Sunday, July 29, 2012

Amish are the Fastest Growing Religious Group in the USA and Canada

A local Amish invasion force
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. 

3 comments:

  1. Hi John, we've just had an excellent 'insider' view on the secret life of the Amish broadcast on BBC tonight.

    The link to the programme is here - You may have to find a way to make it seem as if your viewing from the UK.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lk6vn/Amish_A_Secret_Life/

    I'm going to do a short blog post on it and would like to lift this blog post (with link of course) as part of this. Would that be OK? No worries if not acceptable, I'll link to you in any case.

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    1. Stuart, Just saw this, sorry, Sure take the post!
      John

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