The pacifist branches often survived by seeking refuge in neutral cities or nations, such as Strasbourg.
Their safety was often tenuous, as a shift in alliances or an invasion could mean resumed persecution.
He soon became a leader within the Anabaptist movement and was wanted by authorities for the rest of his life.
His name became associated with scattered groups of nonviolent Anabaptists whom he helped to organize and consolidate.
These forerunners of modern Mennonites were part of the Protestant Reformation, a broad reaction against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic Church.Mennonite congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population.Mennonites can be found in communities in at least 87 countries on six continents.Many government and religious leaders, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, considered voluntary church membership to be dangerous—the concern of some deepened by reports of the Münster Rebellion, led by a violent sect of Anabaptists.They joined forces to fight the movement, using methods such as banishment, torture, burning, drowning or beheading.Some of the followers of Zwingli's Reformed church thought that requiring church membership beginning at birth was inconsistent with the New Testament example.