Top 10 FASCINATING Facts About the AMISH


10 Interesting Facts About the Amish 10. The Roots The roots of the Amish religion are found
in the Anabaptist movement, which was a splinter group that emerged during the Protestant Reformation
in 1525. The Anabaptists are firm pacifists and they
strongly believe in the separation of church and state. However, the biggest difference between the
Anabaptists and other Christian sects is that they perform adult baptisms. While this may seem like a minor difference
to us, adult baptism was against the laws of the Catholicism and it was punishable by
death. As a result, the Anabaptists faced terrible
persecution, so the Anabaptists were forced to practice in secrecy. One of the earliest groups of Anabaptists
was led by a former Catholic Priest, Dutch-born Menno Simon and his followers would go on
to be called Mennonites. Then, in 1677, a Swiss man named Jakob Ammann
joined the Mennonites and he eventually became the leader of the Swiss Mennonites. In 1693, Ammann decided to shake things up
a little bit and introduced some new rules. Notably, he thought that men should stop trimming
their beards and his congregation should stop wearing fashionable clothes. However, his most polarizing new rule was
that excommunicated members should be shunned. If someone was kicked out of the church, they
were essentially dead to everyone in the church, which is usually all their friends and family. His proclamations were controversial, and
it caused a schism in the religion. The people who followed Ammann became the
Amish. Over the next several centuries, the Amish
continued to be persecuted in Europe. Then In 1737, 21 Amish families came from
the Netherlands and settled in Pennsylvania before expanding out to the rest of America. In 2012, there were Amish people living in
28 states and in Ontario, Canada. 9. The Difference Between Amish and Mennonite There is often a lot of confusion about whether
the Amish and the Mennonites practice the same religion. And if they don’t, then what is the difference? Well, in the prior entry, we mentioned the
Amish splintered off from the Mennonites in 1693. After the schism, the Mennonites continued
to grow and expand and there are about a dozen subgroups that can be divided into two different
groups – plain clothes Mennonites and assimilated Mennonites. Assimilated Mennonites use technology, pursue
higher education, and wear modern clothing. The plain clothes Mennonites can be split
into two subgroups – those who use horses and buggies and those who use vehicles. Obviously, the horse and buggy Mennonites
get confused with the Amish. Where they differ is that the men don’t
have beards and the women can have patterns on their dress. They can also use modern technology like air
travel and electricity, including television and the internet, although they may limit
access. Another fundamental difference between the
Amish and all Mennonites is their place of worship. The Amish meet to worship in the homes and
barns of their followers and the Mennonites have meetinghouses. The final differences are their geography
and the size of their populations. Mennonites came to North America in 1683,
10 years before the Amish splintered off. The first Mennonites settled Germantown, which
eventually became a borough of Philadelphia. When it comes to the sizes of their congregation,
there are many more Mennonite people in North America than Amish people, totaling about
800,000. Also, the Amish are only found in North America,
whereas Mennonite communities are found in 51 different countries on six different continents. 8. Rumspringa Clearly, the Amish life isn’t for everyone. The Amish also know this and that is why they
give young adults, starting at the age of 16, a chance to experience the outside world
in a period known as Rumspringa. The experience is more often undertaken by
males than females and during this time, they are given more freedom from their parents. Also, since they are not yet baptized, they
aren’t under the rule of the church and this gives them freedom from that rule. What young Amish people do while on Rumspringa
can vary. Some wear modern clothes, go to the movies,
and drive cars. However, in some cases, Amish people on Rumspringa
party hard and get involved in drugs, sex, and alcohol. After experiencing the outside world, the
young people have to choose if they want to be baptized. If they choose to be baptized, they will have
to confess their sins and after the baptism, they can get married. If someone chooses not to be baptized, they
have to move out of the community, but they are not shunned like people who are ex-communicated
and they can stay in contact with their Amish friends and family. That is because the Amish value that people
choose to be baptized and want to dedicate their lives to their faith. 7. Amish Music While music is a celebrated art form in many
religions, the Amish are not permitted to play instruments or listen to music unless
it comes from their songbook called Ausbund. In the book, which is the oldest songbook
still in continuous use, there are no musical notes. Instead, the tunes of the songs are passed
down through generations. The reason the Amish aren’t allowed to play
instruments is because it’s self-expression and that could lead to feelings of pride and
superiority. Yes, that may seem harsh, but if you’ve
ever spent any time with a musician with a small amount of recognition, you’ll know
that the Amish are right about that. As for the themes of the songs, they are exactly
what you would expect from simple-living and hardworking people who were violently persecuted
for centuries. It’s all about sunshine, flowers, and rainbows. Just kidding, it’s about martyrdom and the
hardship of persecution. 6. Faceless Dolls The Amish aren’t exactly known for being
fun-loving people. However, that doesn’t mean Amish children
have to go without toys. One of the most popular toys used by little
Amish children are dolls that don’t have faces. While there is no official story of where
the faceless dolls came from, they manage to embody a lot of the tenets of the Amish
religion. The first is that the Amish believe that everyone
is equal in the eyes of God. Without an identity, the doll reinforces the
notion that we are all the same to God. The second part comes from the Book of Deuteronomy,
which says: “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything
that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath
the earth.” The Amish have interpreted this to mean that
humans should not make objects that look like humans. However, without a face, the dolls aren’t
real representations of humans. Finally, the Amish will go to great length
to avoid sinning, and having a fancy doll would be a sign of vanity, where the plainness
of the doll are a representation of the Amish’s humility. 5. Pictures (or Lack Thereof) If you were invited into the home of an Amish
family, besides the fact that they don’t have a TV or any electronics, another thing
you may notice is that there are no personal pictures, like wedding pictures or baby pictures. That is because pictures violate several tenets
of their faith. First, they believe that pictures of people
emphasizes individuality and the Amish believe that everyone is equal in the eyes of God. Secondly, an important rule is not to make
graven images, and they believe that pictures violate that rule. Finally, Amish people want to be remembered
for their contributions and the way they lived rather than their physical appearance. However, it’s important to clarify that
it’s not against their religion to appear in pictures, but it is against their religion
to pose for a picture. So if you happen to be traveling in Amish
country, which can be tourist attractions, and want to take some pictures, the Amish
people would prefer not to be in them. However, if you have to have a picture of
Amish people, ask if you can take their picture, but don’t ask them to pose. Lastly, if possible, please take the picture
so their faces aren’t recognizable. 4. Relationship with Technology By far, what sets Amish people apart from
many other people in society is that they do not embrace technology. The reason they do this isn’t because they
think it’s evil, instead, they worry that it will lead to assimilation with the rest
of society, and being their own separate independent community is a tenet of the Amish faith. This is the reason they do not embrace any
sort of mass media like television, pop-music, and the internet. If they do use electricity, it is often propane,
battery, or solar powered and it does not come from public utility lines. For example, lights on their buggies that
are powered by batteries that are charged with solar panels are perfectly acceptable. When the Amish determine if they will embrace
a new technology they first discuss if the community will use it. They do not automatically accept that new
is always better, like many other people in society. Since they discuss it in their community and
there is no higher Earthly governing body, like the Pope for the Catholic Church, technology
use varies from subgroup to subgroup. For example, the most conservative group of
the Old Order Amish is the Swartzentruber Amish, who mostly live in Holmes County, Ohio,
have no modern luxuries including indoor plumbing. On the other end of the spectrum is the Lancaster
Amish, which is the biggest subgroup of Old Order Amish. They have indoor plumbing, they use their
own self-generated electricity, and they use pneumatic tools. Also, there are no Biblical or religious reasons
that prohibit the use of modern medical technologies, so what extent of medical care an Amish person
wants to take advantage of usually depends on the family. 3. The Amish Have Higher Rates of Genetic Disease The Amish are a unique Christian subgroup,
because they do not try to attract new members. Yes, people do convert, but it’s pretty
rare. What’s interesting is that while they do
not get a lot of new members, the church’s population doubles every generation. In the early 1900s, there were about 5,000
Amish people living in North America, but today there is 250,000. This happened because they have a retention
rate of 80 to 90 percent and then couples have six or seven children. The problem with this system of population
growth is that it creates a shallow genetic gene pool and this creates a genetic bottleneck
called founder’s effect. When there is a bottleneck, genetic defects
have a greater chance of being passed along to the next generation. In the Amish population, founder’s effect
increases the likelihood that Amish offspring will inherit rare genetic diseases. Some of these diseases are so rare that they
don’t even have names and they can leave the person crippled. Other diseases that are known and that are
common among the Amish are Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, which is colloquially known
as “bubble boy disease;” Cohen’s Syndrome, a disease that affects muscle skills and mental
development; and dwarfism. One such person who was Amish and has a genetic
disease caused by founder’s effect is Verne Troyer, who is best known for being Mini-Me
in the Austin Powers series. Sadly, genetic diseases are such a problem
among the Amish that a special facility, the Clinic for Special Children, was opened in
1989 in Pennsylvania to treat and study the genetic diseases that affect the Amish community. 2. The Amish Have Lower Rates of Cancer, Diabetes,
and Cardiovascular Disease While the Amish have a greater risk of getting
genetic diseases, their lifestyle also does appear to have several health benefits because
they have lower rates of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. There are several explanations for this, however,
researchers believe the main reason is the lifestyle that the Amish live. Notably, tobacco and alcohol are prohibited. They also eat food that they grow themselves,
so they eat very little, if any, processed foods. Also, their work is very active, so everyone
gets plenty of exercise. As a result of their diet and the amount of
physical activity they get, sometimes Amish people are overweight, but obesity is rare. The Amish also live in a rural setting, so
they are further away from pollutants. Finally, while the Amish life isn’t completely
stressed-free, people live and work in a very supportive community. This would lower overall stress and when problems
do happen, there is a large support network. Finally, it is possible that there is something
in their genetics that helps lower the cancer rate and research is currently being performed
on Amish people’s genetics that could have wide reaching effects on the treatment of
genetic diseases in the general population. 1. How do You Become One? After reading all of this information, you
may be thinking that the Amish life is great, and you want to join the fight. If you do, what you need is time and dedication
and to get rid of the whatever piece of technology you’re using to read this list. First, you need to live in the Amish community
for a year. Some Amish families will even allow potential
converts to live with them for this year. During this time, new converts must attend
home worship service every Sunday and find a job working with Amish people. They also have to learn to speak Pennsylvania
Dutch, which is a variation of German. This is the language that is most commonly
spoken in Amish households. In fact, children learn Pennsylvania Dutch
first and then learn English when they attend school. After all that, and the person is sure that
they still want to be Amish, they go through another period where they learn the ordinances
of the church. Finally, the members of the church vote on
the candidate, and if the vote is affirmed, the person becomes a full-fledged Amish. Obviously, due to the drastically different
lifestyle from contemporary society, only several dozen non-Amish have joined the fight.

100 thoughts on “Top 10 FASCINATING Facts About the AMISH”

  1. Simon gave me the impression the Catholic church was the persecuter of the Anabaptists. The truth was that both Catholics and Protestants persecuted them with the first prosecutions being the from protestant Zwingli. When the Catholics and Protestants agreed to disagree they left out the Anabaptist in the treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

  2. Another interesting fact: Amish don't believe in insurance. They just help each other out when they need it. I remember in 1985, we had horrible tornado damage here. I went to one community that looked like a war zone. The "English" – that's the non-Amish folk – were stuck waiting on their insurance company to come asses the damage before they could begin repairs; the Amish were already working to repair barns and houses for their people.

  3. What does the Masonic Bible have to do with the Amish? Think maybe that was for one of your "conspiracy theory" videos.

    Thumbs down because not all the information was correct. I live very close proximity to them, and deal with them quite often. 7/10th's of the info was correct however.

  4. I had a grandmother, several generations ago, that spoke Pennsylvania Dutch. From what I understand, that term comes from “Pennsylvania DEUTSCHE”, which would explain the language, which would has German roots.

  5. I have lived very near the Amish for almost 2 decades. They are kind but I must say some of their ways are different. Most of the woman around here Don't wear bras, many of the amish don't brush their teeth very often or wear deodorant. Idk I just think with all the Amish books out, it has helped romanticize this sect of people who have many problems that they don't want the outside to know about, I.e., child molestation. Two amish men I know are now in prison for that reason. Puppy mills too😥
    Anyway that is my experience with the amish

  6. As I understand it, the Amish refer to non Amish people as 'The English.' Does that still apply since there are people from all over the globe here now?

  7. These people I like. They don't get in people's face, they don't squander resources and I respect what they are trying to do. It would not be easy in this day and age.

  8. Another genetic disease they are known for, you did not mention, is Marsden's syndrome, which is a direct result of too much inbreeding and more common among the Dutch (and what is Amish/Mennonite heritage? Dutch), although it is a rare disease. I know two Dutch Canadian brothers (not Amish) with the disease and it's quite bad. Stints in their veins/arteries, to keep thier blood flowing.

  9. In my religion we baptize at the age 8 and older. It makes no sense to baptize babies. Babies cannot sin.

  10. Please be sure that you get your facts correct. I live in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. The first Mennonites came to Pennsylvania earlier that you state. Pennsylvania was initially settled in 1681. The first German settlers came very shortly after that in 1683. The first minister of this community was a man by the name of William Rittenhouse who opened the first paper mill in the American colonies. This was established in 1689. The site is a historic attraction two blocks from my home. The Mennonites originally worshiped with the Quakers but founded their first church in 1708. All of this was much earlier than the 1730's date you cited.

  11. There are 500,000 of them. Maybe I could move to become Amish and become a great writer. You could plagiarize all day long lol.

  12. They are on local economy. Steel horseshoes damage roads, lower public school population, lower property tax revenue ( each home is considered a church )

  13. Because of the plain dress of the Amish, we tend to imagine that they are poor. A friend of mine had business dealings with some in the Lancaster area and was surprised that they were looking for investments, the moreso for the amounts that they were looking to invest, especially in real property, of course. With no bank loans or expensive farm equipment to buy and maintain, savings accrue. After all, a bushel of corn or wheat gets the same price no matter whose farm it comes from.

  14. People think the Amish are poor. They aren't. A friend of mine helped an Amish man fix his cart and after the work was done the Amish man pulled out a stack of $100 bills and gave my friend $100.

  15. For a group that does not like individuality, but yet with their set of beliefs, have set themselves apart from the rest of society.

  16. You left one out. 11) Amish drive faster than my wife. In fact, they've been known to flip her off as they pass.

  17. 6:13 Absolutely beautiful. I really like the internal decorating, the solid wood furniture and old world look. Very nice.

  18. Interesting that dwarfism is a genetic disease common among the Amish. I saw a little person on the Amish Mafia and really didn't think much about it.

  19. Number 2, the Amish live in one of the most highly polluted environments in the US. Do some better research.

  20. I'm not one to laugh at anyone's faith but I did find it amusing seeing a horse and buggy in the McDonald's drive through. Seems odd that technology is ok in certain cases. Just different to me.

  21. The use of technology varies greatly between sects, families, and communities. I'm a telephone engineer in PA, and most of my new sign-ups are the Amish. Some families completely shun technology, others use it only when it involves work or emergencies, others a little less restrictive. Phone service is usually to a shanty at least 300ft from the house, 600ft with other families. OR, if the building is dedicated solely to business, it is allowed in the building. Tractors – if they use a tractor, the rubber tire/wheel is replaced with a completely steel wheel to make the use/ride not so comfortable. Computers – a couple Amish businesses in my area have computers with internet, solely in the business building(one is a roofing business, the other is a leather goods business). Cell phones – varies a bit, primarily for work/business. Most will keep the cell phone in a shanty, others will keep them in the house if they do a lot of business.

    The last work order I wrote I had design the line to his father 10 years ago when he was kid. Now as an adult, he still remembered me(I'm the "ponytail telephone guy") when he ordered his line, and knew enough about phones to request the line be fed from another direction should his father's line get knocked out by storm/fallen trees.

  22. First of all Mennonite is not our religion. We are christian. Second the Amish do chew, smoke, and drink. My dad used to be in the aqua cow rise system so we got in to the Amish farms all over the place, and both my parents grew up in the middle of Amish country and I did until I was ten.

  23. I lived in a portion of Pennsylvania where I had amish families on 3 sides. All were wonderful. Helpful during times of need and incredibly hard working. It's crazy to watch them raise a barn. 3 days and it's done. It wasn't a small barn either.

  24. Self grown food, No electricity, deliberate isolation from mainstream society, travel by horse. I can happily live with all of that, but I draw the line at not expressing yourself through music, even if it's violin or other classical instruements.

  25. It wasn't touched on in this video, but Amish men can be…naughty.  Go to a sexual predator listing website where they show the pictures of the offenders.  Check out Lancaster County, PA.  The Amish men are easy to pick out..

  26. Actually, what you call "Pennsylvania Dutch" is an anglicized version of "Pennsylvania Deutch". As stated, it is an offshoot version of German.

  27. One of your best videos. I worked with a woman who grew up in a community with a large number of the brand of amish who drive cars they usually buy the Detroit coach an extremely rugged viecicle made for the taxi cab service and paint the chrome bumpers black ,so the locals call them" black bumper Amish".

  28. Most Amish that I have worked with have cell phones and or other devices. Mostly kids anyway. And about all Amish businesses have computers on line. The ones in Ohio do.

  29. It is somewhat of a myth that the Amish eat very natural non-processed foods; there is quite an obesity problem in the Amish community and it’s believed to be because of their very American taste for processed foods. I’ve worked with the Amish and they do eat very processed foods.

  30. I sell stuff to Anish folks they love flashlights with lanterns on them and they really love the ones with the little solar panel on the side that charge up during the day can use at night. I've gone fishing with some love the Amish very much. A great people.

  31. Although I could never convert to that lifestyle. I have zero doubts the Amish could survive things most of us wouldn't know what to do. They eat healthy, grow all their own food, build their own buildings, they're not dependent on gas vehicles or any other modern world stuff. I think about them when I hear stuff on the news how about the threat of hackers hacking our power grid and causing blackouts that could cause major problems or just other things us in modern society we depend on. I am in Florida and we have a category 4 hurricane coming this way, we will lose power and people everywhere around here are freaking out running to the stores clearing the shelves, buying generators, bottled water, gas getting used up. I imagine the Amish could handle a disaster like this much better than the rest of us who depend so much on modern day stuff.

  32. I bought one of there electric fire place heaters it worked for one day a quit.I didn't return it ( I just kicked my own a**)

  33. The one thing that you missed on is the technology. The big thing is that mas communications are forbidden to be owned by the members of the church, but they can use a "community" phone for emergency reasons. Also, many of the children have small electronic handheld games. The introduction of technology is ruled upon by the elders of the church.

  34. The Amish do wonderful woodwork. When my granddaughter was born, I got her an Amish 3-in-1. It's a high chair, rocking horse and desk in one piece of furniture.

  35. So with genetic health problems on the rise their population is likely to peak in the not to distant future and then they will gradually die off.

  36. So the Amish think individualism is bad, but their sect must remain separate from the rest of society? Sounds a bit like everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.

  37. One point I didn't hear is that the Amish are the only people that don't have to pay into social security and cannot pull from social security. The Amish community agrees, in exchange, to care for every Amish member until death.

  38. Another point, Amish and Mennonites refer to all white Americans that are not Amish or Mennonite as English. Not sure what they refer to Blacks or Asians as.

  39. I am not Amish but I grew up in northern Indiana where there is a large Amish population. They are friendly and sure can cook!!!

  40. Another common factor is that all the sects are delusional. They may be nice people. The few I have net were quite nice. But this doesn’t change the fact that, like all religious individuals, they are delusional. Think Flat Earthers and there you go.

  41. I visit a craft store that sold Amish products including the the faceless handmade dolls. But they sold dolls of black folks WITH FACES. The meaning was clear. Blacks are not the same is the eyes of the Lords, less than human. Amish are racists.

  42. "The Clinic for Special Children".
    What a euphemism? Let's call a spade a bloody shovel and call it "The Clinic for Deformed Children" and to hell with whoever may be offended.

  43. The Lancaster community is called "Dutch" as a misnomer. The word for German IN German is "Deutsch." These people were known as the "Pennsylvania Deutsch" as they speak German and, over time, the word was corrupted and became "Dutch."

  44. If the Amish allowed tobacco, alcohol, technology, and agnosticism, I'd totally consider becoming a member. Some of those girls were pretty cute.

  45. Assimilated Mennonite are called new order Mennonites, and there are various levels within new order and Mennonites. Sometimes the men wear regular clothes but the women still need to dress traditionally and wear hair cages.( How is it not pride and superiority for men to be above women?) There can be many bending the rules as well. If they are worried about assimilation why are they so often in Tim Hortons lol 😜

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