The term Anabaptist refers to Christians of the
Radical Reformation who rejected the teachings of both the
Roman Catholic Church and the church reformers during the
Protestant Reformation. They were therefore denounced and persecuted by both. The term Anabaptist literally means to "re-baptize."
Anabaptists were known not only for their rejection of
infant baptism, which gave them their name, but for their pacifism, and denial of the visible/invisible church distinction. Groups such as the
Hutterites are considered decendants of the early Anabaptists.
Pacifism was a key distinguishing feature of the Anabaptist movement. The Schleitheim Confession states "but the weapons of Christians are spiritual, against the fortification of
the devil. The worldly are armed with steel and iron, but Christians are armed with the armour of God, with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and with the Word of God."
- William R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975.
- Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and their Stepchildren, Baker Books, 1980.