Hans, Theodor (19th century)
Theodor Hans was a pastor of the Moravian Brethren in St. Petersburg, Russia, who rendered im¬portant services to the deputies of the Mennonites of Russia in the early 1870s when they sought exemption from military duty. Pastor Hans's home soon became the information center for Mennonites for questions concerning the new military law that was being formulated in the Ministry of War, and since he had good connections with the upper governmental circles he was able to assist them in obtaining audience and in supporting them in general. When the presence of Mennonite representatives in the capital was demanded or desired he summoned them by telegraph or letter, and when none was present he protected their cause.
Hans probably had a greater influence on the Mennonites of Russia than the casual contacts may seem to indicate. In the days when St. Petersburg seemed an unfriendly capital and it was anticipated that all peace-loving Mennonites would have to leave the country, he received the delegates in his home, helped them to establish the necessary contacts, and above all stimulated them with regard to their Mennonite conscience and Christian responsibility. "You cannot simply leave the country without having been inwardly and completely absolved from your calling [in Russia]. Thus the question of leaving the country for conscience' sake becomes the question of remaining in the country for conscience' sake." "Russia needs you, and the responsibility God has given you for the country is great." Admonitions like these, which were received in letters and reread and printed, must have had a considerable influence.
Epp, D. H. Die Chortitzer Mennoniten. Rosenthal bei Chortitz, 1887: 150 ff.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 506-509.
Görz, Abram. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Forsteidienstes der Mennoniten in Russland. Gross-Tokmak, 1907.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 249.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 652. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Epp, David H. and Cornelius Krahn. "Hans, Theodor (19th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hans_theodor_19th_century.
APA style: Epp, David H. and Cornelius Krahn. (1956). Hans, Theodor (19th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hans_theodor_19th_century.