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Dissenters, or Nonconformists, was the designation of all religious groups not belonging to the Church of England, such as the Independents, Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, etc. The Act of Toleration of 1689 granted such groups conditional toleration. Equal rights with members of the established state church were not granted them until 150 years later. In the Netherlands the Dissenters, including the Mennonites and Remonstrants, were conditionally tolerated like the Roman Catholics after 1584; in 1651 a new law was enacted limiting toleration of Dissenters and Catholics to those places only where they had been worshiping before; establishing congregations and building churches in new places was prohibited. In 1796 toleration was replaced by full recognition, the Dissenters and Catholics receiving the same rights as the Reformed State Church.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I, 456.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Dissenters." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 25 May 2016.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Dissenters. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 74. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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