Amish

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Amish

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

When the Mennonites, lineal descendants of the Anabaptist movement in Europe, migrated to the United States from Switzerland, a splinter group broke away. This group believed wholeheartedly in the biblical command to "come out from them and be ye separate." Taking their name from Jakob Ammann, these were the Amish, and they have ever since retained their traditional lifestyle. They embrace pacifism and avoid many modern conveniences, such as electricity and automobiles, used by the "English" (as they call non-Amish) out in "the world." Instead they have continued to practice what they call their "plain" lifestyle, believing God intended people to live in redemptive community. Their beautifully kept farms have become tourist attractions, most notably in the Pennsylvania Dutch country, where it is common to see bearded farmers and women wearing traditional head coverings called kapps driving along country roads in horsedrawn black buggies. Popular restaurants in Amish communities offer some of the finest examples of American home cooking, featuring the traditional seven sweets and seven sours. But all this is surface appeal covering a deeply rooted, biblically based spiritual conviction that has been the driving force of their sect's strength for generations.

Amish

conservative Christian group in North America noted for its simple, orderly life and nonconformist dress. [Am. Hist.: EB, I: 316]