Amish Religion Research Paper

952 words - 4 pages

Many people only know the Amish from the reality TV shows, such as “Breaking Amish”. Although entertaining, these shows do not always portray the right message about their society. Amish is a religion that has migrated thousands of miles to escape religious persecution, while revolving around God’s will and using the bible to guide their lives.
Amish derive from Mennonites, who were originally a link from Anabaptists (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 1). John Amman, originally a Swiss Mennonite, believed in receiving communion more than once anually (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 1). Amman also believed in foot washing (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 1). The Mennonite leaders did not agree to foot washing, which resulted in Amman forming the new Amish group (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 1).
Originating in Europe, Amish had to flee to North America in the 1700’s due to years of religious persecution (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 1). Most of their 134,000 members live in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Indiana (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 3). They live in households, which make up districts in small settlements (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 3). Amish try to stay out of government related issues as much as possible, unless it involves their local area (Hostetler 2).
Amish base much of their rules and morals mainly on the bible, but also follow oral rules such as the Ordnung, or the Amish Charter (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2). Unlike the typical American society, emphasizing individuality, Amish emphasize their commitment to God and allow him to lead their lives (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2). Not all Amish societies are the same. While they all believe in committing themselves to God, baptizing adults, shunning, and the division of religion from government, different areas have varying regulations on dress code, education, and technology (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2).
Shunning, also know as “Meidung,” is necessary for Amish to keep their societies controlled (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2). It could be caused by a number of reasons, mostly for those who marry outside of the church, or those who abandon their religion (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2). Shunning cuts off all communication with the individual, and may last from a couple of weeks to as much as a lifetime (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2).
At communion, Amish wash each other’s feet, following Jesus’ precedent during his last supper (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 2). They also believe, like Anabaptists, that adults should be baptized, rather than infants, because adults can determine for themselves whether they want to stay in the Amish community or leave (“World Religions & Spiritual Project VCU” 3).
Though the government is needed to ensure...

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