Amish (Multicultural America:)
The Amish are Anabaptists, believing that only adults can be baptized and adhere to the teachings of the New Testament. They believe that an individual can forge a personal relationship with God without an intermediary such as a priest. They also believe that all forms of violence is wrong. Each member of the Amish community agrees to live by an order called the "Ordnung." By agreeing to the code of conduct put forth in the Ordnung one agrees not to use self-propelled farm equipment and agree not to divorce their spouse. Those who break these rule are "put in the barn," or banned from all communal ties. The term "Amish" derives from the founder of the community, Jacob Amman. There are seven Amish sects throughout the United States with over 100 congregations (each of which contain roughly 150 people). The primary concentrations of Amish are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. In 1995 the population of Amish in the United States was estimated at 150,000.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is home to the oldest generation of the Amish of Pennsylvania Dutch. The ancestral roots of the Pennsylvania Dutch are tied to the Swiss who, advocated a complete separation of church and state. The Amish represented the extreme case as adherents of this principle which was exemplified in a dispute between residents of an Amish community in Maryland and public officials over sewage...
(The entire section is 2395 words.)
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