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the amish worldview

             The worldview of the Amish stems from aspects of their history, tradition and religion. To greater understand the Amish worldview one must examine their origins, beliefs, and modern lifestyle.
             In 16th century Europe there was major reformation, which promoted the concepts of individual freedom and the priesthood of all believers. Also known as "the radical reformation," some religious reformers believed that the Bible should be taken strictly. They preached that the believer should separate themselves from all secular activities.
             One of the largest groups, the Anabaptists promoted religious movements that are called "free churches" opposed to the state churches which were normal for the time. They believed only the pure should be involved in religion and that if a member were to fall into sinful actions, he or she should be excommunicated. This practice is called shunning. Shunning is used sparingly by avoiding and excluding a person from the church and community. Most groups were wiped out from wars and organized mass murders, which were organized by various governments and the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. .
             An Anabaptist leader named Menno Simons, along with some of his followers, were able to escape the slaughters by retreating to Switzerland and other remote places of the world. Menno's followers quickly became known as Mennonites.
             The Amish began due to a split of the Mennonites during the late 17th century. The Amish founder was Jacob Amman, who based his beliefs and practices on the writings of Simons and on the 1632 Mennonite Dordrecht Confession of Faith. The Amish and Mennonites have retained similar beliefs, but differ in some practices. .
             Some Amish migrated to the United States starting in the early 18th century. As a result of William Penn's "holy experiment" in religious tolerance, many Amish started settling in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. During the 1860's, a series of conferences were held in Wayne County, Ohio to deal with modern pressures.

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