Mennonite in Paraguay


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Most Mennonites in Paraguay have a complicated ancestry. Mennonites trace their ancestors to the Flemish (the Netherlands), the Frisians and the Prussians. Catherine the Great of Russia invited them to settle in Russia as farmers. The agreement was they would improve Russia’s agricultural output, but not be conscripted into the military. This lasted for about 90 years. At that point, Russia introduced general conscription, so these Mennonite pacifists fled to Canada. They there until 1917 when Canada introduced secular, universal education in the English language. Believing this was an invasion of their religious right, more conservative Mennonites fled to Paraguay and other parts of South America. For the first couple of years many died from sickness, and some returned to Canada. Another wave of Mennonites arrived in Paraguay from Russia in 1930. This time they were fleeing communist persecution. More left Russia after WWII when they expected persecution because of their Germanic ancestry.

There are also Old Order Amish in Paraguay, who have their origin in Switzerland and the United States.

Their primary language of Mennonites in Paraguay is Plautdietsch. This is a low Prussian dialect blended with Dutch.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Mennonites in South- and Central America very seldom assimilate into other people groups.

Most are farmers of crops or cattle. Since the Altkolonier banished all modern (post-1920s) technological Items, these groups live without electricity, radio and so on. Many of these Altkolonier are very poor. Other groups are more open to civilization and they are more progressive. Some of the latter group has managed to become economically prosperous in Paraguay.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Many of the Mennonites belong to the Altkolonier-Colonies. They are influenced by many human made laws that regulate even the simplest of everyday things (e.g. - the prohibition of colored tights, rubber tires for vehicles or wage labor). Most sermons are held in High German, which cannot be understood by most. They read sermons from documents that are over 150 years old. These are constantly repeated. Reading the Bible is forbidden to all who are not ordained preachers. Most previously lived a life that is characterized of alcohol and drug abuse. With baptism they have to accept the rules. If individuals start attending Bible-believing churches, they are excluded from the community (and family) and are economically marginalized. The non-Alkolonier often have a legal background, which leads to many problems in the church life. There are many divisions.


What Are Their Needs?

To train Mennonites as disciples, education is very important to enable people to an independent reading of the Bible. Since they only accept teachers with Mennonite background, these often come for a limited time from Germany. They need disciplers with a Mennonite background who believe the Bible is for everyone.


Prayer Points

Pray for Paraguay’s Mennonites to put the teachings of the Bible ahead of other teachings.
Pray that their experience with legalism will give them a hunger for grace and liberty in Christ.
Pray for hundreds of Paraguayan Mennonites to study God’s word and realize their need for Jesus Christ and his resurrection victory.


Scripture Prayers for the Mennonite in Paraguay.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mennonites_in_Paraguay


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Mennonites
People Name in Country Mennonite
Alternate Names German; German Mennonite; Low German; Mennonite German; Mennonite Low German; Volga German
Population this Country 46,000
Population all Countries 493,000
Total Countries 12
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 13677
ROP3 Code 106548
ROP25 Code 306748
ROP25 Name Mennonite (Plautdietsch)
Country Paraguay
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Boquerón and Presidente Hayes departments: Filadelfia, Loma Plata, Menno Colony, and Neuland; Chaco region and east.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Paraguay
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Boquerón and Presidente Hayes departments: Filadelfia, Loma Plata, Menno Colony, and Neuland; Chaco region and east..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 6.00 %)
93.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
7.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Plautdietsch (46,000 speakers)
Language Code pdt   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Plautdietsch (46,000 speakers)
Language Code pdt   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Plautdietsch
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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