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The Amish originated in Switzerland around 1525 They initially belonged to a religious group called Mennonites The Mennonites believed that the church and state should be united The Amish didnt agree with this view and broke away They also did not agree on infant baptism The Amish thought that people should only be baptized as adults around the age of 18 Adult baptism was a crime in the 16th century so the Amish come from a long history of martyrs They were put in sacks and thrown into rivers There are no Amish left in Europe William Penn who offered a religious haven in America saved the Amish from extinction Since early colonial days the Amish have lived in the United States preserving their distinctive culture dress language and religion The Amish live in 19 states Canada and Central America Eighty percent live in Pennsylvania Ohio and Indiana They can also be found in Poland the Ukraine and other parts of Russia The total Amish population is around 134000 but only adults are considered full church members They Amish are a conservative group and are traditionally homemakers farmers carpenters and tradesmen They have virtually no unemployment The Amish society itself is a school They train their children vocationally They shun all technological things like automobiles television video games movies and fashion They do not use gasoline electricity or commercial chemicalsall of which pollute the environment Amish are divided into several separate bodies some of them more conservative and withdrawn than others The Bible is the sacred text of the Amish religion They interpret the Bible literally and directly In addition to the Bible the Amish have a set of unwritten rules called the Ordung The Ordung are the bases for their morals and their way of life These rules are not set in writing but are known and strictly followed During the 19th century the Amish experienced some internal divisions because of
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