The Anabaptists are one of the most diverse of Christian branches. Congregationalism, localism, classlessness, member intimacy, minimal hierarchy, and accessible leadership, tangible stances in response to the present-day world, and an insistence on genuine faith are characteristic emphases of Anabaptists. The churches are numerous but rarely larger than one’s ability to know everyone’s names; denominations rarely exceed a few thousand members. This entry discusses the history of the Anabaptists and includes brief descriptions of present-day Anabaptist churches and how they differ from one another.

On the left of the ideological continuum are churches advocating for social justice and peace in social, political, and economic arenas. To the right are churches that require humility and simplicity in very personal areas, including clothing, technology, livelihood, and residential location. ...

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