The Hutterites have enjoyed remarkable growth since they arrived in the United States during the 1870s (In the Court of Appeal of Alberta . 6-14). The original immigrants have multiplied to more than 460 colonies. Persecuted for being conscientious objectors during World War I, many Hutterites moved to Canada(Hutterian Church Excommunicates 1-4). Currently, approximately three-fourths of the colonies are found in several Canadian provinces; the others live primarily in South Dakotaand Montana. Hutterite adults and children in both countries number more than 45,000 (Hutterites 1). They are organized into four subgroups: Dariusleut, Lehrerleut, and two groups of Schmiedeleut.
The four branches share many common beliefs, but they have separate leaders and function as independent groups. Members of the three leuts rarely intermarry. Although there is much diversity within each group, the Lehrerleut tend to be the most traditional. The Schmiedeleut, on the other hand, are the most progressive in their use of technology and interaction with the outside world (Friedmann 1-3).