Nordrhein-Westfalen (English, North Rhine-Westphalia), a state in Germany formed in 1947. It was created by merging the government districts of Aachen, Düsseldorf, and Cologne in the Prussian Rhine Province with the Prussian province of Westphalia and the German Free State of Lippe (in 1949 small border areas were ceded to the Netherlands and Belgium). Its capital is Düsseldorf and its population was 17,996,621 at the end of 2007 (42.2% are Roman Catholic, 28.3% are Protestant, 2.78% are Muslim, 0.49% are Orthodox, 1.05% belong to small Christian groups, 0.2% belong to various eastern religions, 1.17% belong to other religions, and 24.7% claim no religion). This compares with demographic figures from 1952, when the state had a population of 13,147,100 (56% Roman Catholic and 39% Protestant). The state is divided into two area associations (Landschaftsverbände), Rheinland and Westfalen-Lippe, and the five administrative regions of Düsseldorf, Köln (Cologne), Arnsberg, Detmold, and Münster.
The old Mennonite congregations of Krefeld and Gronau were located here, and also the refugee congregations of Bergisches Land and Espelkamp. Of the congregations belonging to the Westphalian group, Bielefeld, Detmold, Münster, and Recklinghausen belong to Nordrhein-Westfalen, while Hameln, Rinteln, and Osnabrück are reckoned with Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony).
The following figures show that in
1955 the membership in this area included about 900 members in the original
families and an increase of 1600 refugee members, mostly from West Prussia.
The Neuwied congregation, formerly closely connected with the Krefeld
congregation in the Rhine Province, now belongs to the Palatinate.
Gustav Kraemer (1863-1948) served as pastor of the Krefeld congregation for many years; he was followed by Dirk Cattepoel 1937-51, and Daniel Reuter 1951- . Hendrick van Delden (1872-1950), an elder of the Gronau congregation, and Reinhard Rahusen (1883-1951), a minister of the same congregation, were of great importance for the entire Mennonite brotherhood. The large textile firm M. van Delden & Co. celebrated its centennial in 1954.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: III, 491 f.
Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1941 and 1951); printed matter on the appeal for relief funds (Bitt- und Opfergang) in the Göttingen Research Center.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 319-320. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Crous, Ernst. "Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2008. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/nordrhein_westfalen_germany.
APA style: Crous, Ernst. (September 2008). Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/nordrhein_westfalen_germany.