Old Colony Mennonites

The name Old Colony Mennonites (German: Altkolonier-Mennoniten) is used to describe that part of the Russian Mennonite movement that is descended from colonists who migrated from the Chortitza Colony in Russia (itself originally of Prussian origins) to settlements in Canada.

Since Chortitza was the first Mennonite settlement in Russia, it was known as the "Old Colony". In the course of the 19th century the population of the Chortitza Colony multiplied, and daughter colonies were founded. Part of the settlement moved to Canada in the 1870s, and the Canadian community, whose church was officially known as the "Reinländer Mennoniten Gemeinde", was still informally known by the old name.[1][2] When members of the Old Colony Mennonites then moved from Canada to other places, the name was kept.

Old Colony Mennonites are typically more conservative than most other Russian Mennonites in North America.[citation needed]

As of 1990, Old Colony Mennonite communities could be found in Mexico, Bolivia, Belize, Paraguay, Canada, the United States of America.[3]

In 2013 the vast majority of Old Colony Mennonites lived in Mexico, where about 60% of the 100,000 Mennonites are affiliated with the Altkolonier Mennonitengemeinde[4] and Bolivia, where about 75% of about 70.000 are affiliated with the Altkolonier Mennonitengemeinde.[5] A smaller group lived in Belize, where about 50% of the 10,000 Mennonites are affiliated with the Altkolonier Mennonitengemeinde.[6] Smaller groups of Old Colony Mennonites also lived in Paraguay, Argentina, Canada and the US.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Old Colony Mennonite Church". The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  2. ^ "Reinlander Mennoniten Gemeinde (Manitoba)". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  3. ^ "Old Colony Mennonites". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  4. ^ Fretz, J. Winfield and H. Leonard Sawatzky. "Mexico." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2010. Web. 23 Sep 2014. [1]
  5. ^ Bender, Harold S., Martin W. Friesen, Menno Ediger, Isbrand Hiebert and Gerald Mumaw. "Bolivia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2013. Web. 23 Sep 2014. [2]
  6. ^ Gingerich, Melvin and John B. Loewen. "Belize." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2013. Web. 23 Sep 2014.[3]


  • Huttner, Jakob: Zwischen Eigen-art und Wirk-lichkeit : Die Altkolonie-Mennoniten im bolivianischen Chaco. Berlin 2012.
  • Schartner, Sieghard and Schartner, Sylvia: Bolivien : Zufluchtsort der konservativen Mennoniten. Asunción 2009.
  • Cañás Bottos, Lorenzo: Old Colony Mennonites in Argentina and Bolivia : Nation Making, Religious Conflict and Imagination of the Future. Leiden et. al. 2008.
  • Hedberg, Anna Sofia: Outside the world : Cohesion and Deviation among Old Colony Mennonites in Bolivia. Uppsala 2007.
  • Will, Martina E.: The Old Colony Mennonite Colonization of Chihuahua and the Obregón Administration's Vision for the * Nation, San Diego 1993.
  • Redekop, Calvin Wall: Old Colony Mennonites: Dilemmas of Ethnic Minority Life, Baltimore 1969.