Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

The Amish and Mennonites follow the same religious faith but differ in practice and lifestyle. The Amish follow a minimalistic lifestyle by dressing plain and avoiding technology usage. Most Mennonites embrace advanced technology and fashion.

Every religion has multiple divisions and subdivisions, each representing varying religious sentiments and expressions. Two such prominent religious groups are- the Amish and the Mennonites. There was a common confusion considering the two groups to be the same, but it isn’t so. Wondering what the difference between the Mennonites and the Amish is?

Amish vs. Mennonite – Key Differences

Amish vs Mennonite
Jacob Ammann Founder  Menno Simmons
Pacifism and Anabaptist  Beliefs  Pacifism and Anabaptist 
Amish people are strict followers of nonresistance and the Church commandments. Anyone who breaks or denies following Church rules will be excommunicated. Religious Practices They are flexible regarding Church rules but are a strict follower of non-violence.
Held in home Church Services  Held in church and meetinghouse
German or other dialects of German and Pennsylvania Dutch Church Language  English
Very rare  Use of Technology  Use technological services
Primarily horse and buggy. Sometimes they use tractors Means of Transport  Use horse, buggy, tractors as well as cars
Very simple solid color clothes made from organic fabric. Women wear dresses and head coverings, and men wear suspenders and hats. Attire  Very conservative Mennonites dress almost similar to Amish people, while the progressive ones dress like other protestant or catholic Christians. 
Men keep long beards without a mustache Facial Hair (beard)  No facial hair
Mostly homemakers but also run home-based businesses
Varies significantly by order.
Position of Women  Mennonite women are homemakers, own home-based businesses, and are also seen taking up other jobs
No official dietary restrictions, but usually a simpler diet Food Habits  Eats non-vegetarian food but some groups avoid shellfish and pork 

Who are the Amish?

Amish are a group of religious people who follow the traditional Anabaptist Christian Church led by Jacob Ammann. These groups have a Swiss-German and Alsatian origin and believe in Christian pacifism, following a simple life and avoiding using modern technological comforts.

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The Amish Church began in Switzerland in 1693 after a split between Alsatian Mennonite Anabaptists. There are different groups of Amish, such as Swartzentruber Amish, Nebraska Amish, Old Order Amish, New Order Amish, and New New Order Amish.

Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

Who are the Mennonites?

Mennonites are also a religious community of Christians who are also from the Anabaptist branch. The Mennonite church is named after Menno Simons of Friesland. He articulated the preaching of old Swiss founders who believed in the ministry of Jesus.

Mennonites believed that baptism was only for adults and not for infants.

Unlike the Amish, Mennonites didn’t stop themselves from enjoying the comforts of modern-day developments.

Mennonites also believed in non-violence/ nonresistance and pacifism because they believed that God would always protect them from all the odds if they remained dedicated to his service.

There are also further divisions among the Mennonites, like Amish-Mennonites, Old Order Mennonites, and the Mennonites Church USA.

Difference Between Amish and Mennonite
Mennonites often drive cars, but some use horse and buggy like the Amish.

Difference Between Amish and Mennonite

Even though these two religious groups sprang from the same roots, they have developed different ways of leading life and offering their services to God. Below are some core parameters based on which we can separate the Mennonites from the Amish.


The Amish take the Bible as the literal words from God, but the Mennonites consider it a book of moral values. The Amish believe in a strict separation between the church and the state, while the Mennonites don’t. The Amish tend to meet in homes and barns for worship, while the Mennonites usually meet in meeting houses for worship.

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The Mennonites speak English or Pennsylvania German, a standard dialect among Germans and people living in parts of the USA. The Amish speak Pennsylvania Dutch, a standard dialect spoken by people in parts of the US and Pennsylvania.


The Amish avoid using modern conveniences like driving cars and using electric appliances. They also don’t use electric cooking appliances and gasoline.

The Amish dress in plain clothes made from organic fabrics like cotton and wool. Amish men generally wear black pants with solid color shirts. Women wear simple dresses and aprons with bonnets.

Amish men keep long beards without any mustache, and the women keep their hair tied in a simple bun.

While the Amish are quite strict regarding religious practices, they don’t have dietary restrictions. Their diet looks similar to typical Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine.

Mennonite communities oppose the Amish groups in their way of leading life. They use modern technology, wear mainstream clothes like ordinary people, and eat non-vegetarian food.


Amish people usually don’t opt for higher education. They focus more on learning hands-on skills like farming, woodwork, etc. They hold religious gatherings in their house and focus on more and more religious knowledge.

Mennonite groups don’t have restrictions regarding higher education, so they motivate their children to attend school while encouraging them to learn different practical skills, including farming.

Diversity in Amish and Mennonite Communities

Diversity is almost non-existent in the Amish community. They are primarily people of Swiss and German origin. They are Amish because their ancestors were Amish, and people rarely adopt this religious tract. 

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Mennonite communities have more diversity than Amish communities. The main reason is that Mennonites have different organizations, sending missionaries to other parts of the country to spread their religion and improve life in rural areas. 

Christianity has different branches, and each has its other way of offering service to God and leading life. Amish and Mennonites are two denominations of Christianity that have similar roots, but each group has adopted different practices and lifestyles.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, check out our blog comparing Christian and Catholic.


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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