As a faithful Christian, I like to understand how different denominations under one sect relate. So last year, after spending three months with the Amish community, I proved that they were indeed related to Mennonites. So this year, I spent three months with Mennonites and learned about their relationship with Amish. Coincidentally, last month, one member in our online interdenominational forum said he wondered how Amish and Mennonites treat each other, given their history of splitting. So many people suggested that they might not be on good terms, and this was not anything close to the truth. So I decided to write a detailed article answering the member’s question; do Amish and Mennonites get along?
Yes, Amish and Mennonites get along even though they disagree about certain theological issues. They are friendly, but the Amish try not to have much contact because they consider Mennonites a little worldly.
Join me in this article as I write about how Amish and Mennonites relate. I will also write about the disagreement between them that caused their split. Read on to find out more.
What is the relationship between the Amish and the Mennonites?
Although they disagree on theological matters, the relationship between Mennonites and Amish is positive—they get along. Interactions between Amish and Mennonites depend on whether the group of each denomination is liberal or Conservative. For example, old-order Amish are very conservative and cannot interact with non-Amish, even the Mennonites. However, it does not mean they hate them. On the other hand, New Order Amish interact with more liberal Mennonites and view each other well—they relate well.
Did the Mennonites and Amish people split due to a disagreement?
Yes, the Amish and Mennonites split due to disagreements. They disagreed majorly over beliefs and practices. Both Amish and Mennonites are Anabaptists, and in the past, they were one denomination called the Swiss Brethren. They split in 1693 over disagreements; the leader of the Swiss Brethren became the head of Mennonites, and Jacob Amman led the Amish.
As mentioned, adopting new cultures caused the split. New cultures were adopted since the Swiss Brethren were moving a lot through many nations to hide from persecutors. They picked different cultures from different places. The cultures made them disagree over the following;
Before the split, the Swiss Brethren were shunning members of the church who had been banned by simply refusing to eat the Lord’s Supper with them. Sometimes, they would avoid social interactions. However, as they kept migrating, they met the Dutch, who had stringent shunning Rules, and Jacob Ammann, leader of the Amish, wanted them to be incorporated among the Swiss Brethren. He suggested that shunning should involve avoiding sharing all meals with the shunned members. However, Hans Reist said it was too strict. He accused Amman of starting another faith. Amish still practice this type of shunning, especially the conservative group.
New punishment for liars
Jacob Ammann wanted to introduce new punishments for liars, and they completely disagreed with Hans Reist. He suggested that Liars, too, should be excommunicated. Some followers agreed while some disagreed.
New membership rules
As I mentioned, the Swiss Brethren were being persecuted in almost all places they went. However, there were few places that accepted them. Some people even wanted to be part of them, and Ammann said that they should be re-baptized and follow the traditions. Hans said that it was not necessary and disagreed about it. A meeting was planned, but Hans was absent; he only sent a letter listing all his opposite thoughts. Amman got angry and excommunicated Hans, and Hans also excommunicated him. Each had followers who formed Amish and Mennonite, respectively. So the Amish still insist on Baptizing new members and having them follow the Ordnung.
Are there any communities that the Amish dislike?
Amish do not dislike any communities based on their beliefs. However, they do not interact with worldly communities because they might affect their beliefs and faith. They love and respect other communities, but if other communities want to be like them, they are supposed to be like Amish—convert to Amish.
The strictest groups of Amish do not like contact with non-Amish people, but it does not mean they hate them. Other groups are more liberal and interact with non-Amish communities but with limits.
Are there any communities that the Mennonites dislike?
Mennonites do not dislike any communities, especially on a theological basis. They are, in fact, against hate crimes and violence. However, some individuals from Mennonites might have personal prejudice against other communities, especially the Jews, due to their history. During the 2nd world War, the Nazis considered Mennonites pure and recruited them to join the army. Mennonites ended up killing Jews, which may account for their present-day strained relationship with Jewish communities in areas like Germany and Ukraine.
Can an Amish marry a Mennonite?
No, an Amish cannot marry a Mennonite. According to Amish traditions, marriage can only be between Amish people. If the partner is not an Amish, they must get baptized and start practicing the Amish lifestyle. In this case, the Mennonite must choose to abandon the religion and convert to Amish for any marriage to occur.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.