On January 21, 1525, the Zurich council forbade the radicals from disseminating their views.That wintry evening, in a nearby village, the radicals met—and baptized each other.The 16th century was a time of great change in the religious life and practices of many in Western Europe.A variety of voices from within the church were advocating for change. Its advent was almost as revolutionary as today’s Internet.The majority of the microfilms in the collection contain copies of documents housed in the (the Strasbourg university library, which houses a substantial collection of premodern manuscripts and rare books).Other microfilms include copies of documents from a number of other European and North American libraries and archives, including the , the Danish Royal Library, the Newberry Library, and the Harvard University Library.It was a baptism performed upon their confession of faith in Jesus as Lord.It was a radical act that earned many of them a martyrs’ death.
When Luther, Zwingli, and others led their movements away from Catholicism, many practices were changed; but infant baptism, the accepted mode for most of Christian history, was not.
Further, some of these radicals wanted a totally self-governing church, free of government interference.
Zwingli, who wanted gradual, orderly change, parted ways with them.
One of them, George Blaurock, asked another, Conrad Grebel, to baptize him.
Around the circle they went, baptizing each other in what they understood to be their first true baptism.