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In the second half of the 19th century, the Amish divided into Old Order Amish and Amish Mennonites.The latter do not eschew motor cars, whereas the Old Order Amish retained much of their traditional culture.The district is led by a bishop and several ministers and deacons.The rules of the church, the Ordnung, must be observed by every member and cover many aspects of day-to-day living, including prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing.In addition to excommunication, members may be shunned, During an adolescent period of rumspringa ("running around") in some communities, nonconforming behavior that would result in the shunning of an adult who had made the permanent commitment of baptism, may be met with a degree of forbearance.Amish church groups seek to maintain a degree of separation from the non-Amish world, i.e. Non-Amish people are generally referred to as "English".Today, the Old Order Amish, the New Order Amish, and the Old Beachy Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as "Pennsylvania Dutch", although two different Alemannic dialects are used by Old Order Amish in Adams and Allen counties in Indiana.Most of the Amish continue to have six or seven children, while benefitting from the major decrease in infant and maternal mortality in the 20th century.
The first informal division between Swiss Brethren was recorded in the 17th century between Oberländers (those living in the hills) and Emmentaler (those living in the Emmental valley).
The Emmentalers (sometimes referred to as Reistians, after bishop Hans Reist, a leader among the Emmentalers) argued that fallen believers should only be withheld from communion, and not regular meals.
The Amish argued that those who had been banned should be avoided even in common meals.
The Oberländers were a more extreme congregation; their zeal pushed them into more remote areas and their solitude made them more zealous.
Swiss Anabaptism developed, from this point, in two parallel streams, most clearly marked by disagreement over the preferred treatment of "fallen" believers.
Most Amish do not buy commercial insurance or participate in Social Security.