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Loss of Community Brings Amish Kids Back Home

Written By: Michael Minkoff  |  Posted: Wednesday, August 29th, 2012


            According to an article in the Washington Times, the Amish are on the rise. The article says the main reasons are two-fold: the traditionally high Amish birth rates coupled with an unusual absence of defection among Amish youths. You see, when Amish youths reach a certain age, they enter into a period of Rumspringa (lit., running around) in which they can experience the outside world. If at the end of this running around, they decide to stay in the Amish community, they are baptized and usually marry soon after. If the temptations of the world are too strong for them to resist, they leave the Amish community.

            What recent studies are indicating is that very few Amish children are choosing to leave their communities. Apparently iPads/Pods/Phones, cheap sex, loose living… even electricity just aren't enough to draw Amish kids away. But this trend is fairly recent. I don't think it can be explained by a change in the Amish way of life… that's been pretty static for some time. And it can't really be explained by material differences between the Amish communities and the outside world. If anything, the outside world has become even more enticing with its material charms. But the outside world has apparently lost something in recent years that Amish communities still have.

            What is it? I think it is community.


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