Faith Matters - The Moravians of Suriname | All media content | DW | 04.03.2018
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Faith Matters

Faith Matters - The Moravians of Suriname

The Moravian Church is one of the oldest Protestant denominations. Since the eighteenth century it has been sending missionaries to many parts of the world. In the former Dutch colony of Suriname, on the northeast coast of South America, the church is especially strong. Surinamese Moravians will be organizing the World Day of Prayer in March 2018.

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The roots of the Moravian Church go back to the Bohemian Reformation in the early fifteenth century. However, their religious movement was suppressed in what is now the Czech Republic. Reduced to a small number, the Moravian Protestants fled to Saxony in 1722. On his estate at Herrenhut, on the German-Polish border, Count Zinzendorf gave them refuge. Within ten years they were sending missionaries abroad. In the Dutch colony of Suriname they ministered to African slaves, offering them education, medical care, and vocational training. Escaped slaves, known as Maroons, who built settlements deep in the jungle, were of special concern to these European missionaries. Today, the Moravian Church has 67 congregations, called Brotherhoods, in Suriname. In this report, we meet various Moravian Christians, including descendants of the Maroon community.