Amish Religion -tightly knit religious and ethnic group
Where Did the Amish Get Their Start?
Tracing their roots back to the Anabaptist movement of the
16th century, the Amish people are a tightly knit religious
and ethnic group. An early leader in the Anabaptist religion,
Menno Simmons began the Mennonite sect. Later, Jacob Amman
started the Amish faith when he felt the Mennonites were drifting
from Simmons' teachings.
The Amish detest pride and teach humility in all areas of
life. This teaching is at the core of Amish beliefs and what
separates them from modern society. They believe that modern
electricity, automobiles and most other modern technologies
promote one person above another and decreases an individuals
need for community. They also believe in simplicity in lifestyle
which is put into practice in their homes, food and clothing.
Their religious beliefs are based on the teachings of Christ.
Their interpretation of Christ's teachings include adult baptism
and the shunning of excommunicated members until they return
to the fold. A FAQ page from the Pennsylvania Dutch County
Welcome Center describes their beliefs this way:
|"Both Mennonites and Amish believe in
one God eternally existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
(Romans 8:1-17). We believe that Jesus Christ, God's only
Son, died on the cross for the sins of the world. We believe
that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and also empowers
believers for service and holy living. We believe that
salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, a free
gift bestowed by God on those who repent and believe.
They are taught to be separate from the outside world, citing
scriptures such as "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers."
(II Corinthians 6:14), "Come out from among them and be ye
separate, saith the Lord." (II Corinthians 6:17) and "...Be
ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the
renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).
Even within the Amish communities, there is separation. More
liberal Amish groups such as the Beachy Amish, who drive automobiles,
are widely seen as non-Amish by other Amish groups and are
considered outsiders. Smaller differences between groups such
as how many suspenders to wear or how many pleats to put in
a bonnet are considered minimal and inter-marrying between
the two groups are allowed.
The Amish are pacifists and shun anything military. Many
groups don't allow buttons because of their original use by
the military. For this same reason, men do not wear moustaches.
They teach instead that their non-violence could lead others
to believe in Christ, although they do not actively proselytize.
The Amish tend to be kind-hearted, simple people who work
hard, serve others in their community and enjoy spending time
|The very conservative Christian group
which broke away from the larger Anabaptist movement in
the Alsace region in France during the late 17th century.
Most Amish now live in the U.S. and Canada -- largely
in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They isolate themselves
from the larger American/Canadian culture.