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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use mdy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} The Amish ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Pennsylvania Dutch: Amisch, German: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships, closely related to but distinct from Mennonite churches, with whom they share Swiss Anabaptist origins. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}

In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites emigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as "Pennsylvania Dutch," although a dialect of Swiss German is used by Old Order Amish in the Adams County, Indiana area.<ref name="gameo">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> As of 2000, over 165,000 Old Order Amish live in the United States and about 1,500 live in Canada.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> A 2008 study suggested their numbers have increased to 227,000,<ref name="Scolforo">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> and in 2010 a study suggested their population had grown by 10 percent in the past two years to 249,000, with increasing movement to the West.<ref name="Amish Population Growth: Numbers Increasing, Heading West">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Unlike most Americans who have had a birthrate too low to maintain the population since the early 1970s, the Amish continue to have very large families and benefit from the major decrease of the infant mortality rate in the 20th century. Between 1992 and 2013, the Amish population increased by 120%, while the US population increased by only 23%.<ref>http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/PDF/Statistics/Population_Change_1992_2013.pdf</ref>

Amish church membership begins with baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. It is a requirement for marriage within the Amish church. Once a person is baptized with the church, he or she may marry only within the faith. Church districts average between 20 and 40 families, and worship services are held every other Sunday in a member's home. The district is led by a bishop and several ministers and deacons.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} The rules of the church, the Ordnung, must be observed by every member and cover most aspects of day-to-day living, including prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Most Amish do not buy commercial insurance or participate in Social Security. As present-day Anabaptists, Amish church members practice nonresistance and will not perform any type of military service.

Members who do not conform to these community expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent are excommunicated. In addition to excommunication, members may be shunned,<ref name=PBSAE>American Experience: The Amish</ref> a practice that limits social contacts to shame the wayward member into returning to the church. Almost 90 percent of Amish teenagers choose to be baptized and join the church.<ref name=PBSAE/> During adolescence rumspringa ("running around") in some communities, nonconforming behavior that would result in the shunning of an adult who had made the permanent commitment of baptism, may meet with a degree of forbearance.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Failed verification |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[not in citation given] }}</ref> Amish church groups seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish world, i.e. American and Canadian society. There is generally a heavy emphasis on church and family relationships. They typically operate their own one-room schools and discontinue formal education after grade eight, at age 13/14.<ref name=PBSAE/> Until the children turn 16, they have vocational training under the tutelage of their parents, community, and the school teacher.

The Amish value rural life, manual labor and humility, all under the auspice of living God's word.


Amish sections
Intro  History  Religious practices  Way of life  Subgroups of Amish  Population  Distribution  Seekers and joiners  Health  Amish life in the modern world  Publishing  Similar groups  In popular culture  See also  Notes  References  Bibliography  Further reading  [[Amish?section=External</a>_links|External</a> links]]  

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