While Hutterite communities are well-connected to the outside world, Old Order Mennonites are already distinct and self-sufficient. "They don't give themselves that type of technological media," Loewen, author of Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World, said. "They're not plugged into the electronic world."
Also unlike Hutterites, who allow some technology in their homes, Old Order Mennonites completely exclude it. They do not use electricity or have telephones in their homes.
In addition to these differences, Hutterites and Old Order Mennonites are not connected with each other in any way. They do not work together on projects and rarely interact except at church services and community events.
Although both groups come from the Anabaptist tradition, they follow different interpretations of this faith. Hutterites are known for being conservative while Old Order Mennonites are more liberal. These differences can be seen in how they live their lives today.
Both Hutterites and Old Order Mennonites were once widely spread across North America but now exist only in small settlements within Canada and the United States.
According to Martin Fast of Frazer, head of the Eastern Montana Mennonite Disaster Service, the state has roughly 500 Mennonites. He claims that, while some of them live in pretty tight "communities," they do not follow the communal lifestyle typical of Hutterite colonies.
Fast says that most mennonites own their land and work it themselves, but some sons have taken over family businesses. Mennonites usually attend church with other Christians and some even serve as pastors in non-Mennonite churches. However, they will never cut their hair or wear clothes like other Christians.
Mennonites first came to Montana about 80 years ago. Since then, they have continued to expand south into Brazil and Mexico.
People often confuse Mennonites with Hussites, who were a medieval religious movement that was very similar to Mennonism in many ways. However, they are not related. The names come from two different groups that split away from Roman Catholicism in the 15th century. Mennonites believe in direct communication with God through prayer and meditation and thus avoid using government officials for authority. They also believe in individual salvation and therefore do not participate in wars or violence.
Mennonites originally came from Germany but now reside all over the world including America, Canada, and South America.
Mennonites and Hutterites are Anabaptist-based communities. Hutterites are an Anabaptist sect whose roots may be traced back to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Mennonites are another group that sprang from the Anabaptists' fundamentals. They too were among the first to emigrate from Europe to America.
These two groups have much in common but also differ in some ways. For example, while both are anabaptist communities their theology and practice is more akin to Mennonites than to Protestants in general. The Hutterites also speak with a Hausa German dialect instead of English like the Mennonites.
In terms of culture, both the Mennonites and the Hutterites are very conservative groups who keep many traditional customs alive today. For example, Hutterites still wear traditional clothes (which include colored hats) and live in colonies where they raise livestock and grow grain. They also often make goods such as furniture and toys.
Like other Anabaptists, Hutterites view images of Jesus Christ as important but not necessarily essential for salvation. Instead, they believe that living a good life and following Christian leaders who have been ordained by other Christians is enough. They also share many beliefs with Mennonites including no government aid during illness or old age and the use of horse and buggies rather than cars for transportation.
Hutterites are a communal people who adhere to a peace-driven Anabaptist sect that lives by the concept of non-resistance, the practice of not fighting authority even when it is unfair. They are sometimes likened to Amish or Mennonites. However, they do not have any bishops or priests and there is no ordained ministry in their churches.
All Hutterites are expected to work and support themselves through farming or some other means of employment. There is no clergy among them and no one is given an official title. Instead, each family names its own leader, called "Pietismus," which means "pastor."
There are currently about 7500 Hutterites in 70 countries. The majority live in Canada and the United States but there are also large communities in Europe, South America, and Australia.
Their traditional clothing, the houppelandes, consists of a flat cap for men and a white linen bonnet with a red border for women. Today, many of them wear regular clothes like everyone else.
Although they follow the same God as other Christians, Hutterites believe that living according to Christian principles requires community cooperation and mutual assistance. Therefore, they refuse medical care that involves drugs or surgery and they also refuse to fight in court cases that could result in violence. Instead, they hope justice will be served by talking things out peacefully.