Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 12, 2008

Amish Country June 9, 2008

The Mennonite’s foundation was Zurich, Switzerland.  Menno Simons was a Dutch priest who broke away from the Catholic Church because he refused to recognize a church or government who forced people into a particular religion.  The Amish broke away from the Mennonites.  In late 1600’s, Jakob Amman and John Rice believed the Mennonites were not strict enough in their religion.  Those who agreed with Jakob and John became known as Amish.  John Rice did go back being a Mennonite, later.  The Mennonites and the Amish are part of the Anabaptist (re-baptizers).  The Amish and the Mennonites suffered persecution during the Radical Reformation from the Protestant and Catholic because they refused to baptize infants and believed in separation of church and state.  In late 1720’s the Amish and Mennonites arrived in Pennsylvania.  William Penn’s colony welcomed all religions in his colony.   The Amish came to Lancaster County around 1760.  They came from Switzerland, Germany, and Alsace Loraine France. 

     The lifestyle of the Amish and Mennonites are different. 

The Amish:  Use horse drawn carriages and farm machinery; do not have telephones, radios, television, use gas appliances, batteries, generators; hold group worship services in home; complete formal education by the eighth grade;  wear uniformly plain style of clothing; do not take pictures; help those in need especially from their own community.

The Mennonites:  drive autos; take pictures; use commercial electricity; own telephones; radios; televisions; VCR’s, computers; worship in church buildings; are active in mission work; promote higher education; wear contemporary clothing; help those in need at home and aboard.    

     I would probably not use this information in my teaching.  I have so little time to cover within the semester to get everything required.  I can just mention this on religious freedom and separation of church and state.  I will not go further because it is a religion and many of my students will object because I will not cover their beliefs such as the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.       



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