2018: Zürich, Switzerland

The commission met at the BWA’s Annual Gathering, July 2-6, 2018, in Zürich, Switzerland. Topics of each session are described below. 


Session 1: Tuesday, July 3, 4:30-6:30 pm

4:30 pm: Dr. Martin Rothkegel (German Anabaptist specialist): The Swiss Radical Reformation with a Particular Focus on Zurich and the Surrounding Area

5:15 pm: Rev. Peter Dettwiler (Reformed Church Canton of Zurich): Response

5:30 pm: Dr Rainer Ebeling (Swiss Baptist Union): The History of the Swiss Baptist Union in the 19th and 20th Centuries

6:00 pm: Rev. Peter Dettwiler (Reformed Church Canton of Zurich): Response on attitudes to and engagements with Baptists and other churches in the 19th and 20th centuries

6:15 pm: Panel discussion / questions from attendees on the two papers


Session 2: Wednesday, July 4, 2:00-4:00 pm

Joint Session organised by the Religious Liberty Commission

Stephen Stookey: The Biblical Basis of Religious Liberty


Session 3:  Friday, July 6, 2:00-4:00 pm

2:00 pm Stefan Gisiger (Swiss Baptist Union): The Work of the Swiss Baptist Union in the 21st Century

2:30 pm: Rev. Bettina Lichtler (Coordinator for Ecumenical Relations, Reformed Church Canton of Zurich):  Response: The Inter-Church Work of the Swiss Reformed Church in the 21st Century

2:45 pm: Discussion / questions from attendees

3:00 pm Working time of the Commission for the last hour


Tour opportunities included the following:

Tour to Anabaptist Cave

Several Annual Gathering participants joined a special tour to the Anabaptist Cave, just one hour outside Zürich, on Sunday July 1st, for a unique worship experience. This is the cave where Anabaptist hid during times of persecution. Media coverage of this tour and worship service are available from the BWAWord & Way, and Ethics Daily (article, video, and video).

Zürich Walking Tour

During the Annual Gathering there were two opportunities to join a two-hour Walking Tour of Zürich to explore major sites of the Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland. Tours were led by members of the Baptist Heritage and Identity Commission.


Pre-Gathering Reformation Three-Day Tour

Several individuals joined the three-day adventure touring several Swiss Reformation and Anabaptist sites. Leaving from Zürich each morning, we visited Constance, the place where Wycliffe was declared a heretic and Jan Hus was executed. We climbed to the Anabaptist Cave, high above Zürich, where brothers and sisters gathered during persecution to worship. We visited old Zürich, Zwingli’s birthplace, and the earliest Anabaptist sites. We also took in other scenic villages, and the breathtaking Rhine Falls.

Post-Gathering Reformation Three-Day Tour

Some BWA participants extended their Zürich stay for three more days to experience more wonderful Swiss Reformation and Anabaptist sites. We traced the steps of Zwingli, his Cathedral at Einsiedeln, and Kappel, the battlefield site of his death. We explored Lucerne, overnight in the beautiful city of Berne. We traveled to Basel, where Erasmus is buried, and Calvin’s Institutes was first written, and ended our tour in Geneva, home of Calvin’s legacy, and the marvelous Reformation museum.