Amish and Mennonite Religions


History- Founded in the 16th century the Amish religion is rooted back to the Anabaptist religion. Jacob Amman was the founder of the Amish religion. His reason for creating this religion is that he believed the Mennonites were drifting away from their views and not staying consistent with them therefor Amman was forced to take action and create what he believed to be a more consistent religion. The Amish later in the 17th and 18th century started immigrating along with the Mennonites to areas like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Indiana. Here the Amish became widly known for there great farming skills and the extreme ways of going through life with no electricity.


The horse and buggy has become the Amish main way of travel.


The Amish have become so of the best farmers in America because of their beliefs with no electricity.

Theology- Amish religion came from a baptist church which leads to the fact that you must be baptized in the Amish religion however this can happen later in lie in comparison to the Baptist church. Also being baptized is a requirement to be married in the Amish religion also dealing with marriage you must get married with someone also in the Amish religion. With regards to Amish churches there many times is not one. Amish people however do have services every other week but instead of being held in a church they are held in one of the members home. The rules for the Amish are called the Ordnung. The rules of Ordnung must be observed by everyone or the cannot belong to the church. These rules consist of almost everything you may deal with in everyday life. This consists of how all objects running on electricity are prohibited including Telephones, cars, and electricity. It also has many regulations when it comes to what you can and cannot wear throughout the day. Also Amish people do participate in military servises and usually do not get social security or insurances. While most Amish people we usually see do follow these rules there is a small number but growing in the United states of modern Amish. These Modern Amish day people do things very differently consisting of using many electric products. Lastly the reason there may not be a lot known about the Amish religion is that one of there rules is to stay away from the normal world and keep themselves excluded from most

amish_fig1.gif This graph here shows the amount of Amish citizens there are living in each state clearly showing that Ohio Pennsylvania and Indiana have the most amount of Amish people. As of 2000 there were 165000 old Amish people in the U.S. however today there is around 200,000 Amish people in the U.S.

This is a map of one of the larger areas of Amish people in Ohio.

Mennonite –Emeline

Though most people are unaware of this, Mennonite and Amish are two separate religions. The Mennonites originated from the European Christian religion Anabaptism. However, in 1525 a schism separated the Anabaptists and the Mennonites into two separate groups. Menno Simmons (of whom the Mennonites derive their name) became the leader of the Mennonite branch of the Anabaptists. During this time, especially around the Reformation, the Mennonites were persecuted. They were arrested and even on occasion killed in Germany, Switzerland, and Holland. However, this time became an essentail building block in reinforcing the Mennonite belief of non-violence, because the Mennonites did not fight back at all. In the 18th and 19th century, the Mennonites immigrated to the United States, settling mostly around Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio, due to sparse population in rural areas and for fertile and rich soil. The Mennonites became strictly farmers, often self-sustaining. Today, Mennonites have several different careers they can partake in, and live in tight-knight communities around the world, mainly in the United States, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.
The Mennonite Beliefs can be defined as complicated as best, as they vary so differently from sect to sect. The main branch of the Mennonites are the Moderate Mennonites, or the Mainstream Mennonites. The two main groups on either side are the Conservative Mennonites (much like the Amish, very conservative, not a lot of technology) and the Liberal Mennonites (a group of Mennonites that support LGBT people in joining their churchs, often other Mennonite groups condemn them and say they are not allowed in the Mennonite Community).
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The first picture is a picture of Moderate Mennonites (normal clothing), the second is a conservate church (conservative clothing).
However, all Mennonites share the same basic beliefs:
-They follow Christ
-They vehemently believe in a free church, seperate from state.
-Human beings in the divine image
-Original sin (humans are born sinful and impure)
-Divine Redemptio
-Divine Revelation
-The Holy Spirit
-Taking the Bible literally
-Salvation through faith
-Living that centers on God
-Christ's Return/Judgement Day
-Need of Salvation
A few things that differ Mennonites from other Christian faiths are that Mennonites do not belive that the actual Baptism does not cleanse one's soul. The real 'Baptism' happens internally, a personal connection between God and a person. Also, Mennonites do not believe in transubstantiation, they believe that the bread and wine in church represents the spirit of Christ around them.
All different sects of Mennonites believe in these basic beliefs. The way most Mennonite sects differ within one another is in how they practice church discipline and connection to mainstream society. Minister J.C. describes 'church discipline' as "not punishment...but helping people become more faithful, effective witnesses and disciples." Church discipline is res Wenger pecting your body in God's image, which is why many Conservative and Moderate Mennonites (though it varies) will dress very conservatively and modestly. A connection to mainstream society is different. Mennonites all believe in only serving Jesus, however, some Mennonite sects interpret this in such a way that modern technology takes away from that belief. However, it is very difficult to a statement about Mennonites in general. The Old Order Mennonites believe in using very little modern technology, yet most Moderate Mennonites believe that using technology is not sinful in any way.
The two pictures below demonstrate the difference between a conservative sect and a moderate sect. The second group is dressed very conservatively, the first is dressed modestly in modern clothing. The third shows the diversity in Mennonite clothing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The fourth shows women in typical Mennonite outfits in Belize.

mennonite_graph.gifGraph Showing the demography of Mennonites in the United States. Note the grouping of Mennonites as opposed to scattered single squares, Mennonites believe in community and being communal with one another.
wwwmembergraph.gif Graphy showing the demography of Mennonites in the World from 1978-2003.
According to the 2008 US Census, in 1990 there were 235,000 Mennonites in the US, and in 2001 there were 346,000. In 2008 there were 438,000 adults of the Mennonite faith in the United States. It appears that the recession or other factors have not caused a decline in the amount of adults in the Mennonite faith.

To better understand the Mennonite view on contemporary issues, I conducted a phone interview with Denominational Youth Minister Kent Miller, who works at the Mennonite USA offices in Elkhart, Indiana. He spoke for the Conservative and Moderate Mennonite viewpoint on the topics of abortion, gay marriage, and the Morman Church/Church of Latter Day Saints.

What are your church’s view on abortion?
Our Chruch believes in non-violence. We belive life is scacred and that abortion is therefore wrong. However, it is hard to bring one answer (pause) there can always be exceptions to situations.

What are your chruchs view on gay marriage?
The Mennonite Church perspective is that God created man and woman to live together, and that those people who partake in (pause)that lifestyle are not considered part of the Mennonite Church.

What are your churchs view on Mormanism/Church of Latter Day Saints?
Our demonanation has no spefific views on the Morman Chruch, we try to have conversations with all demonations, we have no strong views on specific ones.


Butalia, Tarunjit Singh and Dianne P. Small. Religion in Ohio: Profiles of Faith Communities. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2004

Dyck, Cornelius J. An Introduction to Mennonite History. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 1993

Miller, Kent. Interview by Emeline Armitage. Phone interview. October 17th, 2011.

Wenger, J.C. What Mennonites Believe. Elkheart, Indiana: Mennonite Board of Missions, 1977

Religious Beliefs. "Amish Religion -tightly knit religious and ethnic group": October 17th, 2011

Homogeneity of Personality Characteristics: A Comparison between Old Order Amish and Non-Amish
Joe Wittmer
American Anthropologist New Series, Vol. 72, No. 5 (Oct., 1970), pp. 1063-1068 (article consists of 6 pages)

Amish Newsletters in "The Budget": A Genre Study of Written Communication
René Galindo
Language in Society Vol. 23, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 77-105 (article consists of 29 pages)