Do The Amish Live In Portugal?

October 26, 2012 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy


I received the following question recently from a blog reader:

Hello, my name is Sandra, and I live in Lisbon, Portugal.

I am trying to write a book. I have this idea where I would like to include an Amish community, but I have been looking for the possibility of an Amish Community living in Portugal, but I can´t find any. Is there a possibility of an Amish community living in Portugal?

Thank you for your time.

Best regards


Hi, Sandra.

Occasionally, I get questions from blog readers about the Amish because of this series of Amish blog posts that I wrote a few years ago. People mistakenly consider me an “expert” on the subject, but I only have surface knowledge about the Amish. I can tell you what I know based upon my limited knowledge. You might want to email some Amish authors to get a more in-depth answer.

The Amish immigrated here from Switzerland, I believe? And, right now, they mostly live in the United States and Canada? I’d thought that since they immigrated from a European country, that there would still be some Amish groups in Europe? However, I didn’t see anything about this mentioned when I was doing my research a few years ago.

I did find that there are Mennonites in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s possible that you could focus on that group instead of the Amish? I’m unclear if this Mennonite group is “Old-Order”? Since Amish and Mennonites used to be one group, and since the Mennonites are split from the Amish, the beliefs of both groups overlap. Since you live in that area, you might want to research this. Here’s the link about Mennonites in Portugal.

Are you sure you want to limit your setting to Portugal? According to this short article about the Amish living in Europe, there are Beachy Amish in the Ukraine, Ireland, and Belgium. The difference between Beachy Amish and Old Order Amish is that the Beachy Amish are more liberal.

I hope that helps, Sandra!



~Cecelia Dowdy~

9 Responses to Do The Amish Live In Portugal?

  1. It’s an interesting question and answer.

    • novelistcd says:

      Hi, Hattie

      Yes, both the question and my response are interesting. I have NO IDEA if my information was helpful or not, but, it was all the information that I could glean from the internet. I figured focusing on a Mennonite church would be a nice alternative to an Amish community since I can’t find evidence of one existing in Portugal.

  2. Sandra Diniz says:

    Hi, Cecelia

    Thank you for you answer, and your post on your blogue.
    Your answer was very helpfull. The only idea that we have is that the Amish only live in the USA, and when I was looking on the net, nothing came up, probably because I was only looking on portuguese pages. But with your help I am certanly going to find the answers that I need.
    If I find a comunity here in Portugal, I’ll tell you!

    Thanks again, and best regard’s!
    Sandra Diniz
    Lisbon, Portugal

    • novelistcd says:

      I’m glad you sent me the question, Sandra. I hope you’re able to find an Amish (or maybe Mennonite) community nearby on which to base your story.

  3. Albert says:

    Hi Sandra,

    I´m Canadian citizen, originally from Angola therefore of Portuguese background and I would like to inform you that the Mennonite and Amish communities have there presence here in Southwest part of Ontario namely in the region of Cambridge/Waterloo area in a town called St. Jacobi´s.

    If you go to the internet clique on Mennonites in Ontario and you will be right there with pictures and the entire background about them.

    In fact, last Sunday I was there touring the region and I was absolute delighted observing their daily living. I´m not sure about their existence in Portugal. However, it will be worth to find out about their
    roots in Europe since they left Netherlands. Most of them (Mennonitas and Amish) live and work in the United States and Canada.

    Presently there is a TV show called “Breaking Amish” which relates many aspects of their lives and their way of facing today´s society.


    • Hi, Albert

      Thanks for your response. I would be interesting to find out more about the Amish living in Europe, namely Portugal. I mostly only hear about the Amish living in the United States, but, I find it pretty natural that they’d live in Canada, too.

      I have heard of the Breaking Amish TV series. From what I understand, it’s about those who are leaving the Amish community?

  4. Bob Yoder says:

    Hello everybody;
    for your information :
    – Old Order Amish left Alsace, Swiss and Palatinate from the 18th century. In Alsace, the last congregation was in Ixheim, and joined the Mennonite Church in 1937. There are no more Old Order Amish (horse and buggy) in Europe.
    – From 1950’s, some Amish missions came in Europe. These were Beachy-Amish ones : more liberal, more missionnary, more evangelical, and took place in Germany, France (Alsace), Ukraine, Belgium, etc.
    – In Belgium, Poperinge, the experience stopped in 2011, with the leaving of Paul Yoder’s family.
    – In Poland, one family stayed. Amishamerica’s blog talks about them.
    – In Ireland, the community is growing and well !
    – In Ukraine and Romany, they seem also present today.

    You will find also in Europe :
    – many mennonite or anabaptist churches (France for example)
    – a few Brethren communities
    – some Bruderhof colonies (England, Germany, indireclty linked to the Hutterites)

    At your service,
    and many blessings to all,
    Bob (Belgium).

  5. Anonymous says:

    For Sandra: Yes, they live in Portugal too.

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