The Amish religion, though not officially recognized, boasts millions of followers worldwide. While some Amish beliefs align with Christianity, there are significant differences that set them apart. These distinct Amish beliefs revolve around salvation, rituals, the outside world, militarism, local control, customs, and sex roles.
Amish society places women in a secondary role, following a patriarchal family structure. Although they claim that women’s roles are equally essential, their authority remains unequal. Unmarried Amish women are under the control of their fathers, and wives are expected to be submissive to their husbands. Furthermore, only males are eligible to become church officials, solidifying the patriarchal norms.
Growing up in an Amish community, girls are shielded from knowledge about sexuality and pregnancy, resulting in limited freedom in sexual matters. This subordinate role in family life sometimes leads to Amish teens secretly engaging in rebellious behaviors like alcohol consumption and experimentation with illegal drugs.
Amish women are bound by traditional ways and live under the control of male family members, including being restricted to learn only Pennsylvania Dutch and English languages. Despite using a Bible written in High German, the Amish women cannot study the Bible or attend school past the 8th grade. However, they accept and adapt to these longstanding traditions.
The Amish attire sets them apart from modern society, with distinctive rules and expectations. For instance, Amish women are not allowed to wear jewelry, get tattoos, or cut their hair, which is typically parted in the middle. Men, on the other hand, grow beards but are clean-shaven after marriage. The use of buttons is a contentious topic within the community, with some embracing them and others rejecting them.
The dress of Amish men signifies their belonging to specific Amish groups, with their hats indicating their affiliation. Amish women, on the other hand, wear a white prayer cap, but unmarried girls between the ages of 12 and marriage wear a black cap for Sunday dress, switching to a white cap at home.
Marriage is a significant event for the Amish, and most marry between the ages of 19 and 25. Raising a family is considered the primary career for Amish adults, and having many children is highly desirable, as they view it as a blessing from God. Consequently, the Amish are against birth control. Baptism occurs at 18 years old, and the period between 16 years and baptism is relatively liberal, as individuals are neither under parental nor church control.
In conclusion, the Amish community’s unique beliefs distinguish them from traditional Christian practices. Despite living by their distinctive customs and facing challenges, Amish individuals accept and embrace their culture, making them a truly distinctive and intriguing religious community.