Wiedertäufer Ordnung (Anabaptist Regulation), issued 27 February 1695, by the cantonal government of Bern, Switzerland, after previous regulations had failed to eliminate the Swiss Brethren. The government was determined "with God's aid and support to uproot this weed from our lands." The Ordnung decreed that Swiss Brethren who returned after being banished should be forged to chains in Bern. For any preacher delivered to the authorities a reward of 100 talers was offered. A fine of 50 pounds was imposed upon any who employed a servant or rented any land to anyone who did not have a certificate from his home community showing that he was an honorable and obedient citizen. Since the women were not included in the required oath of loyalty, an annual inspection should be made in the homes and a written account kept of all the members of each family, "whether they attend the sermons, children's instruction and instruction of the old, and also whether they attend the holy sacraments fittingly and zealously, and have their children baptized at the right time or not at all. . . . But the very aged feeble women, if temporary admonition and warning do not take effect, shall be taken hither to our island to the place prepared, and kept in eternal prison at their own expense, and not released until they promise obedience. . . . We will have the imprisonment so arranged that nobody can speak to them or free them."
The embittered government continued its persecution beyond life itself. The regulation stipulated: since these people hesitated to attend church with the other subjects and deliberately separated themselves, "we will have them excluded from the church and ordain herewith: That no men or women in this land dying in this error and obstinacy shall be buried in a cemetery or other usual burial place." In Kurzenei near Wasen there is a hidden place called the "Tauferloch," where the Anabaptists met and buried their dead in the period of persecution.
The ordinance was to be read from all the pulpits on Sunday, 10 March. On 28 March 1695, all officials received a supplementary order to send in an exact list of those who absented themselves from the Easter communion service.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon., 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: IV.
The library of the university and city of Bern, Alte Drucke, No. 139.
State archives of Bern, Mandatenbuch 10: 130, 141, 144, 164.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 947. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Geiser, Samuel. "Wiedertäufer Ordnung." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/wiedertaufer_ordnung.
APA style: Geiser, Samuel. (1959). Wiedertäufer Ordnung. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/wiedertaufer_ordnung.