Amish people share many similar basic Christian beliefs with most other denominations, but they also have a number of their own unique beliefs and practices. Many of these are based on the idea that religious practices and people should be separate from the greater society.
The Amish religion originated from the Mennonite religion, both of which are based on the Swiss Anabaptist tradition. As Anabaptists, Amish people practice adult baptism. Whereas many other Christian denominations baptize infants, Anabaptist religions believe that baptisms should only occur when candidates are adults old enough to decide for themselves what they believe. During an Amish baptism, known as a believer's baptism, a bishop pours water over the person's head three times, once each for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Before Amish people are baptized, they must first affirm the 18 articles of faith in the "Dordrecht Confession," a Dutch Anabaptist document written in 1632. The baptismal candidates must also affirm numerous articles on specific Amish beliefs, including their beliefs in non-violence and the practices of excommunication and shunning. Many of the other Amish beliefs, practices and customs stem from the Amish Ordnung, which is a set of firm rules passed down orally from generation to generation.