Tags: Rapture | Amish Protestant | Christian | Denomination

Amish Evolution: 6 Key Events for Protestant Christian Denomination Since It Began

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 05:48 PM

The Amish Protestant Christian denomination was founded by Mennonite reformer Jacob Ammann who believed in the strict practice of socially "shunning" errant church members. In 1693, his reforms caused a schism in the Mennonite church and led to the formation of the Amish — a denomination name derived from "Ammann."

Most estimates put the Amish population in the United States at approximately 180,000 with the majority of members residing in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. Some estimates put that number much higher, at close to 300,000.

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Here are six key events in the evolution of the Amish Protestant denomination:

1. In 1682, a Quaker named William Penn came to America and founded the Province of Pennsylvania, which later became the state of Pennsylvania. As an advocate for religious freedom, Penn paved the way for Europeans facing religious persecution to immigrate to America. According to UShistory.org, "On November 28, 1984 Ronald Reagan, upon an Act of Congress by Presidential Proclamation 5284 declared William Penn and his second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn, each to be an Honorary Citizen of the United States."

2. In the early 18th century, many of the Amish Protestants also migrated to the United States to escape religious persecution in Europe. As Anabaptists, or "Believer's Baptists" they did not recognize the validity of infant baptism and at the time, re-baptizing adults was a crime punishable by death. The Amish settled first in southeastern Pennsylvania, and later branched out to other Midwestern states.

3. Conflicts arose in the Amish communities between the "Old Order Amish" who were the most conservative and those who had become more interested in some modern day conveniences including electricity. This schism resulted in the formation of the Beachy Amish Mennonites, led by Bishop Moses M. Beachy. According to Religious Tolerance, Beachy members "deviated further from Old Order traditions, by founding Sunday schools, meeting in a church building, wiring their homes for commercial electricity, relaxing dress standards, and buying automobiles."

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4. The Amish congregations who remained in Europe eventually merged with the Mennonites. The last congregation, located in Ixheim, Germany merged with their local Mennonite church in 1937.

5. Although the Amish life is one of deliberate simplicity, self-reliance and separation from modern day culture, Every Day Culture reports that the denomination had to take steps to deal with government intervention. "In 1967 the Amish formed the National Amish Steering Committee in order to speak with a common voice on legal issues related to state, and especially, federal government. The Steering Committee has worked with government officials to resolve disputes related to conscientious objection, zoning, slow-moving vehicle emblems, Social Security, Workers' Compensation, and the wearing of hard hats at construction sites. Informally organized, the Steering Committee is the only Amish organization which is national in scope."

6. "The Amish are one of the fastest-growing population groups in America. According to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pa., their population has risen from about 5,000 in 1920 to almost 300,000 today. And much of that growth has occurred in the last three decades…The population explosion is due to a belief in large families, seen as a blessing from God. The large number of children also provide labor for their farming enterprises," reports USA Today.

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The Amish Protestant Christian denomination was founded by Mennonite reformer Jacob Ammann who believed in the strict practice of socially "shunning" errant church members.
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2015-48-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 05:48 PM
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