brethren in christ
Christian church in the United States and Canada. It developed among European settlers along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania who came to America about 1750 and who were primarily Anabaptists and Pietists. Known for many years as River Brethren, the church was not officially organized under the name Brethren in Christ until 1863, when the drafting of young men into the Union Army made necessary its formal organization as a body of conscientious objectors.
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