The Christian Denomination practiced by the Amish is Rapidly Growing In America
You may have seen images of horse-drawn buggies on the same road as modern cars. You may have visited their communities where outsiders are called “English,” and electronic appliances are avoided. But how much do you know about the Amish? And why are they one of the fastest growing populations in America?
The Amish began in the 17th century in Switzerland and Southern Germany by Jakob Ammann. They came to America seeking escape from religious persecution. They established communities throughout the east coast, including Pennsylvania. The religion teaches humility and order. This is succinctly put by their creed, “Be ye not conformed to this world.” This is expressed in their shunning of modern conveniences. They do not use automobiles, television, radio, or computers and only sparingly use electricity.
This has not stopped their population from increasing from 5,200 to over 300,000. The number of Amish have tripled since 1984. They have been identified as one of the fastest moving communities in America. This has occurred for two reasons. The first is their avoidance of urban areas. Because the Amish live in isolated, rural communities, they need to continually expand for new land with the growing rise of cities. Because the Amish marry young and have many children, this has let to the population steadily rising.
The second reason why so many Amish stay with their faith is the practice of Rumspringa. This is a rite of passage among teenage Amish. They leave the faith and may go out into the world and experience the modern world. Every Amish person must choose to follow their religion. Rumspringa is a period where Amish may try out what was denied to them and see if it is worth returning to their communities. Over 90 percent of the Amish return and are baptized again. This creates a strong sense of community because their way of life is not forced upon them.