ELCA apologizes for persecution of Anabaptists

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has formally apologized for Lutheran persecution of Anabaptists in 16th-century Europe.

A statement approved by the ELCA Church Council, the denomination’s board of directors, during a mid-November meeting in Chicago declares that the church is expressing “its deep and abiding sorrow and regret for the persecution and suffering visited upon the Anabaptists during the religious disputes of the past.”

Anabaptists trace their roots back to radical 16th-century European religious reformers and dissenters who stressed the need to baptize Christian believers, even those who had been baptized as infants. Their descendants are now found in such groups as the Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites.

 

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