Chortitz Mennonite Church (Menno Colony, Alto Paraguay Department, Paraguay)
The Chortitz Mennonite Church, Menno, Chaco, Paraguay, was founded by Mennonites coming from Manitoba and Saskatchewan after World War I. The Mennonites of the East Reserve, Manitoba, had come from the Bergthal settlement in Russia. In Manitoba they became known as Chortitza Mennonites, because they had originally come from the Chortitza settlement in Russia. Some moved from the East Reserve to the West Reserve and became known as Bergthaler and Sommerfelder. From here some moved to Saskatchewan, calling their church the Bergthal Church. Of these Chortitza, Sommerfelder, and Bergthal (Saskatchewan) Mennonites, 1,743 souls left Canada in 1926-1927 (see Menno) for the Paraguayan Chaco. Later 328 returned to Canada, leaving 1,415 who were registered as members of the new church called the Chortitz Church of Menno. In 1949 the membership was 1,105, served by 11 ministers and 4 deacons with Martin C. Friesen of Osterwick as elder. Church services are held regularly every Sunday morning at the church in Osterwick, built in 1932 of adobe bricks and metal roof with a seating capacity of 350, and in 18 surrounding village schools throughout the colony in rotation according to the number of ministers available. No musical instruments were used during the services and the Mennonite hymnary (Gesangbuch) was used exclusively. Sunday schools were not held but summer vacation Bible schools were frequently arranged. Feetwashing was not practiced. Church discipline and the use of the ban were receiving increased attention in the 1940s.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 567. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Friesen, Martin C. "Chortitz Mennonite Church (Menno Colony, Alto Paraguay Department, Paraguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C4645.html.
APA style: Friesen, Martin C. (1953). Chortitz Mennonite Church (Menno Colony, Alto Paraguay Department, Paraguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C4645.html.