Brethren in Christ

Brethren in Christ (identified as "Tunkers" in Canada in the 19th century) were a group of Christians who shared the ANABAPTIST belief in adult baptism. They trace their origins to 1770 when concerned members of the MENNONITE, LUTHERAN and BAPTIST churches in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, broke with the formalism of their parent churches. The organization of the new group was very loose and various small independent groups emerged, the most important of which were probably the so-called River Brethren.

After the American Revolution, many of the Brethren, who had taken a PACIFIST position in that conflict, immigrated to what is now Ontario, where their pacifist convictions were officially recognized and respected in the Militia Act of 1793. Canada's roughly 2500 adult Brethren in Christ participate in the international relief activities of the Mennonite Central Committee, but their church has retained a separate denominational identity in Canada and the US.