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7 Amish Beard Cutting Arrests In Ohio

11/23/2011 11:58 AM ET

7 Amish Beard Cutting Arrests - 7 men have been arrested by authorities in Ohio on federal hate crime charges in beard and hair-cutting attacks against the Amish.

Authorities detained the men Wednesday morning at their compound in eastern Ohio.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland says the men are expected to be arraigned later Wednesday.

Authorities say members of a breakaway Amish group forcefully cut the beards and hair of several Amish men and women in recent months.

Among those arrested Friday are the breakaway group’s leader and three of his sons.

Cutting the hair is a highly offensive act to the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.

The attacks, CBS Affiliate WOIO reports, are believed to have been ordered by the sect’s leader, Bishop Sam Mullet, to humiliate and punish those not considered to have been faithful enough.

Attacks against Amish have been reported in Holmes, Trumbull and Carroll Counties. But local law enforcement says many Amish are unwilling to bring charges against fellow Amish to the police - even charges against their own relatives.

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