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Are Mennonites Polygamous? (Answer: No)

Are Mennonites polygamous? Do they have multiple wives, and can the women have multiple husbands?

In short, no.

But why do so many people want to know the answer to this question? Where did it come form in the first place?

To answer that, we'll take a deeper look at these questions and ask a few of our own.

Are Mennonites Polygamous / Polyamorous?

Mennonites are not polygamous (or polyamorous), though different Mennonite denominations have different views on divorce and remarriage.

But when a Mennonite man or woman is married, they're only married to that one person.

There could be exceptions to this, though. If there are individual couples who decide to be polygamous together and they also happen to be Mennonite, there's nothing stopping them from pursuing this (except maybe law).

Basically, there's not anything explicitly stated in the overarching Mennonite creed that requires a couple to be monogamous.

Still monogamy is socially considered the norm, and there could be social consequences of choosing polygamy, depending on a Mennonite's congregation and location.

But here's the real question — if Mennonites are largely monogamous, then where did this question even come from?

Why Do People Ask if Mennonites are Polygamous?

To be honest, we're not 100% sure. However, we think we may know where this idea originated.

Mennonites are a small Christian denomination that is largely overlooked in popular culture. Mennonites rarely make the news, and their ideological proximity to the Amish makes a lot of people think Mennonites and Amish are the same — even though they're quite different.

So where would people get the idea that Mennonites might be polygamous?

Our theory is that some people get Mennonites confused with Mormons.

But why do we think this?

Generally speaking, Mennonites and Mormons have a lot in common on the surface. They're both Christian denominations that group tightly in certain geographies while maintaining a strong religious and social affiliation with other like-minded groups across the world.

They're also somewhat unknown in terms of their beliefs when compared to other Christian denominations, like Catholics, Lutherans, or other denominations.

In addition, both Mennonites and Mormons have strong presences in the United States with smaller presences throughout the world, particularly in non-developed countries. Each denomination is also financially, emotionally, and spiritually invested in spreading the word of their denomination to grow followers.

Next, both Mennonites and Mormons start with the letter "M." This may not sound significant, but Mennonites and Mormons are two of the only Christian denominations to share a similar starting letter. The others are Moravians, and there are probably a few other minor denominations starting with the same letter.

Finally, Mormons are famously polygamous. Mennonites are not.

From a zoomed-out point of view, those similarities could be enough for someone unfamiliar with Mennonites and Mormons to confuse them for one another.

In that respect, the question of Mennonite polygamy isn't really a question at all — it's a matter of confusing similar Christian denominations.

So are Mennonites polygamous? No. You (and other askers) may be thinking of Mormons.

You might also be wondering about a relatively unknown denomination of Christians who have someone secretive beliefs and tend to keep to themselves.

Either way, Mennonites are not polygamous as a part of their belief system.

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