Malcolm Gladwell on Mennonites and Forgiveness

This past summer, author Malcolm Gladwell went to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to connect my wife’s aunt, Wilma Derksen whose daughter was murdered 20+ years ago.  He was exploring the story of the Derksen’s and their particular pursuit of forgiveness.  But in the bigger picture, he was and is wondering ‘where the culture of forgiveness in the Mennonite world comes from.”

Interestingly, Gladwell makes the link between the history of persecution Mennonites have faced with the ability to forgive.

In brief, it is quite true that Mennonites have a propensity for social justice, and within that is a seemingly inherent capacity to forgive.  But deeper still, it must not be forgotten that this ‘capacity to forgive’ is facilitated by the Anabaptist Mennonite spirituality which persistently and consistently pursues the presence of and peace of Christ.

Start watching at the 3:50 mark.  (Forgive me, it is not embedding properly.  Click on the link below.)

Where did the Mennonite capacity for forgiveness come from?  Can being entrenched within the devastating experience of persecution have the potential, in the long term, to build something beautiful?


  1. wilma derksne · October 11, 2012

    Wow – are you quick on the draw.
    I am hearing good things about your writing…
    Be encouraged..!

    • Chris Lenshyn · October 11, 2012

      Thanks auntie Wilma. We miss hanging out with you guys!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s