The words Amish and Mennonites refer to the religious practices and customs which was prevalent in the 16th Century; these customs had originated from the Protestant religious tradition – Anabaptism – meaning “to be baptized again.” They differ from each other mainly in the ways they live their normal life and religious life.
Anabaptists were the people who separated themselves from the church as they believed it forced religion and its practices on people. They believe that it should be one’s choice whether to adopt Christianity or not. At the beginning of ANABAPTISM, there was no separation between the Mennonites and Amish, but later on, people began to distinguish themselves on the basis of which Christians should separate themselves from the world.
Origin of the Amish
Jacob Ammann, a Swiss Anabaptist leader in 1693, started telling people that the Church leaders were not separating themselves from the secular world. Ammann believed that true Christians should shun the world and look for enlightenment. Thus, Ammann and his followers formed their separate groups from the Anabaptist and came to be known as Amish. The original Anabaptists are today known as Mennonites.
What Defines Amish People?
The Amish people are the firm believer of the practices laid down by Amman and adhere to it even today. They are against the modern developments of science and technology and abandon even electricity or automobiles.Many of the customs set out by Ammann in the early days of the Amish faith persist to this day. The Amish tend to be traditionalists who still believe in the customs which they still follow even today, and this reflected in their refusal to use electricity, modern technology or automobiles. Thus a very significant distinction between the two can be vividly seen in their cultural practices. The men of Amish origin have a messy beard, wear plain clothes and young Amish children are rarely seen in public.
Mennonites are more liberal people and live their lives very much as a normal ethnic group. They are very open and believe in community participation and embrace all the modern equipments and appliances and other aspects of modern living. Although Mennonites too agree with Amish people in the idea of devotion to God and a life away from secular beliefs