I watched the BBC documentary “Amish: A Secret Life” and found myself oddly jealous of their close-knit community. As these particular folk are “Old Order” Amish, the rules they live by would drive me spare, but I would dearly love to travel around in one of their horse and buggies!
Anyway, do watch the documentary and although you guys outside the UK are prohibited from viewing, there are ways around this which you’ll have to figure out.
In the meantime, Professor John Byron has given me permission to cross-post the following:
Amish are the Fastest Growing Religious Group in the USA and Canada
Where I live in Ashland, Ohio we have lots of interaction with the Amish. I buy their vegetables at the market , watch their buggies pass my house as they head to Aldi and Walmart, and I may even wait in line behind one at the bank. But I had no idea that they were the fastest growing religious group. And apparently it is not due to conversions, but births. According to recent census information they are taking the “be fruitful and multiply” command very seriously.
A new census estimates that a new Amish community is founded every three and a half weeks in North America and they estimate that nearly 60% of these communities were founded after 1990. The census restricted the count to Amish who refuse or limit modern amenities, such as electricity and automobiles.
The researchers who compiled the census used a variety of sources to produce this count, including current and archival settlement directories and statistics from publications that cover some of the largest Amish communities, as well as by calculating estimates based on research-based facts about Amish settlement characteristics.
Accordingly, researchers say that this suggests that the Amish religion is the fastest growing religion in the United States, but this grow is not due to new converts. The growth is due to the number of children the Amish give birth to every year and every 21 to 22 years, these children grow up, become baptized as adults into the Amish religion, and give birth to several more children. Only adults may receive baptism into the Amish faith and among “the 250,784 Amish adherents identified in the census, 145,235 are considered non-members because they are children who have not yet been baptized.”
Those are some pretty startling figures. At that rate we will be the United States of Amish in a few years.
Tags: Religion Society