Mennonites are a branch of the Anabaptist movement that started in 16th-century Europe, not long after Martin Luther led the Reformation, a schism creating the Protestant Church, one independent of the Catholic Church. Like the original Anabaptists, Mennonites believe in a strong separation of church and state, no creeds, adult baptism, and living as Jesus Christ did in the New Testament. Part of the insistence on separation of church and state was the refusal to participate in military service. In 16th-century Europe, church and state were linked or actually merged, and warfare was waged by the state. But the Anabaptists and eventually the Mennonites supported and upheld conscientious objection status, refusing to engage in violence.

The Anabaptist movement was founded in 1525 by several early members ...

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