The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Feds charge 12

Federal prosecutors expanded the case against members of a breakaway Amish sect for their roles in shaving the hair and beards of religious enemies.

An indictment issued in December lists 12 suspects, including the sect's leader, Samuel Mullet.

Authorities say the attacks were motivated by revenge after Amish leaders refused to accept Mullet's excommunication of eight families that had left his community near Bergholz, Ohio, because they disagreed with his authoritarian leadership.

The indictment accuses Mullet of forcing women to have sex with him so they could learn to please their husbands better. He was also accused of allowing "the community to engage in practices of self-deprivation and corporal punishment" to show their devotion to him.


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February issue


Embracing diversity