Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinden was the name of a number of Mennonite congregations in Russia, of which the Molotschnaer Evangelische Mennonitenbrüderschaft, founded in 1905, and Altonauer Evangelische Mennonitengemeinde, founded in 1907, were most significant. The popular name for these congregations was Allianz-Gemeinden. Peter M. Friesen, as indicated in the title of his book, Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft, and expressed throughout it, was one of the chief promoters of the concern which caused the founding of these congregations. He himself was for a time the leader of the Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft at Sevastopol. His book contains much information regarding the basic philosophy of the movement.
As a member of the Mennonite Brethren Church he was disappointed, and with him others, in the course which his church followed. Raising the question as to whether the promising beginning had been fulfilled particularly regarding John 17:21, he concluded that the concept of the fellowship of the saints was too closely identified with being a member of the Mennonite Brethren Church (375 ff.). Although basically in agreement with the Mennonite Brethren principles, he strongly advocated an Allianz, a fellowship of all children of God particularly within the Mennonite brotherhood in daily life and also around the Lord’s table. The segregation type of Allianz as promoted by the Darbystic Bible School of Berlin (later Wiedenest) was too narrow for him. He strongly promoted an inter-Mennonite fellowship, simultaneously stressing Mennonite principles and tradition and the evangelical warmth of Pietism. Contrary to Mennonite Brethren practices he went so far as to recognize baptism by sprinkling or pouring (156 ff.) and stated that the Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinden "have found a way out for those who do not wish to be rebaptized and at the same time are not satisfied with the practices of the Mennonite Church [in Russia]. The Mennonite Brethren Church has [justly] lost the monopoly in the realm of being the 'church of believers'" (footnote 723).
There were also others who were not fully satisfied with the spiritual life and practices of the Mennonite Brethren and the "Kirchliche" Mennonite Church in Russia. The leadership of this group could be counted among the better educated. In a way this development among the Mennonites in Russia was duplicated among the Mennonites of the prairie states in America when in Henderson, Nebraska, and Mountain Lake, Minnesota, separate congregations were organized which later became known as the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren. Although there was no direct connection between these two groups there was similarity not only in name but also in practice and emphasis. The Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinden have never had a large following, but have exerted a beneficial influence not only through their congregations, but also through groups of sympathizers, particularly regarding the relationship between the Mennonite and the Mennonite Brethren churches and their weaknesses. Members of the group that came to Canada after World War I organized originally as separate congregations and joined the Mennonite Brethren Church, while those going to Brazil joined the General Conference Mennonite Church, and only those of Paraguay have remained an independent group.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 722-27, particularly footnotes, 168-89, 256 ff., 376 ff.
Lohrenz, Gerhard. Sagradowka: die Geschichte einer mennonitischen Ansiedlung im Süden Russlands. Rosthern, SK: Echo-Verlag, 1947: 75 f., 80.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinden." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 22 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Evangelische_Mennoniten-Gemeinden&oldid=80611.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1956). Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinden. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Evangelische_Mennoniten-Gemeinden&oldid=80611.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 268. All rights reserved.
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