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Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

amish_peopleAmish vs Mennonite

Amish or Amish Mennonite are a very traditional sect or a subgroup of the Mennonite Church. Founder of this sect was Jakob Amman and his followers came to be known Amish. Mennonites are a Christian group of Anabaptists following the teachings of their swiss founders. The name Mennonites is drawn from Frisian Menno Simons who through his works articulated the teachings of the original peaceful Anabaptists.

Anabaptists literally means ‘again Baptists’ believe that the meaningful baptism of an individual into the faith can only happen once the individual is old enough to take an informed decision about the future of his life. It is only then that an indivisual can truly commit to lead his life as per the lord’s teachings. Both Amish Mennonites and Mennonites are Anabaptists. Apart from this they are very different.

Where the Amish Mennonites have come to observe very strict and traditional practices the Mennonites have established a reputation of being very strict followers of non violence. Mennonites are also known as the peace church.

However, the main distinguishing feature of Amish from the Mennonites is the Amish resistance to embrace modern technology. Amish make very little use of technology and generally maintain very little contact with the outside world, no more than necessary. They dress up in very traditional outfits and live in very small tight knit communities. The Mennonites on the other hand dress up in plain clothes but generally would not be distinguishable from anyone else by their clothes. They neither have any problems using technology and nor maintain a separation from the outside world. The Mennonite Central Committee has established itself as a disaster relief organization around the world. Not only are the volunteers available immediately after a disaster but they also plan long term programs to run alongside and complement the international relief programs. They have programs running for HIV affected populations in Africa, Tsunami victims in India and Thailand, war affected areas in Afghanistan and the middle east. The Mennonites have been providing food, blankets, relief kits, drinking water, education by way of setting up schools, HIV awareness, etc.

Amish Mennonite communities generally hold services in private homes of the members. Besides their strong commitment to lead a simple life by minimum use of technology the Amish are also firm believers in Nonresistance. They seldom defend themselves in court for the same reason. Members not following the church rules are often excommunicated but given a chance to correct their behavior and return to the church. The Mennonites have their own churches but do not live in separate communities. They live amongst the normal population. Although practicing a plain and simple lifestyle they are much more moderate towards the use of modern technology and do not abstain from it.

Summary
1.Amish is a subgroup of Mennonites following Jakob Amman. Mennonites follow the teachings of peaceful Anabaptists popularized by Frisian Menno Simons.
2.Amish are very resistant to technology whereas Mennonites are moderate in this regard.
3.Amish are strict followers of nonresistance where the Mennonites are of non violence and have established a very strong disaster management system.
4.Amish have a very strong commitment to lead a simple lifestyle and live in separate close knit communities, however, the Mennonites live among the normal communities.


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19 Comments

  1. I found this article to be inaccurate when it speaks of the way us Mennonites dress. We wear cape dresses very few groups wear skirt and blouse. The Amish however wear a cape dress of a different kind. As Mennonites our clothing is meant to stand out because the Bible tells us come ye out from among them. If possible please correct these errors. Other than that I find this article to he very good.

    • I was reading a book that mentioned Mennonites and Amish and became interested in them and the difference between the two. Danki to all who have added info on this topic.

  2. The Bible also tells you to kill your neighbor if you see them working on the Sabbath.. But I never see your kind do that … Pick and choose from the Bible much?

    • What was the point in that comment of yours Jezmund? That is poor taste and not necessary.

    • I don’t know what Bible you read from but does not kill your neighbors for ANY reason. The writings of Jesus does not state that. Your lost.

      • Exodus 31:15
        English Standard Version (ESV)

        • That is from the Old Testament… Christians believe that Jesus came down and in a sense “re-wrote” much of the old testament. This is the same mindset and reasoning for why Christians have no problem eating “unclean” animals, as they are listed in the Old Testament.

          • “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19

    • What is the point of nasty comments…do you pick on everyone that isn’t just like you.

    • this is very unaccurate

    • This is taken totally out of context. No one is directed to kill their neighbor if they work on the sabbath.

  3. I don’t know what Bible you read from but THE BIBLE does not state to kill your neighbors for ANY reason. The writings of Jesus does not state that. Your lost.

  4. There are many different kinds of Mennonites. Some wear all black, only drive a horse and buggy while others drive cars but strip the chrome from them.

    Then there are the modern Mennonites who dress as ordinary people, live in modern, sometimes beautiful homes and drive various kinds of cars and believe in education where the above do not go above grade 8.

    The in between Mennonite women often wear very colorful dresses, a little long, very plain and homemade. The men dress like other men. The women wear a little hat, especially when praying.

  5. as a child, i believe that mennonites are one of a kind. my aunt and uncle are menonite and my dad was adopted. so im sorta mennonite, i love my family. so i dont want to here any bad things about the mennonite culture. thank you and have a nice day.

    jessica lynn martin,
    age 17

  6. Found the article to be very interesting. Also, found the responses of great interest. Wish there had been more with regards to why some Mennonites use common place tools and others don’t. We just recently had a number of Mennonites move into our community and I am reluctant to go over and introduce myself and welcome them to our area. I know how I felt when I moved into the area and no one ever offered to even introduce themselves. Wondering what I should do? Any suggestions?

    • Reading the comments posted regarding this article. I saw your comment. I hope you gained the courage to welcome your neighbors to the community. You express your sympathy toward them based on your experiences of being the new kid on the block. It is sometimes hard to be the first person to step out and welcome in those who are different without fear of being frowned upon by others. You are not alone. I read about 12 others who went through something similar at times in their lives. :)

  7. I was born and raised in Philadelphia and have always had respect for the ways of life of others regardless of whether I agree or not. The number one respect I have is the Right to Freedom. So long as we do not force ourselves on the rights of others we deserve the right to choose our ways. Calling out names and making others believe that you are right isn’t the way of peace. Setting the example for others is respecting their rights provided that we all do the right thing. I believe humanity should believe in the ability to reason. This separates us from animals. And even in the animal world they, too, have wisdom that humans can learn from. I wish all of us could live with respect to each other, unite in the common cause to protect each other and our rights; but above all, to worship in our own way and respect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our own way. I am sure that the Power of God will allow us to do so, and so should we. Peace to all as we can live in harmony. Former member of the 28th INF DIV PAARNG. Ben Franklin’s Associates 111th INF

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