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Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)
Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.
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A religious movement known as the Reformation swept through Europe in the 1500s. Its leaders disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church on certain religious issues and criticized the church’s great power and wealth. They broke away from the Catholic church and founded various Protestant churches. Today Protestantism is one of the three major branches of Christianity. As the Reformation spread across Europe, it also inspired movements for political and social change. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
The era of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation in Europe spawned a number of radical reform groups, among them the Anabaptists. These Christians regarded the Bible as their only rule for faith and life. They denied the merit of infant baptism, however. Some Anabaptists were revolutionaries. Others, like Menno Simons (1496–1561), were more moderate. Because of their radical beliefs, the Anabaptists were persecuted by other Protestants as well as by Roman Catholics.
Simons, a Dutch priest, gathered the scattered Anabaptists of Northern Europe into congregations in 1536. These groups soon came to be called by his name. By the late 16th century the Mennonites had found political toleration in the Netherlands. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
10 Things Everyone Should Know about Mennonites and Their Beliefs
Sometimes mistaken for Amish, Mennonites are a group of Christians that formed during the Protestant Reformation.
Their beginnings were marked by persecution, while the church itself has long been a proponent of peace. And while there are many divisions of Mennonites (also called Anabaptists), most agree on the core tenets of Christianity.
Amish religious beliefs are virtually the same as that of the Mennonites and other Protestant Christians. They believe in the importance of individual Bible study and the necessity of living a life free of sin after adult baptism.
Amish Beliefs: BBC
The Amish are closest to the Anabaptists: Protestant Christians who believe in adult baptism, pacifism, the separation of church and state and the importance of the community to faith. The denomination is closely related to the Mennonites.
Amish HIstory and Beliefs
The story of the Pennsylvania Amish community dates back to the 16th century Reformation in Europe, when the Anabaptist movement spurred the creation of three "plain" communities: the Amish, Mennonites and Brethren.
The Amish are one of several denominations that developed out of the Radical Reformation in 16th-century Europe.
Amish History: BBC
The Amish (pronounced 'Aahmish') are an American Protestant group with around 200,000 members descended from European Anabaptists who came to the USA more than two centuries ago to escape persecution.
The Plain People (Amish and Mennonites) trace their origin back to the Protestant Reformation in Europe, where there was an emphasis on returning to the purity of the New Testament church.
Rites and Rituals
As in Mennonite communities, the Amish celebrate Holy Communion twice each year and practice foot washing.
Two key concepts for understanding the Amish lifestyle are the revulsion of Hochmut (pride, arrogance, haughtiness) and the high value they place on Demut (humility) and Gelassenheit (calmness, composure, placidity).
Amish way of life: BBC
Amish live in small rural communities where strong family and social ties allow them their own distinctive and separate way of life.
Amish Worship: BBC
The Amish worship in their houses, which are designed to allow a large group to meet. Different households take it in turns to host worship.
A 3-hour preaching service takes place every other Sunday morning and is followed by a shared meal.
Family is the core element in the Amish church, and choosing a mate is the most important decision in an Amishman’s life. Boys and girls begin their search for a spouse when they turn sixteen.
Leadership & Structure
The Amish community is divided into church districts, autonomous congregations of about 75 baptized members.
Amish Organisation: BBC
The Amish are divided into dozens of separate fellowships, broken down into districts or congregations.