Who Are the Amish?

Origin of the Amish

The Amish is a Christian sect which is descendant from the Mennonites Movement, after the Dutch Anabaptist leader Menno Simons. In the middle Ages, many Christian sects emerged including one which was called then the New Christians or the Anabaptists. The teachings of Anabaptists are strictly taken from the Bible: they believe in their isolation from the outside world, and that they should not merge or contact other societies in order to stay uncontaminated and away from sins. They fled from religious persecution in Europe as they were accused of heresy and blasphemy from other congregations of Catholic and Protestants, which lead to their death as righteous punishment. Many of them were killed so they escaped with their lives to SwitzerlandMountains, South of Germany and America.

Later on in 1693, a Priest called Jakob Ammann broke away from the Mennonites and established the Amish society. But the hunt for those Amish persisted which lead them again to flee to America, specifically Pennsylvania, considering that America at that time, 1720, was not populated that much.

Aspects of Amish Life.

Rituals and Habits of the Amish

The Amish don’t believe in change, rather, they believe in following the Bible strictly to the word. They have a Congregation whose job is to decree new Biblical explanations or acts according to a certain issue called Ordnung comprised of elderly Amish. Besides, they have many orders, and every order differ from a family to another, that’s why you see an Amish driving a car, while another one refuses to use a battery!

The Amish don’t believe in Electricity or cars or even money unless it’s an emergency. However, due to the modern times, their congregation or orders allowed such interactions. For example, the Amish can use a car only if he does not drive it personally! Instead, they used carriages and horses in their transportations.
Moreover, the Amish don’t believe in schooling their children in a public institute, and they were exempted from compulsory education but in 1972, they allowed going to schools.

The Amish women and daughters wear long sleeves only and very conservative, long, and loose garments or gowns. They cover their heads with white veil if married, black if not married and are not allowed to have their hair cut, while their men wear suits and coats without collars and never shave their beards.

Also, they forbid photos or pictures. Even their kids’ toys should be faceless to be allowed. They forbid music and musical instruments according to the Bible. They believe in fate and if any disaster happens to any of them like barn fire, they all gather to help build new one and so forth. They have something called Shunning or excommunication where they expel the member who doesn’t follow their rules. They also don’t drink alcohol nor believe in prenuptial sex.

Demographic Distribution of the Amish

Population of the Amish in America

They are located in many states in America, and statistics say their numbers are increasing rapidly, where members of each family start with 6 persons onward. Hereby is a table of their locations and numbers:
1. Ohio 49,700
2. Pennsylvania 40,100
3. Indiana 32,650
4. Wisconsin 10,250
5. Michigan 9,300
6. Missouri 6,100
7. Kentucky 5,150
8. New York 5,000
9. Iowa 4,850
10. Illinois 4,200
11. Minnesota 1,600
12. Tennessee 1,500
13. Delaware 1,100
14. Kansas 1,100
15. Maryland 800
16.. Oklahoma 700
17. Montana 550

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Comments 20 comments

Michelle Coleman 5 years ago

I am a South African, I started reading Amish stories by accident and it was very inspiring. I would love to see it one day. Of all the books I have read, the Amish books was the ones picking up my faith.

Thank you for all the info provided above!

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tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I knew about the Amish and the Mennonites - indeed have some good Mennonite friends I met in South Africa while they were doing missionary work here.

Thanks for sharing this fascinating information.

Love and peace


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Thank you Anna for your sweet comment.

Anna Pineda 7 years ago

I knew about the Amish Before i read this; i like the way they work as a community and they are very close to God i would like to visit an Amish community latter on in life thank you for putting this up so people can read about this community

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shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Thank you so much for visiting Poetlorraine.

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shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Thank you Violetsun. Glad I introduced them briefly

poetlorraine 7 years ago

i know what you are all saying..... as locals filled us in on the bad things that happen sometimes to the little girls at the hands of their fathers...... The ladies were peering out of the windows, as if they were trapped i nside..... i would just love to have craft sessions with the children. The children looked beautiful and i think they would be so creative. I will never ever forget the day i visited them, not all sweetness and light but extremely different and made me wish i could not belong, but observe more... great hub

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

I have always been intrigued by the Amish, but didn't know the history of their culture. I wouldn't do well as an Amish though, I love electricity and the modern conviniences. :) Enjoyed reading your hub!

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Thank you James, and please do verify and let me know.

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James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I greatly admire the Amish. The only thing is, I am not aware of any Bible prohibition on music. King David played music for himself, for other people, and for God. That's curious. I'll have to look that up.

Your Hub I loved. I knew about the Amish, being from southwestern Michigan, not far from Nappanee. But I never knew where they came from and I was fascinated to read their history here. Thank you for the pleasure.

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Kartika, you're opinion is highly appreciated, but this debate is applicable everywhere. There are always the good and the bad of everything. Maybe you're talking about another branch of Amish, maybe there are some Amish tribes which are really spoiled and not pure? Anyway, I know about them thru reading only so I haven't had a direct contact with them.. Thanks for sharing dear.

kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Poetlorraine, I live in Iowa and am very aware of the not so pretty side of the Amish lifestyle. The women are very subservient to the men and have to go underground for birth control and other issues that require medical attention, their cats and dogs often life miserable lives - I have seen them covered with parasites with dirty drinking water while owners are asking for money to take a sick looking puppy. They are also contributing to the puppy mill industry for profit - if you research on line you will see the nightmare of the conditions in these puppy mills. I have friends locally who are directors of animal shelters and see this all of the time here in the Midwest. I have a live and let live attitude, but I absolutely disagree they are pure and unspoiled by civilization - they have lots of oppression and brainwashing within their communities. Kartika

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shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

They are pure and unspoiled by civilization! Thanks poetlorraine.

poetlorraine 7 years ago

i went to see them when i was in America...... It is amazing to see the way they live, i wished i could have stayed amongst them for weeks to report on their activity. The children are beautiful and un spoiled . Lovely hub

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Hi Peggy, I admire those people for having a culture on their own. They depend entirely on their resources and are as you said self-sufficient. Thanks for stopping by.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

You offered additional details about the Amish than I previously knew. Thanks for this informative hub. That top photo of the two men must have been snapped surreptiously since pictures are not allowed.

They are probably least affected by a "down economy" than almost anyone else since they are primarily self-sufficient.

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shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Oh Im sorry GM, i will revise it now. Just slipped there :)

GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

"Bile: they" might want to revise that to the Bible. ;) Freudian slip, perhaps?

I grew up in Ohio. The Amish make some awesome stuff. Sometimes I wonder if they got the brighter idea--family, love, all that stuff. But...I love my Sega Genesis/MegaDrive!



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shamelabboush 7 years ago Author

Welcome Bunchee. Glad to answer you.

Bunchee profile image

Bunchee 7 years ago from Dubai, UAE

Thank you for answering my question with this hub :-)

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