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The 192,000 Amish in America are facing increasing threats, both physical and legal. Hate crimes against the community, including shootings at homes, have sharply increased in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, the Associated Press reported. In Ohio, a man who delivered ice to Amish families now faces a murder charge for shooting an Amish prankster.

Legal threats are coming from governments, and Amish communities are fighting for religious freedom exemptions. In Kentucky, it's over photos on driver's licenses. In Zion, Pennsylvania, it's over the right to keep horses in residential areas. Elsewhere in the state, one branch successfully fought an order to put orange reflective triangles on their buggies. Nationally, the Amish are lobbying Congress for an exemption to child labor laws. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone once wrote, "The Jehovah's Witnesses ought to have an endowment in view of the aid which they give in solving the legal problems of civil liberties." It's starting to apply to the Amish, too.


Related Elsewhere



The Associated Press reported that the Amish can skip orange safety tape, on the relaxing of labor laws, hate crimes on the rise in Green County, Wisconsin, the sin of driver's license photos, and an Ohio murder.

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December 2003

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