WW1 & Beyond
From 1939-1945, during the second war, Hutterites again refused to participate in the war. Instead they performed public work such as planting trees in national parks, working in paper mills, handling grain elevators and helping in church camps.
During 1940-1950 the Dariusleut and Lehrerleut established 20 more colonies. Gradually hostility began to stir against the colonies in the west. Alberta farmers were concerned because so many Hutterites were settling in some areas, so the “Land Sales Prohibition Act” was passed in 1942. This provincial law prevented people from selling their land to Hutterites. For 5 years this law was in effect, and then in 1947 a new law was passed. This stated that no new colonies were to be built, and no colony could have more than 6400 acres of land. It was also necessary to offer land for sale 60 days before any Hutterites could buy it.
In Manitoba however, people didn’t feel quite so hostile towards the Hutterites. However in 1957, a gentleman’s agreement was made that stated Hutterites would build no more than two colonies in a large municipality and only one in smaller ones. The Hutterites also agreed to own no more than 5120 acres, and that that their colonies would be established at least 10 miles apart.
In 1973 the laws in Alberta were repealed, and in a five-month period after that 44,475 acres of land were bought, and seven new colonies established. By 1980 the total population of the Hutterites exceeded 24,326 and by 1996 the number was around 37,000.
Today, an estimated 45 000 Hutterites live scattered throughout the North American prairies on approximately 460 Bruderhöfe (colonies).