Carson Weyer The Amish Religion 1/11/13
History of the Religion
Developed from the Radical Reformation in the 1300’s, a group was formed called the Anabaptists. These Anabaptists were a joint group between the Mennonites, the Hutterites, and the Amish. The Amish people came from a split in the Swiss Mennonites in 1693 when a man named Jacob Amman and his supporters left their church to begin their own. Jacob Amman was born in Switzerland as an Anabaptist in 1644, and is considered the founder of the Amish religion.
Most of the Amish communities began from places like Switzerland, Alsace, Russia, Holland, and Germany. Although in today’s world, there are no Amish people living in Europe any longer. This is because in the 1700’s, they were being persecuted because of their religious beliefs. They mostly moved to North America and settled in Pennsylvania along with settlements in many other states. Some of these states are Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota.
Around 1850, there was a separation between the Old Order Amish and the New Order Amish. The New Order Amish accepted new technology and social changes, but also kept most of the old Amish traditions and practices. There are now about 200,000 Old Order Amish living here in the United States along with some living in Canada.
Sacred Stories and Sacred Scripture
The Amish people, who are considered as conservative Protestants, believe in the readings of the bible. Most Amish people also have the Martyr’s Mirror, which is the book of Amish history and tells about the Amish, Mennonites, and Anabaptists who died for their faith. There is also a newspaper that many Amish and Mennonite communities use called the Budget, which is still produced in Sugarcreek, Ohio. A man named John C. Miller established this newspaper in 1890. They use the Ausbund, which is a hymnal book containing songs from their Anabaptist ancestors that were put into prisons for their spiritual beliefs. There were 53 prisoners held at a castle in Passau, Germany who created the main hymns of the book. They made theses songs from already known things like the Lord’s Prayer, Old Testament Psalms, and the Sermon on the Mount. Since it was first created, it has continuously been expanding as they add more songs into it. The Ausbund hymnbook is actually the oldest songbook in the world that is still being used today. The most known hymn in the Ausbund is called Das Loblied, or the “Hymn of Praise”. It is hymn #131 and is always the second hymn sung during church, this is because all the Amish churches can sing this same song together even though they may not be near one another.
Beliefs and Practices The Amish beliefs are basically the same as the Mennonites and other reformer groups. They believe in the bible along with the idea that you should try to be free from sin after your baptism. The Amish are different from Mennonites because of their...