The History of Amish and Mennonite Cultures
The Amish have long been a mystery to most of us including myself. I find them fascinating because personally, technology and the comforts of modern facilities make life easier for me so why would a group of people resist technology and not enjoy the same technology that makes life easier for us all? Being religious never meant doing without so why does this particular religious group feel the need to suffer in the eyes of mainstream society? The article “The History of Amish and Mennonite Cultures” helped me to understand the whys we all ask about the Amish.
The origin of the Amish date back to the early 1600s. They are a group of Swiss Anabaptist who left Switzerland due to differences in beliefs of doctrinal baptisms. In Switzerland, the state/church required infant baptisms however this was not the practice of the Anabaptist, (aka Mennonites) who practiced adult baptisms. They were of the belief that one must make a conscious decision to be baptized and that only adults can make those types of decisions, not infants. In reading the article it stated that the Anabaptist actually performed two baptisms, once as an infant and then again as an adult when he or she made the decision to do so. As a result of religious differences between the state and the Anabaptist and the martyring of the group, this brought about the push-pull factors causing them to migrate to North America. By leaving Switzerland they were able to avoid blatant discrimination and being martyred for their religious practices. The persecution must have been intense as there are no Amish living in Europe today.
The Amish live primarily in three states- Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. They live isolated from mainstream society in small communities and each group functions independently from one another, as there are four different orders of Amish doctrine with four different variations of practice. There are conservative groups,...
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