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Amish Leader Sam Mullet Accused of Haircut Assaults in Ohio

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

I’m not even making this up.  The men in Amish communities have been known for growing their facial hair.

Amish men start growing their beards when they hit adolescence.  Once the man is married, he stops trimming his beard, and a woman stops cutting her hair.  It’s apparently held in high-esteem in the Amish community.

According to a news story from the Associated Press,

…A breakaway group is accused of attacking mainstream members by cutting off their beards and hair, which carry spiritual significance in the faith.At the center of the dispute is the group’s 66-year-old old leader, Sam Mullet, who said he brought his followers from a community dozens of miles away 15 years ago so they could live by a stricter doctrine without interference.

Hair-cutting attacks against several people, some of them women, have occurred in recent weeks in the area.

Mullet denies ordering beard-cuttings but says he wouldn’t stop them. They’re in response to incessant criticism he has received from other Amish religious leaders about his leadership practices, including excommunicating people in his own group, he said.

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