Mennonites, along with Quakers, were among the first churches in North America to take a stand against slavery. At Germantown, PA in 1688, some Quakers and Mennonites printed a pamphlet called “Germantown Protest.” The basis for this early opposition to slavery and prejudice came from our understanding about peace and justice.
We believe that, according to the Bible, justice involves healing and restoring relationships. That is the reason for the special concern for the poor and oppressed. Scriptures say that “slave and free” are one in Christ. The slaves and those who are mistreated through prejudice are treated unjustly and therefore we have taken a stand against that treatment.
Contributing to Mennonite opposition to slavery was the church’s history of being persecuted. Mennonites had been severely persecuted for their beliefs in Europe. They were able to empathize with the slaves and oppose the practice of slavery that was happening in this country.