Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

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    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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