Sankt Johann (Hungary)

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Sankt Johann (Sant Johannes), a Hutterite Bruderhof in Hungary. Its inmates fled into the forest on 4 November 1623, when it was attacked by Turks and Tatars. Twenty-six persons were abducted (women and children); only two returned, and one of these had to leave her child behind. In September 1663 the house was plundered by Turkish troops; two brethren who had remained were murdered and two boys carried away. In the following years the Bruderhof declined rapidly, so that by 1757 only six families remained. On 12 March 1761, the decree of the chancellor (see Sobotište) was announced which compelled them and all the other Bruderhofs in Hungary to adopt the Catholic faith. The leader, Johannes Mayer, was arrested and transferred to the Jesuits in Stuhlweissenburg. Meanwhile the Brethren refused to attend the services of the Jesuit priests. Mayer finally declared himself willing to take the required step and was released on October 2. At the end of October he arrived at St. Johann, a sick and broken man. Jacob Schulz, the lay member who resisted the violent conversion most vigorously, was also delivered to the Jesuits in Tyrnau. The brotherhood at St. Johann had no property in common at this time. Most of the members were not to be persuaded by kind words or by violence to become Catholic, declaring that the mandates were contrary to their principles. But finally those who did not flee yielded to force. By 11 March 1763, seventy-nine persons, fifty of whom were married, declared their transfer to the Catholic faith.


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 20-21.

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Das Klein-Geschichtsbuch der Hutterischen Brüder. Philadelphia, PA: Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, 1947.

Author(s) Christian Hege
Date Published 1959

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Hege, Christian. "Sankt Johann (Hungary)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Sep 2023.

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Hege, Christian. (1959). Sankt Johann (Hungary). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 417. All rights reserved.

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