Khiva (Khorezm Oblast, Uzbekistan)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Khiva, a former khanate in Central Asia, was conquered by the Russians in 1873. All possessions of Khiva on the northern side of the Amu Darya became Russian and the rest was also subject to Russia although ruled by the khan. Under the Soviets, Khiva became a part of the Turkmen Soviet Social Republic. In 1991 Uzbekistan declared independence from the Soviet Union.

A group of Mennonites from the province of Samara under the leadership of Claas Epp in 1880 sought refuge in Central Asia to escape military conscription and to prepare to meet Christ at His Second Coming. After unsuccessful attempts to settle near Tashkent, they proceeded in the direction of Khiva where they settled in 1882 on the Amu Darya River. Since they were constantly attacked by the surrounding native population, some 20 families returned to Samara in 1884 in order to set out for America.

The remainder under the leadership of Claas Epp settled on the oasis of Ak-Metchet in the vicinity of the city of Khiva. During the pioneer days numerous families left the settlement to go to America. After the economic hardships had been overcome, and after the death of Claas Epp in 1913 their chiliastic views gradually disappeared and the settlement attained the status of a normal religious and economic life. During the Soviet regime it was dissolved and the group exiled.


Bartsch, Franz. Unser Auszug nach Mittel-Asien. Halbstadt, 1907.

Epp, Claas. Die Entsiegelung des Propheten Daniel. Alt-Tschau, 1878.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 347.

Inoyatova, Dilaram M. "The Khivan Mennonites." Mennonite Life 62, no. 2 (Fall 2007). (accessed 28 November 2008).

Janzen, J. "Mennonite Colony in Turkestan." Mennonite Quarterly Review  4 (October 1930): 282-289.

Author(s) Cornelius Bergmann
Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bergmann, Cornelius and Cornelius Krahn. "Khiva (Khorezm Oblast, Uzbekistan)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 25 Jul 2024.,_Uzbekistan)&oldid=144201.

APA style

Bergmann, Cornelius and Cornelius Krahn. (1957). Khiva (Khorezm Oblast, Uzbekistan). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from,_Uzbekistan)&oldid=144201.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 173. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.