During the 15th century, a religious movement started against the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. All the groups who criticised the Roman church were branded as the ‘Protestants’.
One of these groups were the Anabaptists. Later factions created among this group also – Mennonites, Hutterites and others.
During the seventeenth century, a Mennonite leader Jakob Amman (a Swiss leader) caused a divide in the sect by upholding the view of shunning people who were excommunicated for lying. He also introduced the ritual of ‘foot-washing’ during the worship service.
Followers of Amman are known as Amish today. They are found in the USA and Canada.
At the same time, there was another group emerging as the followers of George Fox in England. These people called themselves The Religious Society of Friends, later became famous as Quakers.
They are found across the world and mainly found in Africa and North America (Pennsylvania).
- Amish and Quakers are Christian groups with roots in Protestantism; the Amish are a conservative Anabaptist sect, while Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends.
- Amish communities live a simple, traditional lifestyle, rejecting modern conveniences and technology; Quakers emphasize equality, peace, and social justice and have a less strict approach to lifestyle choices.
- Amish worship in private homes or community buildings, while Quakers typically hold unprogrammed worship services in meetinghouses.
Amish vs Quakers
The difference between the Amish and the Quaker communities is that – Amish believe that they must separate themselves (true believers) from the world to lead a loving community life and gain salvation, while the basis of the belief of Quakers is that every soul possesses God whether men or women.
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|Parameters of Comparison||Amish||Quakers|
|Ideology||Amish believe in separating their community from the world to live a loving community life which truly conforms with the biblical instructions.||Quakers believe that there lies a part of Christ in every soul thus everyone is equal.|
|Place of individual||Individuality is denied here.||The worth 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 (Ordnung).||Quakers don’t have any church hierarchy and they don’t use honorific titles like ‘Your Lordship’.|
|Lifestyle||Amish people lead a traditional life and strictly avoid using modern technology except for the welfare of the community.||Quakers do not see technology as in confrontation with their beliefs. They see the world as changing for the betterment of human lives.|
|Role of women||In the Amish community, women generally do household chores and are considered below men. They can never divorce their husbands.||Quakers from the beginning held women as equal to men and even allowed them to divorce and remarry.|
Who are Amish?
Amish is a Christian Mennonite sect of North America which was recently recognised as the fastest-growing community. They are the followers of a Swiss Mennonite Jakob Amman.
They are famous for their traditional lifestyle and simple attire. Amish see the simple and independent community lives as the way to attain salvation.
Amish stay away from any kind of confrontation and work harmoniously with nature. They keep themselves away from the world but do engage with other people when needed.
They live in rural settings and do farming for a living but sometimes produce handicrafts also. They avoid any technical advancement of the modern world like mobile phones, radio or T.V. and even electricity.
Their horse carriages and 18th century-styled clothes are world-famous. Generally, women do household chores and take care of children while men work in the field.
Education is given up to 14 years of age and then young boys learn practical works to earn a living.
Who are Quakers?
Quakers are officially known as the Society of Friends or the Religious Society of the Friends. Some consider themselves as Christians while others do not, but they all have descended from Christianity.
The sect was founded by George Fox in England during the 17th century. His believers were called as ‘quakers’ to mock him for his name being Fox.
Quakers believe that each person has the essence of God and thus everyone is equal. They do not follow any written code, book or clerical hierarchy neither they observe festivals.
They do not separate their secular and religious lives, instead see daily life as affecting the religion and vice-versa. They organise meetings for worship and discussion on religious matters.
Quakers are famous for their involvement in various movements demanding equality and human rights. They actively participate in protecting environmental rights.
They even held positions like that of the United States President (Mr. Richard M. Nixon). They consider themselves as pacifists and strictly condemn war or any other form of violence.
They even avoid working in businesses related to violence such as weapon factories. However, they, take up other jobs if it’s not in confrontation with their beliefs.
Main Differences Between Amish and Quakers
- Amish see their community lives away from the world as their way to attaining salvation, while Quakers’ fundamental belief is that everyone has some essence of Jesus.
- Amish live a traditional life and reject modern technologies to avoid worldly temptations, Quakers live a modern life.
- Amish community has assigned women the traditional roles maintaining gender gaps, Quakers believe in gender equality.
- Amish wear simple plain attires while Quakers ceased to do so.
- Amish have a clergy order and unwritten community rules (Ordnung), Quakers refuse to have any clerical hierarchy.
- 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 famous for their barn and handicrafts while Quakers have many famous individuals including former American President Richard M. Nixon.
- Amish are mainly found in the USA and Quakers mostly living in Pennsylvania (the USA) and Africa.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.