Meidung, or shunning, is the Amish form of expulsion. This usually happens when a member breaches religious guidelines stated in Ordnung or is found guilty of other “crimes,” such as marrying someone who’s not part of the community.
When a member is under the Meidung, they are expelled from the community, and basically, all ties are cut. The shunning can be either temporary or permanent (depending on the act and the person). Until the shunned individual returns, the community won’t sleep with, eat with, or accept gifts from them.
This means that the punished one cannot have any contact with other members of the community, including his family or friends. So yes, Meidung is the most serious punishment Amish people can get. It also lasts until death unless the shunned one confesses before the community.
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