Amish Facts

Amish Facts
The Amish are members of a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships that originated in 1693 under the guidance of Jakob Ammann. The Amish church began in Switzerland when a division occurred in the Mennonite church and those who followed Jakob Ammann's more rigid beliefs became known as Amish or Amish Mennonite. Those who followed the less rigid beliefs became known as Swiss Mennonite. The common heritage means there are many similarities between the Amish and Mennonite but the Amish maintain very rigid beliefs pertaining to plain dress, simple living, and the limitation of electricity, phones, cars, and the practice of shunning.
Interesting Amish Facts:
The Amish immigrated into Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and the population today in the United States is believed to be roughly a quarter of a million.
Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio have the most significant Amish populations in the United States. There is also a smaller Amish population in Canada of roughly 1,500.
Smaller Amish populations exist in Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, Missouri, and Kentucky.
The Amish church has a set of rules called the Ordnung which dictates how a person lives and what rules to follow.
Ordnung is German for the word 'order'. The Ordnung of one Amish community may differ from that of another.
In the Amish religion a person is baptized between the ages of 16 and 25.
An Amish person cannot be married in the church unless they are baptized.
Languages common in the Amish community include Pennsylvania German, Bernese German, Amish High German, and English.
The Amish believe in simple and traditional cuisine. Food is a major factor in the Amish social world. It is often center to fundraising events, weddings, potlucks, and the Amish often sell their homemade food at markets to outsiders.
In the Amish affiliations there are differences about what is acceptable, but they all follow the absolute ban on cars, radio, television, and often the internet as well.
Some Amish affiliations allow for tractors, rototillers, powered lawn mowers, propane gas, mechanical milkers, mechanical refrigerators, indoor flushing toilets, running water, chainsaws, and motorized washers, however many do not.
The eight main Old Amish affiliations include Lancaster, Elkhart-LaGrange, Holmes Old Order, Buchanan Medford, Geauga I, Swartzentruber, Geauga II, and Swiss.
Since 1950 in the United States there have only been about 75 people, considered to be outsiders that have joined the Amish and stayed with them.
All Amish in the U.S. are descendants of about 200 founders from the 1700s. This presents a particular set of health problems due to genetics. Many of the health problems are metabolic disorders.
Despite the genetic disorders the Amish often do not get the diseases associated with modern life. They live a healthier lifestyle and have lower rates of cancer, even among those who smoke.
When Amish children reach the age of 16 they participate in Rumspringa. They leave their community and try out the outside world. Most return to their communities.
Amish men grow their beards after Rumspringa and baptism.
The Amish do not believe in violence. They try to exist without it, and murder is extremely rare.


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