Amish Groups Are All the Same: True or False?

Amish Groups Are All the Same: True or False?


Due to several centuries of church growth, expansion, and division, many different types of Amish affiliations are now in North America, each with different sets of rules and practices. There are, however, certain elements that most Amish groups tend to have in common, including that they:

  • Adhere to a statement of faith known as the Eighteen Articles
  • Wear some form of distinctive Plain clothing
  • Worship in homes rather than in church buildings
  • Do not connect their houses with public utilities as a way of remaining separate from the world
  • Use horses and buggies as their primary means of transportation
  • Limit formal education to the eighth grade
  • Live in rural areas
  • Emphasize an agrarian lifestyle
  • Are pacifists
  • Choose their religious leaders through divine appointment by drawing lots
  • Speak a German dialect as their primary language
  • Value the history of their people and their martyrs’ heritage

In what ways are the various groups different?

While all Amish affiliations adhere to the same basic belief system, the particular ways in which they choose to live out those beliefs can vary greatly from group to group. Aspects on which they may differ include such elements as buggy styles, church discipline, clothing, lawn mowers, technology, and much more.

How are they divided into the different groups?

Though it’s difficult to provide an exact number, at least two dozen different Amish affiliations are in North America. These affiliations are further divided into more than 2000 church districts. Approximately 500 Amish settlements are located in 30 states and in Canada.

This answer has been provided as an excerpt from the upcoming book, Plain Answers About the Amish Life by Mindy Starns Clark. Learn more below.

Plain Answers About the Amish Life

Plain Answers About the Amish Life
By Mindy Starns Clark
Available Now

For Amish fiction readers, young and old alike, Plain Answers About the Amish Life provides a glimpse into an obscure, fascinating world—what the Amish believe and how they live.
Learn more:


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