reviewing their histories and also the differences between these similar sects of the Christian church.
The Beginnings in Europe:
The Amish have their roots in the original Mennonite community. Bothwere part of the Anabaptist movement, which began in the 16
century inEurope, about the time of the Reformation. The Anabaptists took a firm standagainst the Roman Catholic church’s practice of infant baptism, in favor of believer’s baptism after the age of accountability and knowledge of what baptismmeant in the life of a Christian. Because of the stand against infant baptism weremockingly called Anabaptists from the Greek word ‘
, which means to lookbackwards or against (“Why Amish and Mennonites?” 1999).The Anabaptists were most plentiful in those days in Zurich, Switzerland.They believed that there were huge differences between the Bible and theCatholic’s doctrines, the most powerful church of the time throughout Europe.They taught against the Catholic teachings of indulgences (money charged for prayer), worship of relics, images and saints and other doctrines.The Anabaptists and other reformers of the day such as Martin Luther believed that reformation meant a return of the church to its first-century ways. It justified the name Anabaptist because the movement did look backwards to theearly church’s example. According to
An Introduction to Mennonite History,
“Somewhere along the way the church had fallen and needed to return to a virtueit had once possessed” (Dyck, 1993, p.15). The Anabaptists rejected the