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Quakers are people who belong to a historically
Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
set of
denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu denominations ** Schools of Buddhism, Buddhist denomination * Denomination (currency) * Denomination ( ...
known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements are generally united by a belief in each human's ability to experience the light within or see "that of God in every one". Some profess a
priesthood of all believers The universal priesthood or the priesthood of all believers is a principle in some branches of Christianity which abrogates the doctrine of holy orders found in some other branches, including the Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: ...
inspired by the
First Epistle of Peter The First Epistle of Peter, usually referred to simply as First Peter and often written 1 Peter, is a book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) i ...
. They include those with
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
,
holiness Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male d ...
,
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
, and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity. There are also
Nontheist Quakers Nontheist Quakers (also known as nontheist Friends or NtFs) are those who engage in Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century ...
, whose spiritual practice does not rely on the existence of God. To differing extents, the Friends avoid
creed A creed, also known as a confession of faith, symbol, or statement of faith, is a statement of the shared belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology ...
s and hierarchical structures. In 2007, there were about 359,000 adult Quakers worldwide. In 2017, there were 377,557 adult Quakers, 49 per cent of them in Africa. Some 89 per cent of Quakers worldwide belong to "evangelical" and "programmed" branches, that hold services with singing and a prepared
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
message coordinated by a pastor. Some 11 per cent practise ''waiting worship'', or ''unprogrammed worship'' (commonly ''Meeting for Worship''), where the unplanned order of service is mainly silent and may include unprepared vocal ministry from those present. Some meetings of both types have
Recorded Minister A Recorded Minister was originally a male or female Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against ...
s present; Friends recognised for their gift of vocal ministry. The proto-evangelical Christian movement known as Quakerism arose in mid-17th-century England from the
Legatine-Arians Image:Catalogue of Sects.GIF, 300px, A broadsheet "Catalogue of the several Sects and Opinions", 1647 The Seekers, or Legatine-Arians as they were sometimes known, were an Kingdom of England, English Protestant Dissenter, dissenting group that emer ...
and other dissenting Protestant groups breaking with the established
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, mona ...
. The Quakers, especially the
Valiant Sixty The Valiant Sixty were a group of early leaders and activists in the Religious Society of Friends Quakers, also called Friends, belong to a historically Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-centu ...
, sought to convert others by travelling through Britain and overseas preaching the Gospel. Some early Quaker ministers were women. They based their message on a belief that "Christ has come to teach his people himself," stressing direct relations with God through Jesus Christ and direct belief in the universal priesthood of all believers. This personal religious experience of
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label= Hebrew/ Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the world's largest religion. He was a fir ...

Christ
was acquired by direct experience and by reading and studying of the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
. Quakers focused their private lives on behaviour and speech reflecting emotional purity and the light of God, with a goal of
Christian perfection Christian perfection is the name given to various teachings within Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , an ...
. Past Quakers were known to use ''thee'' as an ordinary pronoun, refuse to participate in war, wear
plain dress Plain dress is a practice among some religious groups, primarily some Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on th ...
, refuse to swear oaths, oppose slavery, and practise
teetotalism upright=1.2, Share of population who never drink alcohol Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of complete personal abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practises (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler (plural ...
. Some Quakers founded banks and financial institutions, including
Barclays Barclays plc () is a British multinational Investment banking, investment bank and financial services company, headquartered in London, England. Apart from investment banking, Barclays is organised into four core businesses: Retail banking, per ...

Barclays
,
Lloyds
Lloyds
, and
Friends Provident Friends Provident was an organisation offering life insurance based in the London, England. It was founded as a mutual Friendly Society for Quakers, although it was demutualised in 2001 and became a publicly listed company, no longer linked wit ...
; manufacturers including the footwear firm of C. & J. Clark and the big three British
confectionery Confectionery is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, an ...
makers
Cadbury Cadbury, formerly Cadbury's and Cadbury Schweppes, is a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multipl ...

Cadbury
, Rowntree and Fry; and philanthropic efforts, including abolition of slavery,
prison reform Prison reform is the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons, improve the effectiveness of a penal system, or implement alternatives to incarceration. It also focuses on ensuring the reinstatement of those whose lives are impacted by crimes. ...
, and
social justice Social justice is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth Wealth is the abundance of Value (economics), valuable financial assets or property, physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for financial tran ...
. In 1947, Quakers represented by the British Friends Service Council and the
American Friends Service Committee The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (''Quaker'') founded organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. AFSC was founded in 1917 as a combined effort by Ame ...
were awarded a
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel's Will and testament, will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during t ...
.


History


Beginnings in England

During and after the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governance and issues of re ...
(1642–1651) many dissenting Christian groups emerged, including the
Seekers 300px, A broadsheet "Catalogue of the several Sects and Opinions", 1647 The Seekers, or Legatine-Arians as they were sometimes known, were an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, W ...
and others. A young man,
George Fox George Fox (July 1624 – 13 January 1691) was an English Dissenters, English Dissenter, who was a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. The son of a Leicestershire Weaver (occupation), weaver, h ...

George Fox
, was dissatisfied with the teachings of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, mona ...
and
nonconformists Nonconformity or nonconformism may refer to: Culture and society * Insubordination, the act of willfully disobeying an order of one's superior *Dissent, a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to a prevailing idea or entity ** O ...
. He claimed to have received a revelation that "there is one, even Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition", and became convinced that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the aid of ordained clergy. In 1652 he had a
vision Vision or The Vision may refer to: Perception Optical perception * Visual perception Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment (biophysical), environment through photopic vision (daytime vision), color visio ...
on
Pendle Hill Pendle Hill is in the east of Lancashire, England, near the towns of Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Clitheroe and Padiham. Its summit is above mean sea level There are several kinds of mean in mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Gree ...
in Lancashire, England, in which he believed that "the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered". Following this he travelled around England, the Netherlands, and
Barbados Barbados is an in the of the , in the region of , and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, covering an area of . It is in the western part of the North Atlantic, east of the and the . Barbad ...

Barbados
preaching and teaching with the aim of converting new adherents to his faith. The central theme of his Gospel message was that Christ has come to teach his people himself. Fox considered himself to be restoring a true, "pure" Christian church. In 1650, Fox was brought before the
magistrates The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a ''Roman magistrate, magistratus'' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and posse ...
Gervase Bennet Gervase Bennet (born 1612) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England between 1653 and 1659. Bennet coined the term "Quakers" to refer to the Religious Society of Friends. Bennet was Mayor of Derby in 1645 when there was ...
and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious
blasphemy Blasphemy is an insult that shows contempt, disrespect, or lack of reverence concerning a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male de ...
. According to Fox's autobiography, Bennet "was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord". It is thought that Fox was referring to or . Thus the name ''Quaker'' began as a way of ridiculing Fox's admonition, but became widely accepted and used by some Quakers. Quakers also described themselves using terms such as true Christianity, Saints, Children of the Light, and Friends of the Truth, reflecting terms used in the New Testament by members of the early Christian church. Quakerism gained a considerable following in England and Wales, not least among women. An address "To the Reader" by Mary Forster accompanied a Petition to the
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which established the rights of ba ...
presented on 20 May 1659, expressing the opposition of over 7000 women to "the oppression of Tithes".Virginia Blain, Patricia Clements and Isobel Grundy, eds, ''The Feminist Companion to Literature in English. Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present'' (London: Batsford, 1990), p. 388. The overall number of Quakers increased to a peak of 60,000 in England and Wales by 1680 (1.15 per cent of the population of England and Wales). But the dominant discourse of Protestantism viewed the Quakers as a blasphemous challenge to social and political order, leading to official persecution in England and Wales under the
Quaker Act 1662 The Act of Uniformity 1662 (14 Car 2 c 4) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of England. (It was formerly cited as 13 & 14 Charles II of England, Ch.2 c. 4, by reference to the regnal year when it was passed on 19 May 1662.) It pre ...
and the
Conventicle Act 1664 The Conventicle Act 1664 was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of England (16 Charles II of England, Charles II c. 4) that forbade conventicles, defined as religious assemblies of more than five people other than an immediate family, ou ...
. This persecution of Dissenters was relaxed after the
Declaration of Indulgence The Declaration of Indulgence, also called Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, was a pair of proclamation A proclamation (Lat. ''proclamare'', to make public by announcement) is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to mak ...
(1687–1688) and stopped under the
Act of Toleration 1689 The Toleration Act 1688 (1 Will & Mary c 18), also referred to as the Act of Toleration, was an Act of the Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority ...
. One modern view of Quakerism at this time was that the direct relationship with Christ was encouraged through spiritualisation of human relations, and "the redefinition of the Quakers as a holy tribe, 'the family and household of God. Together with
Margaret Fell Margaret Fell or Margaret Fox (1614 – 23 April 1702) was a founder of the Religious Society of Friends. Known popularly as the "mother of Quakerism," she is considered one of the Valiant Sixty early Quaker preachers and missionaries. Her daugh ...

Margaret Fell
, the wife of
Thomas Fell Thomas Fell (1598–1658), was a lawyer, member of parliament and vice-chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principa ...
, who was the vice-chancellor of the
Duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the British sovereign The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarch ...
and an eminent judge, Fox developed new conceptions of family and community that emphasised "holy conversation": speech and behaviour that reflected piety, faith, and love. With the restructuring of the family and household came new roles for women; Fox and Fell viewed the Quaker mother as essential to developing "holy conversation" in her children and husband. Quaker women were also responsible for the spirituality of the larger community, coming together in "meetings" that regulated marriage and domestic behaviour.


Migration to North America

The persecution of Quakers in North America began in July 1656 when English Quaker missionaries Mary Fisher and
Ann AustinAnn Austin (? – 1665) was one of the first Quaker travelling preachers. She and Mary Fisher (missionary), Mary Fisher became the first Quakers to visit the English North American colonies. Mission to the New World Austin was a resident of London a ...
began preaching in Boston. They were considered heretics because of their insistence on individual obedience to the
Inner light Light of God, Light of Christ, Christ within, That of God, Spirit of God within us, Light within, inward light, and inner light are related phrases commonly used within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) as metaphors for Christ's light ...
. They were imprisoned for five weeks and banished by the
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body ...
. Their books were burned, and most of their property confiscated. They were imprisoned in terrible conditions, then deported. In 1660, English Quaker
Mary Dyer Mary Dyer (born Marie Barrett; c. 1611 – 1 June 1660) was an English and colonial American Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic p ...
was hanged near
Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as the Boston Commons. Dating from 1634, it is the oldest Urban park, city park in the United States. The ...

Boston Common
for repeatedly defying a
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Je ...

Puritan
law banning Quakers from the colony. She was one of the four executed Quakers known as the
Boston martyrsThe Boston martyrs is the name given in Quaker tradition to the three English members of the Society of Friends, Marmaduke Stephenson, William Robinson and Mary Dyer, and to the Friend William Leddra of Barbados, who were condemned to death and e ...
. In 1661, forbade Massachusetts from executing anyone for professing Quakerism. In 1684, England revoked the Massachusetts charter, sent over a royal governor to enforce English laws in 1686 and, in 1689, passed a broad Toleration Act. Some Friends migrated to what is now the north-eastern region of the United States in the 1660s in search of economic opportunities and a more tolerant environment in which to build communities of "holy conversation". In 1665 Quakers established a meeting in
Shrewsbury, New Jersey Shrewsbury is a Borough (New Jersey), borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,809, reflecting an increase of 219 (+6.1%) from the 3, ...
(now Monmouth County), and built a meeting house in 1672 that was visited by George Fox in the same year. They were able to establish thriving communities in the
Delaware Valley The Delaware Valley is the valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed by erosion of the la ...
, although they continued to experience persecution in some areas, such as New England. The three colonies that tolerated Quakers at this time were
West Jersey thumbnail, 300px, 1698 map showing West Jersey and Pennsylvania West Jersey and East Jersey were two distinct parts of the Province of New Jersey. The political division existed for 28 years, between 1674 and 1702. Determination of an exact lo ...
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
, and
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...
, where Quakers established themselves politically. In Rhode Island, 36 governors in the first 100 years were Quakers. West Jersey and Pennsylvania were established by affluent Quaker
William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, a North American colony of English overseas poss ...

William Penn
in 1676 and 1682 respectively, with Pennsylvania as an American commonwealth run under Quaker principles. William Penn signed a peace treaty with
Tammany Tamanend or Tammany or Saint Tammany or King Tammany, the "''affable''", (c. 1625–c. 1701) was the Chief of Chiefs and Chief of the Turtle Clan of the Lenape, Lenni-Lenape nation in the Delaware Valley signing the Peace Treaty with William Pe ...
, leader of the Delaware tribe, and other treaties followed between Quakers and Native Americans. This peace endured almost a century, until the Penn's Creek Massacre of 1755. Early colonial Quakers also established communities and meeting houses in North Carolina and Maryland, after fleeing persecution by the Anglican Church in Virginia. In a 2007 interview, author David Yount (''How the Quakers Invented America'') said that Quakers first introduced many ideas that later became mainstream, such as democracy in the Pennsylvania legislature, the
Bill of Rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against Civil and political rights, infringement fr ...

Bill of Rights
to the
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...

U.S. Constitution
from Rhode Island Quakers, trial by jury, equal rights for men and women, and public education. The
Liberty Bell The Liberty Bell, previously called the State House Bell or Old State House Bell, is an iconic symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that c ...

Liberty Bell
was cast by Quakers in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
, Pennsylvania.


Quietism

Early Quakerism tolerated boisterous behaviour that challenged conventional etiquette, but by 1700, they no longer supported disruptive and unruly behaviour. During the 18th century, Quakers entered the ''Quietist'' period in the history of their church, becoming more inward-looking spiritually and less active in converting others. Marrying outside the Society was cause for having one's membership revoked. Numbers dwindled, dropping to 19,800 in England and Wales by 1800 (0.21 per cent of the population), and 13,859 by 1860 (0.07 per cent of population). The formal name "Religious Society of Friends" dates from this period and was probably derived from the appellations "Friends of the Light" and "Friends of the Truth".


Splits

Around the time of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, some American Quakers split from the main Society of Friends over issues such as support for the war, forming groups such as the Free Quakers and the Universal Friends. Later, in the 19th century, there was a diversification of theological beliefs in the Religious Society of Friends, and this led to several larger splits within the movement.


Hicksite–Orthodox split

The Hicksite–Orthodox split arose out of both ideological and socioeconomic tensions. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Hicksites tended to be agrarian and poorer than the more urban, wealthier, Orthodox Quakers. With increasing financial success, Orthodox Quakers wanted to "make the Society a more respectable body – to transform their sect into a church – by adopting mainstream Protestant orthodoxy". Hicksites, though they held a variety of views, generally saw the market economy as corrupting, and believed Orthodox Quakers had sacrificed their orthodox Christian spirituality for material success. Hicksites viewed the Bible as secondary to the individual cultivation of God's light within. With Gurneyite Quakers' shift toward Protestant principles and away from the spiritualisation of human relations, women's role as promoters of "holy conversation" started to decrease. Conversely, within the Hicksite movement the rejection of the market economy and the continuing focus on community and family bonds tended to encourage women to retain their role as powerful arbiters.
Elias Hicks Elias Hicks (March 19, 1748 – February 27, 1830) was a traveling Quaker Quakers, also called Friends, belong to a historically Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a moveme ...
's religious views were claimed to be universalist and to contradict Quakers' historical orthodox Christian beliefs and practices. Hicks' Gospel preaching and teaching precipitated the ''Great Separation'' of 1827, which resulted in a parallel system of Yearly Meetings in America, joined by Friends from Philadelphia, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Baltimore. They were referred to by opponents as Hicksites and by others and sometimes themselves as Orthodox. Quakers in Britain recognised only the Orthodox Quakers and refused to correspond with the Hicksites.


Beaconite controversy

was a
Recorded Minister A Recorded Minister was originally a male or female Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against ...
in
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
. His 1835 book ''A Beacon to the Society of Friends'' insisted that the inner light was at odds with a religious belief in
salvation Salvation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in re ...
by the
atonement Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other e ...
of Christ. This Christian controversy led to Crewdson's resignation from the Religious Society of Friends, along with 48 fellow members of Manchester Meeting and about 250 other British Quakers in 1836–1837. Some of these joined the
Plymouth Brethren The Plymouth Brethren or Assemblies of brethren are a low church, Nonconformist (Protestantism), non-conformist, evangelical Christian movement whose history can be traced back to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s, where they originated from Ang ...
.


Rise of Gurneyite Quakerism, and the Gurneyite–Conservative split

''Orthodox'' Friends became more
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
during the 19th century and were influenced by the
Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Cath ...
. This movement was led by British Quaker
Joseph John Gurney Joseph John Gurney (2 August 1788 – 4 January 1847) was a banker in Norwich Norwich () is a city in Norfolk, on the River Wensum about north-east of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United King ...

Joseph John Gurney
. Christian Friends held
Revival meeting A revival meeting is a series of Christianity, Christian religion, religious services held to inspire active members of a Christian Church, church body to gain new Conversion to Christianity, converts and to call sinners to repent. Nineteenth-centur ...
s in America and became involved in the
Holiness movement #REDIRECT Holiness movement #REDIRECT Holiness movement The Holiness movement involves a set of Christianity, Christian beliefs and practices that emerged chiefly within 19th-century Methodism, and to a lesser extent other traditions such as Quak ...
of churches. Quakers such as and Robert Pearsall Smith became speakers in the religious movement and introduced Quaker phrases and practices to it. British Friends became involved with the
Higher Life movement The Higher Life movement, also known as the Keswick movement or Keswickianism, is a Protestant theologies, Protestant theological tradition within evangelical Christianity that espouses a distinct teaching on the doctrine of entire sanctification ...
, with Robert Wilson from
Cockermouth Cockermouth is a market town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the Allerdale, Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria, England, so named because it is at the confluence of the River Cocker, Cumbria, River Cocker as it flows into the Rive ...
meeting founding the
Keswick Convention The Keswick Convention is an annual gathering of Conservative evangelicalism in the United Kingdom, conservative evangelical Christians in Keswick, Cumbria, Keswick, in the English county of Cumbria. The Christian theological tradition of Keswi ...
. From the 1870s it became common in Britain to have "home mission meetings" on Sunday evening with Christian hymns and a Bible-based sermon, alongside the silent meetings for worship on Sunday morning. The Quaker Yearly Meetings supporting the religious beliefs of Joseph John Gurney were known as ''Gurneyite'' yearly meetings. Many eventually collectively became the Five Years Meeting and then the
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
, although London Yearly Meeting, which had been strongly Gurneyite in the 19th century, did not join either of these. Such Quaker yearly meetings make up the largest proportion of Quakers in the world today. Some Orthodox Quakers in America disliked the move towards evangelical Christianity and saw it as a dilution of Friends' traditional orthodox Christian belief in being inwardly led by the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
. These Friends were headed by John Wilbur, who was expelled from his yearly meeting in 1842. He and his supporters formed their own Conservative Friends Yearly Meeting. Some UK Friends broke away from the London Yearly Meeting for the same reason in 1865. They formed a separate body of Friends called Fritchley General Meeting, which remained distinct and separate from London Yearly Meeting until 1968. Similar splits took place in Canada. The Yearly Meetings that supported John Wilbur's religious beliefs were known there as Conservative Friends.


Richmond Declaration

In 1887, a Gurneyite Quaker of British descent, Joseph Bevan Braithwaite, proposed to Friends a statement of faith known as the Richmond Declaration. This statement of faith was agreed to by 95 of the representatives at a meeting of Friends United Meeting, Five Years Meeting Friends, but unexpectedly the Richmond Declaration was not adopted by London Yearly Meeting because a vocal minority, including Edward Grubb (Quaker), Edward Grubb, opposed it.


Missions to Asia and Africa

Following the Christian revivals in the mid-19th century, Friends in Great Britain sought also to start missionary activity overseas. The first missionaries were sent to Benares (Varanasi), in India, in 1866. The Friends Foreign Mission Association was formed in 1868 and sent missionaries to Madhya Pradesh, India, forming what is now the Mid-India Yearly Meeting. Later it spread to Madagascar from 1867, China from 1896, Sri Lanka from 1896, and Pemba Island from 1897. The Friends Syrian Mission was established in 1874, which among other institutions ran the Ramallah Friends Schools, which still exist today. The Swiss missionary Theophilus Waldmeier founded Brummana High School in Lebanon in 1873, Evangelical Friends Churches from Ohio Yearly Meeting sent missionaries to India in 1896, forming what is now Bundelkhand Yearly Meeting. Cleveland Friends went to Mombasa, Kenya, and started what became the most successful Friends' mission. Their Quakerism spread within Kenya and to Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda.


Theory of evolution

The theory of evolution as described in Charles Darwin, Charles Darwin's ''On the Origin of Species'' (1859) was opposed by many Quakers in the 19th century, particularly by older evangelical Quakers who dominated the Religious Society of Friends in Great Britain. These older Quakers were suspicious of Darwin's theory and believed that natural selection could not explain life on its own. The influential Quaker scientist Edward Newman (entomologist), Edward Newman said that the theory was "not compatible with our notions of creation as delivered from the hands of a Creator". However, some young Friends such as John Wilhelm Rowntree and Edward Grubb (Quaker), Edward Grubb supported Darwin's theories, using the doctrine of progressive revelation. In the United States, Joseph Moore taught the theory of evolution at the Quaker Earlham College as early as 1861. This made him one of the first teachers to do so in the Midwest. Acceptance of the theory of evolution became more widespread in Yearly Meetings who moved toward liberal Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, creationism predominates within evangelical Friends Churches, particularly in East Africa and parts of the United States.


Quaker Renaissance

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the so-called Quaker Renaissance movement began within London Yearly Meeting. Young Friends in London Yearly Meeting at this time moved away from evangelicalism and towards liberal Christianity. This movement was particularly influenced by Rowntree, Grubb, and Rufus Jones (writer), Rufus Jones. Such Liberal Friends promoted the theory of evolution, modern biblical criticism, and the social meaning of Christ's teaching – encouraging Friends to follow the New Testament example of Christ by performing good works. These men downplayed the evangelical Quaker belief in the
atonement Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other e ...
of Christ on the Cross at Calvary. After the Manchester Conference in England in 1895, one thousand British Friends met to consider the future of British Quakerism, and as a result, Liberal Quaker thought gradually increased within the London Yearly Meeting.


Conscientious objection

During World War I and World War II, Friends' opposition to war was put to the test. Many Friends became conscientious objectors and some formed the Friends Ambulance Unit, aiming at "co-operating with others to build up a new world rather than fighting to destroy the old", as did the
American Friends Service Committee The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (''Quaker'') founded organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. AFSC was founded in 1917 as a combined effort by Ame ...
. Birmingham in England had a strong Quaker community during the war. Many British Quakers were conscripted into the Non-Combatant Corps during both world wars.


World Committee for Consultation

After the two world wars had brought the different Quaker strands closer together, Friends from different yearly meetings – many having served together in the Friends Ambulance Unit or the American Friends Service Committee, or in other relief work – later held several Quaker World Conferences. This brought about a standing body of Friends: the Friends World Committee for Consultation.


Evangelical Friends

A growing desire for a more fundamentalist approach among some Friends after the First World War began a split among Friends United Meeting, Five Years Meetings. In 1926, Oregon Yearly Meeting seceded from the Friends United Meeting, Five Years Meeting, bringing together several other yearly meetings and scattered monthly meetings. In 1947, the Association of Evangelical Friends was formed, with triennial meetings until 1970. In 1965, this was replaced by the Evangelical Friends Alliance, which in 1989 became Evangelical Friends Church International.


Role of women

In the 1650s, individual Quaker women prophesied and preached publicly, developing charismatic personae and spreading the sect. This practice was bolstered by the movement's firm concept of spiritual equality for men and women. Moreover, Quakerism initially was propelled by the nonconformist behaviours of its followers, especially women who broke from social norms. By the 1660s, the movement had gained a more structured organisation, which led to separate women's meetings. Through the women's meetings, women oversaw domestic and community life, including marriage. From the beginning, Quaker women, notably
Margaret Fell Margaret Fell or Margaret Fox (1614 – 23 April 1702) was a founder of the Religious Society of Friends. Known popularly as the "mother of Quakerism," she is considered one of the Valiant Sixty early Quaker preachers and missionaries. Her daugh ...

Margaret Fell
, played an important role in defining Quakerism. Others active in proselytising included Mary Penington, Mary Mollineux and Barbara Blaugdone. Quaker women published at least 220 texts during the 17th century. However, some Quakers resented the power of women in the community. In the early years of Quakerism, George Fox faced resistance in developing and establishing women's meetings. As controversy increased, Fox did not fully adhere to his agenda. For example, he established the London Six Weeks Meeting in 1671 as a regulatory body, led by 35 women and 49 men. Even so, conflict culminated in the Wilkinson–Story split, in which a portion of the Quaker community left to worship independently in protest at women's meetings. After several years, this schism became largely resolved, testifying to the resistance of some within the Quaker community and to the spiritual role of women that Fox and Margaret Fell had encouraged. Particularly within the relatively prosperous Quaker communities of the eastern United States, the focus on the child and "holy conversation" gave women unusual community power, although they were largely excluded from the market economy. With the Hicksite–Orthodox split of 1827–1828, Orthodox women found their spiritual role decreased, while Hicksite women retained greater influence.


Friends in business

Described as "natural capitalists" by the BBC, many Quakers were successful in a variety of industries. Two notable examples were Abraham Darby I and Edward Pease (railway pioneer), Edward Pease. Darby and his family played an important role in the British Industrial Revolution with their innovations in ironmaking. Pease, a Darlington manufacturer, was the main promoter of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which was the world’s first public railway to use steam locomotives. Other industries with prominent Quaker businesses included banking (Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays PLC, Backhouse's Bank and Gurney's Bank); life assurance (
Friends Provident Friends Provident was an organisation offering life insurance based in the London, England. It was founded as a mutual Friendly Society for Quakers, although it was demutualised in 2001 and became a publicly listed company, no longer linked wit ...
); shipbuilding, (John Wigham Richardson of Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson); pharmaceuticals (Allen & Hanburys); chocolate (
Cadbury Cadbury, formerly Cadbury's and Cadbury Schweppes, is a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multipl ...

Cadbury
, Terry's, and J. S. Fry & Sons, Fry's); confectionery ( Rowntree); biscuit manufacturing (Huntley & Palmers); match manufacture (Bryant & May,) and shoe manufacturing (C. & J. Clark, Clarks). In the United States, the prominent department store chain Strawbridge & Clothier of Philadelphia was owned by Quakers.


International development

International volunteering organisations such as Service Civil International and International Voluntary Service were founded by leading Quakers. Eric Baker (activist), Eric Baker, a prominent Quaker, was one of the founders of Amnesty International and of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The Quaker Edith Pye established a national Famine Relief Committee in May 1942, encouraging a network of local famine relief committees, among the most energetic of which was the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, Oxfam. Irving Stowe, Irving and Dorothy Stowe co-founded Greenpeace with many other environmental activists in 1971, shortly after becoming Quakers.


Friends in education

Initially, Quakers had no ordained clergy, and so needed no seminary, seminaries for theological training. In England, Quaker schools sprang up, with Friends School Saffron Walden being the most prominent. Quaker schools in the UK and Ireland are still supported by The Friends' Schools' Council. Quakers in America founded the William Penn Charter School (1689), Abington Friends School (1697), Wilmington Friends School (1748), Moses Brown School (1784) Moorestown Friends School (1785), Westtown School (1799), Germantown Friends School (1845), Scattergood Friends School (1890), Haverford College (1833), Guilford College (1837), Olney Friends School (1837), Pickering College (1842), Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion (1847), Swarthmore College (1864), Wilmington College (Ohio) (1870), William Penn University, Penn College (Iowa) (1873), Bryn Mawr College (1885), Friends Pacific Academy (now George Fox University, 1885), Malone University, Cleveland Bible College (now Malone University, 1892), George School (1893), Friends University (1898), Training School for Christian Workers (now Azusa Pacific University, 1899), Whittier College (1901), Barclay College, Friends Bible College (now Barclay College, 1917) and John Woolman School(1963). In Australia, the Friends' School, Hobart founded in 1887 has grown into the largest Quaker school in the world. In Britain, Woodbrooke College was organised in 1903. In Kenya, Quakers founded the Friends Bible Institute (now Friends Theological College) in Kaimosi, Kenya, in 1942.


Friends and slavery

Some Quakers in America and Britain became known for their involvement in the abolitionist movement. But until the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, it was fairly common for History of slavery in Pennsylvania#British colony, Friends in Colonial America to own slaves. During the early to mid-1700s, disquiet about this practice arose among Friends, best exemplified by the testimonies of Benjamin Lay, Anthony Benezet and John Woolman, and this resulted in an abolition movement among Friends. By the beginning of the American Revolution, few Friends owned slaves. At the war's end in 1783, Yarnall family members along with fellow Meeting House Friends made a failed petition to the Continental Congress to abolish slavery in the United States. In 1790, the Society of Friends petitioned the United States Congress to abolish slavery. One example of a reversal in sentiment about slavery took place in the life of Moses Brown, one of four Rhode Island brothers who, in 1764, organized and funded the tragic and fateful voyage of the slave ship ''Sally''. Brown broke away from his three brothers, became an abolitionist, and converted to Christian Quakerism. During the 19th century, Quakers such as Levi Coffin and Isaac Hopper, played a major role in helping enslaved people escape through the Underground Railroad. Black Quaker Paul Cuffe, a sea captain and businessman, was active in the abolitionist and American Colonization Society, resettlement movement in the early part of that century. Quaker Laura Smith Haviland, with her husband, established the first station on the Underground Railroad in Michigan. Later, Haviland befriended Sojourner Truth, who called her the Superintendent of the Underground Railroad. However, in the 1830s, the abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist Grimké sisters dissociated themselves from the Quakers "when they saw that Negro Quakers were segregated in separate pews in the Philadelphia meeting house."


Theology

Quakers' theological beliefs vary considerably. Tolerance of dissent widely varies among yearly meetings. Most Friends believe in continuing revelation: that God continuously reveals truth directly to individuals. George Fox, an "Valiant Sixty, early Friend", said, "Christ has come to teach His people Himself." Friends often focus on trying to hear God. As Isaac Penington (Quaker), Isaac Penington wrote in 1670, "It is not enough to hear of Christ, or read of Christ, but this is the thing – to feel him to be my root, my life, and my foundation..." Quakers reject the idea of priests, believing in the
priesthood of all believers The universal priesthood or the priesthood of all believers is a principle in some branches of Christianity which abrogates the doctrine of holy orders found in some other branches, including the Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: ...
. Some express their concept of God using phrases such as "the inner light", "inward light of Christ", or "Holy Spirit". Diverse theological beliefs, understandings of the "leading of the Holy Spirit" and statements of "faith and practice" have always existed among Friends. Due in part to the emphasis on immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit, Quaker doctrines have only at times been codified as statements of faith, confessions or theological texts. Those that exist include the ''Letter to the Governor of Barbados'' (George Fox, Fox, 1671), ''An Apology for the True Christian Divinity'' (Robert Barclay, Barclay, 1678), ''A Catechism and Confession of Faith'' (Robert Barclay, Barclay, 1690), ''The Testimony of the Society of Friends on the Continent of America'' (adopted jointly by all Friends United Meeting, Orthodox yearly meetings in the United States, 1830), the ''Richmond Declaration, Richmond Declaration of Faith'' (adopted by Friends United Meeting, Five Years Meeting, 1887), and ''Essential Truths'' (Rufus Jones (writer), Jones and Wood, adopted by Friends United Meeting, Five Years Meeting, 1922). Most yearly meetings make a public statement of faith in their own Book of Discipline (Quaker), Book of Discipline, expressing Christian discipleship within the experience of Friends in that yearly meeting.


Conservatives

Conservative Friends (also known as "Wilburites" after their founder, John Wilbur), share some of the beliefs of Fox and the Early Friends. Many Wilburites see themselves as the Quakers whose beliefs are truest to original Quaker doctrine, arguing that the majority of Friends "broke away" from the Wilburites in the 19th and 20th centuries (rather than vice versa). Conservative Friends place their trust in the immediate guidance of God. They reject all forms of religious symbolism and outward sacraments, such as the Eucharist and water baptism. Conservative Friends do not believe in relying upon the practice of outward rites and sacraments in their living relationship with God through Christ, believing that holiness can exist in all of the activities of one's daily life – and that all of life is sacred in God. Many believe that a meal held with others can become a form of Communion (Christianity), communion with God and with one another. Conservative Friends in the United States are part of three small Quaker Yearly Meetings in Ohio, North Carolina and Iowa. Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative) is generally considered the most Bible-centred of the three, retaining Christian Quakers who use plain language, wear plain dress, and are more likely to live in villages or rural areas than the Conservative Friends from their other two Yearly Meetings. In 2007, total membership of such Yearly Meetings was around 1642, making them around 0.4 per cent of the world family of Quakers.


Evangelical

Evangelical Friends regard Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, and have similar religious beliefs to other
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
Christians. They believe in and hold a high regard for penal substitution of the
atonement Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other e ...
of Christ on the Cross at Calvary, biblical infallibility, and the need for all to experience a relationship with God personally. They believe that the Evangelical Friends Church is intended to evangelise the unsaved of the world, to transform them spiritually through God's love and through social service to others. They regard the Bible as the infallible, self-authenticating Word of God. The statement of faith of Evangelical Friends International is comparable to that of other Evangelical churches. Those who are members of Evangelical Friends International are mainly located in the United States, Central America and Asia. Beginning in the 1880s, some Friends began using outward sacraments in their Sunday services, first in Evangelical Friends Church–Eastern Region (then known as Ohio Yearly Meeting [Damascus]). Friends Church–Southwest Region also approved such a practice. In places where Evangelical Friends engage in missionary work, such as Africa, Latin America and Asia, adult baptism by immersion in water occurs. In this they differ from most other branches of the Religious Society of Friends. EFCI in 2014 was claiming to represent more than 140,000 Friends, some 39 per cent of the total number of Friends worldwide.


Gurneyites

Gurneyite Friends (also known as Friends United Meeting Friends) are modern followers of the Evangelical Quaker theology specified by
Joseph John Gurney Joseph John Gurney (2 August 1788 – 4 January 1847) was a banker in Norwich Norwich () is a city in Norfolk, on the River Wensum about north-east of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United King ...

Joseph John Gurney
, a 19th-century British Friend. They make up 49 per cent of the total number of Quakers worldwide. They see Jesus Christ as their Teacher and Lord and favour close work with other Protestant Christian churches. Gurneyite Friends balance the Bible's authority as inspired words of God with personal, direct experience of God in their lives. Both children and adults take part in religious education, which emphasises orthodox Christian teaching from the Bible, in relation to both orthodox Christian Quaker history and Quaker testimonies. Gurneyite Friends subscribe to a set of orthodox Christian doctrines, such as those found in the Richmond Declaration of faith. In later years conflict arose among Gurneyite Friends over the Richmond Declaration of faith, but after a while, it was adopted by nearly all of Gurneyite yearly meetings. The Five Years Meeting of Friends reaffirmed its loyalty to the Richmond Declaration of faith in 1912, but specified that it was not to constitute a Christian creed. Although Gurneyism was the main form of Quakerism in 19th-century Britain, Gurneyite Friends today are found also in America, Ireland, Africa and India. Many Gurneyite Friends combine "waiting" (unprogrammed) worship with practices commonly found in other Protestant Christian churches, such as readings from the Bible and singing hymns. A small minority of Gurneyite Friends practice wholly unprogrammed worship.


Holiness

Holiness Friends are heavily influenced by the
Holiness movement #REDIRECT Holiness movement #REDIRECT Holiness movement The Holiness movement involves a set of Christianity, Christian beliefs and practices that emerged chiefly within 19th-century Methodism, and to a lesser extent other traditions such as Quak ...
, in particular John Wesley's doctrine of Christian perfection, also called "entire sanctification". This states that loving God and humanity totally, as exemplified by Christ, enables believers to rid themselves of voluntary sin. This was a dominant view within Quakerism in the United Kingdom and United States in the 19th century, and influenced other branches of Quakerism. Holiness Friends argue (leaning on writings that include George Fox's message of ''perfection'') that early Friends had this understanding of holiness. Today, some Friends hold holiness beliefs within most yearly meetings, but it is the predominant theological view of Central Yearly Meeting of Friends, (founded in 1926 specifically to promote holiness theology) and the Holiness Mission of the Bolivian Evangelical Friends Church (founded by missionaries from that meeting in 1919, the largest group of Friends in Bolivia).


Liberal

Liberal Quakerism generally refers to Friends who take ideas from liberal Christianity, often sharing a similar mix of ideas, such as more critical Biblical hermeneutics, often with a focus on the social gospel. The ideas of ''that of God in everyone'' and the ''inner light'' were popularised by the American Friend Rufus Jones (writer), Rufus Jones in the early 20th century, he and John Wilhelm Rowntree originating the movement. Liberal Friends predominated in Britain in the 20th century, among US meetings affiliated to Friends General Conference, and some meetings in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These ideas remain important in Liberal Friends' understanding of God. They highlight the importance of good works, particularly living a life that upholds the virtues preached by Jesus. They often emphasise pacifism, treating others equally, living simply, and telling the truth. Like Conservative Friends, Liberal Friends reject religious symbolism and sacraments such as water baptism and the Eucharist. While Liberal Friends recognise the potential of these outward forms for awakening experiences of the Inward Light of the World, Light of Christ, they are not part of their worship and are thought unnecessary to authentic Christian spirituality. The Bible remains central to most Liberal Friends' worship. Almost all meetings make it available in the Friends Meeting House, meeting house, (often on a table in the centre of the room), which attendees may read privately or publicly during worship. But Liberal Friends decided that the Scriptures should give way to God's lead, if God leads them in a way contrary to the Bible. Many Friends are also influenced by liberal Christian theologians and modern Biblical criticism. They often adopt non-propositional Biblical hermeneutics, such as believing that the Bible is an anthology of human authors' beliefs and feelings about God, rather than Holy Writ, and that multiple interpretations of the Scriptures are acceptable. Liberal Friends believe that a corporate confession of faith would be an obstacle – both to authentic listening and to new insight. As a non-creed form of Christianity, Liberal Quakerism is receptive to a wide range of understandings of religion. Most Liberal Quaker Yearly Meetings publish a Book of Discipline (Quaker), Faith and Practice containing a range of religious experiences of what it means to be a Friend in that Yearly Meeting.


Universalist

Universalist Friends affirm religious pluralism: there are many different paths to God and understandings of the divine reached through non-Christian religious experiences, which are as valid as Christian understandings. The group was founded in the late 1970s by John Linton, who had worshipped with the Delhi Worship Group in India (an independent meeting unaffiliated to any yearly meeting or wider Quaker group) with Christians, Muslims and Hindus worshipping together. After moving to Britain, Linton founded the Quaker Universalist Fellowship in 1978. Later his views spread to the United States, where the Quaker Universalist Fellowship was founded in 1983. Most of the Friends who joined these two fellowships were Liberal Friends from the Britain Yearly Meeting in the United Kingdom and from Friends General Conference in the United States. Interest in Quaker Universalism is low among Friends from other Yearly meetings. The views of the Universalists provoked controversy in the 1980s among themselves and Christian Quakers within the Britain Yearly Meeting, and within Friends General Conference. Despite the label, Quaker Universalists are not necessarily Christian Universalism, Christian Universalists, embracing the doctrine of universal reconciliation.


Non-theists

A minority of Friends have views similar to post-Christian non-theists in other churches such as the Sea of Faith, which emerged from the Anglican church. They are predominantly atheists, agnostics and humanists who still value membership in a religious organization. The first organisation for non-theist Friends was the ''Humanistic Society of Friends'', founded in Los Angeles in 1939. This remained small and was absorbed into the American Humanist Association. More recently, interest in non-theism resurfaced, particularly under the British Friend David Boulton, who founded the 40-member ''Nontheist Friends Network'' in 2011. Non-theism is controversial, leading some Christian Quakers from within Britain Yearly Meeting to call for non-theists to be denied membership. In one study of Friends in the Britain Yearly Meeting, some 30 per cent of Quakers had views described as non-theism, non-theistic, agnostic, or atheist. Another study found that 75.1 per cent of the 727 members of the Religious Society of Friends who completed the survey said that they consider themselves to be Christian and 17.6 per cent that they did not, while 7.3 per cent either did not answer or circled both answers. A further 22 per cent of Quakers did not consider themselves Christian, but fulfilled a definition of being a Christian in that they said that they devoutly followed the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. In the same survey, 86.9 per cent said they believed in God.


Practical theology

Quakers bear witness or ''Religious testimony, testify'' to their religious beliefs in their spiritual lives, drawing on the Epistle of James, James advice that ''faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead''. This religious witness is rooted in their immediate experience of God and verified by the Bible, especially in Jesus Christ's life and teachings. They may bear witness in many ways, according to how they believe God is leading them. Although Quakers share how they relate to God and the world, mirroring Christian ethical codes, for example the Sermon on the Mount or the Sermon on the Plain, Friends argue that they feel personally moved by God rather than following an ethical code. Some theologians classify Friends' religious witness into categories—known by some Friends as ''Testimonies.'' These Friends believe these principles and practices testify to, witness to, or provide evidence for God's truth. No categorisation is universally accepted. In the United Kingdom, the acronym STEPS is sometimes used (Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace, and Sustainability) to help remember the Testimonies, although most Quakers just use the full words. In his book ''Quaker Speak'', British Friend Alastair Heron, lists the following ways in which British Friends have historically applied the Testimonies to their lives: Opposition to betting and gambling, Capital punishment#Quakers, capital punishment, conscription, hat honour (the largely historical practice of dipping one's hat toward social superiors), Testimony of Integrity#Oaths and fair-dealing, oaths, History of the Religious Society of Friends#Abolition of Slavery, slavery, #Calendar and church holidays, times and seasons, and tithe, tithing. Promotion of Testimony of Integrity, integrity (or truth), Peace Testimony, peace, penal reform, plain language, relief of suffering, Testimony of Simplicity, simplicity, social order, Sunday observance, sustainability, temperance and moderation. In East Africa, Friends teach peace and non-violence, simplicity, honesty, equality, humility, marriage and sexual ethics (defining marriage as lifelong between one man and one woman), sanctity of life (opposition to abortion), cultural conflicts and Christian life. In the United States, the acronym SPICES is often used by many Yearly Meetings (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship). Stewardship is not recognised as a Testimony by all Yearly Meetings. Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting Friends put their faith in action through living their lives by the following principles: prayer, personal integrity, stewardship (which includes giving away minimum of 10% income and refraining from lotteries), marriage and family (lifelong commitment), regard for mind and body (refraining from certain amusements, propriety and modesty of dress, abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and drugs), peace and non-violence (including refusing to participate in war), abortion (opposition to abortion, practical ministry to women with unwanted pregnancy and promotion of adoption), human sexuality, the Christian and state (look to God for authority, not the government), capital punishment (find alternatives), human equality, women in ministry (recognising women and men have an equal part to play in ministry). The Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association lists as testimonies: Integrity, Peace, Simplicity, Equality and Community; Areas of witness lists Children, Education, Government, Sexuality and Harmony with Nature.


Calendar and church holidays

Quakers traditionally use numbers for naming the months and days of the week, something they call the plain calendar. This does not use names of calendar units derived from the names of pagan deities. The week begins with First Day (Sunday) and ends with Seventh Day (Saturday). Months run from First (January) to Twelfth (December). This rests on the terms used in the Bible, e.g. that Jesus Christ's followers went to the tomb early on the First Day. The plain calendar emerged in the 17th century in England in the
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Je ...

Puritan
movement, but became closely identified with Friends by the end of the 1650s, and was commonly employed into the 20th century. It is less commonly found today. The term ''First Day School'' is commonly used for what is called by other churches ''Sunday School''. From 1155 to 1751, the English calendar (and that of Wales, Ireland and the British colonies overseas) marked March 25 as the first day of the year. For this reason, Quaker records of the 17th and early 18th centuries usually referred to March as First Month and February as Twelfth Month. Like other Christian denominations derived from 16th-century Puritanism, many Friends eschew religious festivals (e.g. Christmas, Lent, or Easter), but believe that Christ's birth, crucifixion and resurrection, should be marked every day of the year. For example, many Quakers feel that fasting in Lent, but then eating in excess at other times of the year is hypocrisy. Many Quakers, rather than observing Lent, live a simple lifestyle all the year round (see ''testimony of simplicity''). Such practices are called the ''testimony against times and seasons''. Some Friends are non-Sabbatarians, holding that "every day is the Lord's day," and that what should be done on a First Day should be done every day of the week, although Meeting for Worship is usually held on a First Day, after the advice first issued by elders in 1656.


Worship

Most groups of Quakers meet for regular worship. There are two main types of worship worldwide: programmed worship and waiting worship.


Programmed worship

In ''programmed worship'' there is often a prepared Biblical message, which may be delivered by an individual with theological training from a Bible College. There may be hymns, a sermon, Bible readings, joint prayers and a period of silent worship. The worship resembles the church services of other Protestant denominations, although in most cases does not include the Eucharist. A paid pastor may be responsible for pastoral care. Worship of this kind is celebrated by about 89 per cent of Friends worldwide. It is found in many Yearly Meetings in Africa, Asia and parts of the US (central and southern), and is common in programmed meetings affiliated to
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
, (who make up around 49 per cent of worldwide membership), and evangelical meetings, including those affiliated to Evangelical Friends International, (who make up at least 40 per cent of Friends worldwide.) The religious event is sometimes called a Quaker meeting for worship or sometimes a Friends church service. This tradition arose among Friends in the United States in the 19th century, and in response to many converts to Christian Quakerism during the national Great awakening, spiritual revival of the time. Friends meetings in Africa and Latin America were generally started by Orthodox Friends from programmed elements of the Society, so that most African and Latin American Friends worship in a programmed style. Some Friends hold Semi-Programmed Worship, which brings programmed elements such as hymns and readings into an otherwise unprogrammed service of worship.


Unprogrammed worship

''Unprogrammed worship'' (also known as ''waiting worship'', "silent worship", or ''holy communion in the manner of Friends)'' rests on the practices of George Fox and Early Friends, who based their beliefs and practices on their interpretation of how early Christians worshipped God their Heavenly Father. Friends gather together in "expectant waiting upon God" to experience his still small voice leading them from within. There is no plan on how the meeting will proceed, and practice varies widely between Meetings and individual worship services. Friends believe that God plans what will happen, with his spirit leading people to speak. A participant who feels led to speak will stand and share a spoken message ("Christian ministry, vocal ministry") in front of others. When this happens, Quakers believe that the spirit of God is speaking through the speaker. After someone has spoken, it is customary to allow a few minutes to pass in silence for reflection on what was said, before further vocal ministry is given. Sometimes a meeting is quite silent, sometimes many speak. These meetings lasted for several hours in George Fox's day. Modern meetings are often limited to an hour, ending when two people (usually the Elder (Christianity)#Quakers (Religious Society of Friends), elders) exchange the sign of peace by a handshake. This handshake is often shared by the others. This style of worship is the norm in Britain, Ireland, the continent of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Canada, and parts of the United States (particularly yearly meetings associated with Friends General Conference and Beanite Quakerism)—constituting about 11 per cent of Quakers. Those who worship in this way hold each person to be equal before God and capable of knowing Light of the World, the light of God directly. Anyone present may speak if feeling led to do so. Traditionally,
Recorded Minister A Recorded Minister was originally a male or female Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against ...
s were recognised for their particular gift in vocal ministry. This practice continues among ''Conservative'' Friends and ''Liberal Friends'' (e.g. New York Yearly Meeting,), but many meetings where Liberal Friends predominate abolished this practice. London Yearly Meeting of Friends abolished the acknowledging and recording of
Recorded Minister A Recorded Minister was originally a male or female Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against ...
s in 1924.


Governance and organisation


Organisational government and polity

Ecclesiastical polity, Governance and decision-making are conducted at a special meeting for worship – often called a ''meeting for worship with a concern for business'' or ''meeting for worship for church affairs'', where all members can attend, as in a Congregationalist polity, Congregational church. Quakers consider this a form of worship, conducted in the manner of meeting for worship. They believe it is a gathering of believers who ''wait upon the Lord'' to discover God's will, believing they are not making their own decisions. They seek to understand God's will for the religious community, via the actions of the Holy Spirit within the meeting. As in a meeting for worship, each member is expected to listen to God, and if led by Him, stand up and contribute. In some business meetings, Friends wait for the Clerk (Quaker), clerk to acknowledge them before speaking. Direct replies to someone's contribution are not permitted, with an aim of seeking truth rather than debate. A decision is reached when the meeting as a whole feels that the "way forward" has been discerned (also called "coming to unity"). There is no voting. On some occasions Friends may delay a decision because they feel the meeting is not following God's will. Others (especially non-Friends) may describe this as consensus decision-making; however, Friends in general continue to seek God's will. It is assumed that if everyone is attuned to God's spirit, the way forward becomes clear.


International organization

Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is the international Quaker organization that loosely unifies the different religious traditions of Quakers; FWCC brings together the largest variety of Friends in the world. Friends World Committee for Consultation is divided into four sections to represent different regions of the world: Africa, Asia West Pacific, Europe and Middle East, and the Americas. Various organizations associated with Friends include a United States' lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C. called the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL); service organizations such as the
American Friends Service Committee The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (''Quaker'') founded organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. AFSC was founded in 1917 as a combined effort by Ame ...
(AFSC), the Quaker United Nations Offices, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Friends Committee on Scouting, the Quaker Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Alternatives to Violence Project.


Yearly meetings

Quakers today are organised into independent and regional, national bodies called Yearly Meetings, which have often split from one another over doctrinal differences. Several such unite Quakers who share similar religious beliefs – for example Evangelical Friends Church International unites evangelicalism, evangelical Christian Friends;
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
unites Friends into "fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord;" and Friends General Conference links Quakers with non-creed, liberal religious beliefs. Many Quaker Yearly Meetings also belong to the Friends World Committee for Consultation, an international fellowship of Yearly Meetings from different Quaker traditions.


Membership

A Friend is a member of a Yearly Meeting, usually beginning with membership in a local monthly meeting. Means of acquiring membership vary. For example, in most Kenyan yearly meetings, attenders who wish to become members must take part in some two years' adult education, memorising key Bible passages, and learning about the history of orthodox Christianity and of Christian Quakerism. Within the Britain Yearly Meeting, membership is acquired through a process of peer review, where a potential member is visited by several members, who report to the other members before a decision is reached. Within some Friends Churches in the Evangelical Friends Church – in particular in Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of the United States – an adult believer's baptism by immersion in water is optional. Within Liberal Friends, Conservative Friends, and Pastoral Friends Churches, Friends do not practise baptism, water baptism, infant baptism, Christening, or other initiation ceremonies to admit a new member or a newborn baby. Children are often welcomed into the meeting at their first attendance. Formerly, children born to Quaker parents automatically became members (sometimes called birthright membership), but this no longer applies in many areas. Some parents apply for membership on behalf of their children, while others allow children to decide whether to be a member when they are ready and older in age. Some meetings adopt a policy that children, some time after becoming young adults, must apply independently for membership.


Worship for specific tasks


Memorial services

Traditional Quaker memorial services are held as a form of worship and known as memorial meetings. Friends gather for worship and offer remembrances of the deceased. In some Quaker traditions, the coffin or ashes are not present. Memorial meetings may be held many weeks after the death, which can enable wider attendance, replacement of grief with spiritual reflection, and celebration of life to dominate. Memorial meetings can last over an hour, particularly if many people attend. Memorial services give all a chance to remember the lost individual in their own way, comforting those present and re-affirming the love of the people in the wider community.


Marriage

A meeting for worship for the solemnisation of marriage in an unprogrammed Friends meeting is similar to any other unprogrammed meeting for worship. The pair exchange promises before God and gathered witnesses, and the meeting returns to open worship. At the rise of meeting, the witnesses, including the youngest children, are asked to sign the wedding certificate as a record. In Britain, Quakers keep a separate record of the union and notify the General Register Office. In the early days of the United States, there was doubt whether a marriage solemnised in that way was entitled to legal recognition. Over the years, each state has set rules for the procedure. Most states expect the marriage document to be signed by a single officiant (a priest, rabbi, minister, Justice of the Peace, etc.) Quakers routinely modify the document to allow three or four Friends to sign as officiant. Often these are the members of a committee of ministry and oversight, who have helped the couple to plan their marriage. Usually, a separate document containing the vows and signatures of all present is kept by the couple and often displayed prominently in their home. In many Friends meetings, the couple meet with a clearness committee before the wedding. Its purpose is to discuss with the couple the many aspects of marriage and life as a couple. If the couple seem ready, the marriage is recommended to the meeting. As in wider society, there is a diversity of views among Friends on the issue of same-sex marriage. Various Friends meetings around the world have voiced support for and recognised same-sex marriages. In 1986, Hartford Friends Meeting in Connecticut reached a decision that "the Meeting recognised a committed union in a celebration of marriage, under the care of the Meeting. The same loving care and consideration should be given to both homosexual and heterosexual applicants as outlined in Faith and Practice." Since then, other meetings of liberal and progressive Friends from Australia, Britain, New Zealand, parts of North America, and other countries have recognised marriage between partners of the same sex. In jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is not recognised by civil authorities, some meetings follow the practice of early Quakers in overseeing the union without reference to the state. There are also Friends who do not support same-sex marriage. Some Evangelical and Pastoral yearly meetings in the United States have issued public statements stating that homosexuality is a sin.


National and international divisions and organisation


By country

Like many religious movements, the Religious Society of Friends has evolved, changed, and split into sub-groups. Quakerism started in England and Wales, and quickly spread to Ireland, the Netherlands, Barbados and North America. In 2012, there were 146,300 Quakers in Kenya, 76,360 in the United States, 35,000 in Burundi and 22,300 in Bolivia. Other countries with over 5,000 Quakers were Guatemala, the United Kingdom, Nepal, Taiwan and Uganda. Although the total number of Quakers is around 377,000 worldwide, Quaker influence is concentrated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Kaimosi, Kenya; Newberg, Oregon; Greenleaf, Idaho; Whittier, California; Richmond, Indiana; Friendswood, Texas; Birmingham, England; Ramallah, Palestine, and Greensboro, North Carolina.


Africa

The highest concentration of Quakers is in Africa– 43 per cent of Quakers worldwide are found in Africa, versus 30 per cent in North America, 17 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, 6 per cent in Europe, and 4 per cent in Asia/West Pacific. Se
''Quaker Information Center''
.
The Friends of East Africa were at one time part of a single East Africa Yearly Meeting, then the world's largest. Today, the region is served by several distinct yearly meetings. Most are affiliated with the
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
, practise programmed worship and employ pastors. Friends meet in Rwanda and Burundi; new work is beginning in North Africa. Small unprogrammed meetings exist also in Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. In 2012, there were 196,800 adult Quakers in Africa.


Australia and New Zealand

Friends in Australia and New Zealand follow the unprogrammed tradition, similar to that of the Britain Yearly Meeting. Considerable distances between the colonies and small numbers of Quakers meant that Australia Friends were dependent on London until the 20th century. The Society remained unprogrammed and is named Australia Yearly Meeting, with local organizations around seven Regional Meetings: Canberra (which extends into southern New South Wales), New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia (which extends into Northern Territory), Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. The Friends' School, Hobart, The Friends' School is found in Hobart. An annual meeting each January, is hosted by a different Regional Meeting over a seven-year cycle, with a Standing Committee each July or August. The Australia Yearly Meeting published ''This We Can Say: Australian Quaker Life, Faith and Thought'' in 2003. Meetings for worship in New Zealand started in Nelson, New Zealand, Nelson in 1842 and in Auckland in 1885. In 1889 it was estimated that there were about 30 Quakers in Auckland. The New Zealand Yearly Meeting, today consists of nine monthly meetings. The Yearly Meeting published Quaker Faith and Practice in Aotearoa New Zealand, in 2003.


Asia

Quaker meetings occur in India, Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines, Japan and Nepal. India has four yearly meetings – the unprogrammed Mid-India Yearly Meeting, programmed Bhopal Yearly Meeting, and the Mahoba Yearly Meeting. Bundelkhand Yearly Meeting is an evangelical Friends Church affiliated to Evangelical Friends International. Other programmed and unprogrammed worship groups are not affiliated to any yearly meeting. Evangelical Friends Churches exist in the Philippines and Nepal and are affiliated to Evangelical Friends International.


Europe

In the United Kingdom, the predominantly liberal and unprogrammed Britain Yearly Meeting, Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, has 478 local meetings, and 14,260 adult members, with an additional 8,560 non-member adults who attend worship and 2,251 children. The number has declined steadily since the mid-20th century. Programmed meetings occur, including in Wem and London. Small groups of Conservative Friends meet in Ripley and Greenwich in England, and Arbroath in Scotland, who follow Ohio Yearly Meeting's Book of Discipline (Quaker), Book of Discipline. Evangelical Friends Central Europe Yearly Meeting has 4,306 members across six nations, including Albania, Hungary and Romania. Quakers in Ireland, Ireland Yearly Meeting is unprogrammed and more conservative than Britain Yearly Meeting. It has 1,591 members in 28 meetings. across the Republic of Ireland, and in Northern Ireland German Yearly Meeting is unprogrammed and liberal and has 340 members, worshipping in 31 meetings in Germany and Austria. Small groups of Friends in Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, and Ukraine attend meetings for worship there.


Middle East

Middle East Yearly Meeting has meetings in Lebanon and State of Palestine, Palestine. There has been an active and vibrant Palestinian Quaker community in Ramallah since the late 1800s. In 1910 this community built the Ramallah Friends Meetinghouse and later added another building that was used for community outreach. The Ramallah Friends Meeting has always played a vital role in the community. In 1948 the buildings and grounds became home to many Palestinian refugees. Throughout the years, the members of the Ramallah Friends Meeting organised numerous community programmes such as the Children's Play Centre, the First Day School, and women's activities. By the early 1990s the Meetinghouse and Annex, which housed meeting rooms and bathroom facilities, fell into disrepair as a result of damage inflicted by time and the impact of conflict. So serious was the deterioration of the meetinghouse that by the middle 1990s it was impossible to use the building at all. A further blow to the Friends and the wider Palestinian community was the high level of emigration brought on by the economic situation and the hardships arising from continuing Israeli military occupation. The Meetinghouse, which had served as a place of worship for the Friends in Ramallah could no longer be used as such and the Annex could no longer be used for community outreach. In 2002 a committee consisting of members of the Religious Society of Friends in the US and the Clerk of the Ramallah Meeting began to raise funds for the renovations of the buildings and grounds of the Meetinghouse. By November 2004 the renovations were complete, and on 6 March 2005, exactly 95 years to the day after the dedication, the Meetinghouse and Annex were rededicated as a Quaker and community resource. Friends meet every Sunday morning at 10:30 for unprogrammed Meeting for Worship. Everyone is welcome to attend.


North and South America

Quakers can be found throughout Canada. Some of the largest concentrations are in Southern Ontario. Friends in the United States have diverse worship styles and differences of theology, vocabulary, and practice. A local wikt:congregation, congregation in the unprogrammed tradition is called a ''meeting'', or a ''monthly meeting'' (e.g., ''Smalltown Meeting'' or ''Smalltown Monthly Meeting''). The reference to "monthly" is because the meeting meets monthly to conduct the group's business. Most "monthly meetings" meet for worship at least once a week; some meetings have several worship meetings during the week. In programmed traditions, local congregations are often referred to as "Friends Churches" or "Meetings". Monthly meetings are often part of a regional group called a ''quarterly meeting'', which is usually part of an even larger group called a ''yearly meeting;'' with the adjectives "quarterly" and "yearly" referring specifically to the frequency of ''meetings for worship with a concern for business''. Some yearly meetings, like Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, belong to larger organisations to help maintain order and communication within the Society. The three chief ones are Friends General Conference (FGC),
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
(FUM), and Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI). In all three groups, most member organisations, though not necessarily members, are from the United States. FGC is theologically the most liberal of the three groups, while EFCI is the most evangelical. FUM is the largest.
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
was originally known as "Five Years Meeting". Some monthly meetings belong to more than one larger organisation, while others are fully independent.


Service organisations

There are many Quaker service organizations dedicated to peace and humanitarian activities overseas. The first, the British Friends Service Council, (FSC), was founded in Great Britain in 1927 and shared the 1947 Nobel Prize for Peace with the
American Friends Service Committee The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (''Quaker'') founded organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. AFSC was founded in 1917 as a combined effort by Ame ...
(AFSC). The Quaker star is used by many Quaker service organizations, such as The American Friends Service Committee, Canadian Friends Service Committee and Quaker Peace and Social Witness (previously Friends Service Council). It was originally used by British Quakers performing Humanitarian aid, war relief efforts during the Franco-Prussian War to distinguish themselves from the Red Cross. Today the star is used by multiple Quaker organizations as their symbol to represent "a common commitment to service and the spirit in which it is provided."


Relations with other churches and faiths


Ecumenical relations

Quakers prior to the 20th century considered the Religious Society of Friends to be a Christian movement, but many did not feel that their religious faith fit within the categories of Catholicism, Catholic, Eastern Christianity, Orthodox, or Protestantism, Protestant. Many Conservative Friends, while fully seeing themselves as orthodox Christians, choose to remain separate from other Christian groups. Many Friends in Liberal Friends' meetings are actively involved in the ecumenism, ecumenical movement, often working closely with other Mainline Protestant and liberal Christian churches, with whom they share common religious ground. A concern for peace and social justice often brings Friends together with other Christian churches and other Christian groups. Some Liberal Quaker yearly meetings are members of ecumenical pan-Christian organisations, which include Protestant and Orthodox churches—for example Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is a member of the National Council of Churches. The Britain Yearly Meeting is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and Friends General Conference is a member of the World Council of Churches. Guerneyite Friends would typically see themselves as part of an orthodox Christian movement and work closely with other Christian denominations.
Friends United MeetingFriends United Meeting (FUM) is an association of twenty-six yearly meeting Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of constituent meetings or churches within a g ...
(the international organisation of Gurneyite yearly meetings) is a member of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches, which are pan-Christian organisations that include Lutheran, Orthodox, Reformed, Anglican and Baptist Churches, among others. Evangelical Friends work closely with other evangelism, evangelical churches from other Christian traditions. The North American branch of Evangelical Friends Church International is a member church of the National Association of Evangelicals. Evangelical Friends tend to be less involved with non-evangelical churches and are not members of the World Council of Churches or National Council of Churches. The majority of other Christian groups recognise Friends among their fellow-Christians. Some people who attend Quaker Meetings assume that Quakers are not Christians, when they do not hear overtly Christian language during the meeting for worship.


Relations with other faiths

Relationships between Quakers and non-Christians vary considerably, according to sect, geography, and history. Early Quakers distanced themselves from practices that they saw as Paganism, pagan. For instance, they refused to use the usual names of the days of the week, since they were derived from the names of pagan deities. They refused to celebrate Christmas because they believed it was based on pagan festivities. Early Friends called on adherents of other world religions to turn to the 'Light of Christ within' that they believed was present in all people born into the world. For example, George Fox wrote a number of open letters to Jews and Muslims, in which he encouraged them to turn to Jesus Christ as the only path to salvation (e.g. ''A Visitation to the Jews'', ''To the Great Turk and King of Algiers in Algeria, and all that are under his authority, to read this over, which concerns their salvation'' and ''To the Great Turk and King of Algiers in Algeria''). In the letters to Muslim readers, Fox is exceptional for his time in his sympathetic and wide-ranging use of the Qur'an, and his belief that its contents were consistent with Christian scripture. Mary Fisher probably preached the same message when she appeared before the Muslim Mehmed IV (the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire) in 1658.Meggitt, Justin J. 2016. 'Mary Fisher'. In ''Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. Volume 8. Northern and Eastern Europe (1600-1700)'', edited by David Thomas and John Chesworth, 367–74. Leiden: Brill. In 1870, Richard Price Hallowell argued that the logical extension of Christian Quakerism is a universal Church, which ''demands a religion which embraces Jew, Pagan and Christian, and which cannot be limited by the dogmas of one or the other''. Since the late 20th century, some attenders at Liberal Quaker Meetings have actively identified with world faiths other than Christianity, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Paganism (contemporary), Paganism.


See also

*List of Christian denominations#Quakers (Society of Friends), List of Christian denominations *''The Light upon the Candlestick'' – a 17th-century tract which was popular among English Quakers * * * * *David Cooper (abolitionist), David Cooper and Anthony Benezet – Quakers active in the 18th century abolitionist movement


References


Further reading

* * *Margaret Hope Bacon, "Quakers and Colonization" ''Quaker History''. 95 (Spring 2006), 26–43 *Hugh Barbour and J. William Frost, ''The Quakers''. (1988), 412 pp.; historical survey, including many capsule biographie
online edition
* *Philip Benjamin, ''Philadelphia Quakers in an Age of Industrialism, 1870–1920'' (1976) *J. Brent Bill, ''Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality'' *David Boulton, ed., 2006, ''Godless for God's Sake: Nontheism in Contemporary Quakerism'' Dales Historical Monographs. *Michael L. Birkel, ''Silence and Witness: The Quaker Tradition'' (in the UK, ) *William C. Braithwaite, ''The Beginnings of Quakerism''. (1912); revised by Henry J. Cadbury (1955
online edition
*William C. Braithwaite, ''Second Period of Quakerism''. (1919); revised by Henry Cadbury (1961), covers 1660 to 1720s in Britain *Howard H. Brinton, ''Friends for 350 Years'' *Peter Brock, ''Pioneers of the Peaceable Kingdom''. (1968) on Peace Testimony from the 1650s to 1900 *Edwin B. Bronner, ''William Penn's Holy Experiment'' (1962) *G. B. Burnet, ''Story of Quakerism in Scotland''. The Lutterworth Press 2007, Cambridge *Jennifer Connerley, ''Friendly Americans: Representing Quakers in the United States, 1850–1920'' PhD dissertation U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 2006. 277 pp. Citation: DAI 2006 67(2): 600-A. DA3207363 online at ProQuest Dissertations & Theses *Wilmer A. Cooper, ''A Living Faith: An Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Beliefs'' 2nd ed. *A. Glenn Crothers, ''Quakers Living in the Lion's Mouth: The Society of Friends in Northern Virginia, 1730–1865''. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2012 *Pink Dandelion, ''A Sociological Analysis of the Theology of the Quakers: The Silent Revolution'' (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1996) *Pink Dandelion, ''The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction'' *Adrian Davies, ''The Quakers in English Society, 1655–1725'' (2000) 261 pp. *Robert Doherty, ''The Hicksite Separation''. (1967), uses the new social history to inquire who joined which side *Mary Maples Dunn, ''William Penn: Politics and Conscience'' (1967) *J. William Frost, ''The Quaker Family in Colonial America: A Portrait of the Society of Friends''. (1973), emphasis on social structure and family life *J. William Frost, "The Origins of the Quaker Crusade against Slavery: A Review of Recent Literature", ''Quaker History'' 67 (1978): 42–58. *Jonathan Fryer, ed., ''George Fox and the Children of the Light'' (London: Kyle Cathie, 1991) *Harvey Gillman, ''A Light that is Shining: Introduction to the Quakers'' *George H. Gorman, ''Introducing Quakers''. (3rd revised reprint) (London: Quaker Home Service, 1981) *Gerard Guiton, ''The Growth and Development of Quaker Testimony'' *Thomas Hamm, ''The Quakers in America''. (2003). 293 pp., strong analysis of current situation, with brief history *Thomas Hamm, ''The Transformation of American Quakerism: Orthodox Friends, 1800–1907''. (1988), looks at the impact of the Holiness movement on the Orthodox faction *Thomas D. Hamm, ''Earlham College: A History, 1847–1997''. (1997) 448 pp. *Jean Hatton, ''Betsy: The Dramatic Biography of Prison Reformer Elizabeth Fry'' (2005) and *Jean Hatton, ''George Fox: Founder of the Quakers'' (2007) and *Hubbard, Geoffrey, ''Quaker by Convincement''. and *Joseph E. Illick, ''Colonial Pennsylvania: A History''. 1976
online edition
*H. Larry Ingle, ''First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism'' and *H. Larry Ingle, ''Nixon's First Cover-up: The Religious Life of a Quaker President'' *H. Larry Ingle, ''Quakers in Conflict: The Hicksite Reformation'' *Sydney James, ''A People among Peoples: Quaker Benevolence in Eighteenth-Century America''. (1963), broad-ranging study that remains the best history in America before 1800 *Rufus M. Jones, Amelia M. Gummere and Isaac Sharpless. ''Quakers in the American Colonies'' (1911), history to 177
online edition
*Rufus M. Jones, ''Later Periods of Quakerism''. 2 vols. (1921), covers England and America until World War I. *Rufus M. Jones, ''The Story of George Fox''. (1919) 169 pp
online edition
*Rufus M. Jones, ''A Service of Love in War Time: American Friends Relief Work in Europe, 1917–1919'' (1922
online edition
*Ryan Jordan, "The Dilemma of Quaker Pacifism in a Slaveholding Republic, 1833–1865", ''Civil War History'' Vol. 53, 200
online edition
*Ryan Jordan, ''Slavery and the Meetinghouse: The Quakers and the Abolitionist Dilemma, 1820–1865''. (2007) 191 pp. *Thomas C. Kennedy, ''British Quakerism, 1860–1920: The Transformation of a Religious Community''. (2001). 477 pp. *Rebecca Larson, ''Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700–1775'' (1999) 399 pp. *James David LeShana, "'Heavenly Plantations': Quakers in Colonial North Carolina." PhD dissertation: U. of California, Riverside 1998. 362 pp. DAI 2000 61(5): 2005-A. DA9974014 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses *Mark Minear, ''Richmond, 1887: A Quaker Drama Unfolds'' *Rosemary Moore, ''The Light in Their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain 1646–1666'' (2000) 314 pp. *John A. Moretta, ''William Penn and the Quaker Legacy'' *Michael Mullet, ed., ''New Light on George Fox'' *Gary Nash, ''Quakers and Politis: Pennsylvania, 1680–1726'' (1968) *John Punshon, ''Portrait in Grey : A Short History of the Quakers'' (2nd ed.) (London: Quaker Books, 2006) *Ane Marie Bak Rasmussen, ''A History of the Quaker Movement in Africa'' (1994) 168 pp. *Elbert Russell, ''The History of Quakerism'' (1942
online edition
*Harold Smuck, ''Friends in East Africa'' (Richmond, Indiana: 1987) *Douglas Steere, 196

Wallingford, Pa: Pendle Hill Pamphlet No. 151 *Frederick B. Tolles, ''Meeting House and Counting House'' (1948), on Quaker businessmen in colonial Philadelphia *Frederick B. Tolles, ''Quakers and the Atlantic Culture'' (1960) *D. Elton Trueblood ''The People Called Quakers'' (1966) *John Michael Vlach, "Quaker Tradition and the Paintings of Edward Hicks: A Strategy for the Study of Folk Art", ''Journal of American Folklore'' Vol. 94, 1981 *Karen Anna Vogel, ''Christmas Union: Quaker Abolitionists of Chester County, PA''. Murray Pura's Cry of Freedom Series, Volume 5 *James Walvin, ''The Quakers: Money and Morals'' (1997) 243 pp. *Clarence H. Yarrow, ''The Quaker Experience in International Conciliation'' (1979) for post-1945


Primary sources

*J. Brent Bill, ''Imagination and Spirit: A Contemporary Quaker Reader'' *Amelia Gummere, ed. ''The Journal and Essays of John Woolman'' (1922
online edition
*Rufus M. Jones, ed. ''The Journal of George Fox: An Autobiography'

*Lucretia Coffin Mott, ed. Beverly Wilson Palmer, ''Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott'', U. of Illinois Press, 2002, 580 pp. *Robert Lawrence Smith, ''A Quaker Book of Wisdom'' *Jessamyn West (writer), Jessamyn West, ed. ''The Quaker Reader'' (1962) collection of essays by Fox, Penn and other notable Quakers


Children's books

*Marguerite De Angeli, ''Thee, Hannah!'' *Katherine Milhous **''The Egg Tree'' **''Appolonia's Valentine'' *Brinton Turkle, **''The Adventures of Obadiah'' **''Obadiah the Bold'' **''Rachel and Obadiah'' **''Thy Friend, Obadiah''


External links


Friends of the Light in EnglandFriends in Christ in ScotlandFriends of Jesus Fellowship in America
*

*[http://www.prdl.org/authors.php?a_in=ALL&era=Early%20Modern&tradition=Quaker Post Reformation Digital Library: a library of early modern Quaker texts]
Quaker Heritage Press
publishes etexts of rare and out-of-print Quaker documents. * *
Society of Friends Church history collection
Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library {{Authority control Quakerism, Christian groups with universalist beliefs Christian mysticism Peace churches Silence Protestant denominations established in the 17th century 1652 establishments in England Religious organizations established in the 1650s