Amish vs. Quaker (How are they Different)

At theology school, I developed a keen interest in learning about the histories and identities of various Christian groups. I was particularly fascinated by the Amish and Quakers due to their rich histories and belief systems. During my research, I traveled to Pennsylvania and stayed in an Amish community and a Quaker community for three months each to learn about their diverse cultures. The other day, one member of my online Christian forum posted a question on the differences between the Amish and Quakers. Having lived among both communities and premised on my research as a theologian, I was able to answer the question extensively because I had first-hand information. Thus, this prompted me to address the topic of Amish vs Quaker.

The Amish are deeply rooted in scripture and depend on rules to establish order within their community. They identify as Christians and consider the Bible as the Word of God. Quakers practice having inner light, which highlights the significance of following an individual’s intuition and conscience. Not every Quaker identifies as Christian, as some view themselves as affiliates of a universal religion. Additionally, Quakers greatly regard the Bible, but it is not the only holy book that stipulates their doctrines.

In this article, I will take you on a journey to discuss how the Amish and Quakers are different. Without further ado, let us embark on this subject matter together.

Amish vs. Quaker: differences in definition

Amish vs. Quaker
Amish vs. Quaker. Image source: Pixabay


Amish refers to a conservative religious sect founded by Jakob Amman and stemmed from the Anabaptists. They originally appeared in the 16th century and are observed by several churches in Europe. The Amish wear plain attire and practice simple living without modern amenities such as indoor plumbing and electricity. They reject numerous technological advancements because they believe it will impede their ability to connect with God, which is a keystone belief for them. In 2017, their population was projected to be 310,000, with the majority residing in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. The Amish community refuses to participate with the English people or the non-Amish segment of the community. They are very traditional and place vibrant importance on faith, family, and community.


Quaker refers to an affiliate of the Religious Society of Friends founded by George Fox. They originally appeared in England in the mid-1600s and dispersed to other nations worldwide, such as Canada, the United States, and Africa. Quakers are Christians who believe in the light of God or the intrinsic light they believe is present within every individual. They believe in social equality and have made substantial contributions to philanthropy, education, politics, and business. They are deeply involved in significantly impacting both their indigenous communities and the world at large. Additionally, they endeavor to live lives steered by equality, peace, truth, and simplicity. They also place great value on personal spiritual experiences.

How are Amish different from Quakers?

Parameters of Comparison




They believe in alienating their community from the world to live a loving community life that truly conforms to biblical instructions.

They believe that there exists a part of Christ in every soul and, therefore, everyone is equal.

Place of individual

Individuality is unaccepted

The value of individual life has been emphasized

The Clergy and the Code

Each Amish church district has a bishop, two or four preachers, and an elder. They are governed by unwritten rules known as Ordnung.

Do not have any church hierarchy and do not utilize honorific titles such as ‘Your Lordship.’


Lead a traditional life and strictly refrain from utilizing modern technology except for the community’s benefit.

Do not view technology as in opposition to their beliefs as they view the world as transforming for the betterment of human lives.

Role of women

Women generally perform household chores and are considered beneath men as they can never divorce their husbands. Thus, they have assigned women traditional roles and maintain a wide gender gap.

They hold women as equal to men and even permitted them to divorce and remarry. Thus, they believe in gender equality.

Individual achievements

Amish people deny any individual’s achievements or qualities and put family and community first.

Quakers respect an individual’s qualities and achievements


Amish are mainly found in the USA

Quakers mostly live in Pennsylvania in the USA and Africa

How are Amish beliefs different from Quakers beliefs?

Amish vs. Quaker - How are they Different
Amish beliefs VS Quakers beliefs. Image source: Pinterest

Worship and sermons

Amish worship in private homes or community buildings, while Quakers typically hold unprogrammed worship services in meetinghouses. Amish ministers deliver sermons in Pennsylvania Dutch. However, their Bibles are written in High German. Quakers, conversely, conduct worship in silence, with members sitting in a circle and waiting for an insight or revelation to share with others.

Belief systems

The Amish believe in the Bible and the deity. They have priests, follow simplicity, and have a strict lifestyle. On the other hand, the Amish practice their religion based on belief in the inner light and conscience. They are a sect of Christians called liberals who believe in a direct connection with God without the need for churchmen. The Amish live their community lives away from the world as their way to attaining salvation, while Quakers believe everyone has some essence of Jesus.

Amish have a clergy order and unwritten community rules known as Ordnung, whereas Quakers refuse to have any clerical hierarchy. Quakers believed that violence was always wrong, even in self-defense, while the Amish thought it could be justified in some circumstances. Quakers also placed a high value on individual conscience, while the Amish subscribe to community consensus.


The Amish faith is profoundly premised in scripture and is contingent on rules to establish order within their community. All Amish acknowledge themselves as Christians and consider the Bible as the word of God. On the other hand, Quakers apply the mantra of following an individual’s moral sense and intuition. Not all Quakers acknowledge being Christians, as a segment of them identify as followers of a universal religion. In as much as Quakers greatly regard the Bible, it is not the only Holy Book that instructs their convictions. The Amish recite the Dordrecht Confession as their official dogma, whereas Quakers do not have such dogmas.

Church hierarchy

The Amish do not have any church structures and conduct sermons in their members’ households. Nonetheless, they have a chain of command in the church that comprises ministers, a bishop, and a deacon responsible for the church district. Similarly, Quakers do not have church structures and conduct their sermons in meeting houses. However, they do not believe in the clergy, a chain of command in the church, or official rituals. Adherents preach to each other with no designated figurehead or structure.

Baptism and Communion

Due to the parallels between the Anabaptists and the Amish, the Amish do not adhere to the baptism of infants. When the Amish become adults, they receive baptism and can take communion during official communion services conducted during spring and fall. The Amish practice baptism by pouring water on an individual as opposed to baptism via immersion in water, and this differentiates them from the Quakers.

Amish beliefs include baptism upon profession of faith, pacifism, equality of all members, uniformity among members, separation of church and state, an Amish church district overseen by bishops and ministers, and ruling elders selected by the Amish community who guide and make decisions for the Amish church districts. On the other hand, Quakers do not adhere to any liturgy and do not conduct baptism or communion. According to their belief system, all individuals can have a personal relationship with God and should do so regularly without any ceremonies and rituals.

Are there any similarities between Quakers and Amish?

Amish vs. Quaker
Similarities between Quakers and Amish. Image source: Pinterest


Both groups emerged in the 17th century from the religious mayhem in Europe. Additionally, both groups escaped religious persecution in the 1700s and established roots in Pennsylvania.


Both are Christian groups with roots in Protestantism. They both emerged during the Protestant Reformation that commenced in the 16th century.


Both believe in non-violence and are part of the Peace Churches. They both subscribe to a non-resistance standpoint when faced with any aggressive confrontation. Even on a national level, both groups believe that any means of violence, such as war, is against Christian morality. They both believe that Jesus Himself advocated non-violence.


They both share similar beliefs in modest lifestyles, communal living, living simply, religious toleration, no oath-taking, and observing pacifism as their core belief.

What do Amish people think of Quakers?

The Amish people think Quakers are a bit more liberal than they are. The Amish have a more traditional and conservative lifestyle and view the Quakers as having a less strict approach to lifestyle choices than them. This regards their views on modern technology, dress code, church traditions, and theological interpretations of the scripture. The Amish also live a life that endeavors to avoid worldly temptations, and they view the Quakers as people that live a modern life.

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