The Persecution Of Innocenece Essay Research Paper

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The Persecution Of Innocenece Essay, Research Paper The Persecution of Innocence This essay will examine in detail the wrong doings of society upon the Hutterite people. It will also show how the Hutterian Brethren?s agricultural expertise has been beneficial to the world. It will explain many accounts of torture and hardship endured by these people. The Hutterian brotherhood has been wrongly persecuted because of their religion and their way of life, for many years. The first written account of the Anabaptist movement dates as far back as January 21, 1525. On this evening several young men attempted to baptize one another. They did this upon confession of the faith. These young men had all planned to study classics at University but they quickly turned to the Bible. The

young men mentioned as founders of Anabaptism were Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and Jorg Blaurock. All of these men were well-respected scholars.1 The newfound Anabaptist movement seemed to spread rapidly throughout Switzerland, southern Germany, Tirol, and Moravia. A German chronicler described the rapid growth in these words, ?Anabaptism spread so quickly that their teachings soon covered, as it were, the land. They soon gained a large following and baptized many thousands, drawing to themselves many sincere souls who had a zeal for god.? Because of this astounding increase in the number of Anabaptists church and state officials resolved to extirpate the Anabaptists. This is where all the death and torture began for these innocent people.2 Only eight days after the first

Anabaptist baptismal service, there was a continual flow of mandates issued against them. There were over two hundred edicts proclaimed against the Anabaptists in the sixteenth century, one hundred of which were issued in the first twenty years. Such officials as territorial rulers, bishops and the emperor issued the mandates. The mandates were not only directed against the Anabaptists themselves but against anyone who helped or aided them in any way.3 These mandates were a serious matter, penalties outlined in the mandates ranged from expulsion to death. Some of the punishments described include burning holes in cheeks, branding foreheads with the sign of the devil, cutting off the fingers or the tongue, and stretching on the rack. The years to follow brought about a period of

brutality and suffering for the Anabaptists.4 In order to catch the Anabaptists or other parties guilty of aiding them, there were house to house searches. People were questioned about being an Anabaptist, and also about possible interactions with Anabaptists. The cruelest measures taken to seek out the Anabaptists occurred in southern Germany. German soldiers were sent out after the Anabaptists in large numbers, reaching up to one thousand. The soldiers were given orders to exterminate the Anabaptists by any one of several means including fire, water, sword, or hanging. The soldiers were to act immediately and without giving a trial. More brutal actions were taken against the Anabaptist leaders in an attempt to deter them from recruiting more people. For example a great

preacher, Hans Hut was made to endure ?alle Qualen der Holle? (all the agonies of hell).5 There are many accounts of extreme brutality these people faced for many years. This particular account is very brief and simplistic but it does get the point across. Some were tortured terribly on the rack that they were torn apart and died. Some were burned to ashes and powder as heretics. Some were roasted on beams, some torn with red hot irons. Some were penned up in houses and all burned together. Some were hung on trees, others executed with the sword, and chopped up in pieces. Many had gags put in their mouths and their tongues tied so they could not speak and testify to their faith, and were thus led to the stake. What they had confessed with the mouth they testified with their