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Conrad Grebel

1498?-1526. Leader of the Swiss Brethren movement (commonly called Anabaptism*). He was educated at Basle, Vienna, and Paris, where he encountered humanism. Returning to his home in Zürich he made contact with Zwingli and other humanists, and studied Greek with them. About 1522 he was converted to biblical Christianity and began to work for reform in Switzerland. He became dissatisfied, however, with the incomplete reformation advocated by Zwingli. With friends he diligently studied the Bible, searching for the true doctrine of the church. On 21 January 1525 the Anabaptist movement was born when Grebel baptized Georg Blaurock* and then Blaurock baptized others present, making thereby a gathered church. This action provoked the wrath of the city council and led to persecution of the Brethren. Grebel himself, weakened by imprisonment, died at Maienfeld.