Kommission für Kirchenangelegenheiten (Russia)
The Kommission für Kirchenangelegenheiten (KfK) (Committee for Church Affairs) was an organization among Mennonites of Russia (also transplanted to the Mennonite settlements in South America) which, contrary to previous practices, represented all Mennonite groups in Russia. In 1910 a Glaubenskommission was appointed at Schönsee by the Allgemeine Bundeskonferenz der Mennnonitengemeinden in Russland to deal with the tremendous problems of that time. The Russian parliament had issued a new law regarding religious groups by which the Mennonites were stripped of their former privileges and treated as a "sect." The KfK became an effective agent in these emergency situations. At the conference at Nikolaipol in 1912, the name Glaubenskommission was changed to Kommission für Kirchenangelegenheiten. This commission became the executive committee of the conference (Bundeskonferenz) to carry out its decisions in so far as they did not conflict with the local autonomy of the congregations and also to represent the collective Mennonite body to the government.
The first committee consisted of Elder Abr. Goerz of Ohrloff, Heinrich Braun (Mennonite Brethren), and D. H. Epp. In 1911 D. H. Epp was appointed chairman and K. Unrau was added as treasurer. Later Wilhelm Dyck took the place of Heinrich Braun. In 1912 the KfK was also charged with the responsibility for arranging the programs and obtaining governmental permission to hold conference sessions. At a meeting of the Allgemeiner Mennonitischer Kongress in Ohrloff in 1917, it was decided that the chairman of the KfK devote his full time to the work of the conference and that he should receive a salary. During the time of the Revolution and the confusion following it, all activities came temporarily to an end. At the first conference after the Revolution, held in Chortitza in October 1922, a new committee was elected composed of Elder Johann Klassen of Schönwiese, Elder Jakob Rempel of Grünfeld, Heinrich Wiebe of Steinfeld, and Jakob Janzen of Tiege. The functions of the committee remained the same with special authorization for action in cases of emergency. The committee chosen in 1925 consisted of Elder Alexander Ediger of Schönsee, Aron Dueck of Margenau, and Cornelius Martens of Grossweide. Later representatives from Siberia and the Crimea were added. The activities of the KfK in Russia came to a close in 1926-27 when all organized religious activities became impossible.
The Mennonites of Brazil and Paraguay continued the practice of having an inter-Mennonite KfK to take care of all common religious problems of the settlements. The KfK in Brazil had the same name Kommission as the corresponding Russian Mennonite KfK, and continued until 1947, when the withdrawal of the Mennonite Brethren group rendered it moribund. For the Paraguay KfK, see the article Kommission für kirchliche Angelegenheiten.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 526.
|Author(s)||David H. Epp|
Cite This Article
Epp, David H. and Cornelius Krahn. "Kommission für Kirchenangelegenheiten (Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kommission_f%C3%BCr_Kirchenangelegenheiten_(Russia)&oldid=95601.
Epp, David H. and Cornelius Krahn. (1957). Kommission für Kirchenangelegenheiten (Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kommission_f%C3%BCr_Kirchenangelegenheiten_(Russia)&oldid=95601.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 218. All rights reserved.
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