The Amish are an Anabaptist Christian community present in North America, living simply and away from modern society. The Amish first rule is: "Do not you conformed to this world around you."
Most Amish belong to the Old Order (Old Order), very rigorous, which has 47 000 people in Pennsylvania, Ohio 55 000, Indiana 37 000 and 59 000 in other states in the U.S. (and in Ontario, Canada).
Following a split, a New Order (New Order Amish) was created, and a group of Beachy Amish, more modern (cars and using electricity), which were 7 228 members in 1991.
The total number of Amish in the former Order is 227 000 in 2008 when the community had only 123 000 members in 1992 the population had doubled in sixteen years.
This phenomenon is due to a high birthrate of eight children per family on average, and a constantly growing number of newcomers to this lifestyle.
On average the Amish population doubles every twenty years, from 1900 to 2008 the Amish population grew from 5 000 to 227 000 (4540%) In Ontario, Canada, the only Amish community outside the United States of 'America is too fat very quickly. It has 4 500 people today, is an increase of 195% since 1992 (2 300)
Moreover, during the period (1992-2008) the Amish settled in seven new states: Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Washington and West Virginia.
The origin of the Amish can be traced back to two dates:
* Whether to 1660 with the signing, in the Alsatian village of Ohnenheim of the Convention of common faith still in force today in U.S. communities;
* Or - as is more common - in 1693, in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, where a bishop, Jakob Amman (1645-1730) left for reasons of theological differences, the Swiss Mennonites, after attempting to mobilize the Brothers of Alsace for a simpler life. In 1712, Louis XIV tried to move the Brothers. The trace of Jakob Amman is lost, but found the brothers in the United States of America.
From 1681, William Penn, founder of the Friends of God, better known as the Quakers, welcomes all the reprobate, provided only that they tolerate others. The Amish settled so from now the United States (Pennsylvania). This organization reject the principles of conformity to the consumer society, and adopts a function marginal lifestyle.
Each Amish congregation is independent and has its own tradition. Congregations communicate with each other, but there is no regional or national organization. Congregations are led by a bishop, a preacher, and two levels of deacons. Women who remain silent during the service (except for singing) like men participated in the election of leaders of the congregation: every baptized member gives the name of a man he believes to be appointed by God. Future leaders are elected as follows: during a special worship, men who have been offered by the entire congregation to appear before it and each choose a Bible prepared for this purpose. A piece of paper with a biblical verse had been slipped into one of them and the man who is chosen as "elected". By this method, the Amish believe that is the Holy Spirit himself who directed the hand of the elected.
The Amish life is based on reading and practical application of the teachings of the New Testament. For example, women wear dresses because the Bible condemns the use of garments for men by women and vice versa. The women cover their heads under an exhortation of the apostle Paul in the New Testament, etc..
Between different communities, practical applications are different, but generally the Amish dress in dark colors. The men grow beards as marriage. Women wear a cap near the country's quichenotte Vendeen. The ideal of all is to be modest.
The Amish have no social security or pension contribution of self-help and solidarity to supplement this. Families often have eight to ten children. Sometimes the father transmits the farm to the eldest son from the marriage. The father then turns easily sculptor and manufactures small wooden handicrafts, or he becomes a weaver. In general, the Amish do not vote and do not pay social insurance. They do not participate in military service.
The Old Order Amish, a Mennonite Church, have certain features that may strike the visitor or abroad:
* They have, even today, only cars with horse, buggy
* Plowing are the coupling without tractor (some communities have no tractor tires, wheels with iron).
They nevertheless open stores in town where you can obtain the Amish crafts, mostly quilted blankets (patchwork), and other handicrafts. They can also deal with vegetable stores. These shops, by exception, may be connected to electrical groups if their owner is not Amish.
The primary school is close enough that children can walk there. The training is mostly English, mathematics and health, geography and history. The school, when it lacks is administered by a school board elected Amish parents. In the Amish private schools, teachers come from the Amish community itself. At the age of fourteen, young people leave school, but generally continue to grow.
16 to 21 years, in conservative communities (such as Schwartzentruber and Nebraska) rumschpringa just the sort of rite of passage in which adolescents are temporarily freed from the rules of the community. They may try and practice of modern life, drink alcohol, smoke, wear modern clothes, watch television ... They can eventually leave the community during this period. This practice is controversial even within the Amish church. Many have dropped out and try to promote decent behavior (and consistent with biblical morality) at all stages of life.
At the end of this period, they may seek baptism and live by the traditions of the community. A tiny minority of teenagers left the community and finally decides to modern life. If they choose to leave the community after being baptized, they are banned and can not return to their families.
Within the family Amish parents and grandparents or great-grandparents consider their words contribute significantly less than their actions in the education of children. For the Amish, the floor is dangerous because it can bring violence, attack, insult, impurity or evil. The Amish have as an educational principle that children do not follow the advice but the example of adults.
Daily Life of Amish requires significant physical exertion. The men are on average 18 500 steps a day and women just over 14 000, more than 10 000 steps a day recommended for good health (the Amish, including children, also often walk barefoot) . Their physical activity was six times greater than that of the average adult in North America.
Their diet is very rich in fats and sugars because they consume lots of meat, potatoes, bread, cakes and eggs. Despite this, victims are less obese than most Americans and Canadians. According to researchers at the University of Tennessee, none of the Amish farmers are obese and only 9% of women in the community are. Their hard work and walking are evacuating too few calories, the researchers concluded.
The Amish typically do not use "modern" medicine. They do not attend hospital and care for themselves.