Baptism is a meaningful ritual for many religions, and in some cases, such as with Catholics, babies are baptized weeks or months after their birth. For some religions, however, baptism occurs in adulthood. In the Amish religion, the typical time to get baptized is between the ages of 18 and 22.
Teenagers who live in an Amish community partake in classes about their religion before being officially baptized. Per Good Faith Media, those who are not part of the community and have an interest in being Amish are welcome to join classes, but approximately 90% of new members are children of Amish parents. The classes provide special instructions regarding the Amish faith, such as basic beliefs and rules. It’s only upon completing these classes and being accepted by the Amish congregation that one can be baptized.
The Amish take the baptism ritual seriously, and it symbolizes a full commitment to the Amish faith, which is why it takes place in adulthood.
Preparing for the Amish baptism
The decision to be baptized is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Those who have been baptized into the Amish religion are expected to follow doctrines and rules set upon them for the rest of their lives. Amish who break their vows or leave the community face shunning and excommunication. However, these consequences are only for those who have been baptized, per Amish Studies. Those who decide to leave the community before their baptism face no consequences and are free to depart. This is the main reason why the Amish are never baptized before they are adults; they are given the chance to make a sound decision on whether they can fully commit to the religion.
The decision to be baptized doesn’t solely fall on a potential member, though. Leaders of the church must also vote on whether a person is ready for baptism. Although rare, there are some instances when baptisms have been delayed, according to Amish America. Those baptized are expected to fully submit themselves to the Amish order and hold themselves accountable for all their actions for the rest of their lives.
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