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Published: Friday, 6/7/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

OFFERINGS

Book shows Amish aren’t all alike

BLADE STAFF

LANCASTER, Pa. — Conservative Amish groups have larger families than other Amish and their children are far less likely to leave the church, a trend that is expected to bring dramatic changes for them in the coming years, according to a book on the distinctive religious group being published this week.

The Amish, a 500-page overview of the Christian followers known for traditional dress and the use of horse-and-buggy transportation, identified 40 distinct groups and a variety of permitted practices.

“They may all look alike on the outside from an external perspective, but the fact of the matter is there are over 2,000 different ways of expressing Amishness in terms of daily practice,” said co-author Don Kraybill, senior fellow at Elizabethtown College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.

The researchers found that more traditional Amish have families of nine or 10 children, while comparatively progressive families are just over half that size, suggesting some are using birth control.



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