What happens when an Amish person leaves the community? Amish churches are notoriously secretive and often do not let in outsiders. When someone leaves the church, it's difficult and sometimes impossible to return. Amish shunning is a longstanding practice in which church members isolate, ignore, or otherwise punish someone for breaking community rules. Amish excommunication is a complicated process that occurs when someone does something that goes against the church's values. While not all shunning results in Amish full-on banishment, contact with friends and loved one is severely restricted for a shunned individual.
Amish shunning stories are often tragic in nature. Shunned individuals are left isolated with loved ones, often including their parents. The practice has received considerable criticism from outsiders, but the Amish see it as a form of tough love. Amish people believe a person's soul is at risk if they violate the church's values. Whatever you think about Amish people, it's worth your time to familiarize yourself with some of the rules and rituals surrounding excommunication in the Amish church.