The Moravian Church

The roots of the Moravian Church are in the Bohemian Reformation of the 15th century, when followers of the reformer Jan Hus, who was executed in 1415, joined together in the East Bohemian town of Kunvald to form a Protestant community, the Unitas Fratrum ("Unity of Brethren"). Growing into the popular church in Bohemia in the first century, then persecuted for a long time, one of the first Protestant churches almost perished. Some followers made their way to Saxony, where the religious refugees were given a safe asylum on the land of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760). In 1722, the town of Herrnhut was founded in East Saxony, where a community of life and faith, the Moravian Church, developed in the following years. In addition to the refugees from Bohemia and Moravia, the charisma of the place also attracted numerous members of other Christian denominations (mostly Reformed or Lutheran).

Worldwide spread

From 1732 onwards, missionaries travelled from Herrnhut all over the world to set signs of Christian charity, especially among the poor. The humble beginnings of work among slaves on sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean developed in the 20th century with the independence of mission areas into a worldwide network of independent provinces of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) on five continents. Today there are about 1.4 million members of the Moravian Church. 80% of them are at home in the southern hemisphere.
The worldwide church is organised on a synodal basis. Every seven years, representatives of the more than 20 Unity provinces meet for a synod to reflect together on the way of the church. The so-called provinces also have a synodal-presbyterial structure.

300 years Herrnhut

In 1722, religious refugees from Moravia came to Upper Lusatia. They found an asylum on the land of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf. The construction of the Herrnhut settlement began and with it a 300-year history that went from Herrnhut to the whole world. More information about this special anniversary can be found linked here.

Who are the Moravians? A short film (in German)