In the early 16th century, religious reformation swept through Europe. The schism between the Catholic Church and those protesting its overreach and corruption gave birth to Protestantism. Because of differences of opinion and interpretation of scripture, several Protestant sects emerged. One group was the Anabaptists, who believe that to be baptized, a person must first confess his/her faith in Christ. (For this reason, Anabaptists do not believe in christening infants.) From these Anabaptists came three “plain” communities: Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren with Amish being the most conservative.
Starting in the early 1700s, many Anabaptists immigrated to the Americas. In both my and my spouse’s family trees are individuals who practiced (or still practice) these Anabaptist faiths. It is because of my ancestral connection to these religions that I decided to venture beyond my historical fiction “comfort zone” and explore a new genre: contemporary Amish fiction.