Amish Mission to Europe

British viewers who have been following ITV’s series following the group of Amish young people who came to the UK for four weeks to experience ‘rumspringa’ may be interested to learn a little bit more about the missionary activities of one of the Amish groups that has had a commitment to mission from their communities in the USA to several European countries.

Amish mission in Ukraine

One of the earliest mission presences was that of Amish Mennonite Aid, active in West Berlin during the late 1950s and into the early 1960s where it was responsible for several centres offering support and aid to refugee East Germans. After the Berlin wall was erected and the flow of refugees stopped, the mission switch its focus to local physical and spiritual needs. Between 1956v and 1977, 49 Amish missionaries worked in the Berlin mission. More about the story of the Berlin mission can be read online.

In the 1950s the Missions Interest Committee emerged out of the Old Order Amish and as a result of reservations in those communities, the Beachy Amish churches took up the responsibility for Amish mission through the IMC. The IMC’s early work focussed on the USA but in the early 1980s it developed a mission programme in Belgium, later expanding into Ireland. Amish missions in Ireland currently focus around a congregation in Dunmore East. The early establishment of this work from the Alsace region of France is described in James Yoder’s European Project.

In addition there have been a number of other Amish mission activities in the Ukraine (two churches) and Romania (one church). These have been either as a result of individual efforts or in partnership with other organisations. Each of these churches is involved in its own mission care for local people, including providing a seed programme for Ukrainian farmers.

In other parts of Europe, the Beachy Amish now co-operate with anabaptist mission organisations such as Christian Aid Ministries.

You can read more about the Beachy Amish on their website.

Explore posts in the same categories: Amish, Belgium, europe, Germany, Ireland, mission

21 Comments on “Amish Mission to Europe”

  1. Bob Yoder Says:

    I think the belgian mission stopped a few years ago. If what I read was true, a couple and his children went back to America, other people join anabaptist or evangelical local churches. I searched to contact them, but no response. I’ll have to go on place to verify…

    Bob (Belgium)

    • Chris Says:

      Hi Bob,

      Just got a question from Amish friends living in Tennessee if there are still any amish people in Belgium? Where did you try to contact them? Where did they live?

      Chris / Antwerp

      • Bob Says:

        This is an answer one year later…
        The Amish Church was (still is ?) based in Poperinge. I found three different adresses to write to, never get an answer, and one mail came back to me.
        Ik zal deze zomer in Poperinge gaan om te begrijpen wat gebeurt.

  2. Bob,
    Thanks for this clarification of the current status of the Belgian mission. Our reference to the Belgian mission could have been clearer in making the point that James’ Yoder’s book is already some fifteen years old. It serves to show that countries such as Belgian are tough places for cross-cultural missionaries although some sense of satisfaction must remain that former members of the congregation found homes in other anabaptist and evangelical congregations.

    • Bob Says:

      Thanks for this answer. In 2011, the Amish Mission is still recorded as a member of Evangical Churches in Belgium.
      I’ll go on place this summer to see what happens 🙂

  3. Chris Says:

    And Bob? How was it in Poperinge?


  4. Bob Says:

    Dear people,
    I come back, with a bad news. In fact, I finally received an anwser to my questions, via the Mennonite Center of Brussels. The Paul Yoder’s family (Beachy Amish Mission in Belgium) came back to the USA in 2008.
    It’s sad to say, but there is no more Beachy or other Amish in Belgium 😦
    I’ll have to find if hte Ireland congregation exists yet. Please notice ther is one congregation in Poland; Eric wrote about it in AmishAmerica blog.

    Have yourself a merry Christmas,

  5. Robert Says:

    Dear Bob and others,

    The mission in Ireland is still strong and growing. In fact, we as a Dutch family are moving over there next month to join them. We moved to England a couple of years ago and through various contacts discovered that the Conservative Anabaptist way is Gods way. God bless you all.


    • Bob Says:

      Fantastic ! Shall you give us some news, via your blog or any other way ?
      Thank you so much !


      PS : There is a Conservative/Evangelical Anabaptist community in Courtiron, France. Not met yet 🙂

  6. Philip Wood Says:

    I’m grateful for this thread and the article. Some while ago I posted a piece on my blog under the title of ‘Amish in the Uk’:

    It could have been a short article, because at the moment there aren’t Amish in the UK. I am a member of Wood Green Mennonite Church in London. On a personal basis for some years I have been publicly welcoming of the possibility of Amish communities in the UK. Anabaptist history is a painful story here in Britain. Without persecution it is likely that a full spectrum of Anabaptist-Menonite and Hutterite communties would be thriving here. I’m not in possession of any great resources but I would be willing to offer what support I could to Amish communities considering life and mission in Britain. I am also very much interested in seeing Mennonite churches and communities keeping in touch more closely in the British Isles. Shalom, Philip Wood

  7. Bob Says:

    Hello Philip;
    perhaps you could have a contact with the Waterford Amish Mennonite community in Ireland ? I just read an article about them here :

    I juts dreamed about the come back of Amish in Europe; you said the anabaptist history was painful : numbers of histories from the Martyrs Mirror come from our land. Here Anabaptists were persecuted by both Catholics, and Protestants ! We are of course not proud at all about that…

    Today, there are a few mennonite communities in Belgium, and I think some Brethren also. Another research subject::)

    have a nice end of the week,

  8. Veronica Says:

    Hi my name is Veronica I live in France and I would like to know if there is an Amish family here in Europe who’ll need some help , I can learn very fast , its just that I would like to join you how can I do to join you from here?

    Thanks for your answers

  9. Bob Says:

    Bonjour Véronica,
    hélas, il n’y a plus d’Amish en France, mais bien plusieurs communautés de frères, des communautés anabaptistes, etc.
    Le centre mennonite de Paris pourra par courrier, mail ou téléphone, te donner toutes les informations utiles à ce sujet 🙂

    Bonnes recherches !

    • Kenneth Says:

      Bob (or others)
      I know people who have been at Beachy Amish churches in Kiev, Ukraine and Dunmore East, Ireland; as well as locations in Romania and (I think) Poland. I would suggest contacting Christian Aid Ministries if you would like contact information for those churches.
      God bless you,
      Virginia, USA

      • Bob Yoder Says:

        Dera Kenneth,
        thank you so much for your help. It’s indeed a nice way to explore.
        Something a little bit different : In England and Germany, they are also the Bruderhof. They are not strictly Anabaptist, but the founder was accepetd as an Hutterite. They are interesting people, living the community of goods.

        Have a nice week,

  10. Carlos Says:

    Hello from Spain, I’d like to know whether there is any sort of Catholic rural group similar to Amish in Europe because I look forward to joining it. In this case, how to contact them. Thanks in advance, God bless you.

    • Bob Yoder Says:

      Hello Carlos,
      I have no adresses for now to give you.
      Catholic communities are numerous, but a few are really ‘plain’. I suggest you to contact directly your diocese; they will give you the names of local communities.
      An other way is to search in the intentional communities directories on the Net : some of these want to be as plain as possible (England, Germany for the most).

      Hope that will help;
      give us some news please !

      Many blessings to you,

  11. selvin Says:

    I am vey much interested to know about the plain head cover people of menno,amish,anabaptist missions because my ideology is mostly matching with them,please tell me more.

    • Bob Yoder Says:

      Hello Selvin,
      to understand what’s the life and the faith of plain people, the books provided by Kraybill or Nolt are very serious and reliable sources. There is also the Amish America blog, that has plenty of good articles and even discussions with plain people.
      You can of course contact your mennonite or intereeclesial local group to meet them.

      have a nice day,

  12. selvin Says:

    How can I work in co- operation with plain head cover people,because I am a non denominal evangelist working in south tamilnadu,India,Do you have free gospel tracts in our TAMIL language to distribute.please tell me early,thanks.

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