Learn About the Amish2018-02-16T21:32:00-05:00

The Amish

Cultural Beliefs and Practices

The Amish are known for their counter-cultural lifestyle. Although having settled in America centuries ago, the Amish have been able to keep their cultural beliefs and practices largely intact and distinct from mainstream American culture. What are some of those distinctive beliefs and practices?

The Amish have emphasized separation from the world, which to them means choosing to live a lifestyle that remains at least somewhat disconnected from the world’s technology advances. This affects many areas of life including:

  • Transportation
  • Farming Methods
  • Electricity
  • Dress
  • Communication and Photography
  • Community Oriented v. Individual

There are many other areas in which the Amish are different from mainstream American culture. Come visit us at the Amish Mennonite Information Center to learn more and speak to a real Amish Mennonite!

Amish Country Advice

Articles and Must-See Businesses to Enhance Your Stay in Amish Country

Ask The Expert

Find Real Answers to Your Questions About the Amish

What’s the difference between the Old Order Amish and Amish Mennonites? Many Amish Mennonites have been Old Order Amish at one time but have chosen a slightly different lifestyle. While still maintaining tight knit communities and distinctive dress, they have chosen to accept modern conveniences such as vehicles, electricity, computers, etc. At the root of Amish Mennonite faith and practice is the desire to follow Jesus and make his commands practical in everyday life.

The Amish practice of covering a woman’s head is rooted in the Biblical teaching found in 1 Corinthians. The basic principle is that God has established an order of spiritual authority which flows from Christ, to man, to woman. When a woman covers her head while praying or prophesying she is showing other people and the spirit world that she is in submission to her spiritual authority. The Amish have chosen to make the wearing of the woman’s head covering a daily practice.

While traditionally the Amish have been a farming community, recent changes in the cost of farmland and the trend towards commercial farming have pushed the Amish into other means of self-support. The Amish are generally very hardworking and industrious and have succeeded in variety of trades including retail, manufacturing (especially wood and metal working), and home improvement. Many Amish are business owners.

The main mode of transportation for the Amish is a horse and buggy. The Amish will at times hire a taxi driver when they need to travel long distances.

Because the Amish don’t own a radio, computer, or television, their free time activities are often centered around work and family. That might include an evening spent working in the garden or playing ball in the backyard.

Although the Amish aren’t opposed to using phones they’ve drawn the line at having a phone in their house. Some Amish have a “phone shanty” at the end of the lane or a neighbor who’s agreed to allow them to use a phone in an emergency. They also make an exception for their businesses.

While not necessarily opposed to photography as a whole, the Amish do not welcome having photographs taken of themselves. If someone tries to take a photo they will often turn their head or duck out of site.

The three largest Amish communities are centered around Holmes County, OH, Elkhart County, IN, and Lancaster County, PA in that order. There are numerous other communities scattered throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Amish are a community and family oriented people. Many Amish have large families of 8 or more and the divorce rate among couples is very low.

Not finding the answers you’re looking for? Visit our center to talk to a real Amish Mennonite!

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

Often Quoted Amish Bible Verse

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Often Quoted Amish Bible Verse

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Often Quoted Amish Bible Verse