Swiss German Section



The Secret of the Strength — Peter Hoover

The Story of the early Anabaptists, what they believed, what they did and what happened. Read More.

Ausbund — Etliche Schöne Christliche Lieder,


Confession of Thomas von Imbroich




Report of Martin Meyli, Stallikon, Zürich, 1635-1645

By the 1630s the leaders of the Canton of Zürich felt they had tolerated the nonconformed Anabaptist congregation long enough. What particularly sparked their displeasure was the defection of a military standard-bearer, Heinrich Frick of the Hof, a short distance south of Knonau, Zürich. Baptised — re-baptised — by believers in 1625 he refused further service in the military and local authorities felt compelled to act. Martin Meyli, son of an Anabaptist servant, described what happened. See the original document.


Het Martelaers-Spiegel — The Martyrs Mirror, 1660

In 1660 Dutch Anabaptist believers printed a massive 1,290 book regarding the martyrs earnest Christian martyrs, mostly Anabaptists, from the crucifixion of Christ to the 17th Century Swiss persecution of believers in Zürich and Bern. Of particular interest are details on the persecutions in Zürich and Bern in the mid-1600s. Click here.


Die Ernstliche Christenpflicht, 1708

Ernstliche ChristenpflichtThe Serious Christian’s Duty

A few years before Jacob and Ulrich Huber left Europe to settle in the Pequea Valley in Pennsylvania, the impoverished and often afflicted Anabaptists of the Kraichgau in southern Germany published a book with a long title. Popularly known at the Christenpflicht, or Ernstliche Christenpflicht (The Serious Christian’s Duty) it involves prayers, statements of faith, and instructions for believers of all ages.

Both in Southern Germany and Pennsylvania many reprints followed as the book became an Anabaptist church and family favourite.

In Upper Canada, Mennonite Bishop Benjamin Eby of the Grand River settlement, first published it in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario, in 1846. And thanks to his direction, all descendants of the Rainham Mennonites who still read German, receive a copy of this book in their early teens. To read one section of this book in English, click here.

To read the entire book in scholarly translation,  see Leonard Gross,  Prayer Book for Earnest Christians: A Spiritually Rich Anabaptist Resource, Herald Press, 1997.

Reinhold Konrath Collection

Die Ernstliche Christenpflicht, 1708