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Mennonite) Anabaptists (Amish

Amish Community And Family Life

The two basic units in Amish society are church and family, and these institutions intersect at a number of levels. Amish churches are defined geographically, that is, all church members within a square mile or several square miles form a church district. The size of a church (160 or fewer persons) is usually described in terms of the number of families rather than the number of individual members. The Amish do not construct church buildings, but meet for worship in members' homes. A church will divide into two geographic units, or two new districts, when there are too many families to fit comfortably in any individual member's home (Hostetler 1993).

Family life is inextricably related to the life of the church. Among other things, a child learns early in life to submit to the authority of the adults in his or her life. Respecting the authority of elders in childhood is assumed to lead to a life of submission to the rules of the church. When an Amish young person begins to think about marriage this issue is often related to a decision about church membership. Marriage within the Amish church is only permitted after an individual is baptized and may only occur with another Amish person.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsMennonite) Anabaptists (Amish - Amish Community And Family Life, Stages Of Amish Family Life, Mennonite Families