The Turkish War
The ‘Golden Period” for the Hutterites ended, with the start of the Turkish War, which was fought against the Roman Empire. During the war, armies from both sides would come to the bruderhöfe in search for food and shelter. The Turks, who killed and captured many of the members, frequently raided the colonies.
To get money to fight the Turks, the Emperor told all the Lords to contribute taxes or money. The Hutterites refused to pay war taxes, so sheep, cattle, wagons and many other possessions were seized instead.
For 13 years the colonies were raided and Hutterites killed. They took refuge in passages and caves, many of which were dug by hand.
When the war ended the Brethren tried to rebuild what they had lost. By the time they did that, another war had started, the Thirty Years War.
The Thirty Years War
The Hutterites hadn’t fully recovered from the Turkish war when the Thirty Years War began in 1618, which lasted until 1648. This fight was between the Catholic and Protestant states, and within a few months the Catholic army had destroyed 12 colonies and plundered 17 others.
In 1622 the Cardinal from Dietrichstein expelled all the Hutterites from Moravia. All their possessions were locked up and they were forced to leave empty handed. Most of them fled to Slovakia, but 230 of them joined the Catholic Church.