This article is about Old Order Amish, but also refers to other Amish sects. For other uses,
. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology.
The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann.Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish. These followers were originally from three main places: the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, Alsace (now part of France), and the Palatinate of Germany. In the early 18th century, many Amish and immigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons, As of 2000, over 165,000 Old Order Amish live in Canada and the United States. A 2008 study suggested their numbers have increased to 227,000, and in 2010 a new study suggested their population had grown by 10% in the past two years to 249,000
The rules of the church must be observed by every member. These rules cover most aspects of day-to-day living, and include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Many Amish church members may not buy insurance or accept government assistance such as Social Security. As Anabaptists, Amish church members practice non-resistance and will not perform any type of military service. Members who do not conform to these expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent are excommunicated. In addition to excommunication, members may be shunned, a practice that limits social contacts to shame the wayward member into returning to the church.
Amish church groups seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish world.
Amish lifestyle is dictated by the Ordnung (German, meaning: order), which differs slightly from community to community, and, within a community, from district to district. What is acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another. No summary of...