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Sociology The Amish culture During the radical reformation in sixteenth century Europe Luther and Calvin were in favor of different ideas of individual freedom Believers in Luther and Calvins reform took these ideas and came to their own conclusions These ideas were much different than the accepted Roman Catholic and Protestant religions Therefore most groups were persecuted and murdered The Anabaptists who were one of the larger groups founded religious movements called free churches as opposed to state churches They believed in the total separation of church and state and had worship services in the home instead of church Menno Simons who was a Dutch Anabaptist leader founded the Mennonites The Mennonites fled to Switzerland to avoid persecution The Amish group is a sub division of the Mennonites Simmons wrote the Dordrecht Confession of Faith in 1632 and Jacob Amman who founded the Amish based his practices Many Amish settled in Pennsylvania in the 1720s due to William Penns Holy Experiment in religious tolerance The Amish try to preserve the 17th century European culture In Wayne county Ohio in the 1860s a series of conferences were held to discuss modern pressures The Amish split into different divisions as a result of these conferences including the Old Order Amish and other liberal groups The Amish cannot marry outside of their religion and since the number of converts to their faith is less than ten percent the gene pool is very limited The Amish in Lancaster county Pennsylvania are descendants of about 200 Swiss who immigrated in the 1700s For twelve generations the gene pool has been closed As a result the inbreeding makes most Amish host to several genetic disorders such as dwarfism and mental retardation
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