Buitentrouw ("outside marriage"), the term once used by the Dutch Mennonites when a member of the church married a non-Mennonite or a member of another branch of Mennonites, as, for example,when a member of the Flemish branch married into the Waterlanders. The stricter branches maintained the position against such marriages until the beginning of the 18th century and banned those who made such marriages. The Waterlanders soon relinquished the buitentrouw. Their church regulations of 1581 still ruled against it, but in practice those members who married outside the brotherhood were no longer banned. Before long many mixed marriages took place among the Waterlanders and gradually also among the other Mennonite branches. By the mid-20th century the Dutch Mennonites had no ruling whatever in regard to marriage with non-Mennonites. "Outside marriage" was also forbidden originally by the Swiss and German Mennonites as well as by their descendants in other countries, including Russia and North America. In the most conservative groups it is still forbidden on pain of excommunication.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 466. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Buitentrouw." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B8457.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1953). Buitentrouw. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B8457.html.