Difference between revisions of "Australia"

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The following is a radio show from the [http://www.abc.net.au/ ABC] giving an Australian telling of the Anabaptist Story and why it is growning in Down Under: [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/encounter/stories/2007/1950197.htm The Anabaptist Vision Down Under]  
The following is a radio show from the [http://www.abc.net.au/ ABC] giving an Australian telling of the Anabaptist Story and why it is growning in Down Under: [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/encounter/stories/2007/1950197.htm The Anabaptist Vision Down Under]  
== Anabaptist-Related Groups  ==
== [[|]]Anabaptist-Related Groups  ==
In 2006 there was one Anabaptist-related group officially associated with [[Mennonite World Conference|MWC]] in Australia:  
In 2006 there was one Anabaptist-related group officially associated with [[Mennonite World Conference|MWC]] in Australia:  
*[[Australian Conference of Evangelical Mennonites]]
*[[Australian Conference of Evangelical Mennonites]]
*[http://www.churchcommunities.com.au/ www.churchcommunities.com.au/]<br>
*[http://thecommonlife.com/home thecommonlife.com/home]
*[http://www.anabaptist.asn.au/ www.anabaptist.asn.au/]
*[http://www.anabaptist.asn.au/index.php?type=page&ID=3552 www.anabaptist.asn.au/index.php]&nbsp;and&nbsp;[http://www.facebook.com/irenesplace.canberra www.facebook.com/irenesplace.canberra]
== Annotated Bibliography  ==
== Annotated Bibliography  ==

Revision as of 22:08, 18 April 2011

Australia: World Factbook, 2010[1]


7,741,220 sq km


21,262,641 (July 2009 est.)


English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census)


Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census)


white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%[1]

Groups Associated with MWC

1 (2006)[2]

Membership in MWC Affiliated Churches

57 (2006)[2]

Australia is an island country south of the continent of Asia between the Indian and Pacific Oceans with a population of 21,262,641 (July 2009)[1]. In 2006 there was one organized Anabaptist-related groups officially associated with Mennonite World Conference (MWC) with a total membership of 57.[2]


Create new articles that tell stories about the Anabaptists of Australia and insert links to those stories here. Click here to learn more about stories.

The Australian Mennonite groups have always been conscientious about their religious convictions; this position has been illustrated through their intentionally about developing community and following Jesus’ biblical example in their every day lives. Their story in Australia is similar to other religious groups; learning how to worship in a new context, discovering what it means to be church in a new community, and understanding how to confront the challenges that accompany any religious group re-rooting.

Their story begins in the years following World War II, a number of immigrants from Dutch Mennonite, and Friesland backgrounds immigrated to Australia cities, Sydney and Melbourne. The immigrants went in search of a safe and secure place to raise their family, and a deep desire for peaceful living and worshipping. They were hopeful about Australia and ready to help the movement to succeed at whatever cost was demanded of them. Although the number of immigrants is not known it has been estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 persons of Mennonite background voyaged to Australia from the 1950s-1970s.

When these groups of people left they were encouraged to continue cultivating their Anabaptists heritage through communal worship. But, since there were no Mennonite congregations to join and members of the denomination were spread out, they began to be encouraged by their church leaders back in Europe to join Baptists churches. The Mennonite leaders from Europe through the Baptists denomination would be the best since they also practiced adult Baptism. Some immigrants quickly found a Baptists church and became active members within the community. However, others were preoccupied with settling their families and finding jobs.

A wave of Anabaptist renewal came to Australia in 1952 when Froppe Brouwer emigrated from the Netherlands. Brouwer was a young man with an Anabaptists heritage who moved to Sydney, he quickly found work like many other young Mennonties with a strong work ethic. He met other Mennonites in a Presbyterian church, this was unique because the pastor was originally Dutch and also preached the churches sermons in Dutch. In 1956 Froppe married Alice Hazenberg, a young adult with a similar Anabaptists background as himself. Together they continued to worship at the Presbyterian Church, however, in 1964 they took a family vacation to the Netherlands. During their travels they attended the Hollumop Ameland Mennonite Church, in April of 1965 their family was baptized. When they retuned to Australia they attempted to keep the Anabaptist vision they had re-discovered in the Netherlands alive. Froppe placed an advertisement in the Dutch Australian Weekly asking other Mennonites to respond to his desire for a Mennonite fellowship in Australia. Eventually he also began publishing “Die Mennist”, a four-page publication that was sent to about 80 families in the Netherlands through the 1970s and 80s.
Die Mennist was a newsletter that focused on the “Mennonite Fellowship of Hope.” The Froppe’s hopped that it would serve to locate dispersed Mennonites in Australia and bring them together. The Froppe’s worked hard to make the fellowship at Fennell Bay an attainable community for all ages. In 1981 they purchased a bus that was used to get Sunday school children to and from home, they also used the bus to transport children to club camp at Lake Mcquarie. They also began a “Care and Share” fruit and vegetable shop that catered to some peoples produce needs.

With the help of the publication the Anabaptist group began to grow, initially they used the local scout’s hall as a worship place but in 1979 the first Mennonite church was began. The small community decided to call it the 1st Mennonite Church of Hope in the Australian Mennonite Church conference. In response to the growing demand for Anabaptist leadership, Ian and Ann Duckham came in 1977 after graduation from Eastern Mennonite College (now Eastern Mennonite University.) www.emu.edu/ They were ordained in North America but they were readily accepted in the congregation in Australia. The Duckhams worked closely with Vietnamese immigrants in 1978 and established many members in the congregation. By 1987 about 25 adult members had been baptized into the congregation. Unfortunately the congregation was not sustainable and closed down.
Presently there are a number of different Anabaptists groups in Australia. The largest of these groups are comprised of an Indonesian Mennonite group who immigrated for religious reasons. However, three smaller groups exist that also have a great deal of impact in their communities. The first is a Bruderhof community located in the Danthonia Community in Inverell, Australia, the second is a Hutterite community from Tazmania, Australia, and the third is a Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) team run by Mark and Mary Hurst. 

The Bruderhof community began in 1920 by Eberhard Arnold and his wife Emmy. During World War II they were moved around because of their religious convictions. Eventually they moved to Paraguay but the climate was extremely difficult and tropical illnesses depleted the vitality of the group. In 1954, in response to American guests, a small number of people from the group migrated to North American and established a place called Woodcrest. Now Woodcrest is established in five different countries and they continue to grow. The community holds everything in common with one another, meals, possessions, and of course, worship. They try to live simply and committed lives to Jesus’s call. thecommonlife.com/about

The Hutterite community is from a more diverse background. Their leader, Peter Hover, is a strong leader in the group. They, “have close and direct links to other Anabaptist communities, and seek fellowship with all serious believers regardless of their background or credentials—that know Christ and follow him.” A detailed account of the groups history can be found at their website. thecommonlife.com/home
The Hursts are working on developing an intentional community called 1643, after the address of the neighborhood. One strength the Mennonite church brings to Australian people is a sense of community that Anabaptists tend to naturally embody. By starting the community the Hursts hope that people will be drawn to ask questions about the group and become more interested in the faith tradition. Another similar location is Irene’s Place, this house also focuses on community building and fellowship. www.facebook.com/irenesplace.canberra www.anabaptist.asn.au/index.php

The following is a radio show from the ABC giving an Australian telling of the Anabaptist Story and why it is growning in Down Under: The Anabaptist Vision Down Under

[[|]]Anabaptist-Related Groups

In 2006 there was one Anabaptist-related group officially associated with MWC in Australia:

Annotated Bibliography

External Links

Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand Inc (AAANZ)

The Peace Tree Intentional Community


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Kenya," CIA World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html (accessed 11 April 2010).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "2006 Mennonite and Brethren in Christ World Membership," Mennonite World Conference. http://www.mwc-cmm.org/en15/PDF-PPT/2006mbictotal.pdf (accessed 11 April 2010).