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Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") 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 inspired by the
First Epistle of Peter The First Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament. The author presents himself as Peter the Apostle. The ending of the letter includes a statement that implies that it was written from "Babylon", which is possibly a reference to Rome. T ...
. They include those with
evangelical Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
, holiness, liberal, 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 Quakers, Quaker practices and processes, but who do not necessarily believe in a theistic God or Supreme Being, the divinity, divine, the soul or the supernatural. ...
, 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, a symbol, or a statement of faith, is a statement of the shared belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition is truth, true. In epist ...
s and hierarchical structures. In 2017, there were an estimated 377,557 adult Quakers, 49% of them in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...

Africa
. Some 89% of Quakers worldwide belong to ''evangelical'' and ''programmed'' branches that hold services with singing and a prepared
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...

Bible
message coordinated by a pastor. Some 11% practice ''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 who was acknowledged to have a gift of Religious_Society_of_Friends#Unprogrammed_worship, spoken ministry. The practice of recording in a Monthly Meeting Minute the acknowledgment that a F ...
s present; Friends recognised for their gift of vocal ministry. The proto-evangelical Christian movement dubbed ''Quakerism'' arose in mid-17th-century England from the Legatine-Arians and other dissenting Protestant groups breaking with the established
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
. The Quakers, especially the Valiant Sixty, 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 Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...

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 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...

Christ
was acquired by direct experience and by reading and studying the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...

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 theological concepts within some sects of Christianity that purport to describe a process of achieving spiritual maturity or perfection. The ultimate goal of this process is Divinization (Christian), union ...
. 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 Christianity, Christian churches in which people dress in clothes of traditional modest design, sturdy fabric, and conservative cut. It is intended to show acceptance of trad ...
, refuse to swear oaths, oppose slavery, and practise
teetotalism Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of total personal abstinence from the psychoactive drug Alcohol (drug), alcohol, specifically in alcoholic drinks. A person who practices (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler or tee ...
. Some Quakers founded banks and financial institutions, including
Barclays Barclays () is a British multinational universal bank, headquartered in London, England. Barclays operates as two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International, supported by a service company, Barclays Execution Services. Barclays traces ...

Barclays
, , and Friends Provident; manufacturers including the footwear firm of C. & J. Clark and the big three British
confectionery Confectionery is the Art (skill), art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, however, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlappi ...
makers , 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, Equal opportunity, opportunities, and Social privilege, privileges within a society. In Western Civilization, Western and Culture of Asia, Asian cultures, the concept of social ...
. 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 Am ...
were awarded a
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments (military weapons and equipment) manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Chemi ...
.


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 led by Charles I ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governanc ...
(1642–1651) many dissenting Christian groups emerged, including the
Seekers The Seekers, or Legatine-Arians as they were sometimes known, were an Kingdom of England, English Dissenter, dissenting group that emerged around the 1620s, probably inspired by the preaching of three brothers – Walter, Thomas, and Bartholomew ...
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 ...
, was dissatisfied with the teachings of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
and nonconformists. 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, Visions, or The Vision may refer to: Perception Optical perception * Visual perception, the sense of sight * Visual system, the physical mechanism of eyesight * Computer vision, a field dealing with how computers can be made to gain und ...
on
Pendle Hill Pendle Hill is in the east of Lancashire, England, near the towns of Burnley, Nelson, Lancashire, Nelson, Colne, Brierfield, Lancashire, Brierfield, Clitheroe and Padiham. Its summit is above mean sea level. It gives its name to the Borough ...
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 island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of the Americas, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It occupies an area of and has a population of about 287,000 (2019 estimate). ...
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 poss ...
Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious
blasphemy Blasphemy is a speech crimes, speech crime and religious crime usually defined as an utterance that shows contempt, disrespects or insults a deity, an object considered sacred or something considered inviolable. Some religions regard blasphemy ...
. 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 13th century until 1707 when it was replaced by the Parliament of Great Britain. Parliament evolved from the great council of bishops and peers that advis ...
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% 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 pr ...
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, ...
. 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 proclamations made by James II of England, James II of England and Ireland and VII of Scotland in 1687. The Indulgence was first issued for Scotland ...
(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 of the Kingdom of England from the 13th century until 1707 w ...
. 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, the wife of Thomas Fell, who was the vice-chancellor of the
Duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the sovereign. The estate consists of a portfolio of lands, propert ...
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 Austin began preaching in Boston. They were considered heretics because of their insistence on individual obedience to the Inner 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 North America around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the ...
. 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 Puritans, Puritan turned Quakers, Quaker who was hanging, hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, for repeatedly defying a Puritan law bannin ...
was hanged near
Boston Common The Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is the oldest Urban park, city park in the United States. Boston Common consists of of land bounded by Tremont Street (139 Tremont St.), Park Str ...
for repeatedly defying a
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
law banning Quakers from the colony. She was one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs. In 1661, King Charles II 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 A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar te ...
(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 a metropolitan statistical area, metropolitan region on the East Coast of the United States that comprises and surrounds Philadelphia, the List of United States cities by population, sixth most populous city in the nation ...
, 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 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 location for a Quintipartite Deed, border between West Jersey and Ea ...
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road'') is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is the List of U.S. states by area, smallest U.S. state by area and the List of states and territories of the United States ...
, and
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania (; (Pennsylvania Dutch language, Pennsylvania Dutch: )), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state spanning the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern United States, Northeastern, Appa ...
, 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 ( – ) 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 possessions, England. He was an ...
in 1676 and 1682 respectively, with Pennsylvania as an American commonwealth run under Quaker principles. William Penn signed a peace treaty with Tammany, 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 ...
to the 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 of American independence, located in Philadelphia Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania#Mu ...
was cast by Quakers in
Philadelphia Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania#Municipalities, largest city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the List of United States cities by population, sixth-largest city i ...
, 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% of the population), and 13,859 by 1860 (0.07% 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 (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, was a major war of the American Revolution. Widely considered as the war that secured the independence of t ...
, 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 minister from Long Island, New York (state), New York. In his ministry he promoted unorthodox doctrines that led to controversy, which caused the second major schism (relig ...
'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

Isaac Crewdson Isaac Crewdson (6 June 1780 – 8 May 1844) was a Recorded Minister, minister of the Religious Society of Friends, Quaker Monthly meeting, meeting at Hardshaw East, Manchester. He wrote ''A Beacon to the Society of Friends'', a work published in ...
was a
Recorded Minister A Recorded Minister was originally a male or female Quaker who was acknowledged to have a gift of Religious_Society_of_Friends#Unprogrammed_worship, spoken ministry. The practice of recording in a Monthly Meeting Minute the acknowledgment that a F ...
in
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
. 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: ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In religion and theology, ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the soul from sin and its c ...
by the atonement 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 and Nonconformist (Protestantism), non-conformist Christian movement whose history can be traced back to Dublin, Ireland, in the mid to late 1820s, where they originated from Angl ...
.


Rise of Gurneyite Quakerism, and the Gurneyite–Conservative split

''Orthodox'' Friends became more
evangelical Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
during the 19th century and were influenced by the
Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening was a Protestantism, Protestant religious Christian revival, revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The Second Great Awakening, which spread religion through revivals and emotional preaching, sparke ...
. This movement was led by British Quaker
Joseph John Gurney Joseph John Gurney (2 August 1788 – 4 January 1847) was a banker in Norwich, England and a member of the Gurney family (Norwich), Gurney family of that city. He became an evangelical minister of the Quakers, Religious Society of Friends (Quake ...
. Christian Friends held
Revival meeting A revival meeting is a series of Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testame ...
s in America and became involved in the
Holiness movement The Holiness movement is a Christianity, Christian movement that emerged chiefly within 19th-century Methodism, and to a lesser extent other traditions such as Quakers, Quakerism, Anabaptism, and Restorationism. The movement is historically dist ...
of churches. Quakers such as Hannah Whitall Smith 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 theological tradition within evangelical Christianity that espouses a distinct teaching on the doctrine of entire sanctification Christian perfecti ...
, 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. 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 Meeting, 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 Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. I ...
. 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 Five Years Meeting Friends, but unexpectedly the Richmond Declaration was not adopted by London Yearly Meeting because a vocal minority, including Edward Grubb, opposed it.


Missions to Asia and Africa

Following the
Christian revival Christian revivalism is increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect. This should be distinguished from the use of the term "revival" to refer to an evangeli ...
s in the mid-19th century, Friends in Great Britain sought also to start missionary activity overseas. The first missionaries were sent to Benares (
Varanasi Varanasi (; ; also Banaras or Benares (; ), and Kashi.) is a city on the Ganges, Ganges river in North India, northern India that has a central place in the traditions of pilgrimage, death, and mourning in the Hinduism, Hindu world. * * * * ...
), in India, in 1866. The Friends Foreign Mission Association was formed in 1868 and sent missionaries to
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning 'central province') is a state in central India. Its capital city, capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Ujjain, Gwalior, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, Sagar, and Rewa, India, Rewa being the othe ...
, India, forming what is now the Mid-India Yearly Meeting. Later it spread to
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara, ), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately off the coast of East Afric ...
from 1867, China from 1896,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
from 1896, and
Pemba Island Pemba Island ( ar, الجزيرة الخضراء ''al-Jazīra al-khadrā'', literally "The Green Island"; sw, Pemba kisiwa) is a Tanzania, Tanzanian island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying within the Swahili Coast in the Indian Oce ...
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 Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
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 Mombasa ( ; ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It was the first capital of the British East Africa, before Nairobi was elevated to capital city status. It now serves as the capital of Mombasa County. The town is ...
,
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"() , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Nairobi , coordinates = , largest_city = Nairobi , ...
, and started what became the most successful Friends' mission. Their Quakerism spread within
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"() , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Nairobi , coordinates = , largest_city = Nairobi , ...
and to
Uganda }), is a landlocked country in East Africa. The country is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The souther ...
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands an ...
,
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repuburika y’Uburundi ; Swahili language, Swahili: ''Jamuhuri ya Burundi''; French language, French: ''République du Burundi'' ), is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley at the ...
, and
Rwanda Rwanda (; rw, u Rwanda ), officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator ...
.


Theory of evolution

The
theory of evolution Evolution is change in the heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes, which are passed on from parent to ...
as described in Charles Darwin's ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
'' (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 Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. It is a key mechanism of evolution, the change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, traits characteristic of a populati ...
could not explain life on its own. The influential Quaker scientist 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 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 Earlham College is a Private college, private Liberal arts colleges in the United States, liberal arts college in Richmond, Indiana. The college was established in 1847 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and has a strong focus on Quake ...
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 Creationism is the religious belief that nature, and aspects such as the universe, Earth, life, and humans, originated with supernatural acts of Creation myth, divine creation.#Gunn 2004, Gunn 2004, p. 9, "The ''Concise Oxford Dictionary'' say ...
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. Such Liberal Friends promoted the theory of evolution, modern
biblical criticism Biblical criticism is the use of critical analysis to understand and explain the Bible. During the eighteenth century, when it began as ''historical-biblical criticism,'' it was based on two distinguishing characteristics: (1) the concern to ...
, 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 of Christ on the Cross at
Calvary Calvary ( la, Calvariae or ) or Golgotha ( grc-gre, Γολγοθᾶ, ''Golgothâ'') was a site immediately outside Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem's walls where Jesus in Christianity, Jesus was said to have been crucifixion of Jesus, cruci ...
. 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 World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, 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 Am ...
.
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
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 The Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is a Religious Society of Friends, Quaker organisation that works to communicate between all parts of Quakerism. FWCC's world headquarters is in London. It has General Consultative Non-government ...
.


Evangelical Friends

A growing desire for a more fundamentalist approach among some Friends after the First World War began a split among Five Years Meetings. In 1926, Oregon Yearly Meeting seceded from the 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, 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 and education

Described as "natural capitalists" by the
BBC #REDIRECT BBC
Here i going to introduce about the best teacher of my life b BALAJI sir. He is the precious gift that I got befor 2yrs . How has helped and thought all the concept and made my success in the 10th board exam. ...
, many Quakers were successful in a variety of industries. Two notable examples were
Abraham Darby I Abraham Darby, in his later life called Abraham Darby the Elder, now sometimes known for convenience as Abraham Darby I (14 April 1677 – 5 May 1717, the first and best known of several men of that name), was an English ironmaster and foun ...
and Edward Pease. Darby and his family played an important role in the British
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
with their innovations in ironmaking. Pease, a
Darlington Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, County Durham, England. The River Skerne flows through the town; it is a tributary of the River Tees. The Tees itself flows south of the town. In the 19th century, Darlington underwen ...
manufacturer, was the main promoter of the
Stockton and Darlington Railway The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a railway company that operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863. The world's first public railway to use steam locomotives, its first line connected coal mining, collieries near Shildo ...
, which was the world’s first public railway to use steam locomotives. Other industries with prominent Quaker businesses included banking (
Lloyds Banking Group Lloyds Banking Group is a British financial institution formed through the acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds TSB in 2009. It is one of the UK's largest financial services organisations, with 30 million customers and 65,000 employees. Lloyds Bank w ...
and Barclays PLC), pharmaceuticals ( Allen & Hanburys), chocolate ( and Fry's), confectionery (Rowntree), shoe manufacturing ( Clarks), and biscuit manufacturing (
Huntley & Palmers Huntley & Palmers is a British company of biscuit makers originally based in Reading, Berkshire. Formed by Joseph Huntley in 1822, the company became one of the world's first global brands (chiefly led by George Palmer (businessman), George Palme ...
). Quakers have a long history of establishing educational institutions. Initially, Quakers had no ordained
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the ter ...
, and therefore needed no
seminaries A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, ...
for theological training. In England, Quaker schools sprang up soon after the movement emerged, with Friends School Saffron Walden being the most prominent. Quaker schools in the UK and Ireland are supported by The Friends' Schools' Council. In Australia, Friends' School, Hobart, founded in 1887, has grown into the largest Quaker school in the world. In Britain and the United States, friends have established a variety of institutions at a variety of educational levels. In Kenya, Quakers founded several primary and secondary schools in the first half of the 20th century before the country's independence in 1963.


International development

International volunteering organisations such as Service Civil International and International Voluntary Service were founded by leading Quakers. Eric Baker, a prominent Quaker, was one of the founders of
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization focused on human rights, with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. The organization says it has more than ten million members and s ...
and of the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is an organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nucle ...
. 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 Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. History Founded at 17 Broad Street, Oxford, as the Oxford Co ...
. Irving and
Dorothy Stowe Dorothy Anne Stowe (née Rabinowitz; December 22, 1920 – July 23, 2010) was an Americans, American-born Canadians, Canadian social activist and environmentalist, best known for co-founding Greenpeace. Life and environmentalism Stowe was bor ...
co-founded
Greenpeace Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network, founded in Canada in 1971 by Irving Stowe and Dorothy Stowe, immigrant environmental activists from the United States. Greenpeace states its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to ...
with many other environmental activists in 1971, shortly after becoming Quakers.


Friends and slavery

Some Quakers in America and Britain became known for their involvement in the abolitionist movement. In the early history of
Colonial America The colonial history of the United States covers the history of European colonization of North America from the early 17th century until the incorporation of the Thirteen Colonies into the United States after the American Revolutionary War, ...
, it was fairly common for Friends to own slaves, e.g. in Pennsylvania. During the early to mid-1700s, disquiet about this practice arose among Friends, best exemplified by the testimonies of
Benjamin Lay Benjamin Lay (January 26, 1682 – February 8, 1759) was an Anglo-Americans, Anglo-American Quaker humanitarian and Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist. He is best known for his early and strident anti-slavery activities which would ...
,
Anthony Benezet Anthony Benezet, born Antoine Bénézet (January 31, 1713May 3, 1784), was a French Americans, French-American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist and Teacher, educator who was active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the early Am ...
and
John Woolman John Woolman (October 19, 1720 (Old Style, O.S.)/October 30, 1720 (New Style, N.S.)– October 7, 1772) was an American merchant, tailor, journalist, Religious Society of Friends, Quaker preacher, and early Abolitionism in the United States, abol ...
, and this resulted in an abolition movement among Friends. Nine of the twelve founding members of the
Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, also known as the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and sometimes referred to as the Abolition Society or Anti-Slavery Society, was a Abolitionism in the United Kingdom, B ...
, or The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, were Quakers: John Barton (1755–1789); William Dillwyn (1743–1824); George Harrison (1747–1827); Samuel Hoare Jr (1751–1825); Joseph Hooper (1732–1789); John Lloyd; Joseph Woods Sr (1738–1812); James Phillips (1745–1799); and Richard Phillips. Five of the Quakers had been amongst the informal group of six Quakers who had pioneered the movement in 1783, when the first petition against the slave trade was presented to Parliament. As Quakers could not serve as Members of Parliament, they relied on the help of Anglican men who could, such as
William Wilberforce William Wilberforce (24 August 175929 July 1833) was a British politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone ...
and his brother-in-law James Stephen. By the beginning of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, was a major war of the American Revolution. Widely considered as the war that secured the independence of t ...
, 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 The Continental Congress was a series of legislature, legislative bodies, with some executive function, for thirteen of British America, Britain's colonies in North America, and the newly declared United States just before, during, and after the ...
to abolish
slavery in the United States The legal institution of human Slavery#Chattel slavery, chattel slavery, comprising the enslavement primarily of List of ethnic groups of Africa, Africans and African Americans, was prevalent in the United States, United States of America ...
. In 1790, the Society of Friends petitioned the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, composed of a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, ...
to abolish slavery. One example of a reversal in sentiment about slavery took place in the life of
Moses Brown Moses Brown (September 23, 1738 – September 6, 1836) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist and industrialist from New England, who funded the design and construction of some of the first factory houses for Spinning (t ...
, one of four Rhode Island brothers who, in 1764, organized and funded the tragic and fateful voyage of the
slave ship Slave ships were large cargo ships specially built or converted from the 17th to the 19th century for transporting Slavery, slaves. Such ships were also known as "Guineamen" because the trade involved human trafficking to and from the Guinea ...
''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 The Underground Railroad was a network of clandestine routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early- to mid-19th century. It was used by slavery in the United States, enslaved African Americans primarily to escape in ...
. Black Quaker
Paul Cuffe Paul Cuffe, also known as Paul Cuffee (January 17, 1759 – September 7, 1817) was an American businessman, Whaling in the United States, whaler and Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist. Born Free negro, free into a Multiracial people ...
, a sea captain and businessman, was active in the abolitionist and 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 Sojourner Truth (; born Isabella Baumfree; November 26, 1883) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist of New York Dutch heritage and a women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but esc ...
, who called her the Superintendent of the Underground Railroad. However, in the 1830s, the 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 " early Friend", said, "Christ has come to teach His people Himself." Friends often focus on trying to feel the presence of God. As 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
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in p ...
s, believing in the priesthood of all believers. 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'' (
Fox Foxes are small to medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. They have a flattened skull, upright, triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail (or ''brush''). Twelve sp ...
, 1671), ''An Apology for the True Christian Divinity'' ( Barclay, 1678), ''A Catechism and Confession of Faith'' ( Barclay, 1690), ''The Testimony of the Society of Friends on the Continent of America'' (adopted jointly by all Orthodox yearly meetings in the United States, 1830), the '' Richmond Declaration of Faith'' (adopted by Five Years Meeting, 1887), and ''Essential Truths'' ( Jones and Wood, adopted by Five Years Meeting, 1922). Most yearly meetings make a public statement of faith in their own Book of Discipline, expressing Christian discipleship within the experience of Friends in that yearly meeting.


Conservatives

Conservative Friends Conservative Friends are members of a certain branch of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). In the United States of America, Conservative Friends belong to three Yearly Meetings, Ohio, North Carolina, and Iowa. English Friends affiliated wi ...
(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 A sacrament is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is recognized as being particularly important and significant. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments ...
, such as the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; from Greek , , ), also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an Ordinance (Christianity), ordinance in ot ...
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 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% 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 (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
Christians. They believe in and hold a high regard for penal substitution of the atonement of Christ on the Cross at Calvary,
biblical infallibility Biblical infallibility is the belief that what the Bible says regarding matters of Christianity, faith and Christian practice is wholly useful and true. It is the "belief that the Bible is completely trustworthy as a guide to salvation and the l ...
, 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 amascus. 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% 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, England and a member of the Gurney family (Norwich), Gurney family of that city. He became an evangelical minister of the Quakers, Religious Society of Friends (Quake ...
, a 19th-century British Friend. They make up 49% 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 The Holiness movement is a Christianity, Christian movement that emerged chiefly within 19th-century Methodism, and to a lesser extent other traditions such as Quakers, Quakerism, Anabaptism, and Restorationism. The movement is historically dist ...
, in particular
John Wesley John Wesley (; 2 March 1791) was an English people, English cleric, Christian theology, theologian, and Evangelism, evangelist who was a leader of a Christian revival, revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The soci ...
's doctrine of
Christian perfection Christian perfection is the name given to theological concepts within some sects of Christianity that purport to describe a process of achieving spiritual maturity or perfection. The ultimate goal of this process is Divinization (Christian), union ...
, 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 Central Yearly Meeting of Friends is a yearly meeting of Religious Society of Friends, Friends churches located in Indiana, North Carolina, Arkansas and Ohio. Central Yearly Meeting of Friends is part of the Conservative Holiness Movement, and ori ...
, (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 Hermeneutics () is the theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of Biblical hermeneutics, biblical texts, wisdom literature, and Philosophy, philosophical texts. Hermeneutics is more than interpretative principles ...
, often with a focus on the
social gospel The Social Gospel is a social movement within Protestantism that aims to apply Christian ethics to social issue, social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, Ethnic conflict, racial t ...
. The ideas of ''that of God in everyone'' and the '' inner light'' were popularised by the American Friend 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 Friends General Conference (FGC) is an association of Religious Society of Friends, Quakers in the United States and Canada made up of 16 Yearly meeting, yearly meetings and 11 monthly meetings. "Monthly meetings" are what Quakers call congregatio ...
, and some meetings in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Southern 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 Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nanometres (nm), corresponding to frequency, fr ...
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
meeting house A meeting house (meetinghouse, meeting-house) is a building where religious and sometimes public meetings take place. Terminology Nonconformist (Protestantism), Nonconformist Protestant denominations distinguish between a * church (congregation) ...
, (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 Biblical criticism is the use of critical analysis to understand and explain the Bible. During the eighteenth century, when it began as ''historical-biblical criticism,'' it was based on two distinguishing characteristics: (1) the concern to ...
. 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
Faith and Practice A Book of Discipline may refer to one of the various books issued by a Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, setting out what it means to be a Quaker in that Yearly Meeting. The common name for this book varies from one Yearly Mee ...
containing a range of religious experiences of what it means to be a Friend in that Yearly Meeting.


Universalist

Universalist Friends affirm
religious pluralism Religious pluralism is an attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in society. It can indicate one or more of the following: * Recognizing and tolerating the religious diversity of a society or coun ...
: 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 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 Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
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 The American Humanist Association (AHA) is a 501(c) organization, non-profit organization in the United States that advances secular humanism. The American Humanist Association was founded in 1941 and currently provides legal assistance to def ...
. 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 The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, also known as the Britain Yearly Meeting (and, until 1995, the London Yearly Meeting), is a Yearly Meeting of the Quakers, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in En ...
, some 30% of Quakers had views described as non-theistic,
agnostic Agnosticism is the view or belief that the existence of God, of the divinity, divine or the supernatural is unknown or Uncertainty, unknowable. (page 56 in 1967 edition) Another definition provided is the view that "human reason is incapable o ...
, or
atheist Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of Deity, deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that ther ...
. Another study found that 75.1% 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% that they did not, while 7.3% either did not answer or circled both answers. A further 22% 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% said they believed in God.


Practical theology

Quakers bear witness or '' testify'' to their religious beliefs in their spiritual lives, drawing on the 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 The Sermon on the Mount (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: ) is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters Matthew 5, 5, Matthew 6, 6, and Matthew 7, 7). ...
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 Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned practice of deliberately killing a person as a punishment for an actual or supposed crime, usually following an authorized, rule-governed process to ...
, conscription, hat honour (the largely historical practice of dipping one's hat toward social superiors),
oaths Traditionally an oath (from Old English, Anglo-Saxon ', also called plight) is either a utterance, statement of fact or a promise taken by a Sacred, sacrality as a sign of verity. A common legal substitute for those who conscientiously object to ...
,
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
,
times and seasons ''Times and Seasons'' was a 19th-century Latter Day Saint newspaper published at Nauvoo, Illinois. It was printed monthly or twice-monthly from November 1839 to February 1846. The motto of the paper was "Truth will prevail," which was printed ...
, and
tithing A tithing or tything was a historic English legal, administrative or territorial unit, originally ten hides (and hence, one tenth of a hundred). Tithings later came to be seen as subdivisions of a manor or civil parish. The tithing's leader or ...
. Promotion of
integrity Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and Honesty, truthfulness or accuracy of one's actio ...
(or truth),
peace Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. ...
, penal reform, plain language, relief of suffering,
simplicity Simplicity is the state or quality of being wikt:simple, simple. Something easy to understand or explain seems simple, in contrast to something complicated. Alternatively, as Herbert A. Simon suggests, something is simple or Complexity, complex d ...
, social order, Sunday observance,
sustainability Specific definitions of sustainability are difficult to agree on and have varied in the literature and over time. The concept of sustainability can be used to guide decisions at the global, national, and individual levels (e.g. sustainable livi ...
, 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 referencing 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 in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
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 The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
, many Friends eschew religious festivals (e.g.
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus, Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around t ...
,
Lent Lent ( la, Quadragesima, 'Fortieth') is a solemn religious moveable feast#Lent, observance in the liturgical calendar commemorating the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and enduring Temptation of Jesus, temptation by Satan, according ...
, or
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'') and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel ...
), and believe that Christ's birth,
crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross or beam and left to hang until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It was used as a punishment by the Achaemenid Empire, ...
and
resurrection Resurrection or anastasis is the concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of religions, a Dying-and-rising deity, dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and is resurrected. Reincarnation is a similar process hypothesized b ...
, should be marked every day of the year. For example, many Quakers feel that
fasting Fasting is the abstention from eating and sometimes drinking. From a purely physiology, physiological context, "fasting" may refer to the metabolism, metabolic status of a person who has not eaten overnight (see "Breakfast"), or to the metabolic ...
in
Lent Lent ( la, Quadragesima, 'Fortieth') is a solemn religious moveable feast#Lent, observance in the liturgical calendar commemorating the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and enduring Temptation of Jesus, temptation by Satan, according ...
, but then eating in excess at other times of the year is
hypocrisy Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. In moral psychology, it is the ...
. 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 service A church service (or a service of worship) is a formalized period of Christian communal Christian worship, worship, often held in a church building. It often but not exclusively occurs on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practi ...
s of other
Protestant Protestantism is a branch 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 Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Na ...
denominations, although in most cases does not include the Eucharist. A paid pastor may be responsible for
pastoral care Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotional, social and Human spirit, spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. The term is considered inclusive of distinctly non-religious forms of support, as well as support for pe ...
. Worship of this kind is celebrated by about 89% 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 Meeting, (who make up around 49% of worldwide membership), and evangelical meetings, including those affiliated to Evangelical Friends International, (who make up at least 40% 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 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 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 elders) exchange the sign of peace by a
handshake A handshake is a globally widespread, brief greeting or parting tradition in which two people grasp one of each other's like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up-and-down movement of the grasped hands. Customs surrounding handshakes a ...
. 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 Friends General Conference (FGC) is an association of Religious Society of Friends, Quakers in the United States and Canada made up of 16 Yearly meeting, yearly meetings and 11 monthly meetings. "Monthly meetings" are what Quakers call congregatio ...
and
Beanite Quakerism Beanite Quakerism refers to the independent tradition of Religious Society of Friends, Quakerism started by Quaker ministers Joel Bean, Joel and Hannah Bean in the western United States in the late 19th century, and in a more specific sense refers t ...
)—constituting about 11% of Quakers. Those who worship in this way hold each person to be equal before God and capable of knowing 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 who was acknowledged to have a gift of Religious_Society_of_Friends#Unprogrammed_worship, spoken ministry. The practice of recording in a Monthly Meeting Minute the acknowledgment that a F ...
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 New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, or simply New York Yearly Meeting or NYYM, is the central organizing body for Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of Christian denom ...
,), 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 who was acknowledged to have a gift of Religious_Society_of_Friends#Unprogrammed_worship, spoken ministry. The practice of recording in a Monthly Meeting Minute the acknowledgment that a F ...
s in 1924.


Governance and organisation


Organisational government and polity

Governance Governance is the process of interactions through the laws, norms, power or language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages ar ...
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
Congregational Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches or Congregationalism) are Protestant churches in the Calvinist tradition practising Congregationalist polity, congregationalist church governance, in which each Wiktionary:congregation, c ...
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 A clerk is a white-collar worker who conducts general office tasks, or a worker who performs similar sales-related tasks in a retail environment. The responsibilities of clerical workers commonly include record keeping, filing, staffing service c ...
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 Consensus decision-making or consensus process (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') are group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on proposals with the aim, or requirement, of acceptance by all. The focus on es ...
; 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 The Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is a Religious Society of Friends, Quaker organisation that works to communicate between all parts of Quakerism. FWCC's world headquarters is in London. It has General Consultative Non-government ...
(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 Am ...
(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 The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a volunteer-run conflict transformation program. Teams of trained AVP facilitators conduct experiential workshops to develop participants' abilities to resolve conflicts without resorting to Psychologi ...
.


Yearly meetings

Quakers today are organised into independent and regional, national bodies called
Yearly Meetings Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of Christian denomination, denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Fr ...
, 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 evangelical Christian Friends; Friends United Meeting unites Friends into "fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord;" and
Friends General Conference Friends General Conference (FGC) is an association of Religious Society of Friends, Quakers in the United States and Canada made up of 16 Yearly meeting, yearly meetings and 11 monthly meetings. "Monthly meetings" are what Quakers call congregatio ...
links Quakers with non-creed, liberal religious beliefs. Many Quaker Yearly Meetings also belong to the
Friends World Committee for Consultation The Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is a Religious Society of Friends, Quaker organisation that works to communicate between all parts of Quakerism. FWCC's world headquarters is in London. It has General Consultative Non-government ...
, 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 Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer revie ...
, 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 water 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 General Register Office or General Registry Office (GRO) is the name given to the civil registry in the United Kingdom, many other Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The GRO is the government agency r ...
. 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 Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is the marriage of two people of the same Legal sex and gender, sex or gender. marriage between same-sex couples is legally performed and recognized in 33 countries, with the most recent being ...
. 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 Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania#Municipalities, largest city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the List of United States cities by population, sixth-largest city i ...
; Kaimosi, Kenya;
Newberg, Oregon Newberg is a city in Yamhill County, Oregon, Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. Located in the Portland metropolitan area, the city is home to George Fox University. As of the 2020 United States census, 2010 census, the city population was 25, ...
; Greenleaf, Idaho;
Whittier, California Whittier () is a city in Southern California Southern California (commonly shortened to SoCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a U.S. s ...
;
Richmond, Indiana Richmond is a city in eastern Wayne County, Indiana, Wayne County, Indiana. Bordering the state of Ohio, it is the county seat of Wayne County and is part of the Dayton, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area In the 2010 United States Census, 2010 ce ...
; Friendswood, Texas;
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, England;
Ramallah Ramallah ( , ; ar, رام الله, , God's Height) is a Palestinians, Palestinian city in the central West Bank that serves as the ''de facto'' administrative capital of the State of Palestine. It is situated on the Judaean Mountains, nor ...
, Palestine, and
Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro (; formerly Greensborough) is a city in and the county seat of Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. It is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, third-most populous city in North Carolina after Charlotte, North Car ...
.


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 Meeting, 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 The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, also known as the Britain Yearly Meeting (and, until 1995, the London Yearly Meeting), is a Yearly Meeting of the Quakers, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in En ...
. 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 is found in
Hobart Hobart ( ; Nuenonne language, Nuennonne/Palawa kani: ''nipaluna'') is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Home to almost half of all Tasmanians, it is the least-popul ...
. 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 in 1842 and in
Auckland Auckland (pronounced ) ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the North Island of New Zealand. The List of New Zealand urban areas by population, most populous urban area in the country and the List of cities in Oceania by po ...
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 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 London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary dow ...
. 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. Evangelical Friends Central Europe Yearly Meeting has 4,306 members across six nations, including Albania, Hungary and Romania.
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
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 Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
and Palestine. There has been an active and vibrant Palestinian Quaker community in
Ramallah Ramallah ( , ; ar, رام الله, , God's Height) is a Palestinians, Palestinian city in the central West Bank that serves as the ''de facto'' administrative capital of the State of Palestine. It is situated on the Judaean Mountains, nor ...
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 the Americas. Friends in the United States in particular have diverse worship styles and differences of theology, vocabulary, and practice. A local
congregation A congregation is a large gathering of people, often for the purpose of worship Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred. The ''O ...
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 Friends General Conference (FGC) is an association of Religious Society of Friends, Quakers in the United States and Canada made up of 16 Yearly meeting, yearly meetings and 11 monthly meetings. "Monthly meetings" are what Quakers call congregatio ...
(FGC), Friends United Meeting (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 Meeting 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 Am ...
(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 war relief efforts during the Franco-Prussian War to distinguish themselves from the
Red Cross The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a Humanitarianism, humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million Volunteering, volunteers, members and staff worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure re ...
. 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
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
, Orthodox, or
Protestant Protestantism is a branch 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 Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Na ...
. 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 ecumenical movement, often working closely with other
Mainline Protestant The mainline Protestant churches (also called mainstream Protestant and sometimes oldline Protestant) are a group of Protestantism in the United States, Protestant denominations in the United States that contrast in history and practice with Evang ...
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 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, usually identified as the National Council of Churches (NCC), is the largest Ecumenism, ecumenical body in the United States. NCC is an ecumenical partnership of 38 Christianity in the Uni ...
. The
Britain Yearly Meeting The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, also known as the Britain Yearly Meeting (and, until 1995, the London Yearly Meeting), is a Yearly Meeting of the Quakers, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in En ...
is a member of
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) is an ecumenical organisation. The members include most of the major churches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. CTBI is registered at Companies House with number 05661787. Its office is in Cen ...
, and
Friends General Conference Friends General Conference (FGC) is an association of Religious Society of Friends, Quakers in the United States and Canada made up of 16 Yearly meeting, yearly meetings and 11 monthly meetings. "Monthly meetings" are what Quakers call congregatio ...
is a member of the
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christianity , Christian inter-church organization founded in 1948 to work for the cause of ecumenism. Its full members today include the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Chur ...
. Guerneyite Friends would typically see themselves as part of an orthodox Christian movement and work closely with other Christian denominations. Friends United Meeting (the international organisation of Gurneyite yearly meetings) is a member of the
National Council of Churches The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, usually identified as the National Council of Churches (NCC), is the largest Ecumenism, ecumenical body in the United States. NCC is an ecumenical partnership of 38 Christianity in the Uni ...
and the
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christianity , Christian inter-church organization founded in 1948 to work for the cause of ecumenism. Its full members today include the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Chur ...
, which are pan-Christian organisations that include Lutheran, Orthodox, Reformed, Anglican and Baptist Churches, among others. Evangelical Friends work closely with other
evangelical churches Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
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 The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christianity , Christian inter-church organization founded in 1948 to work for the cause of ecumenism. Its full members today include the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Chur ...
or
National Council of Churches The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, usually identified as the National Council of Churches (NCC), is the largest Ecumenism, ecumenical body in the United States. NCC is an ecumenical partnership of 38 Christianity in the Uni ...
. 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
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christianity, early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, or ethnic religions ot ...
. 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 Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus, Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around t ...
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
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
s, 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 The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
, 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 Mehmed IV ( ota, محمد رابع, Meḥmed-i rābi; tr, IV. Mehmed; 2 January 1642 – 6 January 1693) also known as Mehmed the Hunter ( tr, Avcı Mehmed) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1648 to 1687. He came to the throne at the a ...
(the Sultan of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
) 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 Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
,
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
,
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
and
Paganism Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christianity, early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, or ethnic religions ot ...
.


See also

* David Cooper and
Anthony Benezet Anthony Benezet, born Antoine Bénézet (January 31, 1713May 3, 1784), was a French Americans, French-American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist and Teacher, educator who was active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the early Am ...
– Quakers active in the 18th century abolitionist movement * '' The Light upon the Candlestick'' – a 17th-century tract which was popular among English Quakers *
List of Christian denominations A Christian denomination is a distinct religion, religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, Ecclesiastical polity, organization and doctrine. Individual bodies, however, may use alternative terms to describe themsel ...
* * * *


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, New York Lewiston is a Administrative divisions of New York#Town, town in Niagara County, New York, Niagara County, New York (state), New York, United States. The population was 15,944 at the 2020 census. The town and its contained village are named afte ...
:
Edwin Mellen Press The Edwin Mellen Press or Mellen Press is an international Independent business, independent company and Academic publisher, academic publishing house with editorial offices in Lewiston (town), New York, Lewiston, New York, and Lampeter, Lampete ...
, 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, 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 Scotland
*

* ttp://www.prdl.org/authors.php?a_in=ALL&era=Early%20Modern&tradition=Quaker Post Reformation Digital Library: a library of early modern Quaker textsbr>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 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