Hutterian Brethren (hətērˈēən) [key], a body of Christians practicing strict communism based on religious principles. The Brethren are descendants of those Moravian Anabaptists who were followers of Jacob Hutter, a minister from the Tyrol who was burned at the stake in 1536. In the 17th cent. there were a number of Hutterian brotherhoods in Moravia. Persecution drove them eastward to eventual settlement in Russia. In 1874, in company with Russian Mennonites, a group emigrated to the United States, settling near Tabor, S.Dak. Other groups followed. Their doctrines and principles, aside from their practice of common ownership, are in accord with those of Mennonites in general. There are around 460 Hutterite colonies in the United States and Canada today, mainly on the W North American prairie. They are also known as Hutterische Brethren or Hutterites.
See studies by V. Peters (1965), J. W. Bennett (1967), and J. A. Hostelter (1975).