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Guest Thinkers

The Amish Crisis

“The religious sect that rejects modern life is spreading from its traditional heartlands, but scandals are damaging its benign image.” The Independent profiles the Amish.

“Whatever they think of modern-day conveniences such as electricity and power steering (hard with a horse and buggy) the American Amish might want to consider the services of a public relations firm. Someone needs to counter the awful stories appearing in recent weeks that have featured rape, incest and the gassing of dogs, lots of them. The landslide of bad news—’A Crisis in Amish Country’ was a New York Times headline this month—coincides with something else unexpected about members of a sect descended from Anabaptists who fled Europe to the US, mostly to Pennsylvania, in the early 18th century. In population terms, at least, the Amish are booming. And as their numbers swell—growing at a rate of 5 per cent a year—they are also beginning to migrate westwards.”


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