Kempen (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)

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Kempen was a town (population: 10,000 in 1957; 37,500 in 2006) in the former Prussian Rhine Province, six miles (10 km) west of Krefeld. Here the Anabaptists found adherents in the middle of the 16th century. Under Archbishop (of Cologne) Hermann, who had Protestant leanings, the authorities apparently did not concern themselves greatly about them, for, as the preacher Hardenberg reported to Theodor von Buchell, the privy councilor of the archbishop, they were quiet and orderly, and he hoped by indoctrination to win them; if they resisted he would use "other means," and that the Anabaptists threatened no danger. About 1550 many prominent families of this town were Anabaptists. Even some burgomasters of Kempen in 1560 and following years belonged to the Anabaptists. But from 1569 Bishop Salentin of Cologne gradually succeeded in suppressing Anabaptist influences in Kempen, though Mennonites were found in the town until after 1648.

Kempen and the adjacent Aldekerk were the source of the first Mennonite migration to Krefeld (1609). There had been even earlier connection with Krefeld. The pastors of Kempen, Anrat and Hüls, reported that an old preacher from Krefeld by the name of Wolter had appeared in their district; he had previously been the pastor at Odenkirchen, and had  there adopted Anabaptist ideas.


Crous, Ernst. "Von Täufern zu Mennoniten am Niederrhein," Der Mennonit 9 (July 1956): 107.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 481.

Rembert, Karl. Die "Wiedertäufer" im Herzogtum Jülich. Berlin: R. Gaertners Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1899: passim.

Author(s) Christian Hege
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hege, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Kempen (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 17 Jan 2019.,_Germany)&oldid=144226.

APA style

Hege, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Kempen (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 January 2019, from,_Germany)&oldid=144226.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 164-165. All rights reserved.

©1996-2019 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.