Can an Outsider Ever Truly Become Amish?

Converts offer religious sects some of the strongest support and argument for their unique causes. Do converts often experience an equal manifestation of loyalty among peers of a religious sect or congregation? Are you a convert, or ever been?

Longreads

Kelsey Osgood | Atlas Obscura | March 2016 | 28 minutes (7,014 words)

Our latest Exclusive is a new story by Kelsey Osgood, and is co-funded by Longreads Members and published by Atlas Obscura.

Author’s Note: “Alex” and “Rebecca” are not the real names of two people interviewed. They felt strongly that they should not be identified by name out of respect for their faith’s general belief in the body above the individual.

The road that runs through the main village of Berlin, Ohio, only about 90 minutes south of Cleveland, is called “Amish Country Byway” for its unusual number of non-automotive travelers and it’s true that driving down it, you’ll have to slow down for the horse-drawn buggies that clog up the right lane. But those seeking the “real” Amish experience in downtown Berlin might be disappointed. It’s more Disney than devout: a playground for tourists full…

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