A Look into Bolivia’s Mennonite Community

Menno Simons, a 16th century Protestant Reformer from whom the Mennonites get their name

Menno Simons, a 16th century Protestant Reformer from whom the Mennonites get their name

CNN recently posted a gallery of some beautiful and fascinating photos taken of an isolated Mennonite community in Bolivia. In addition to what appears to be an agrarian lifestyle, the community forbids the use of electronics.

Apparently, sometimes people try to sneak them in anyway, and if they’re found, they’re confiscated and destroyed (picture 14 in the gallery is of some confiscated and destroyed electronics).

Different Mennonite groups have different stances with regard to technology, with some groups being more restrictive than others.

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Comments

  1. Christian Roy says:

    For a glimpse of the flipside of this bucolic technophobic lifestyle, you have to read the hear-raising account of systemic rape and incest in one of the stricter Mennonite colonies called Manitoba, at http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/the-ghost-rapes-of-bolivia-000300-v20n8?Contentpage=-1 by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky. The theocratic leadership is usually content to sweep it under the carpet, but will not tolerate any incroachment of technology that might give anyone a way out, or any ideas. Thus, “it wasn’t sexual abuse that finally prompted Agnes and her family to abandon Manitoba, which they did in 2009. Instead, her husband had bought a motorcycle, after which he was excommunicated and the family shunned. When the couple’s toddler drowned to death in a cow trough, the community leaders wouldn’t even let her husband attend his own son’s funeral. That’s when they left Manitoba for good. In the end, driving a motorcycle was apparently a larger affront to the Colony’s leadership than anything Agnes, her daughters, or the rest of the women in the community had suffered.”

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