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These movements are together referred to as the "Radical Reformation".
Some of the followers of Zwingli's Reformed church thought that requiring church membership beginning at birth was inconsistent with the New Testament example.
Officials killed many of the earliest Anabaptist leaders in an attempt to purge Europe of the new sect.
By 1530, most of the founding leaders had been killed for refusing to renounce their beliefs.
He questioned the doctrine of transubstantiation, but was reluctant to leave the Roman Catholic Church.
His brother, a member of an Anabaptist group, was killed when he and his companions were attacked and refused to defend themselves.
Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders.
The early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states.
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The Mennonites are Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland (which today is a province of the Netherlands).
They joined forces to fight the movement, using methods such as banishment, torture, burning, drowning or beheading.
Despite strong repressive efforts of the state churches, the movement spread slowly around western Europe, primarily along the Rhine.
Mennonites can be found in communities in at least 87 countries on six continents.