Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your critical feedback on our article: Were the Anabaptists Persecuted for their Faith?
I think you misunderstand the whole point of the article. It is those who are claiming that the Anabaptists were persecuted for their faith that are categorising an entire movement – The Protestant Reformation - as violent, intolerant persecutors. The point made in this article is that the “Anabaptists” of the 16 th century were not the pleasant, nonviolent pacifists of today.
The princes and city councils who dealt with violent revolutionaries and those guilty of sedition in their time, were not dealing with mere issues of religious freedom, but resisting violent revolution. Yet today there are entire websites dedicated to slandering the Reformers, who gave us the Bible in our own languages, Religious Freedom, Freedom of Conscience, The Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, and so many other tremendous freedoms – yet they are being blamed for persecuting poor, innocent, pacifist Anabaptists!
The whole point of this article is that, that is just not true. Those who were called Anabaptists in the early 16 th century were violent revolutionaries. In fact, Frederick Engels claimed them as the first true communists!
Furthermore the Reformers Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin were not civil magistrates and they were not the ones who prosecuted these individuals for sedition.
I'm not an armchair historian. I have been a missionary to the persecuted church for over 27 years. I have spent time in prison for my faith, and been tortured and beaten for refusing to divulge information that would endanger the persecuted. My sympathy is always with the persecuted. I am deeply sorry for all the Anabaptists who have suffered for their faith. The only point here is that it is bearing false witness against our neighbour, indeed bearing false witness against our fathers in the faith, to blame Reformers for what civil magistrates in their time did, against people who actually were violent revolutionaries.
Please feel free to contact me for any further information on these matters.
May the Lord continue to guide you into all Truth.
Yours for Faith and freedom
Dr. Peter Hammond