Mennonites in Bolivia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mennonites in Bolivia
Total population
70.000+ (2011) 28,567 (1995)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Santa Cruz
Religions
Anabaptist
Scriptures
The Bible
Languages
Plautdietsch, English, Spanish

As of 2012, there were about 70,000 Mennonites living in Bolivia. They are mostly Mennonites of German and Dutch descent, who lived for more than 200 years in West Prussia and then moved to the Russian Empire starting in 1789. These “Russian” Mennonites speak Plautdietsch, a German dialect originating in the Vistula delta. Moreover, there are a number of Bolivians with other ethnic backgrounds who have converted to Mennonite Christianity. “Russian Mennonites” living in Bolivia are among the most traditional and conservative of all the Mennonites in South America.

History[edit]

The Bolivian government granted a privilege to future Mennonite immigrants including freedom of religion, private schools and exemption from military service in the 1930s, but that was not deployed until the 1950s.

Between 1954 and 1957, a first group of 37 families from various Mennonite colonies in Paraguay established Tres Palmas colony, 25 km northeast of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Soon, a second colony was established five km away from Tres Palmas by a group of 25 conservative families from Menno Colony in Paraguay. The settlers from Paraguay were experienced and well prepared to practice agriculture in a subtropical climate. In 1959, the total Mennonite population in Bolivia was 189.[2]

In 1963, new settlements were founded where Mennonites from Paraguay and Canada lived together. In 1967, Mennonites from Mexico and from their daughter colonies in Belize began to settle in the Santa Cruz Department. Las Piedras colony, founded 1968, was the first colony founded exclusively by Mennonites from Canada. Most settlers in Bolivia were traditional Mennonites who wanted to separate themselves more from the “world”. Altogether there were about 17,500 Mennonites living in 16 colonies in Bolivia by 1986, of whom nearly 15,000 were Old Colony Mennonites and 2,500 Bergthal or Sommerfeld Mennonites.[3]

Major colonies and Mennonite population[edit]

In 1995, there were a total of 25 Mennonite colonies in Bolivia with a total population of 28,567. The most populous ones were Riva Palacios (5,488), Swift Current (2,602), Nueva Esperanza (2,455), Valle Esperanza (2,214) and Santa Rita (1,748).[1] In 2002 there were 40 Mennonite colonies with a population of about 38,000 people.[4]

In 2012 there were 23,818 church members in congregations of Russian Mennonites, indicating a total population of about 70,000. Another 1,170 Mennonites were in Spanish speaking congregations.[5] The number of colonies was 57 in 2011.

The total population was estimated at 60,000 by Lisa Wiltse in 2010.[6]

An outreach of Conservative Mennonites can be found at La Estrella, with others in progress.

Rape cases of 2013[edit]

In 2011, eight men belonging to the Manitoba Mennonite Colony were convicted of a series of sexual assaults committed from 2005 to 2009. Prior to the discovery, the rapes had been attributed to a ghost or demon. The victims were reported to be between the ages of 3 and 65. The offenders used a type of gas used by veterinarians to sedate animals during medical procedures. Despite long custodial sentences for the convicted men, an investigation in 2013 reported continuing cases of similar assaults and other sexual abuses.[7]

See also[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • 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.
  • Pasco, Gwenaëlle: La Colonisation Mennonite en Bolivie : Culture et agriculture dans l'Oriente. Paris 1999.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b William Schroeder; Helmut Huebert (1996). Mennonite historical atlas. Kindred Productions. pp. 144–145. ISBN 978-0-920643-05-1. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  2. ^ http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bolivia&oldid=103617 Bender, Harold S., Martin W. Friesen, Menno Ediger, Isbrand Hiebert and Gerald Mumaw. "Bolivia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2013. Web. 11 Feb 2014.
  3. ^ http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bolivia&oldid=103617 Bender, Harold S., Martin W. Friesen, Menno Ediger, Isbrand Hiebert and Gerald Mumaw. "Bolivia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2013. Web. 11 Feb 2014.
  4. ^ http://www.menonitica.org/2002/vortrag7.htm Sieghard Schartner: "Deutschsprachige Mennonitenkolonien in Bolivien"
  5. ^ http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bolivia&oldid=103617 Bender, Harold S., Martin W. Friesen, Menno Ediger, Isbrand Hiebert and Gerald Mumaw. "Bolivia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2013. Web. 11 Feb 2014.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia, 28 December 2013, retrieved 6 January 2014 

External links[edit]