persecution

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Swiss forgive, don’t forget

Christoph Neuhaus, left, Bern canton’s state councillor and director of church affairs, and Lukas Amstutz, the Swiss Mennonite Conference co-president, plant a linden tree as a symbol of reconciliation on April 20 at Église évangélique mennonite Tavannes. (Photo by Raphaël Burkhalter)

It took about 490 years for government officials in Bern, Switzerland, to ask for forgiveness for persecution of Anabaptists in the region. It took less than two to get a response from Swiss Mennonites.

Swiss official offers apology for Anabaptist persecution

Filmmaker Peter von Gunten, Münster parish official Marlise Hubschmied and Bern Mennonite Church Pastor Dorothea Loosli discuss von Gunten’s 2005 Anabaptist documentary “In Life and Beyond Life” on Nov. 11, before the request for forgiveness offered by Bern government councillor and director of churches Christoph Neuhaus. (Photo by Knoche)

It can’t change the past, but it can impact the future.

In surprise comments delivered in early November 2017, a government official in Bern, Switzerland, requested forgiveness for persecution by the church and state of Anabaptists centuries earlier.

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