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, image = AgnusDeiWindow.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , caption = Church emblem featuring the
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Agnus Dei
.Stained glass at the Rights Chapel of Trinity Moravian Church,
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Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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Proto-Protestant Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagated ideas similar to Protestantism before 1517, which historians usually regard as the starting year for the Reformati ...
, orientation =
Hussite File:The Bohemian Realm during the Hussite Wars.png, upright=1.2, The Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Hussite Wars. The movement began in Prague and quickly spread south and then through the rest of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Eventually, it ex ...
(
Bohemian A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. Bohemia can also refer to a wider area cons ...
) with
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influences , founder = followers of
Jan Hus Jan Hus (; ; – 6 July 1415), sometimes anglicized as John Hus or John Huss, and referred to in historical texts as ''Iohannes Hus'' or ''Johannes Huss'', was a Czech theologian and philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philo ...

Jan Hus
and Petr Chelčický , founded_date = 1457 , founded_place =
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, o ...

Bohemia
, congregations = 1,000+ , number_of_followers = 1,112,120 (2016) , website = The Moravian Church, or the Moravian Brethren, formally the (
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Latin
: "Unity of the Brethren"), is one of the oldest
Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. ...
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in
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Christianity
, dating back to the
Bohemian Reformation The Bohemian Reformation (also known as the Czech Reformation or Hussite Reformation), preceding the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, was a Christian movement in the late medieval and early modern Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom and Lands ...
of the 15th century and the
Unity of the BrethrenUnity of the Brethren (Latin ''Unitas Fratrum'') may refer to: * Unity of the Brethren (Czech Republic), the province of the Moravian Church in the Czech Republic * Unity of the Brethren (Texas), a Protestant church formed in the 1800s by Czech immi ...
(Czech: ''Jednota bratrská'') founded in the
Kingdom of Bohemia The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes later in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom ( cs, České království; german: link=no, Königreich Böhmen; la, Regnum Bohemiae), was a medieval and History of the Czech lands, early modern m ...
, sixty years before . The church's heritage can be traced to 1457 in
Bohemian Crown The Lands of the Bohemian Crown were a number of incorporated states in Central Europe during the Middle Ages, medieval and early modern periods connected by feudalism, feudal relations under the List of Bohemian monarchs, Bohemian kings. The crow ...
territory, including its
crown lands Crown land (sometimes spelled crownland), also known as royal domain, is a territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies the Crown The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms ...
of
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medi ...

Moravia
and
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and East ...

Silesia
, which saw the emergence of the Hussite movement against several practices and doctrines of the Catholic Church. However, its name is derived from exiles who fled from Bohemia to
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Saksk ...

Saxony
in 1722 to escape the
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic Church, Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation, also known as the Protestant Revol ...
, establishing the Christian community of
Herrnhut Herrnhut (Sorbian language, Sorbian: ''Ochranow''; cs, Ochranov) is an Upper Lusatian town in the Görlitz (district), Görlitz district in Saxony, Germany, known for the community of the Moravian Church established by Nicolaus Zinzendorf, Nicola ...

Herrnhut
; hence it is also known in
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
as the ("Unity of Brethren f Herrnhut). The modern has about one million members worldwide, continuing their tradition of missionary work, such as in the
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Americas
and
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Africa
, that is reflected in their broad global distribution. Moravians continue many of the same practices established in the 18th century, including placing a high value on a personal conversion to Christ (called the
New Birth Born again, or to experience the new birth, is a phrase, particularly in evangelicalism, that refers to "spiritual rebirth", or a regeneration of the human spirit from the Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or ...
),
piety Piety is a virtue Virtue ( la, virtus) is a morality, moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is Value (ethics), valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are ...
,
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,
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(especially the establishment of missions),
Christian pacifism Christian pacifism is the Christian theology, theological and Christian ethics, ethical position that any form of violence is incompatible with the Christian faith. Christian pacifists state that Jesus himself was a pacifist who taught and practic ...
,
ecumenism Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relationships among their churches and promote Christian unity. The adjectiv ...
, and
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include common elements such as pit ...
. The Moravian Church's
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emblem
is the
Lamb of God Lamb of God ( el, Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnòs toû Theoû; la, Agnus Deī, italic=no ) is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην ...
() with the flag of victory, surrounded by the Latin inscription "" ('Our Lamb has conquered; let us follow Him').


History


Jan Hus and the Bohemian Reformation

The
Hussite File:The Bohemian Realm during the Hussite Wars.png, upright=1.2, The Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Hussite Wars. The movement began in Prague and quickly spread south and then through the rest of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Eventually, it ex ...
movement that was to become the Moravian Church was started by
Jan Hus Jan Hus (; ; – 6 July 1415), sometimes anglicized as John Hus or John Huss, and referred to in historical texts as ''Iohannes Hus'' or ''Johannes Huss'', was a Czech theologian and philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philo ...

Jan Hus
( en, John Huss) in early 15th century
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, o ...

Bohemia
, in what is today the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It i ...
. Hus objected to some of the practices and doctrines of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wor ...

Catholic Church
; specifically, he wanted the
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
to be celebrated in
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short-form name, Czechia (; cz, Česko ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Au ...
, married priests, and eliminating
indulgences Apostolic Benediction and Plenary Indulgence Parchment In the teaching of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christi ...
and the idea of
Purgatory Purgatory (, via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christians (mostly Catholics), an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. There is disagreement amo ...

Purgatory
. Since these actions predate the Protestant Reformation by a century, some historians claim the Moravian Church was the first
Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. ...
church. The movement gained support from the
Crown of Bohemia The Lands of the Bohemian Crown were a number of incorporated states in Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Sou ...
. However, Hus was summoned to attend the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matter ...
, which decided that he was a heretic and released him to the secular authority, which sentenced him to be burned at the stake on 6 July 1415. From 1419 to 1437 were a series of
Hussite Wars The Hussite Wars, also called the Bohemian Wars or the Hussite Revolution, were a series of wars fought between the Hussites and the combined Catholic forces of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, the Papacy, European mo ...
initially between various Catholic rulers and the Hussites, and then the political situation continued into a Hussite civil war between the more compromising Utraquists and the radical
Taborite The Taborites (, ), known by their enemies as the Picards, were a faction within the Hussite File:The Bohemian Realm during the Hussite Wars.png, upright=1.2, The Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Hussite Wars. The movement began in Prag ...
s. In 1434, an army of Utraquists and Catholics defeated the Taborites at the
Battle of Lipany The Battle of Lipany (in Czech: ''Bitva u Lipan''), also called the Battle of Český Brod, was fought at Lipany 40 km east of Prague Prague (; cs, Praha , german: Prag, la, Praga) is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republ ...
. The Utraquists signed the Compacts of Basel on 5 July 1436. Within fifty years of Hus' death, a contingent of his followers had become independently organised as the "Bohemian Brethren" (''Čeští bratři'') or
Unity of the BrethrenUnity of the Brethren (Latin ''Unitas Fratrum'') may refer to: * Unity of the Brethren (Czech Republic), the province of the Moravian Church in the Czech Republic * Unity of the Brethren (Texas), a Protestant church formed in the 1800s by Czech immi ...
(''Jednota bratrská''), which was founded in Kunvald, Bohemia, in 1457. A brother known as Gregory the Patriarch was very influential in forming the group, as well as the teachings of Peter Chelcicky. This group held to a strict obedience to the Sermon on the Mount, which included non-swearing of oaths, non-resistance, and not accumulating wealth. Because of this, they considered themselves separate from the majority Hussites that did not hold those teachings. They received Bishop, episcopal ordination through the Waldensians in 1467. These were some of the earliest Protestants, rebelling against Rome some fifty years before Martin Luther. By the middle of the 16th century as many as 90 percent of the inhabitants of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Bohemian Crown were
Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. ...
.Náboženství a moderní česká společnost, David Václavík, Grada Publishing a.s., 2010, page 53 The majority of the nobility was Protestant, and the schools and printing-shops established by the Moravian Church were flourishing. Protestantism had a strong influence in the education of the population. Even in the middle of the 16th century there was not a single town without a Protestant school in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Bohemian crown lands, and many had more than one, mostly with two to six teachers each. In Jihlava, a principal Protestant center in Moravia, there were five major schools: two German, one Czech, one for girls and one teaching in Latin, which was at the level of a gymnasium (school), high/grammar school, lecturing on Latin, Greek and Hebrew, Rhetorics, Dialectics, fundamentals of Philosophy and fine arts, as well as religion according to the Augsburg Confession, Lutheran Augustana.


Counter-Reformation

With the Charles University#Protestant academy .281419.E2.80.931622.29, University of Prague also firmly in hands of Protestants, the local Catholic church was unable to compete in the field of education. Therefore, the Jesuits were invited, with the backing of the Catholic Habsburg rulers, to come to the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and establish a number of Catholic educational institutions. One of these was the Palacký University, Olomouc, university in the Moravian capital of Olomouc. In 1582, they forced closure of local Protestant schools. In 1617, Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Matthias had his fiercely Catholic brother Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand of Styria elected King of Bohemia, but in 1618 Protestant Bohemian noblemen, who feared losing their religious freedom,Josef V. Polišenský, ''The Thirty Years War'', University of California Press, 1971. started the Bohemian Revolt with the unplanned second Defenestrations of Prague and was defeated in 1620 in the Battle of White Mountain near Prague. As a consequence the local Protestant noblemen were either executed or expelled from the country while the Habsburgs placed Catholic (and mostly German speaking) nobility in their place. The war, plague, and subsequent disruption led to a decline in the population from over 3 million to some 800,000 people. By 1622, the entire education system was in the hands of Jesuits and all Protestant schools were closed down. The Brethren were forced to go underground and eventually dispersed across Northern Europe as far as the Low Countries, where their bishop, John Amos Comenius, attempted to direct a resurgence. The largest remaining communities of the Brethren were located in Leszno (german: Lissa) in Poland, which had historically strong ties with the Czechs, and small, isolated groups in
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medi ...

Moravia
. The latter are referred to as "the Hidden Seed" which John Amos Comenius had prayed would preserve the evangelical faith in the land of the fathers. In addition to the Renewed Unitas Fratrum or Moravian Church, which preserves the Unitas Fratrum's three orders of Bishop, episcopal ordination, The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren and the Czechoslovak Hussite Church also continue the Hussite tradition in Czechia and Slovakia today, although they only account for Religion in the Czech Republic, 0.8% of the Czech population (which is 79.4% non-religious, and 10.4% Catholic).


Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine, 18th-century renewal

In 1722, a small group of the Bohemian Brethren (the "Hidden Seed") who had been living in northern
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medi ...

Moravia
as an illegal underground remnant surviving in the Catholic setting of the Habsburg Empire for nearly 100 years, arrived at the Berthelsdorf estate of Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a nobleman who had been brought up in the traditions of Pietism, Pietistic Lutheranism. Out of a personal commitment to helping the poor and needy, he agreed to a request from their leader (Christian David, an itinerant carpenter) that they be allowed to settle on his lands in Upper Lusatia, which is in present-day
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Saksk ...

Saxony
in the eastern part of modern-day Germany. The Margraviates of Upper and Lower Lusatia were governed in personal union by the Electorate of Saxony, Saxon rulers and enjoyed great autonomy, especially in religious questions. The refugees established a new village called
Herrnhut Herrnhut (Sorbian language, Sorbian: ''Ochranow''; cs, Ochranov) is an Upper Lusatian town in the Görlitz (district), Görlitz district in Saxony, Germany, known for the community of the Moravian Church established by Nicolaus Zinzendorf, Nicola ...

Herrnhut
, about 2 miles (3 km) from Berthelsdorf. The town initially grew steadily, but major religious disagreements emerged and by 1727 the community was divided into factions. Count Zinzendorf worked to bring about unity in the town and the ''Brotherly Agreement'' was adopted by the community on 12 May 1727. This is considered the beginning of the renewal. Then, on 13 August 1727 the community underwent a dramatic transformation when the inhabitants of Herrnhut "learned to love one another", following an experience that they attributed to a visitation of the Holy Spirit, similar to that recorded in the Bible on the day of Pentecost. Herrnhut grew rapidly following this transforming revival and became the centre of a major movement for Christian renewal and mission during the 18th century. The Bishop, episcopal ordination of the Ancient Unitas Fratrum was transferred in 1735 to the Renewed Unitas Fratrum by the Unity's two surviving bishops, Daniel Ernst Jablonski and Christian Sitkovius. The carpenter David Nitschmann der Bischof, David Nitschmann and, later, Count von Zinzendorf, were the first two bishops of the Renewed Unity. Moravian historians identify the main achievements of this period as: # Setting up a watch of continual prayer, continuous prayer that ran uninterrupted, 24 hours a day, for 100 years. # Originating the ''Daily Watchwords''. # Establishing more than 30 settlements internationally on the Herrnhut model, which emphasized prayer and worship, and a form of communal living in which simplicity of lifestyle and generosity with wealth were held to be important spiritual attributes. The purpose of these communities was to assist the members resident there in the sanctification of their lives, to provide a meeting place for Christians from different confessional backgrounds, to provide Christian training for their own children and the children of their friends and supporters and to provide support for the Moravian Mission work throughout the world. As a result, although personal property was held, divisions between social groups and extremes of wealth and poverty were largely eliminated. # Being the first Protestant church body to begin missionary work; and # Forming many hundreds of small renewal groups operating within the existing churches of Europe, known as "diaspora societies". These groups encouraged personal prayer and worship, Bible study, confession of sins and mutual accountability.


Missions

Along with the Royal Danish Mission College, the Moravian missionaries were the first large-scale Mission (Christian), Protestant missionary movement. They sent out the first missionaries when there were only 300 inhabitants in Herrnhut. Within 30 years, the church sent hundreds of Christian missionaries to many parts of the world, including the Caribbean, North America, North and South America (see Christian Munsee), the Arctic,
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
, and the Far East. They were the first to send lay people (rather than clergy) as missionaries, the first Protestant denomination to minister to slaves, and the first Protestant presence in many countries. Owing to Zinzendorf's personal contacts with their royalty, the first Moravian missions were directed to the Denmark-Norway, Dano-Norwegian Empire. While attending the coronation of Christian VI of Denmark, Zinzendorf was profoundly struck by two Kalaallit people, Inuit converts of Hans Egede's Kangeq, mission in Greenland and also by an African from the West Indies. The first Moravian mission was established on the Caribbean island of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, St Thomas in 1732 by a potter named Johann Leonhard Dober and a carpenter named David Nitschmann der Bischof, David Nitschmann,''Seedtime and Harvest: A Brief History of the Moravian Church in Jamaica 1754–1979'', S. U. Hastings & B. L. MacLeavy, The Moravian Church Corporation, 1979. who later became the first bishop of the Renewed Unity in 1735. Matthias Stach, Matthaeus Stach and two others founded the first Moravian mission in Greenland in 1733 at Neu-Herrnhut on Baal's River, which became the nucleus of the modern capital Nuuk. Moravians also founded missions with the Mohican, an Algonquian languages, Algonquian-speaking tribe in the Province of New York, colony of New York in the Thirteen Colonies. In one instance, they founded a mission in 1740 at the Mohican village of ''Shekomeko'' in present-day Dutchess County, New York. The converted Mohican people formed the first native Christian congregation in the present-day United States of America. Because of local hostility from New Yorkers to the Mohicans, the Moravian support of the Mohicans led to rumors of them being secret Society of Jesus, Jesuits, trying to ally the Mohicans with Kingdom of France, France in the ongoing French and Indian Wars. Although supporters defended their work, at the end of 1744, the colonial government based at Poughkeepsie, New York, Poughkeepsie expelled the Moravians from New York. In 1741, David Nitschmann der Bischof, David Nitschmann and Count Zinzendorf led a small community to found a mission in the colony of Pennsylvania. The mission was established on Christmas Eve, and was named Bethlehem, after the Bethlehem, Biblical town in Judea. There, they ministered to the Algonquian-speaking Lenape Nation, Lenape. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is today the seventh-largest city in Pennsylvania, having developed as a major industrial city in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1772, the first European-Native American settlement of what later became Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania occurred when Reverend John Ettwein, a Moravian missionary, arrived there with a band of 241 Christianized Delaware, Lenape.''Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State''. Oxford University Press, 1940. University of Pennsylvania, Federal Works Agency. p. 568. Google Books. In 1771, Moravians established a settlement at Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nain, Labrador which became a permanent settlement and the Moravian headquarters in Labrador. The mission stations expanded to Okak, Newfoundland and Labrador, Okak (1776), Hopedale, Newfoundland and Labrador, Hopedale (1782), Hebron, Newfoundland and Labrador, Hebron at Kauerdluksoak Bay (1830–1959) serving also Napartok Bay and Saeglek Bay, Zoar, Newfoundland and Labrador, Zoar (1864–1889), Ramah, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ramah (1871–1908), Makkovik (1896), and Killiniq, Nunavut, Killiniq on Cape Chidley island (1905–1925). Two further stations were added after this period at Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Happy Valley near Goose Bay (Newfoundland and Labrador), Goose Bay (1957) and North West River (1960). Colonies were also founded in North Carolina, where Moravians led by Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg purchased 98,985 acres (400.58 km2) from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. This large tract of land was named ''die Wachau'', or Wachovia, North Carolina, Wachovia, after one of Zinzendorf's ancestral estates on the Danube River in Lower Austria. Other early settlements included Bethabara (1753), Bethania (1759) and Salem (now referred to as Old Salem in Winston-Salem North Carolina) (1766). In 1801, the Moravians established Springplace mission to the Cherokee Nation in what is now Murray County, Georgia, Murray County, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. Coinciding with the Trail of Tears, forced removal of the Cherokees to Oklahoma, this mission was replaced in 1842 by New Springplace in Oaks, Oklahoma. Due to American Civil War, Civil War-related violence, New Springplace closed in 1862, and resumed during the 1870s. Finally, in 1898, the Moravian Church discontinued their missionary engagement with the Cherokees, and New Springplace, now the Oaks Indian Mission, was transferred to the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church.Rose Stauber
"Oaks," ''Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture''. Accessed March 26, 2015.
The start of far-flung missionary work necessitated the establishment of independently administered provinces. So, from about 1732, the history of the church becomes the history of its provinces. Eventually, the Moravian missions in Australia and Greenland were transferred to the local Presbyterian and Lutheran Churches respectively. The first mission station in present-day South Africa was established by the Moravian Georg Schmidt at Genadendal in 1738. The mission at Wupperthal, established by the Rhenish Missionary Society was eventually transferred to the Moravian Church.


Opposition of Moravian Missions

* The Moravians sought to unify the converts into "one people" living together with the same religious beliefs. This idea was not accepted by the indigenous converts. At one point Zeisberger, a significant Moravian missionary, chided the converts to remember that they were "one people not two." What the Moravians failed to recognize was how important place, leadership, and language were to the tribal identity of the converts.


Present

file:Mary Greenwood on gravestones born 1752.jpg, Mary Greenwoord was buried in Gracehill in County Antrim in 1752. Her gravestone is identical in style to hundreds of others irrespective of their gender or former status The modern Moravian Church, with about 750,000 members worldwide, continues to draw on traditions established during the 18th-century renewal. In many places it observes the convention of the lovefeast, originally started in 1727. It uses older and traditional music in worship. Brass music, congregational singing and choral music continue to be very important in Moravian congregations. In addition, in some older congregations, Moravians are buried in a traditional God's Acre, a graveyard with only flat gravestones, signifying the equality of the dead before God and organized by sex, age and marital status rather than family. The Moravians continue their long tradition of missionary work, for example in the Caribbean, where the Jamaican Moravian Church has begun work in Cuba and in Africa where the Moravian Church in Tanzania has missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. This is reflected in their broad global distribution. The Moravians in Germany, whose central settlement remains at
Herrnhut Herrnhut (Sorbian language, Sorbian: ''Ochranow''; cs, Ochranov) is an Upper Lusatian town in the Görlitz (district), Görlitz district in Saxony, Germany, known for the community of the Moravian Church established by Nicolaus Zinzendorf, Nicola ...

Herrnhut
, are highly active in education and social work. The American Moravian Church sponsors the Moravian University and Seminary. The largest concentration of Moravians today is in Tanzania. The motto of the Moravian Church is: "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas, In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love". Some Moravian scholars point to a different formula as a guide to constructive debate about faith. This formula was first advanced by Luke of Prague (1460–1528), one of the bishops of the ancient Unitas Fratrum. Luke taught that one must distinguish between things that are essential, ministerial or incidental to salvation. The essentials are God's work of creation, redemption and sanctification, as well as the response of the believer through faith, hope and love. Things ministerial are such items as the Bible, church, sacraments, doctrine and priesthood. These mediate the sacred and should thus be treated with respect, but they are not considered essential. Finally, incidentals include things such as vestments or names of services that may reasonably vary from place to place


Organization


Provinces

For its global work, the Church is organised into Unity Provinces, Mission Provinces and Mission Areas and four regions of Africa, Caribbean and Latin America, Northern America, and Europe. The categorisation is based on the level of independence of the Province. Unity Province implies a total level of independence, Mission Province implies a partial level of supervision from a Unity Province, and Mission Area implies full supervision by a Unity Province. (The links below connect to articles about the history of the Church in specific provinces after 1732, where written.) In the Czech Republic and Honduras splits occurred within the churches after Charismatic revival, charismatic revivals; non-charismatic minorities formed their own bodies, but both sides remained connected to the international church. The minority communities are listed as "mission provinces".


Membership

Other areas with missions but that are not yet established as Provinces are: *Star Mountain Rehabilitation Centre, Ramallah, Palestine – under the care of the European Continental Province. Work began among people with leprosy in 1867 at the Jesus Hilfe (Jesus help) home in Jerusalem, responsibility for which was taken over by the Israeli state. In 1980, the former leper home on Star Mountain was converted for use as a home for handicapped children of the Arab population. *South Asia [North India (Ladakh, Dehradun, Delhi), Nepal, Assam, Manipur] – under the care of the British Province. Formerly the West Himalayan Province (1853) and designated a Unity Undertaking in 1967. Tanzania is divided into seven provinces because of the size of country and the numbers of people in the church. The "Moravian Church in Tanzania" co-ordinates the work in the nation. The lists above, except for some details given under 'Other areas', can be found in ''The Moravian Almanac''.The Moravian Almanac is published annually (October) as a supplement to the devotional book ''Daily Watchwords''. Most Provinces publish their own almanac with details of local congregations and the wider Provinces. Copies may be obtained from the Moravian Church House (office) of any province (for addresses see the provinces pages). Each Province is governed by a synod, made up of representatives from each congregation plus ''ex officio'' members. The Synod elects the Provincial Board (aka Provincial Elders' Conference or PEC) to be responsible for the work of the Province and its international links between Synods.


Districts

Many, but not all, of the Provinces are divided into Districts.


Congregations

Each congregation belongs to a district and has spiritual and financial responsibilities for work in its own area as well as provincially. The Congregation Council (all the members of a congregation) usually meets twice a year and annually elects the Joint Board of Elders and Trustees that acts as an executive. In some provinces two or more congregations may be grouped into circuits, under the care of one minister.


Unity Synod

The Unity Synod meets every seven years and is attended by delegates from the different Unity Provinces and affiliated Provinces.


Unity Board

The Unity Board is made up of one member from each Provincial Board, and acts as an executive committee between Unity Synods. It meets three times between Synods but much of its work is done by correspondence and postal voting. The President of the Unity Board (who is elected by the Board for two years and not allowed to serve for more than two terms) works from his/her own Provincial office. The Unity Business Administrator is an officer appointed by the Unity Board to administer the day-to-day affairs of the Unity through the office of the Unity.


Orders of Ministry

Ordained ministry in the Moravian Church emphasizes the pastoral role. A candidate for ministry who has been approved by their home province and has completed the prescribed course of study (usually a Master of Divinity degree in the US and Europe) may be ordained a Deacon upon acceptance of a call. Deacons may serve in a pastoral office and administer sacraments. A deacon is normally supervised by a presbyter who serves as mentor. After several years of satisfactory service, the Deacon may be consecrated as a Presbyter. Presbyters function in the local congregation in the same manner as deacons, but may also serve to mentor deacons and may be assigned to other leadership roles in a particular province. An Acolyte is a layperson who has received approval to assist the pastor in a specific local congregation. The acolyte may assist in the serving of Holy Communion but may not consecrate the elements. The highest order of ministry is that of a bishop. Bishops are elected by Provincial Synods usually through ecclesiastical ballot without nomination. In the Moravian Church, bishops do not have an administrative role but rather serve as spiritual leaders and pastors to the pastors. Bishops serve the worldwide Unity. The Moravian Church teaches that it has preserved apostolic succession. The Church claims apostolic succession as a legacy of the
Unity of the BrethrenUnity of the Brethren (Latin ''Unitas Fratrum'') may refer to: * Unity of the Brethren (Czech Republic), the province of the Moravian Church in the Czech Republic * Unity of the Brethren (Texas), a Protestant church formed in the 1800s by Czech immi ...
. In order to preserve the succession, three Bohemian Brethren were consecrated bishops by Bishop Stephen of Austria, a Waldensian bishop who had been ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop in 1434. These three consecrated bishops returned to Litice nad Orlicí, Litice in Bohemia and then ordained other brothers, thereby preserving the historic episcopate. In Berlin, 1735, the Renewed Unity, i.e. the Moravian Brethren in
Herrnhut Herrnhut (Sorbian language, Sorbian: ''Ochranow''; cs, Ochranov) is an Upper Lusatian town in the Görlitz (district), Görlitz district in Saxony, Germany, known for the community of the Moravian Church established by Nicolaus Zinzendorf, Nicola ...

Herrnhut
, received the historic episcopal ordination from the two surviving bishops of the Ancient Unity: Bishop John Amos Comenius, John Amos Comenius' grandson Daniel Ernst Jablonski and Christian Sitkovius. This bishop's consecration continues today.


Beliefs

The Moravian Church teaches the necessity of the born again#Moravianism, New Birth,
piety Piety is a virtue Virtue ( la, virtus) is a morality, moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is Value (ethics), valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are ...
,
evangelism Image:Jakob Jordaens 002.jpg, The Four Evangelists In Christianity, evangelism (or witnessing) is the act of preacher, preaching the gospel with the intention of sharing the message and teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians wh ...
(especially missionary work), and doing
good works In Christian theology, good works, or simply works, are a person's (exterior) actions or deeds, in contrast to inner qualities such as Grace in Christianity, grace or faith in Christianity, faith. Views by denomination Anglican Churches The A ...
. As such, the Moravian Brethren hold strongly that Christianity is a religion of the heart. It emphasizes the "greatness of Christ" and holds the Bible to be the "source of all religious truths". With regard to the New Birth, the Moravian Church holds that a personal conversion to Christianity is a joyful experience, in which the individual "accepts Christ as Lord" after which faith "daily grows inside the person." For Moravians, "Christ lived as a man because he wanted to provide a blueprint for future generations" and "a converted person could attempt to live in his image and daily become more like Jesus." The Moravian Church historically adheres to the position of
Christian pacifism Christian pacifism is the Christian theology, theological and Christian ethics, ethical position that any form of violence is incompatible with the Christian faith. Christian pacifists state that Jesus himself was a pacifist who taught and practic ...
, evidenced in atrocities such as the Gnadenhutten massacre, where the Moravian Christian Indian Martyrs practiced nonresistance, singing hymns and praying to God until their execution. In the ''Book of Order''Church Order of the Unitas Fratrum, published by order of the Unity Synod.The Ground of the Unity
the several provinces of the Moravian Unity accept: *The three Ecumenical Creeds: Apostles' Creed, Apostles', Nicene Creed, Nicene and Athanasian Creed, Athanasian *The first 21 articles of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession *The Confession of the Unity of the Bohemian Brethren of 1535 *The Barmen Declaration of 1934 *The Small Catechism of Martin Luther *The Synod of Berne/''Berner Synodus'' of 1532 *The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England *The Heidelberg Catechism Moravian missions in which missionaries and the believers they ministered to lived together and adhered to Moravian practices, such as the following taught by David Zeisberger, John Heckewelder and John Ettwein: According to the Ground of the Unity of 1957, fundamental beliefs include but are not limited to: *The Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son or Logos/Word, and the Holy Spirit. *The Fatherhood of God *God's Love for fallen humanity *The Incarnation of God in the God/Man Jesus Christ *Jesus' sacrificial death for the sinful rebellion of humanity *Jesus' Resurrection, Ascension of Jesus Christ, Ascension and Exaltation to the Right Hand of the Father *Jesus' sending of the Holy Spirit to strengthen, sustain and empower believers *Jesus' eventual return, in majesty, Last Judgment, to judge the living and the dead *The Kingdom of Christ shall never end *There is one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Rebaptism is not allowed. *Infants are baptized most commonly, but all forms of baptism are accepted (infant or adult; pouring, sprinkling or immersion). *Moravian doctrine teaches that the Body and Blood of Christ are present in Holy Communion. Without seeking to explain the "Mode" or the "How" of the Presence of Jesus' Body and Blood in the Eucharist, they teach a sacramental union whereby with the Bread and the Wine the Body and Blood are also received. Individual believers are allowed to believe in other interpretations, however. Cf. the "Easter Morning Litany" of the Moravian Church, a statement of faith, in the Moravian Book of Worship, p. 85. These tenets of classical Christianity are not unique to the Moravian Church. The emphasis in both the Ancient Unity and the Renewed Unity is on Christian living and the fellowship of believers as a true witness to a vibrant Christian Faith.


Spirit of the Moravian Church

An account of the ethos of the Moravian Church is given by one of its British bishops, Clarence H. Shawe. In a lecture series delivered at the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Shawe described the Spirit of the Moravian Church as having five characteristics: simplicity, happiness, unintrusiveness, fellowship, and the ideal of service. ''Simplicity'' is a focus on the essentials of faith and a lack of interest in the niceties of doctrinal definition. Shawe quotes Zinzendorf's remark that "The Apostles say: 'We believe we have salvation through the grace of Jesus Christ....' If I can only teach a person that catechism I have made him a divinity scholar for all time" (Shawe, 1977, p. 9). From this simplicity flow secondary qualities of genuineness and practicality. ''Happiness'' is the natural and spontaneous response to God's free and gracious gift of salvation. Again Shawe quotes Zinzendorf: "There is a difference between a genuine Pietist and a genuine Moravian. The Pietist has his sin in the foreground and looks at the wounds of Jesus; the Moravian has the wounds in the forefront and looks from them upon his sin. The Pietist in his timidity is comforted by the wounds; the Moravian in his happiness is shamed by his sin" (p. 13). ''Unintrusiveness'' is based on the Moravian belief that God positively wills the existence of a variety of churches to cater for different spiritual needs. There is no need to win converts from other churches. The source of Christian unity is not legal form but everyone's heart-relationship with the Saviour. ''Fellowship'' is based on this heart-relationship. Shawe says: "The Moravian ideal has been to gather together kindred hearts.... Where there are 'Christian hearts in love united', there fellowship is possible in spite of differences of intellect and intelligence, of thought, opinion, taste and outlook. ... Fellowship [in Zinzendorf's time] meant not only a bridging of theological differences but also of social differences; the artisan and aristocrat were brought together as brothers and sat as equal members on the same committee" (pp. 21,22). ''The ideal of service'' entails happily having the attitude of a servant. This shows itself partly in faithful service in various roles within congregations but more importantly in service of the world "by the extension of the Kingdom of God". Historically, this has been evident in educational and especially missionary work. Shawe remarks that "none could give themselves more freely to the spread of the gospel than those Moravian emigrants who, by settling in Herrnhut [i.e., on Zinzendorf's estate], had gained release from suppression and persecution" (p. 26).


Worship

* List of hymnals#Moravian Church, Hymn Books * Liturgy * the Sacrament of the Holy Communion * The Sacrament of Baptism, Infants and Adults * Marriage * Confirmation * Christian Burial * Ordination of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons * Consecration of church buildings and facilities


Traditions

* Lovefeast * Settlements * Cup of Covenant * Christingle (object) and Christingle service * Hosanna#Other examples of modern usage, Hosanna Anthem * Moravian star, Moravian Advent star * ''Daily Watchwords'', sometimes called Moravian Daily Texts * Advent Wreath and Candles * Passion Week/ Holy Week Reading Services * God's Acre and Easter sunrise service * Sortition, Drawing of lots * Moravian music, Music * Watch Night Service * Dead house


Former traditions

* The drawing of "lots" in decision making * Single Brethren's and Single Sisters' Houses: in the old original Settlement Congregations of Europe, Britain and the US, there were separate Houses caring for the spiritual and also temporal welfare of the Choirs of Single Brethren, Single Sisters, Widows.''Book of Order, The Moravian Church in Great Britain and Ireland'', 2002. * Wide/Short layout of church interiors * Separate seating of sexes in churches * Mission ships (the ''Harmony'' and the ''Snow Irene'') * Choirs: the word "Choir" has been used in the Moravian tradition since the 18th century to indicate a group of congregation members classified according to age and sex. Formerly there were in several congregations separate Houses caring for the spiritual and also temporal welfare of the Choirs of Single Brethren, Single Sisters, Widows.


Uniformed and other organizations

* Boys' Brigade / Scouts * Girls' Brigade / Guides / Upward & Onward * Women's Fellowship * Men's Fellowship * Sunday School * Young People's Missionary Association (YPMA)


Prominent Moravians

* : Bishops of the Moravian Church, Bishops * :Moravian Church missionaries, Missionaries * :Writers of the Moravian Church, Writers * :Artists of the Moravian Church, Artists


Ecumenical relations

The Moravian Church provinces are members individually of the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation. Most provinces are also members of their national councils of churches, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany, Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) in Germany and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the US, the all African Council of Churches, the Caribbean Council of Churches, the Jamaica Council of Churches. The American Southern Province was instrumental in the founding of the North Carolina Council of Churches. The British Province is of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (formerly the British Council of Churches) and has an interim Communion agreement with the Church of England. The two North American provinces are in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Northern Province of the Moravian Church voted June 18, 2010 to enter into full communion with the Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopal Church. The Moravian Church's Southern Province also voted to enter into full communion with the Episcopal Church during its synod in September 2010. Each province can independently enter into full communion relationships. In the 1980s there were discussions in England by which an agreement was created that would have created full communion between the Moravians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and the Church of England. The Presbyterians and Methodists would have accepted the Historic Episcopate, but since the Moravians already had this, they would have changed nothing. This agreement fell through because the General Synod of the Church of England did not give approval. One aspect of Moravian history and mission is the so-called "Diaspora" work in Germany and Eastern Europe, seeking to deepen and encourage the Christian life among members of the territorial churches, particularly in Poland and the Baltic states, but also throughout the German-speaking lands. Count Zinzendorf's ideal was a fellowship of all Christians, regardless of denominational names, and the Moravian Brethren sought in the Diaspora not to convert people to the Moravian Church but to awaken the hearts of believers and make them better members of the churches to which they already belonged. At first the object of suspicion, in the course of time the Moravian Diaspora workers became valued co-workers in eastern Europe. This Diaspora work suffered almost total destruction in World War II, but is still carried on within the territorial churches of Germany. With the restored independence of Estonia and Latvia, it was revealed that much of the Diaspora Work there had been kept alive in spite of domination by the former Soviet Union and had even borne fruit.


Historical societies

* American North: ''the Moravian Historical Society'' and Historic Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) * American South: ''the Wachovia Historical Society'' as well as Old Salem * British: Moravian Church House, London * Continental Province ''Verein für Geschichts- und Gegenwartsfragen der Brüdergemeine'' * „Via exulantis", Suchdol nad Odrou (Zauchtenthal or Zauchtel), The Moravian Brethren's Museum. The permanent exposition of the exile of 280 inhabitants from Suchdol nad Odrou to Herrnhut in Saxony in the 18th century, where they renewed the Unity of the Brethren and then established missionary establishments in all parts of the world.


Goals of the Moravian Missions

* Moravians sought to unify the converts into "one people."


Publications

* ''Herrnhuter Bote'' (former title: der Brüderbote), the periodical of the Continental Province * ''Unitas Fratrum'', the publication of the Continental Province's historical society * the ''Moravian Magazine'', the publication of the North American Provinces * The Moravian Voice, a publication of the Moravian Church in Jamaica * the ''Moravian Messenger'', periodical of the British Province * ''Moravian History Magazine'' – published within the British Province but deals with the work worldwide. * ''Journal of Moravian History'' – scholarly journal, published by the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, PA, and the Moravian Historical Society in Nazareth, PA.


See also

* University of Olomouc, established in 1573 as Jesuit University in order to re-Catholicize the population of the March of
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medi ...

Moravia
. * Ronneburg, Hesse * Christian Munsee * Bethlehem, PA * Old Salem * Minor Party (Unity of the Brethren)


Notes and references


Bibliography

* Church of England & the Moravian Church in Great Britain and Ireland, ''Anglican-Moravian Conversations: The Fetter Lane Common Statement with Essays in Moravian and Anglican History'' (1996) * Engel, Katherine Carte. ''Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America'' (2010) * Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. ''Jesus Is Female: Moravians and the Challenge of Radical Religion in Early America'' (2007) * Freeman, Arthur J. ''An Ecumenical Theology of the Heart: The Theology of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf'' (1998) * Fries, Adelaide. ''Records of the Moravians in North Carolina'' (1917) * Gollin, Gilliam Lindt. ''Moravians in Two Worlds'' (1967) * Hamilton, J. Taylor, and Hamilton, Kenneth G. ''History of the Moravian Church: The Renewed Unitas Fratrum 1722–1957'' (1967)
Hutton, J. E. ''A History of the Moravian Church'' (1909)
* Hutton, J. E. ''A History of the Moravian Missions'' (1922) * Jarvis, Dale Gilbert.
The Moravian Dead Houses of Labrador, Canada
, ''Communal Societies'' 21 (2001): 61–77. * Langton; Edward. ''History of the Moravian Church: The Story of the First International Protestant Church'' (1956) * Lewis, A. J. ''Zinzendorf the Ecumenical Pioneer'' (1962) * Linyard, Fred, and Tovey, Phillip. ''Moravian Worship'' (Grove Worship Series No 129, UK), 1994 * Peucker, Paul. ''A Time of Sifting: Mystical Marriage and the Crisis of Moravian Piety in the Eighteenth Century''. University Park, Penn.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015. * Podmore, Colin. ''The Moravian Church in England 1728–1760'' (1998) * Rican, Rudolf. ''The History of the Unity of the Brethren'' (trans. by C. Daniel Crews) (1992) * Shawe, C. H. ''The Spirit of the Moravian Church'' (1977) * Mikulas Teich, Teich, Mikulas, ed., ''Bohemia in History'', Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 384 * Tillman, Benjamin; ''Imprints on Native Lands: The Miskito-Moravian Settlement Landscape in Honduras;'' Tucson 2011 (University of Arizona Press) * Weber, Julie Tomberlin (trans.) and Atwood, Craig D. (ed.) ''A Collection of Sermons from Zinzendorf's Pennsylvania Journey'' (1741-2; 2001) * Weinlick, John R. ''Count Zinzendorf: The Story of his Life and Leadership in the Renewed Moravian Church'' (1984) * Zinzendorf, Nicholaus Ludwig. ''Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion'' (1746; translated and edited by George W. Forell 1973)


External links

*
Official website of the Moravian Church in North America

Official website of the Moravian Church in the United Kingdom

Unitas Fratrum: An international organisation of Moravians



Moravian Music Foundation

Moravian Heritage Network
{{Authority control Moravian Church, Unity of the Brethren 1457 establishments in Europe Christian organizations established in the 15th century Members of the World Council of Churches Peace churches