Amish Values, Faith and Family
The Amish were originally a much persecuted European protestant sect. Because of their beliefs in separation of church and state, adult baptisms, and pacifism, the Amish found themselves unwelcome in both Catholic and Protestant states throughout Europe. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they immigrated to America in search of religious freedom. Many settled in Pennsylvania where, thanks to William Penn’s bold experiment in religious freedom, they found a welcome home.
The Amish Faith
A deeply devout people, they believe their faith is strengthened by a lifestyle that stresses plainness and simplicity. As a result, they reject many of the trappings of modern society such as electricity and cars. They travel by horse and buggy and farm using horse drawn plows.
Do the Amish speak English?
Although the Amish can speak English, they speak a German dialect amongst themselves.
What do the Amish wear?
Their plain style of dress further distinguishes them from modern society. They wear only black and other solid colors. Their social life centers around the church and their large extended families.
How do the Amish earn a living?
Traditionally, the Amish have been farmers, but skyrocketing land prices, less available farmland, and a growing population have forced them to turn to other vocations. Many have turned to crafts and other cottage industries to earn a living. This allows them to work at home, makes the business a family affair, and helps preserve their way of life.
Other “plain” sects that are closely related to the Amish in beliefs are the Mennonites, Brethren, and Dunkards. They produce quilts and crafts very similar to those of the Amish so we also carry their products.
Be sure to attend our free talk on Amish life given each show day at 2p.m. Each talk last 30-45 minutes and includes a question and answer period at the end. Seating is limited. This year’s subject is Amish Weddings. This is an encore presentation of one of our most popular subjects.
If you’ve missed the previous talks, here is a sampling of some of the things we’ve covered.
There are a number of other web sites that offer more information on the Amish and the Mennonites. The first is the web site for the Mennonite Information Center. In addition to a lot of information on the Mennonites, it also includes information on the Amish who share the same origins as the Mennonite faith (in fact the Amish started as a group that splintered off from the Mennonite faith.) The second is the web site for the Pennsylvania Dutch Welcome Center, the main visitor center in Lancaster County. This site has lots of information on the Amish plus material on the attractions of the area.