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Vermaning, a Dutch Mennonite name for meeting­house in the 17th-19th centuries. Their words vermaner (admonisher) and vermaning (place of admonishing) indicate the emphasis the Anabap­tists placed on practical consecrated Christian living and discipleship. Highly suspicious of the state church ministers and churches, they coined new terms to assure a distinction between their concepts and those of the other churches. The meetinghouse was usually a simple structure, at times barnlike and hidden (schuilkerk). The hidden church origi­nated in the days when the Mennonites were not permitted to build meetinghouses, and was also used when they were finally given permission to do so, but under the condition that they would not be on public streets and places but hidden, and that they would have no steeples or bells so that no one would be "misled" to listen to their "admonishings." Today the Dutch refer to their church as kerk just as the Reformed Church does. The distinctive name, though sometimes still used in Friesland, mostly disappeared during the 19th century when the Dutch Mennonites adjusted themselves to their environment and culture. (See also Architecture).

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Vermaning." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Jun 2021.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Vermaning. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 June 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 815. All rights reserved.

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