The Hutterites are the Austrian branch of the Anabaptist movement of the 16th century.
They are characterized by the practice of community of goods that first began in Moravia in 1529
and was strengthened by Jacob Hutter in 1533.
In sharp contrast to the other Anabaptist groups, the Hutterites had a unique opportunity
to develop the practice of communal life in relatively peace in Moravia. Thus, the Hutterites
developed a strong sense for their own history with an extensive manuscript history. This
literature has made it possible for the Hutterite history and teachings to become better known
than most other groups of the Anabaptist movement except the Dutch. The early Hutterites
developed the new custom of writing down all sermons. Hutterian literature in print today are
two Chronicles of their history, their sermons, and their hymnbook.
In 1529, the Hutterite church in Moravia drew up a rule of life for themselves, some of
the articles of which were as follows:
FIRST, when the church assembles, we should ask God from our hearts for his grace to
make his divine will known to us. When parting from one another, we should give thanks to God
and intercede for all brothers and sisters of the whole Christian church.
SECOND, as Christians we should encourage one another from our hearts to remain
steadfast in the Lord. We should meet frequently, at least four or five times a week if possible.
THIRD, when a brother or sister does wrong openly, it should be corrected openly
before the church with loving admonition. If it was done in secret, it should be disciplined
privately, but in accordance with God's command.
FOURTH, every brother and sister should be fully surrendered to God and to the
church, in body and soul. All gifts received from God should be held in common, according to
the practice of the first apostolic church community of Christ, so the needy in the church can be
supported. Acts 2:44-45; 4:3" 5:1-11.
FIFTH, on behalf of the church, the servants chosen by the church community should
look after the needs of the poor with great care.
SIXTH, brothers and sisters should be straightforward and not superficial in their speech
and behavior, either to one another or to anyone else, inside the community or outside...
TENTH, we should be prepared for God's working a the cross every day, for we have
surrendered ourselves to be disciplined by him. Everything he lays on us should be received
with thanks and borne with patience; we should not be swayed or frightened by every wind that