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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