The Hutterites have had a long history of discrimination. They moved to the Montana and Dakota territories in the 1870s after being forced to move from previous homes in Germany, eastern Europe and Russia due to persecution. They then moved into Canada after World War I when members were arrested for not enlisting in the military, returning to the U.S. after laws were passed to protect conscientious objectors.
The biggest concentration of Hutterites is in Canada, where hundreds of colonies are scattered from Manitoba to British Columbia. In the U.S., there are colonies in Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon. There are about 50 colonies in Montana, with an average of about 100 people on each colony, according to a state report from 2010.
Like the Amish and Mennonites, they are Anabaptists who believe a person should be baptized only as an adult, when that person can make the decision independently. But unlike the Amish and Mennonites, they live in communes and have no personal property based in part on a Bible passage that reads, “All the believers were together and had everything in common.”