movement at the time of the Protestant Reformation (16th century).

  • The Hutterites or Hutterian Brethren are descendants of German, Swiss, and Tyrolean Anabaptists led by Jacob Hutter, who was burned at the stake in 1536 for refusing to renounce his faith.
  • The Swiss Brethren were an early Anabaptist group that later divided into the Amish and Mennonite groups (particularly the Swiss Mennonite Conference)

Schwarzenau Brethren

The Schwarzenau Brethren originated in 1708 in Schwarzenau, Bad Berleburg, Germany, with Alexander Mack. Their roots are in the Radical Pietism movement but they were strongly influenced by Anabaptist theology. They have also been called "Dunkers" or "German Baptist Brethren". The group split into three wings in 1881–1883:

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