Mennonites and Economic Development

The Mennonites are an Anabaptist Christian sect that can trace its origins to the Netherlands in the 16th century. Menno Simons was an early prominent leader, and the term Mennonite is derived from his name. Today, there are approximately 1.5 million Mennonites living around the world, about one-third in North America. Agriculture, as the most basic human economic activity, has provided a livelihood for more Mennonites throughout history than any other endeavor. While many progressive Mennonites have moved into other occupations, this change is relatively recent, and some Mennonites still have an agricultural background and may prefer to live in rural areas. Consequently, a concern for the environment and for sustainable economic development is enmeshed in the Mennonite philosophy.

Some Christian discourse on generosity and the ...

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