Directory of Evangelical Churches




Association des Églises Évangéliques Mennonites de France



Roland Nussbaumer E-mail address

Joël Nussbaumer E-mail address

Mennonite churches have existed since the sixteenth century. They stress the need for a personnel decision by each believer, practicing adult baptism on profession of faith. They encourage their members to practise nonviolence as much as possible and promote the participation of everyone without distinction between clergy and laity, preferring a simple life of sharing and prayer.

The Mennonites trace their origins to the pacific Anabaptists of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. They appeared around 1525 within the following of the Zurich reformer Zwingli, the movement then propagating towards the East and northwards along the Rhine. They became more structured in the Netherlands around Menno Simons, a Catholic priest who had become Anabaptist. It is from him that the name “Mennonite” is derived.

Their refusal to carry weapons, or even to convert to the religion of local princes, exposed these churches to many persecutions. They retreated to areas where there was more tolerance in the Netherlands and northern Germany. In some cases they were allowed to live in non-developed agricultural regions which they tended in Switzerland, southern Germany or in the Ukraine. In France, from the sixteenth century, and especially since the seventeenth century, the Mennonites grouped themselves in the East of the country.