Amish People: The Facts

  • The Amish are a group of traditionalist Christians that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches, which were founded in the 16th century.
  • Amish people are known for their simple lifestyle, plain dress and reluctance to adopt modern technology. Get fascinating facts about Amish people.
  • Ordnung, a German word meaning order or discipline, dictates every aspect of Amish life including dress, hair length and farming techniques.
  • In 1693, Swiss Mennonite preacher Jakob Ammann split from the Anabaptists over opposing doctrines. Those following Ammann became the Amish.
  • Amish church membership begins with baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. It is a requirement for marriage.
  • Once a person has been baptized into the Amish church, he or she may marry only within the faith.
  • The Amish value rural life, manual labor and humility. Children typically discontinue formal education at eighth grade.
  • Because the Amish have no central church government, each assembly is autonomous and maintains their own unique “Ordnung,” or set of rules.
  • During Rumspringa, children between the ages of 14 and 16 are given greater personal freedom and allowed to form romantic relationships.
  • Rumspringa, a period of freedom for the Amish, concludes when a youth chooses baptism within the Amish church or to leave the community.
  • Amish people are known for their simple lifestyle, plain dress and reluctance to adopt modern technology. Get fascinating facts about Amish people.
  • Progressive Amish communities use automobiles and have phones in their home. Ultraconservative communities won't even use batteries.
  • Amish religious practices are based on the rejection of pride, submission to God's will and a strong sense of humility.
  • Almost all Amish are functionally bilingual in Pennsylvania Dutch and English.
  • In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that the Amish are exempt from compulsory school attendance beyond 8th grade based on religious principles.
  • Chores are divided by sexual role. Men work on the farm while women do the washing, cleaning, cooking and other chores.
  • The Amish practice adult baptism. They believe only adults can make informed decisions about their salvation and commitment to the church.
  • Engagements between Amish men and women are typically kept secret until just a few weeks before the wedding.
  • An Amish bride will typically make her own dress for the wedding, which will serve as her "good" dress for formal events afterwards.
  • Most Amish brides make themselves blue wedding dresses as opposed to the white dresses seen in other Christian denominations.
  • In some Amish communities gravestones are not engraved. A map is maintained by community ministers to identify occupants of each burial plot.
  • There are Amish populations present in 28 states. The Amish population in Ohio and Pennsylvania exceeds 50,000 per state.
  • The Amish are growing faster than any other faith-based group in the U.S., with 60 percent of all U.S. Amish settlements founded since 1990.
  • 80 miles south of Cleveland in Holmes County, Ohio, 42% of the residents are Amish – the highest percentage anywhere in the US.
  • The U.S. Amish population – now at 251,000 – is estimated to grow to more than a million by 2050.
  • Some Amish prefer living in areas with very few people. Larger settlements can make it easier for young people to get into drugs and alcohol.
  • The booming Amish population coupled with diminishing land availability is forcing many young Amish to find work outside the community.
  • In 2010-2011, authorities seized 24 methamphetamine labs in the Amish Country area of Holmes County, Ohio.
  • Large families with 7-10 children are common in Amish communities.
  • Amish men plow the fields with mules and start learning how to use farm equipment by the age of six.
  • Amish women cover their heads when they pray to demonstrate humility and respect.
  • A brand new Amish buggy costs about $5,000, and a used buggy about $2,000. Usually there is one buggy shop in each Amish community.
  • The New Order Amish split from the Old Order in the 1960's and allow themselves more conveniences such as electricity.
  • Depending on the occasion, Amish women will sometimes wear a black head covering instead of the typical white.
  • The rules on modern conveniences differ by community. Lancaster Amish all use gas lights, while Indiana Amish are allowed generators.
  • The Amish are not allowed fancy curtains or white blinds. Green blinds keep homes cool in the summertime and warm in the winter.
  • A high-priced horse and Amish buggy can cost up to $10,000.
  • Standard bred horses are trained exclusively for Amish buggy transportation and are not considered for horseback riding.
  • For the Amish, being baptized is a lifetime commitment to the church, to God and to reject sin.
  • Law enforcement officials imposed a law requiring the Amish to put turn signals and reflectors on their buggies against their wishes.
  • Many Amish churches prohibit bicycles but allow non-motorized scooters because they require more manual labor to get around.
  • A buggy can last over 30 years if maintained properly. Replacing a buggy wheel costs about $100.
  • Pennsylvania Dutch is actually a low form of German which contains many English words.
  • An Amish bishop wears a black hat all the time, but for everyone else it’s only required on Sundays.
  • Amish parents will only speak Pennsylvania Dutch to their children until they begin school and learn to speak English.
  • Amish women wear head coverings as a form of obedience to what is written in the Bible.
  • Pennsylvania Dutch originates from the Southern German settlers of Amish Country who started arriving in the 17th century.
  • Amish washing machines run off of air pressure and clothes are hand-fed through a ringer.
  • An Amish woman is forbidden from allowing a man in her house unless her husband is at home.
  • Mennonite clothes are less strict than Amish clothes, but they still are intended to represent simplicity.
  • A horse travels home faster than any destination because it knows the way home and wants to return there.
  • Buggies used by Amish youth on Rumspringa often have battery-operated fans in the summertime.
  • The slang name for an Amish taxi driver is a "Yoder Toter," Yoder being one of the most common Amish last names.
  • For fun on the weekends, Amish families will often spend time together playing board games and talking.
  • An Amish family would normally only visit a doctor who caters to the Amish, but in cases of serious injury they will go to a hospital.
  • The Amish don't have standard health insurance and rely on "Amish Aid."
  • Mennonites have more freedom when it comes to technology. They are not opposed to photography, whereas the Amish forbid it.
  • Amish people are known for their simple lifestyle, plain dress and reluctance to adopt modern technology. Get fascinating facts about Amish people.
  • Amish men who have joined the church keep their hair one uniform length to signify that they are on the "straight and narrow."
  • Amish taxis charge by the mile, and while they're waiting will charge by the hour.
  • It's rare to see a woman hitch up a buggy alone. A single woman will have a church elder or a close male neighbor help.
  • Amish hat shapes and styles vary by region. The size of the brim should be 4 inches. Anything shorter signifies a rebellious person.
  • The Amish are not allowed to have their pictures taken because it is viewed as something vain.
  • All Amish clothes are handmade. Each community has a local seamstress who makes suits and dresses.
  • Most Amish serve wine for dinner but hard liquor is forbidden.
  • White suspenders are usually worn for church. Belts are considered too modern and are forbidden.
  • The Amish practice a Protestant denomination of Christianity called Anabaptism.
  • Amish women begin wearing head coverings as infants and receive nicer, pleated head coverings as adolescents.
  • The Amish community is accepting of individuals who choose not to be baptized in the church.
  • In rare circumstances, individuals of African, Oriental and Native American descent are adopted and raised in Amish communities.
  • Softball, volleyball, basketball and hockey are popular sports among the Amish. Some Amish even follow professional sports teams.
  • The Amish are sometimes forced to use telephones for business purposes or to call a taxi for long commutes.
  • The Amish will occasionally maintain friendly relationships with English people.
  • Hut parties are parties thrown at a modernized English house and attended by both Amish and English teens.
  • Amish teens will sometimes get tattoos during Rumspringa before they are baptized in the church.
  • Amish men are required to wear a white shirt to church.
  • Everyone in Lancaster gets their head coverings from one woman who provides them.
  • The Amish do not have a designated building where they go to church. Services are held in the church members' homes on a rotating basis.
  • A black band is used to help keep the shape of Amish hats.
  • Once someone is baptized in the Amish church, they are forbidden from going to a bar.
  • The handles of a buggy will be chrome if a person is on Rumspringa and black when they have joined the Amish church.
  • Windy Lancaster roads have "No Passing" signs to prevent buggy accidents.
  • What the English would consider a "garage" or a "work shed" the Amish refer to as a "shop."
  • Lancaster town officials considered charging the Amish road tax because of the damage caused by buggies.
  • Scooters can be purchased at an Amish hardware store. A scooter costs about $150.
  • Many construction companies prefer Amish laborers because of their work ethic and the quality of their work.
  • The Amish church allows for the use of electric devices such as power tools if it is strictly for business purposes.
  • Barn raisings traditionally start at dawn with the frame often erected before lunch.
  • The Amish prefer not to have English people attend their parties because it is more likely that a fight will break out.
  • The Amish often hang their clothes under the porch when it rains and next to the stove in the winter.
  • Amish people believe their simple clothing keeps them humble and separate from the world.
  • Sheep's wool is used to make Amish coats and blankets.
  • Some Amish bibles have German on the left page mirrored by the English translation on the right.
  • Farming is preferred by the Amish because a rural setting helps maintain their values and way of life.
  • In the Amish community, men and women are segregated until Rumspringa.
  • Most Amish will not turn a pitchfork upside down because it reminds them of the devil.
  • Amish schools all have a "ringing bell" which is used to let children know when school is about to begin and recess is over.
  • Amish girls learn to operate farm equipment and control large animals as early as age 6.
  • In the Amish community, regulations on clothing – including colors and fabrics – vary from church to church.
  • Flying is prohibited by the Amish church because it is considered too modern and worldly.
  • Approximately 11 million tourists come to Lancaster, PA each year to visit “Amish Country,” generating around $1.8 billion in revenue a year.
  • Once a woman joins the Amish church she is forbidden from cutting her hair.
  • The Amish associate moustaches with the military and therefore must maintain a clean-shaven upper lip.
  • Amish and Mennonite beliefs are based upon the same simplicity of faith, but differ in their interpretations and practices.
  • An Amish horse and buggy can travel up to 40 miles per hour.
  • Amish buggies require little maintenance, needing only brake fluid.
  • The Amish church forbids owning cars because they can be signs of personal status.
  • Pallbearers for an Amish funeral carry the coffin and dig the grave.
  • The Amish are allowed to wear English clothes from age 16 until they decide to be baptized into the church.
  • The Ohio Amish are considered more "plain" and less commercial than the Lancaster Amish.
  • The Amish are forbidden from having a phone in their home because it connects them to the outside world.
  • Lancaster Amish are required to wear suspenders, but in Ohio only the bishop, the deacon and boys under age 12 may wear them.
  • German bibles are used during Amish church services while English bibles are used at home.
  • The Amish raise goats and sheep for their milk and in some cases their meat.
  • Many Amish and Mennonites own guns for hunting and learn proper gun safety at an early age.
  • Both the Amish and Mennonites settled in Pennsylvania as part of William Penn's "holy experiment" of religious tolerance.
  • Amish hat styles and shapes vary from region to region.
  • Ohio Old Order Amish women are only required to wear aprons for church, funerals and weddings.
  • Young men offering women a ride home from church is a common courting ritual in the Amish community.
  • Most Amish descend from a German or Swiss-German ancestry. The term "Amish" refers to their faith and not their ethnicity.
  • The dimensions of an Amish man's hat reflect his age and status.
  • Amish generally try to keep the police out of their community, but will always call the fire department.
  • The most "plain" Amish communities are only allowed to use open-top buggies regardless of the season.
  • The Amish "Church Wagon" contains benches, bibles and dinnerware. It’s taken to the home of the family who will host the next church service.
  • Shunning is one of the worst forms of punishment in the Amish community and is used to shame a person into confessing their sins.
  • There are over 5,000 farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  • Amish religion dictates that they abstain from all acts of violence. Conscientious objectors, they avoid all involvement with the military.
  • Amish women traditionally wear long sleeves, solid-colored skirts and aprons.
  • The Amish religion is a denomination of Christianity.
  • Shoofly Pie – a popular Amish dessert – is made with molasses, which attracts flies that must be "shooed" away.
  • Although there are no official Amish communities in North Dakota, many Amish people relocate there to continue their modest lifestyles.
  • While small groups of Amish have moved farther West, the majority of America's Amish population lives in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
  • Active church members avoid those who are shunned in every social situation and business activity.
  • Many Amish own weapons. It is common for farmers to use guns to scare off groundhogs and other threats to their crops.
  • Some New Order Amish use cell phones and pagers, but most Old Order Amish will not.
  • Divorce is not sanctioned by the Amish church and is cause for excommunication.
  • While Amish people have a Bishop in every community, the Brethren have one bishop to oversee many communities or even multiple states.
  • Most Amish don’t allow electricity in their communities. It’s viewed as a modern convenience that brings them too close to the outside world.
  • The Amish often joke that all they do during the winter is "make babies" because it helps them to stay warm.
  • During the winter, the Amish mostly work indoors making furniture and repairing farm equipment.
  • While Amish men perform different chores depending on the time of year, a woman's duties are mostly the same year-round.
  • The Amish mostly sing church hymns and religious songs. All other music is off-limits.
  • Bricks heated over a fire or jugs filled with steaming hot water are sometimes placed in Amish buggies during the winter to provide warmth.
  • While outsiders may not notice any difference, the Amish can immediately distinguish between a Pennsylvania buggy and an Ohio buggy.
  • Amish teenagers have the option of not joining the church after Rumspringa and therefore are not bound by church rules.
  • With approximately 3,000 Amish inhabitants, Pinecraft in Sarasota, Florida is home to the only significant Amish population in the state.
  • Most Amish will live their entire lives having never seen an ocean.
  • The Amish do not wear bathing suits and are forbidden from swimming in public.
  • The Amish prioritize the word of God over the letter of the law.
  • Amish inmates are typically required to follow the same rules as everyone else, but some wardens make exceptions for religious reasons.
  • Amish men rarely do the dishes or laundry – they consider it a woman's job.
  • The Amish are prohibited from owning cars, but will readily accept rides from others and even hire the English to drive them.
  • Amish etiquette dictates that a person must ask permission to enter another's house.
  • It is an Amish tradition to bring a pie when visiting another's home.
  • The Amish power their refrigerators with propane.
  • Smoking is not common in Amish culture.
  • Those who refuse to shun an offending Amish church member risk being shunned themselves.
  • The Amish do not have their own rehabilitation facilities, but will go to those that cater specifically to Christians if necessary.
  • Washing machines and dryers are not found in Amish communities. They wash their clothes by hand and hang them to dry.
  • Amish communities have continued to survive over time largely due to the fact that members are mutually dependent on each other.
  • The Amish often blame strange and erratic behavior on evil spirits.
  • An Amish cleansing ceremony is done in the hope of freeing a person's body of evil spirits. It is better known by the English as an exorcism.
  • The Bishop has the highest authority within the Amish community.
  • The Amish are permitted to have electricity in a home only if it is a temporary residence.
  • The Amish tradition of barn-raising combines socialization and community support. The Amish refer to these collaborative events as “frolics.”
  • Farming is fundamental to Amish life. They take pride in the labor and long hours required to maintain the tradition of self-sufficiency.
  • Simplicity is paramount for Amish attire. Though it varies among communities, Amish clothing is traditionally black or muted colors.
  • Amish homes are constructed to accommodate families of 6-8 children and multiple generations living under one roof or in adjacent quarters.
  • Amish furniture gained popularity in the 1920s and is regarded for its high quality and all-natural production.
  • Shunned individuals are customarily accepted back into the Amish community after repentance.
  • Approximately three percent of Amish women are employed outside the home or manage their own businesses.
  • Amish men grow beards in observance of a Leviticus biblical passage that states facial hair should remain uncut.
  • Modest in appearance, Amish residences are often painted white, green, blue or brown to represent the various colors of nature.
  • The Amish use oil chamber lamps to light their homes in the dark. During the daytime, they use natural sunlight from the windows.
  • Canning is an old Amish tradition that keeps food edible throughout the year.
  • Although Amish grow and make most of what they eat, they can be spotted shopping for food at local markets.
  • New Order Amish have adopted many progressive practices. Some communities allow telephones and the use of electricity.
  • Though electronics are generally forbidden, many Amish recondition them to function on batteries instead of electricity.
  • Woodcarving serves as both a creative outlet and source of income for many Amish men.
  • Quilts are highly respected gifts amongst the Amish and require an extensive amount of labor to complete.
  • The Amish boil hog feet with vinegar and spices to make souse. The fat of the pig is made into lard for cooking.
  • At one time, every farmstead butchered its own meat. Now, commercial butchers do most of the butchering for Pennsylvania Amish families.
  • Nearly every piece of pig meat is used by Amish cooks. Loins are prepared as roasts, and scraps are mixed with cornmeal to make scrapple.
  • Amish tend to be reluctant to report crimes to the police. To the Amish, the church and the world are kingdoms that should be kept apart.
  • To keep their values, Amish farmers do without some technology. They often use horses to plow their fields instead of tractors.
  • Rather than worshiping in a church, Amish take turns holding services in homes, which are built to hold large numbers of people.
  • Meidung (shunning) is the Amish form of excommunication. Meidung lasts until death unless one repents one’s crime before the community.
  • A horse can easily pick up debris that could injure its hoof because of the hooves’ shape and clefts beside the frog (part of the foot).
  • The Amish are traditionalist Christians, closely related to but distinct from Mennonites, with whom they share Swiss Anabaptist origins.
  • The Amish have a great reputation for quality carpentry, woodcraft, and lumber.
  • The Amish are often reluctant to involve English law enforcement, instead relying on the Church to enforce Amish Law.
  • A shunned individual is expelled from the community and cannot have any contact with group members, including family and friends.
  • Not all Amish are the same – as in most protestant religions, each division follows its own variations of the rules.
  • Divisions among Amish sects are caused by doctrinal disagreement. These differences in beliefs can lead to bizarre forms of violence.
  • Many Amish avoid using pesticides. Instead, they use manure to fertilize the land. They also use crop rotation to keep the soil healthy.
  • Amish elders generally view Rumspringa as a time for courtship and finding a spouse.
  • Usually Amish abstain from flying, though certain groups of Amish permit it. Also, most Amish allow air travel in extraordinary situations.
  • Amish nearly universally forbid air travel. Flying is seen as worldly and unnecessary, but most Amish permit air travel in emergencies.
  • Amish cannot marry English people. If they do, they are shunned from Amish life.
  • The Amish Ordnung, or rule for living, specifies everything from what type of shoes may be worn to the width of hat brims.
  • After World War II, use of Pennsylvania German died out in favor of English, except among the more insular Anabaptists.
  • Amish young people meet each other at Sunday hymn sings. A young man shows interest by offering a young lady a ride home in his buggy.
  • Ohio alone reports over 120 buggy accidents per year.
  • Most New Order Amish, representing a small segment of Amish society, permit travel by plane for business or other purposes.
  • From a population of 5,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the Amish have grown to a quarter-million strong in North America.
  • The Amish live in 28 U.S. states as well as the province of Ontario in Canada.
  • The Amish believe photos can lead to pride and invade their privacy.
  • Amish think photographs violate Exodus: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven.”
  • Old Order Amish have only recently begun to allow elastic-banded underwear.
  • Strict Schwartzentruber Amish still use draw-string underwear that are easy for them to make in their homes.
  • Homosexuality is considered a serious sin in the Amish culture. It’s expected to be confessed and often results in some form of discipline.
  • In many communities, Rumspringa is a period when some Amish youth, boys more than girls, experience greater freedom.
  • During Rumspringa, Amish youth are no longer under the control of their parents on weekends and are not under the authority of the church.
  • Rumspringa as a wild rebellious experience is virtually unknown in some smaller settlements and in certain affiliations.
  • Amish youth on Rumspringa do not have to follow the strict rules of the church because they are not yet baptized.
  • Amish elders live as independently as possible, often moving into small houses connected to their children's homes (grossdawdy houses).
  • Many Amish work in English-owned businesses. As young people rub elbows with the English, and earn nice salaries, temptations multiply.
  • A shunned member of the Amish community cannot have any contact with other members of the group including his immediate family or friends.
  • Whether or not alcohol is condoned varies between Amish orders.
  • Amish subgroups include Beachy Amish Mennonite, New Order Amish, Old Order Amish, Swartzentruber Amish, Troyer Amish, and Tobe church.
  • Many customs, rules, and practices can vary drastically between Amish subgroups.
  • The Amish have settled in as many as 24 states, Canada, and Central America, but 80% of them are located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
  • The term "Amish Chicken" is associated with free-range chicken, but many Amish chickens are not raised in a free-range environment.
  • Amish travel by train on occasion, sometimes for long distances. Other Amish may make use of regional rail networks for shorter trips.
  • Traditional jobs for Amish men are farming, woodworking, harness making, blacksmithing, and buggy making/repairing.
  • Amish men have moved away from traditional jobs like farming in recent years, trying many more occupations.
  • The Amish minister assists the bishop in administering discipline, ordaining new ministry, baptizing new members, and preaching in church.
  • The Amish ministry is untrained and unpaid. Many think being in the Amish ministry is a burden and a blessing. Few Amish men seek the role.
  • To become Amish, an English person must live with the Amish for a year, go to church, get a job, and learn Pennsylvania Dutch.
  • To convert to the Amish faith, an English person learns the ways of the church and must be voted in by the church.
  • Some Amish practice bundling – when an unmarried couple lies in bed together, fully clothed. Bundling practices vary among Amish subgroups.
  • An Amish bundling bed is a bed with a board in the middle to prevent touching. It’s not uncommon to see bundling beds in modern times.
  • Many Amish subgroups condemn the practice of bed courtship, but the strictest Amish congregations still sanction it.
  • The Swartzentruber Amish stubbornly cling to old traditions. They believe that change threatens their souls.
  • An Amish bishop “publishes” a marriage announcement in the church after the parents have given permission for a wedding to take place.
  • Two or three ministers, one deacon, and one bishop are typically shared between two Amish districts.
  • An Amish bishop shows his approval of a wedding by publishing the couple’s marriage announcement.
  • Without the approval of the bishop, a couple would be unable to marry in the Amish faith.
  • Rumspringa is the period before young Amish adults are baptized, so the strict rules of the Amish religion don't yet apply to them.
  • Rumspringa comes from Pennsylvania Dutch and translates to "running around." It comes from the verb rumspringen – “to jump around.”
  • Amish culture is associated with farming. As population increases, farmland becomes scarce, so many Amish have switched jobs.
  • Many Amish own guns and are avid hunters. Some Amish have gun collections and hunt both locally and out of state.
  • Amish Witchcraft is sometimes referred to as Pow-wow. This comes from the book Pow-wows by John George Hohman, published in German in 1820.
  • The Amish have their own brand of faith healing called “Braucha.” They believe a Braucha acts as a mediator between the patient and God.
  • Amish parents don’t select whom their children will marry but must give approval, with the deacon usually acting as the go-between.
  • Amish do not allow electricity in their homes, but these rules are more flexible for unbaptized children in more liberal churches.
  • The Amish are allowed to play many of the same games as English children as long as they are not played competitively.
  • Amish schools do not promote ambition, competition, or pride.
  • With a population of over 15,000, Wisconsin has the fourth highest Amish population behind Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
  • The Wisconsin Amish are spread over four dozen settlements across the state, and a total of 120 church districts.
  • Bundling is a traditional Amish practice of wrapping two people separately in a bed.
  • Becoming an Amish minister is viewed as a serious and heavy responsibility. Ministers are unpaid and serve for life.
  • The original purpose of Amish Aid was to help less fortunate Amish members with health costs and property damage.
  • Amish of Lancaster County use the telephone primarily for outgoing calls, but telephones are not allowed inside the house.
  • The Amish of Lancaster place phone booths far enough from their houses to make the phones inconvenient to use.
  • Because they’re a part of a smaller gene pool, Amish communities typically have a higher instance of genetic disorders.
  • Amish communities may face a “Founder Effect,” or a loss of genetic variation over time due to a limited number of founding individuals.
  • Crigler Najjar is an extremely rare genetic disease, but 20 percent of cases worldwide are seen in Amish communities.
  • Most Amish will agree to an organ transplant if they believe it is for the wellbeing of the organ recipient.
  • Amish businesses have a 95% success rate of staying open at least five years compared to the average 50% five year success rate in the U.S.
  • Levi says the English take advantage of the Amish by “using the Amish name for their business and taking advantage of their honesty.”
  • There are thriving Amish Tourism businesses in both Holmes County and Lancaster County.
  • Amish people have both major publications for the greater Amish community and smaller local publications for individual settlements.
  • Merlin calls Amish Newspapers “Amish Facebook” with “Amish news, Amish obituaries, Ads for Amish businesses, and local gossip.”
  • As Amish people believe disabilities are part of God’s plan, they feel that a disabled person should be treated as a blessing not a burden.
  • Because the Amish prohibit many risks, some disabilities like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are less common for them.
  • Some diseases exist only in very small numbers among the Amish for unknown reasons including epilepsy, autism, and diabetes.
  • Esther says, “In an Amish newspaper you will find the latest events like mud sales, bake sales, barn raisings, quilting bees, etc.”
  • Drinking, driving, and drug use during Rumspringa do not affect the individual’s ability to rejoin the church if they chose to be baptized.
  • Amish people aren’t baptized until 18-22 years of age.
  • The Ordnug (Amish book of rules) prohibits gambling in any situation.
  • Sinful activities such as lying, cheating, and adultery are not mentioned in the Ordnung (Amish law) but are understood to be off limits.
  • The Ordnung (Amish law) prohibits divorce.
  • Technologies are individually evaluated and either accepted or rejected by the Ordnung (Amish book of law) as they are created.
  • Amish people are not considered members of the Amish church until they’re baptized between the ages of 16 and 25.
  • After they’ve been baptized, the Amish are prohibited from using public electricity.
  • The Amish church may temporarily allow a new technology before it has been reviewed under the Ordnung (Amish law).
  • The Amish do not actively seek outsiders to join their church.
  • Converts must follow Amish rules, including giving up modern luxuries and learning Pennsylvania Dutch, which are difficult for outsiders.
  • Before the Amish church votes to accept an outsider, converts must learn the language, attend church services, and follow church rules.
  • Amish converts work in the community and live with Amish families before they are accepted into the church.
  • Several dozen people have joined the Amish, and some have even become well-respected members of the community.
  • Amish ministry is not viewed as an honor but a burden, since preachers are called to serve as the moral compass of the church.
  • Unless there are extenuating circumstances, Amish preachers serve until death.
  • The Amish don’t believe in teaching people to be preachers, but they believe that a preacher is “called” to serve.
  • In most Amish communities, young men are not baptized unless they are willing to serve as a preacher if they are ever “called.”
  • The Amish bishop oversees the deacon and the ministers.
  • Abuse is an issue in communities, but it’s tough to know statistics because Amish are reluctant to report crime to English law enforcement.
  • Esther says the Amish teach that, “The most important things in life don't come at the flip of a switch or the touch of a button.”
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