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In The World But Not Of The World To many the Amish are viewed as misunderstood shut off from the outside world Many Americans are angered by the Amish ways and beliefs Are the Amish trying to defy the American political system or are they just misunderstood Is it political reasons or religious beliefs that allow them to live in the world but not of the world During the Reformation in sixteen-century Europe Luther and Calvin promoted the concepts of individual freedom and the priesthood of all believers In what has been called the radical reformation some religious reformers took these beliefs to their logical conclusion they preached that the believer should separate himself from all secular activities One of the largest groups the Anabaptists promoted baptism during adulthood after confession of faith instead of during infancy total separation of religion and state and worship services in the home rather than at church The religious movements that they founded are called free churches as contrasted to the state churches that were normal for the time Their groups were simple associations of adult Christians Most of them were wiped out in wars or programs of genocide organized by various governments and the main line Protestant and Roman Catholic churches The Amish people are descendants of the Anabaptist tradition The Anabaptists eventually split into three groups the Mennonites of Dutch and Prussian origin the Hutterian Brethren of Austria and the Swiss Brethren The Mennonites are named after Menno Simmons a Dutch Anabaptist leader They were severely persecuted and fled to Switzerland and other more remote areas of Europe The Amish are named after their founder Jakob Amman who decided to split off from the Swiss Brethren during the late seventeenth-century Amman based his beliefs and practices on the writings of Simmons and on the 1632 Mennonite Dordrecht Confession of Faith These divisions did not occur due to differences in fundamental beliefs but instead over conforming to
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