Brethren Voices - now Beginning 15 years of Brethren

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The Church of the Brethren traces its roots back over 311 years, to 1708. Eighteenth-century Europe was a time of strong governmental control of the church and low tolerance for religious diversity. Nevertheless, there were religious dissenters who lived their faith in spite of the threat of persecution. Among them was Alexander Mack, a miller who had been influenced by both Pietism and Anabaptism. In August 1708 five men and three women gathered at the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany for baptism, an illegal act since all had been baptized as infants. They understood this baptism as an outward symbol of their new faith and as a commitment to living that faith in community.

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