The New International Encyclopædia/Inner Mission

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INNER MISSION (Ger. Innere Mission). The name given in Germany to a movement originated by Theodor Fliedner (q.v.) and further developed by Johann Hinrich Wichern (q.v.), who gave it its name in 1848. It is intended to elevate the whole man, and so besides specifically Church work, such as Sunday schools, rescue missions for drunkards and prostitutes, meetings for sailors, railroad employees, and strangers, it supports deaconesses to nurse the sick, maintains asylums and homes of all kinds, and takes part in the Red Cross work. Underneath all this exertion is the idea that until the spiritual nature is aroused little can be done for permanent improvement. It is distinctively a Protestant movement. There is a central committee, but it does not exercise control of the local committees. Consult: H. Behm, Die Innere Mission, eine kirchliche Reformbewegung des 19. Jahrhunderts (Gütersloh, 1892); Fünfzig Jahre der Inneren Mission (report of the Central Committee, Berlin, 1898).