South Holland (Netherlands)

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South Holland (Dutch, Zuid-Holland), a province of the Netherlands (1,085 sq. miles and a population of 2,400,000 in 1954; 3,458,875 in 2006) in which are found the large cities of The Hague and Rotterdam, has six Mennonite congregations, namely, Leiden, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, and Ouddorp, and “kringen” (circles) at Gouda, Voorburg-Rijswijk, and Gorinchem.

In the 1530s Anabaptism did not spread as much in South Holland as it did in other Dutch provinces like North Holland and Friesland, though there were a number of important Anabaptist centers like Leiden, Brielle, and Schiedam. About 1600 there were probably many Mennonite congregations in this province, most of them small, and usually founded or increased in membership by Mennonite emigrants from Flanders, Belgium. Most of these Flemish immigrants later moved on to Rotterdam and Haarlem, and thus between 1600 and 1700 more than 20 Mennonite congregations in South Holland died out. Other reasons for the decay were the small membership, the pressure of the Reformed Church, and mixed marriages. By 1700 only Leiden, Gouda, The Hague, Schiedam, Hazerswoude, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Spijkenisse, and Ouddorp were left, and during the 18th century Gouda, The Hague, Schiedam, Hazerswoude, Dordrecht, and Spijkenisse also dissolved. In 1810 there were only three left—Leiden, Rotterdam, and Ouddorp, with a total of 180 baptized members. Since 1880 there has been considerable growth and new congregations have arisen at The Hague (1881), Dordrecht (1895/6), and Delft (1925), besides the circles mentioned above.

The total number of baptized members in South Holland was 3,307 in 1771 ; in 1958 it was 4,195, whereas the 1947 census listed 8,237 persons as Mennonites.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "South Holland (Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 May 2024.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). South Holland (Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 587. All rights reserved.

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