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Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Quaker Star
Logo used by Friends' service organizations since the late 19th century
TheologyEvangelical, Liberal, Orthodox
Distinct fellowshipsFriends World Committee for Consultation
AssociationsEvangelical Friends International, Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting
Geographical areasBurundi, Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, Indonesia, Kenya, Rwanda, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States
FounderGeorge Fox
OriginMid-17th century
Separated fromChurch of England
Members340,558 (in 2007)[1] amongst FWCC-affiliated meetings
HospitalsDemocratic Republic of the Congo Abeka Community Hospital

Kenya Kaimosi Hospital, Lugulu Hospital, Sabatia Eye Hospital India Chhatarpur Christian Hospital UK The Retreat

Aid organizationAmerican Friends Service Committee; Canadian Friends Service Committee; Quaker Peace and Social Witness (UK)
Secondary schoolsAustralia The Friends' School, Hobart,

Ireland Newtown School, Waterford; Japan Friends School (Japan); Kenya Friends School Kamusinga; Lebanon Brummana High School; Palestine Ramallah Friends Schools UK Ackworth School; Bootham School; Friends School Lisburn; Friends School Saffron Waldon; Leighton Park School; The Mount School, York; Sibford School; Sidcot School. USA Sidwell Friends School; Friends' Central School; Friends Select School; Westtown School; Scattergood Friends School

Tertiary institutionsKenya Friends Theological College

UK Woodbrooke College USA Haverford College, Guilford College, Earlham College, Swarthmore College, Wilmington College (Ohio), Bryn Mawr College, George Fox University, Malone University, Friends University, Azusa Pacific University), Barclay College

Other name(s)Friends Church
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Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Quaker Star
Logo used by Friends' service organizations since the late 19th century
TheologyEvangelical, Liberal, Orthodox
Distinct fellowshipsFriends World Committee for Consultation
AssociationsEvangelical Friends International, Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting
Geographical areasBurundi, Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, Indonesia, Kenya, Rwanda, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States
FounderGeorge Fox
OriginMid-17th century
Separated fromChurch of England
Members340,558 (in 2007)[1] amongst FWCC-affiliated meetings
HospitalsDemocratic Republic of the Congo Abeka Community Hospital

Kenya Kaimosi Hospital, Lugulu Hospital, Sabatia Eye Hospital India Chhatarpur Christian Hospital UK The Retreat

Aid organizationAmerican Friends Service Committee; Canadian Friends Service Committee; Quaker Peace and Social Witness (UK)
Secondary schoolsAustralia The Friends' School, Hobart,

Ireland Newtown School, Waterford; Japan Friends School (Japan); Kenya Friends School Kamusinga; Lebanon Brummana High School; Palestine Ramallah Friends Schools UK Ackworth School; Bootham School; Friends School Lisburn; Friends School Saffron Waldon; Leighton Park School; The Mount School, York; Sibford School; Sidcot School. USA Sidwell Friends School; Friends' Central School; Friends Select School; Westtown School; Scattergood Friends School

Tertiary institutionsKenya Friends Theological College

UK Woodbrooke College USA Haverford College, Guilford College, Earlham College, Swarthmore College, Wilmington College (Ohio), Bryn Mawr College, George Fox University, Malone University, Friends University, Azusa Pacific University), Barclay College

Other name(s)Friends Church

Quakers, or Friends, are members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Friends' Church—an international family of diverse Christian religious organizations that focus on the priesthood of all believers.[2][3][4] Quakers today are theologically diverse: mostly regarded as Christian, they include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity. From the end of the 20th century, small but vocal groups of Friends with Christian atheist[5] or universalist beliefs have emerged.

Quakers are organized into independent regional and national bodies called Yearly Meetings which often split from one another because of doctrinal differences. Several federations for Yearly Meetings unite Quakers who share similar beliefs—for example Evangelical Friends Church International which unites evangelical Christian Friends;[6] Friends United Meeting which unites Friends into "fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord";[7] and Friends General Conference links groups that have liberal beliefs. Many Yearly Meetings are also members of Friends World Committee for Consultation, a loose international federation of Yearly Meetings from the different traditions.

The movement began in mid-17th century England when travelling preachers broke away from the Church of England and set out to convert others to what they believed were the practices of the early Church.[citation needed] This group emphasised a personal, direct experience of Christ, acquired through both direct experience and through reading the Bible.[8] Quakerism was originally based on the idea that Christ has come to teach his people himself: stressing Christ's direct relationship with a universal priesthood of which everyone is a part.[9]

Internationally, 89% of Friends worship in programmed worship [10]—that is a meeting with singing and prepared messages and Bible readings, often coordinated by a pastor. Around 11%[10]) of Friends practice waiting worship (also known as unprogrammed worship) —that is a meeting with silent prayer and unprepared verbal contributions from anyone present, which Friends believe is led by the Holy Spirit. Some meetings of both styles have Recorded Ministers who are recognised for their gift of speaking in meetings.[11]

Historically, Quakers were known for their use of thee as an ordinary pronoun, refusal to participate in war; plain dress; refusal to swear oaths; and opposition to alcohol.[citation needed] Quakers founded banks and financial institutions including Barclays, Lloyds and Friends Provident; and manufacturing companies including Clarks, Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry's and for philanthropy, which included funding anti-slavery, prison reform and social justice projects.

What is perhaps the most popular image of a Quaker is found on the label of Quaker Oats, dating back to 4 September 1877, when the first trademark for a breakfast cereal with "a man in 'Quaker garb'" was applied for by Henry Seymour, owner of the Quaker Mill Company.[12]



Beginnings in England

In England in the late 1640s, following the English Civil War, a young man, George Fox, became convinced that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without clergy. He traveled around England, preaching. His central teaching was Christ has come to teach his people himself.[13] They considered themselves the restoration of the true Christian church after centuries of apostasy. They 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. Their numbers increased to a peak of 60,000 in England and Wales by 1680,[14] 1.15% of the population of England and Wales.[14]

In 1650, Fox was brought before magistrates Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton on a charge of blasphemy. According to his autobiography, Bennet "was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord".[15] It is thought that Fox was referring to Isaiah 66:2[16] or Ezra 9:4[17]. Thus, the name Quaker began as a way of ridiculing Fox's admonition, but became widely accepted and used by some Quakers.[18]

Quakers were officially persecuted in England under the Quaker Act 1662 and the Conventicle Act 1664. This was relaxed after the Declaration of Indulgence (1687–1688) and stopped under the Act of Toleration 1689.

Emigration to America

William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a holy experiment - a state run on Quaker principles

Some Friends emigrated to America. Some experienced persecution there (e.g., the Boston martyrs were hanged in Massachusetts Bay colony), but they were tolerated in other places, including West Jersey. In Rhode Island 36 governors in the first 100 years were Quakers. Pennsylvania was established by affluent Quaker William Penn in 1682 as a state run under Quaker principles. Quakerism spread across the eastern seaboard. Penn signed a peace treaty with Tammany, leader of the Delaware tribe.[19] Other treaties with native Americans followed. Penn's Treaty was never violated.[20]

Friends' Syrian Mission, 1874, built this mission house in Ramallah

Following Christian revivals in the mid-19th century, Friends in Britain wanted to start missionary activity overseas. The first missionaries were sent in 1866 to Benares (Varanasi) in India.[21] The Friends Foreign Mission Association was formed in 1868 and sent missionaries to Madhya Pradesh, India forming what is now Mid-India Yearly Meeting, and later to Madegascar from 1867, China from 1896, Sri Lanka from 1896 and Pemba Island from 1897.[21] The Friends Syrian Mission was established in 1874, which among other institutions ran the Ramallah Friends Schools which still exist today. Swiss missionary Theophilus Waldmeier founded Brummana High School in Lebanon in 1873.[21] Friends Churches from Ohio Yearly Meeting sent missionaries to India in 1896,[22] forming what is now Bundelkhand Yearly Meeting. Cleveland Friends went toMombasa, Kenya, starting what was Friends' most successful mission. Quakerism spread within Kenya and toUganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.


During the 18th century, Quakers entered the quietist phase: more inward looking and less active in converting others. Marrying outside the Society was outlawed. Numbers dwindled, dropping to 19,800 in England and Wales by 1800[14] (0.21%[14]) and 13,859 by 1860.[14] (0.07% of population[14]). The formal name "Religious Society of Friends", dates from the 18th century. The term Religious Society of Friends, harks back to the "Friends of the Truth".

Divisions of the Religious Society of Friends



Conservative Friends



Friends United Meeting


Evangelical Friends International


Friends General Conference

Friends General Conference

Showing the divisions of Quakers occurring in the 19th and 20h centuries.


Hicksite - Orthodox split

Several splits occurred in the 19th century. Elias Hicks' views were claimed to be Universalist and to contradict the sect's historical tradition. His preaching 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 their opponents as Hicksites and others as orthodox.

Beaconite Controversy

Isaac Crewdson. a Recorded Minister in Manchester, UK published A Beacon to the Society of Friends in 1835, which strongly argued that the inward light could not exist alongside a belief in salvation, by atonement.[23](p155) This controversy led to Crewdson's resignation along with 48 fellow members of Manchester Meeting and about 250 other British Quakers, in 1836–1837, some of whom joined the Plymouth Brethren.

Rise of Gurneyite Quakerism

Joseph John Gurney was a prominent 19th century British Friend and a strong proponent of evangelical views

Orthodox Friends became more evangelical during the 19th century,[24] influenced by the Second Great Awakening. This move was led by British Quaker Joseph John Gurney. Friends held Revival meetings and became involved in the Holiness movement. Quakers such as Hannah Whitall Smith and Robert Pearsall Smith became speakers in the movement and introduced Quaker phrases and practices.[23](p157) British Friends became involved with the Higher Life movement, with Robert Wilson, from Cockermouth meeting, founding the Keswick Convention.[23](p157)

From the 1870s it became commonplace in Britain to have Sunday evening home mission meetings with hymns and an evangelical address alongside the Sunday morning silent meetings for worship.[23](p155)

In 1887, a British Quaker, Joseph Bevan Braithwaite proposed a declaration of faith known as the Richmond Declaration. This was agreed by 95 representatives at a meeting of Five Years Meeting but unexpectedly the declaration was not adopted by London Yearly Meeting, because a vocal minority, including Edward Grubb, opposed it.[25]

Gurneyite - Conservative split

Some Quakers in America disliked the move towards evangelicalism, seeing this as the dilution of the Friends' tradition of being led by the Holy Spirit. These Friends were led by John Wilbur, who was expelled from his yearly meeting in 1842. He and his supporters formed their own yearly meeting. In the UK, in 1868, some Friends split off from London Yearly Meeting, for the same reason. They formed the separate Fritchley General Meeting which remained distinct from the London Yearly Meeting until 1968. Similar splits took place in Canada. The remainder of London Yearly Meeting and the remaining American yearly meetings were called Gurneyite yearly meetings, after Joseph John Gurney, and eventually collectively became called Five Years Meeting and then Friends United Meeting.

Quaker Renaissance: move towards liberalism in Britain

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a movement known as the Quaker Renaissance began within London Yearly Meeting—young Friends moved away from evangelicalism and towards liberal Christianity.[26] This was particularly influenced by John Wilhelm Rowntree, Edward Grubb and Rufus Jones. These Friends promoted the theory of evolution, modern biblical criticism and the social meaning of Jesus's teaching—encouraging Friends to follow the example of Christ by performing good works. They downplayed evangelical ideas of atonement.[26] Following the Manchester Conference of 1895 where 1,000 British Friends met to consider the future of British Quakerism, liberalism gradually increased within London Yearly Meeting.[27]

Conscious objection

Some Quaker conscientious objectors formed the Friends Ambulance Unit with the aim of co-operating to build up a new world rather than fighting to destroy the old

The First World War and Second World War put the Friends' opposition to war to the test. Many Quakers became conscientious objectors and some formed the Friends Ambulance Unit and American Friends Service Committee.

Formation of Friends World Committee for Consultation

Friends brought together from different yearly meetings to work together for service in the Friends Ambulance Unit, American Friends Service Committee and other post-war relief work. Friends from across the spectrum worked together with several World Conferences and the subsequent creation of the Friends World Committee for Consultation which brought together Friends from different yearly meetings.

Evangelical Friends

After World War I, growing desire for a more fundamentalist approach among some Friends began to split Five Years Meetings. In 1926, Oregon Yearly Meeting seceded from Five Years Meeting, bringing several other yearly meetings and scattered monthly meetings. In 1947, the Association of Evangelical Friends was formed, with triennial meetings which lasted until 1970. In 1965, this was replaced by the Evangelical Friends Association which in 1989 became Evangelical Friends Church International.[28]

Role of women

Despite the survival of strong patriarchal elements, Friends believed in the spiritual equality of women, who were allowed to take a far more active role than had ordinarily existed before the emergence of radical civil war sects. However after the Restoration of 1660, Quakers became unwilling to defend women when they adopted tactics such as disrupting services. Meetings were organized to involve Quaker women in modest, feminine pursuits and men excluded them from public concerns, such as allocating aid to the poor and ensuring that Quaker marriages could not be attacked as immoral. Women were treated as severely as men by the authorities.[29]

Friends in business

Dynasties of Quakers were successful in business. This included ironmaking by Abraham Darby I[30] and his family; banking, including Lloyds Banking Group (founded by Sampson Lloyd),[30] Barclays PLC,[30] Backhouse's Bank and Gurney's Bank; life assurance (Friends Provident); pharmaceuticals (Allen & Hanburys[30]); chocolate (Cadbury,[30] Terry's, Fry's[30]); confectionery (Rowntree[30]); biscuit manufacturing (Huntley & Palmers[30]); and shoe manufacturing (Clarks).

Friends in education

Initially, Quakers had no ordained priests and thus needed no seminaries for theological training. The first major Quaker colleges were founded much later—in America they founded Haverford College (1833),[31] Guilford College (1837), Earlham College (1844), Swarthmore College (1864), Wilmington College (Ohio) (1870), Bryn Mawr College (1885), Friends Pacific Academy (now George Fox University) (1885), Cleveland Bible College (now Malone University) (1892),[32] Friends University (1898), Training School for Christian Workers (now Azusa Pacific University) (1899)[33] and Friends Bible College (now Barclay College) (1917).[34] In Britain, they organized Woodbrooke College in 1903. In Kenya, Quakers founded Friends Bible Institute (now Friends Theological College) in Kaimosi, Kenya in 1942.

Friends and slavery

Some Quakers in America and Britain became well known for their involvement in the abolition of slavery.

Five yearly meetings belong both to Five Years Meeting and Friends General Conference.


The theological beliefs of yearly meetings vary considerably. Tolerance of dissent widely varies among yearly meetings.[35]

Most Friends believe in continuing revelation, which is the idea that truth is continuously revealed directly to individuals from God. George Fox, an "early Friend" described it as "Christ has come to teach His people Himself."[15] Friends often focus on trying to hear 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 my root, my life, my foundation..."[36] Quakers reject the idea of priests, believing in the priesthood of all believers. Some Friends express their concept of God using various phrases which include the inner light, or inward light of Christ, the Holy Spirit or other phrases.

Diverse theological beliefs, understandings of the "leading of the Spirit", and statements of "faith and practice" have always existed among Friends. Due in part to the emphasis on the immediate guidance of the Spirit, Quaker doctrines, have only sometimes been codified as declarations of faith, confessions or theological texts; those that do exist include the Letter to the Governor of Barbados (Fox, 1671),[37] An Apology for the True Christian Divinity (Barclay, 1678),[38] A Catechism and Confession of Faith (Barclay, 1690),[39] The Testimony of the Society of Friends on the Continent of America (adopted jointly by all orthodox yearly meetings in USA, 1830),[40] Richmond Declaration of Faith (Adopted by Five Years Meeting, 1887),[41] Essential Truths (Rufus Jones and James Wood, adopted by Five Years Meeting, 1922).[42] As a public statement of faith, most yearly meetings publish their own Book of Discipline, that expresses discipleship within the experience of Friends in that yearly meeting.


Conservative Friends worshipping in London in 1809. Friends are dressed in traditional plain dress. At the front of the meeting house, the recorded ministers sit on a raised ministers' gallery facing the rest of the meeting, with the elders sitting on the bench in front of them, also facing the meeting. Men and women are segregated, but both are able to minister.

Conservative Friends, or Primitive Friends (also known as "Wilburite" after John Wilbur), share the beliefs of the early Friends. Prior to the mid-18th century, all Quakers were Wilburite, but splits and developments in the 19th and 20th century called the majority of Friends away from this branch. Conservative Friends stress their trust in the immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit.[43] Conservative Friends completely reject all forms of religious symbolism and outward sacraments, such as water baptism or the Eucharist. Conservative Friends do not believe in the reliance upon practice of the outward rites and sacraments, believing that holiness can exist in all the activities of one's life—that all of life is sacred. Many Friends believe that any meal with others could be a form of communion. Conservative Friends reject any formal written creed.

In the US, Conservative Friends are part of the conservative yearly meetings of Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina; the conservative Ohio Yearly Meeting is generally considered the most traditional in this regard, retaining more rural Quakers who use the plain language and continue wearing plain dress more than the other two.[44] Groups of Conservative Friends attend the UK's Ripley Quaker Meeting, Greece's Athens Meeting and yearly meetings in Canada. Some of the more moderate Conservative Friends have beliefs and practices similar to the more Christocentric liberal Friends. Today, Conservative Friends make up around 0.03% of Quakers worldwide.[35]


Evangelical Friends make up at least 40% of Friends worldwide.[35] They regard Christ as their Lord and savior[43] and have similar views to other evangelical Christians. They believe in, and place a high regard for, the penal substitution theory of atonement, biblical infallibility and the need for everyone to personally experience a relationship with God.[45] They believe that the purpose of the Friends Church is to evangelise and transform others through love and service for others.[45] Evangelical Friends regard the Bible as the infallible and self-authenticating word of God. The "Beliefs of Friends" statement by Evangelical Friends International, is comparable to other evangelical churches' confessions of faith. Evangelical Friends are mainly located in the US, Asia and Central America, particularly in meetings which are affiliated with Evangelical Friends Church International). Beginning in the 1880s, some Friends began using outward sacraments, first in Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region (then known as Ohio Yearly Meeting [Damascus]). Friends Church Southwest approved the practice of outward sacraments. In places where Evangelical Friends do missionary work, including in Africa, Asia and Latin America, baptism with water is carried out. This practice differs from most other branches of the Religious Society of Friends.


Gurneyite Friends are the modern-day followers of the theology promoted by Joseph John Gurney, a British 19th century Friend. They make up 49% of Quakers worldwide.[35] They regard Christ as their teacher and Lord,[43] and favor working closely with other protestant Christian groups. Gurneyite Friends put more emphasis on the authority of the Bible over the direct experience of God, often seeing the Bible as the direct word of God. Both children and adults participate in ongoing religious education emphasising Bible and its relationship to Quaker testimonies and Quaker history. Gurneyite Friends subscribe to a set of doctrines, such as the Richmond Declaration. While there was conflict over the role of the Richmond Declaration in subsequent years, it was "adopted," "accepted" or "approved" by nearly all of the Gurneyite yearly meetings at the time. The Five Years Meeting of Friends reaffirmed the Richmond Declaration in 1912 but specifically stated that it was not to constitute a creed. Although Gurneyism was the main form of Quakerism in Britain in the 19th century, today Gurneyite Friends are mainly located in Ireland, Africa, India and parts of the US - particularly within meetings affiliated to Friends United Meeting). Many Gurneyite Friends combine "waiting worship" (unprogrammed worship) with practices common to other Protestant services, such as scripture reading and singing hymns. A minority practice entirely unprogrammed worship.


Holiness Friends are heavily influenced by the Holiness movement, in particular John Wesley's doctrine of Christian perfection. This doctrine holds that loving God and loving humanity totally, as exemplified by Christ, enables believers to voluntarily rid themselves of sin. This was a predominant view within Quakerism in the United States in the 19th century. It held fairly widely in the United Kingdom and influenced other branches of Quakerism. Holiness Friends argue that early Friends, including Fox's message of perfection was the same as holiness.[46] While some Friends accept holiness within most yearly meetings, it is a officially part of Central Yearly Meeting of Friends (founded in 1926 specifically to promote holiness theology) and the Bolivian Holiness Mission Evangelical Friends Church (founded by missionaries from that meeting in 1919, the largest group of Friends in Bolivia).[47]


Liberal Quakerism generally refers to Friends who have taken ideas from liberal Christianity, often sharing a similar mix of ideas, such as more critical Biblical hermeneutics, often with a focus on the social gospel. The ideas of That of God in everyone and the inner light were popularised by American Friend Rufus Jones in the early 20th century. He and John Wilhelm Rowntree originated the movement. Liberal Friends were predominant in Britain in the 20th century and amongst US meetings affiliated to Friends General Conference, and some meetings in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

These ideas remain an important part of liberal Friends' understanding of God. Liberal Friends highlight the importance of good works, particularly living a life that upholds the virtues preached by Jesus. They often emphasize pacifism, treating others equally, living simply and telling the truth.[35]

Like conservatives, liberals reject religious symbolism and sacraments, such as water baptism and the Eucharist. While liberals recognize the potential of these outward forms for awakening experiences of the Light, they are not part of their worship, and are unnecessary to authentic spirituality.

The Bible remains central to many liberal's worship, and almost all meetings make the Bible available in the meeting house (often on a table in the centre of the room) which attendees may read privately or publicly during worship. However, liberals decided that scripture should give way if God leads them in a way that is contrary to the Bible. Many Friends are also influenced by liberal Christian theologians and modern Biblical criticism. They often adopt non-propositional Biblical hermeneutics, such as believing that the Bible is an anthology of human authors' beliefs and feelings about God rather than Holy Writ and that multiple interpretations of scripture are acceptable.

Liberal Friends believe a corporate confession of faith would be an obstacle—both to authentic listening and to new insight. As a non-creedal form of Christianity, liberal Quakerism is receptive to a wide range of faith understandings. Most liberal yearly meetings publish a Faith and Practice book with a range of experiences of what it means to be a Friend in that yearly meeting.


Universalist Friends affirm religious pluralism, that there are many different paths to God and that understandings of the divine reached through non-Christian religious experiences are as valid as Christian understandings. This group was founded by John Linton, in the late 1970s. Linton had worshipped God with the Delhi Worship Group in India (an independent meeting not affiliated to any yearly meeting or wider Quaker group) with Christians, Muslims and Hindus worshipping together.[48] Following a move to Great Britain he founded the Quaker Universalist Fellowship in 1978. Later his views spread to the US where the Quaker Universalist Fellowship was founded in 1983.[48] Most of the Friends who joined these two fellowships were Liberal Friends from Britain Yearly Meeting in the United Kingdom and Friends from Friends General Conference in the United States. Interest in Quaker Universalism was low among Friends from other meetings. The views of the Universalists provoked controversy between themselves and Christian Quakers within Britain Yearly Meeting and within Friends General Conference, during the 1980s.


These Friends have views similar to other post-Christian non-theists in other churches such as the Sea of Faith within the Anglican church. They are predominantly atheists, agnostics and humanists who nevertheless value membership in a religious organization. The first organization for non-theist Friends was the Humanistic Society of Friends, founded in Los Angeles in 1939. This organization remained small and was absorbed into the American Humanist Association.[49] More recently, interest in non-theism resurfaced, particularly led by British Friend David Boulton, who founded the 40 member Nontheist Friends Network in 2011.[50] Non-theism is controversial, leading some Christian Quakers from within Britain Yearly Meeting to call for non-theists to be refused membership.[51] In one study of Friends in Britain Yearly Meeting, around 30% of Quakers had views were described as non-theistic, agnostic or atheist.[52][53] Another study put the number of believing Friends as high as 92%. It claimed that 70%+ of Quakers in Great Britain regard Christ as their supreme religious guide, while a further 20%+ believed in Christ's importance and hold a syncreticist view of religious life (Quaker Universalists).[citation needed] Another study of British Quakers found that of the 727 members of the Religious Society of Friends who completed the survey, 75.1%said that they consider themselves Christian; 17.6% did not consider themselves Christian; and 7.3% of the members either did not answer or circled both answers.[54]:p.41 A further 22% of Quakers did not consider themselves to be a Christian, but fulfilled a definition of being a Christian in that they said that they devoutly followed the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.[54]:p.52 In the same survey 86.9% said that they believed in God.[54]

Practical theology

Quakers bear witness or testify to their beliefs in their lives,[55] drawing on James' advice that faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.[56] This witness is rooted in their immediate experience of God and verified by the Bible, especially in Jesus' the 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, e.g. the Sermon on the Mount or the Sermon on the Plain, Friends argue that they feel personally moved by God or Christ rather than following an ethical code.

Some theologians classify Friends' 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 categorization is universally accepted.[57]

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.[58]

In the USA, the acronym SPICES is often used (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship). 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).[59]

In the UK, the acronym STEP or PEST is used (peace, equality, simplicity and truth). In his book Quaker Speak, British Friend Alastair Heron lists the following ways in which British Friends testify to God:[60] Opposition to betting and gambling, capital punishment, conscription, hat honor[clarification needed], oaths, slavery, times and seasons, tithing and promotion of integrity (or truth), peace, penal reform, plain language, relief of suffering, simplicity, social order, Sunday observance, sustainability, temperance and moderation.


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

Programmed worship

West Mansfield Friends Church, Ohio, affiliated to Evangelical Friends Church International

In programmed worship there is often a prepared message, which may be delivered by an individual with theological training. There may be hymns, a sermon, Bible readings, joint prayers and a period of silent worship. The worship resembles the church services of other protestant denominations, although in most cases does not include any Eucharist service. A paid pastor may be responsible for pastoral care. Worship of this kind is celebrated by about 89% of Friends worldwide.[35](p5-6) It is found in many yearly meetings in Africa, Asia and parts of the US (southern and central), and is common in programmed meetings affiliated to Friends United Meeting (who make up around 49% of worldwide membership[35](p5)), and evangelical meetings, including those affiliated to Evangelical Friends International (who make up at least 40% of Friends worldwide[35](p5-6)). The event is sometimes called a meeting for worship or sometimes called a Friends church service. This tradition arose among Friends in the United States in the 19th century in response to the many converts to Quakerism during the national spiritual revival of the time. Friends meetings in Africa and Latin America were generally started by Friends from programmed elements of the society, therefore most African and Latin American Friends worship in a programmed style.

Some Friends also hold "Semi-Programmed" Worship, which brings programmed elements such as hymns and readings into an otherwise unprogrammed worship service.

Waiting worship

The interior of an old meeting house in the United States

Waiting worship, also known as unprogrammed worship or holy communion in the manner of Friends, is based on the practices of early Friends, who based their beliefs and practices on their interpretation of how the early Christians worshipped. Friends gather together in "expectant waiting upon God" to experience God's direction from within. There is no plan of how the meeting proceeds. Friends believe that God plans what will happen, with the Holy Spirit leading people to speak. When an individual Quaker feels led to speak, he or she will rise and share a spoken message ("vocal ministry") with the others. When this happens, Quakers believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking. After someone has spoken, more than a few minutes pass in silence before further vocal ministry is given. Sometimes a meeting is entirely silent, sometimes many speak. These meetings lasted for several hours in Fox's time. Modern meetings are often limited to an hour, ending when two people (usually the elders) exchange the sign of peace by handshake. This handshake is often shared by the others. This style of worship is the norm in Britain, Ireland, the continent of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Canada and parts of the United States (particularly yearly meetings associated with Friends General Conference and Beanite Quakerism)—constituting about 10%[35]:page 5 of Quakers. Those who worship in this style hold each person to be equal before God and capable of knowing the light directly. Anyone present may speak if they feel led to do so. Traditionally, Recorded Ministers were recognised for their particular gift in vocal ministry. This practice continues amongst Conservative Friends, and some liberal Friends (e.g. New York Yearly Meeting[61]). Many meetings where liberal Friends predominate abolished this practice. The London Yearly Meeting abolished the acknowledging and recording of Recorded Ministers in 1928.


A Friend is a member of a Yearly Meeting, usually beginning with membership in a local monthly meeting. Methods for acquiring membership vary—for example in most Kenyan yearly meetings, attenders who wish to become members are required to take part in around two years of adult education, memorising key Bible passages and learning about the history of Christianity and Quakerism. Within Britain Yearly Meeting, membership is acquired through a process of peer review where a potential member is visited by several members who present a report to the other members of the monthly meeting before a decision is reached.

Within some Friends Churches in the Evangelical Friends Church, in particular in Rwanda, Burundi and parts of the USA, an adult believers' baptism with water is optional. Within the liberal, conservative and pastoral traditions, Friends do not practice water baptism, Christening or other initiation ceremonies to admit a new member or a newborn. 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 is no longer the case in many areas. Some parents apply for membership on behalf of their children, while others allow the child to decide whether to become a member when they ready.

Meetings for worship for specific tasks


A meeting for worship for the solemnisation of marriage in an unprogrammed Friends meeting is similar to any other unprogrammed Meeting for Worship.[62] The pair exchange vows before God and gathered witnesses and the meeting returns to open worship. At the rise of meeting the witnesses, including the youngest children, are asked to sign the wedding certificate as a record. In Britain, Quakers keep a separate record of the union and notify the General Register Office.

In the early days of the United States, there was doubt whether a marriage solemnized in that manner was entitled to legal recognition. Over the years each state set rules for the procedure. Most US states (except Pennsylvania) 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 the officiant. Often these are the members of a committee of oversight who have helped the couple plan their marriage. Usually a separate document containing their vows and the 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" prior to the wedding. This committee's purpose is to discuss with the couple the many aspects of marriage and life as a couple. If the couple seems ready, the marriage is recommended to the meeting. "Clearness committees" are used in other contexts as well, where individuals or groups need to obtain guidance on a particular action to be taken.[citation needed]

Same-sex marriage

In 1986 Hartford Friends Meeting in Connecticut, USA reached the decision that "the Meeting recognizes committed union in a celebration of marriage under the care of the Meeting. The same loving care and consideration should be given to both same-sex and heterosexual applicants as outlined in Faith and Practice".[63] Since then, some other meetings of liberal Friends from Australia, Britain and parts of North America have recognised marriage between partners of the same sex.  In jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is not recognised by the civil authorities, some liberal meetings follow the practice of early Quakers in overseeing the union without reference to the state.  As in the wider society, there is a wide diversity of views on this issue, and Friends have varying views on the topic. There are many Friends in the US who do not support same sex marriage, and some yearly meetings in the United States and Africa have issued public statements stating that homosexuality is a sin.[63]

Memorial services

Traditional Quaker memorial services are held as a form of worship and are known as memorial meetings. Friends gather for worship and offer remembrances about the deceased. In some traditions, the coffin or ashes are not present. Memorial meetings may be held many weeks after the death, which can enable wider attendance and can also replace 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 everyone a chance to remember the lost individual in their own way, comforting those present and re-affirming the larger community.[citation needed]

Church government and polity

Quaker Business Meeting in York

Governance and decision making is 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 at which all members can attend, as in a Congregational church. Quakers consider this to be a form of worship, conducted in the manner of meeting for worship. They believe this is the gathering of believers who wait upon the Lord to discover God's will, believing that they are not making their own decisions. They seek to understand God's will for the community via the actions of the Holy Spirit within the meeting.[64]

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 to acknowledge them before speaking. Direct replies to someone's contribution are not permitted, with an aim of seeking truth rather than of debating. 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 a single Friend delays a decision because they feel the meeting is not following God's will. Because of this, many non-Friends describe this as consensus decision-making; however Friends are instead determined to continue seeking God's will. It is assumed that if everyone is listening to God's spirit, the way forward will become clear.

The meeting for business affairs is conducted in this way, and can seem time-consuming and impractical. Many non-Friends doubt whether this process can work in a large group, although many Yearly Meetings have employed this practice for generations.

National and international divisions and organization

Like many movements, the Religious Society of Friends has evolved, changed and split into subgroups.

Quakerism started in the United Kingdom, and quickly spread to the United States. Today Kenya is by far the country with the most Quakers. Other countries with over 1,000 Quakers are Burundi, Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, Indonesia, Rwanda, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States.[1] Although the total number of Quakers is around 360,000 worldwide,[65] Quaker influence is concentrated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;Kaimosi, Kenya; Newberg, Oregon; Greenleaf, Idaho; Whittier, California; Richmond, Indiana; Friendswood, Texas; Birmingham, UK; Ramallah, Palestine and Greensboro, North Carolina.

International organization

Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is the international Quaker organization which loosely unifies the groups; FWCC brings together the largest variety of Friends in the world.

Various organizations associated with Friends include a U.S. lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C. called the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL); service organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee (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.

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 Americas.


Quakers in Africa (2007)[1]
CountryNumber of Quakers
South Africa
Congo (Republic of)

The highest concentration of Quakers is in Africa.[66] The Friends of East Africa were at one time part of a single East Africa Yearly Meeting, then the world's largest yearly meeting. Today, this region is served by several distinct yearly meetings. Most of these are affiliated with the Friends United Meeting, practice programmed worship and employ pastors. Friends meet in Rwanda and Burundi, as well as new work beginning in North Africa. Small unprogrammed meetings exist also in Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Australia and New Zealand

Quakers in Australia and New Zealand (2007)[1]
CountryNumber of Quakers
New Zealand

Friends in Australia and New Zealand follow the unprogrammed tradition, similar to Britain Yearly Meeting

Considerable distances between the colonies and small numbers of Quakers meant that Australia Friends were dependent on London until the 20th century. The Society remained unprogrammed and is named the 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.[67] 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 2006 Australian Census recorded 1,984 Quakers in Australia, which was an increase of 11% since the 2001 Census.[68]

Meetings for worship in New Zealand started in Nelson in 1842 and in Auckland in 1885.


Quakers in Asia (2007)[1]
CountryNumber of Quakers

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, affiliated to Evangelical Friends International.


Quakers in Europe (2007)[1]
CountryNumber of Quakers
Belgium / Luxembourg
Czech Republic
Hungary / Romania / Albania

In the United Kingdom, the predominantly liberal and unprogrammed Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain has 478 local meetings,[69] and a total of 14,260 adult members,[69] and an additional 8,560 non-member adults who attend worship[69] and 2,251 children.[69] The number has declined steadily since the mid-20th century.[69] Programmed meetings occur, including in Wem[70] and London.[71] Amall groups of Conservative Friends meet in Ripley and Greenwich in England and Arbroath in Scotland,[72] who follow Ohio Yearly Meeting's Book of Discipline.[73]

Evangelical Friends Central Europe Yearly Meeting has 4,306 members[1] across six nations,[74] including Albania, Hungary and Romania.[1]

Ireland Yearly Meeting is unprogrammed and is more conservative than Britain Yearly Meeting. They have 1,591 members[1] in 28 meetings[75] across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

German Yearly Meeting is liberal and unprogrammed and has 338 members,[1] worshipping in 31 meetings in Germany and Austria.

Small groups of Friends in Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Palestine, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine attend meetings ther.[1]

Middle East

Quakers in the Middle East(2007)[1]
CountryNumber of Quakers
Lebanon / Israel

Middle East Yearly Meeting has meetings in Lebanon and Israel.

North and South America

Quakers in America (2007)[1]
CountryNumber of Quakers
Costa Rica
El Salvador
United States

Quakers can be found throughout Canada. Some of the largest concentrations are in Southern Ontario.[citation needed]

Friends in the United States have diverse worship style come differences of theology, vocabulary and practice.

A local congregation in the unprogrammed tradition is called a meeting, or a monthly meeting (e.g., Smalltown Meeting or Smalltown Monthly Meeting). The reference to "monthly" is because the meeting meets monthly to conduct the group's business. Most "monthly meetings" meet for worship at least once a week; some meetings have several worship meetings during the week. In programmed traditions, local congregations are often referred to as "Friends Churches".

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 belong to larger organizations to help maintain order and communication within the society. The three chief ones are Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends United Meeting (FUM) and Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI). In all three groups, most member organizations, 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 organization, while others are fully independent.

Ecumenical relations

Quakers prior to the 20th century considered the Religious Society of Friends to be a Christian movement, but did not feel their faith fit within categories of Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant.[76] Many conservative Friends, whilst fully seeing themselves as Christian, 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 and liberal Christian churches with whom they share common ground. Concern for peace and social justice often brings Friends together with other churches and Christian groups. Some liberal yearly meetings are members of ecumenical pan-Christian organizations which include Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches—for example Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is a member of the National Council of Churches,[77] Britain Yearly Meeting is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Friends General Conference is a member of the World Council of Churches.[78] Guerneyite Friends would typically see themselves as part of a Christian movement and work closely with other Christian groups. Friends United Meeting (the international organization of Gurneyite yearly meetings) is a member of the National Council of Churches [77] and the World Council of Churches,[78] which are pan-Christian organizations which include Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches. Evangelical Friends work closely with other evangelical churches from other Christian traditions. The North American branch of Evangelical Friends Church International is a member church of the National Association of Evangelicals. Evangelical Friends tend to be less involved with non-evangelical churches and are not members of the World Council of Churches or National Council of Churches.

The majority of other Christian groups recognize Friends amongst their fellow-Christians.[79] The Bible Theology Ministries (a small charismatic church in Swansea) is an exception,[80] but they also do not recognize Roman Catholics as Christian,[81] regarding both as cults. Some people who attend Friends meetings assume that Quakers are not Christian when they do not hear overtly Christian language during the meeting for worship.[82]

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, such as refusing to use the usual names of days of the week, since they derive from names of pagan deities.[83] They refused to celebrate Christmas because of its basis on pagan festivities.[84] Early Friends attempted to convert Muslims to Christianity, for examplein Fox's open letter, To the Turk[85] in which he encouraged all to turn to Christ as the only path to salvation. Mary Fisher attempted to convert the Muslim Mehmed IV (the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire) in 1658.

In 1870, Richard Price Hallowell argued that the logical extension of 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.[86]

From the late 20th century onwards some attenders at liberal Quaker meetings actively identify with faiths other than Christianity, such as Judaism, Islam,[87] Buddhism [88] or Paganism.

Calendar and church holidays

Quakers traditionally use numbers to denominate the names of 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 days begin with First Day (Sunday) and ends on Seventh Day (Saturday) and months run from First Month (January) to Twelfth Month (December). This is based on the terms used in the Bible: e.g., Jesus' followers went to the tomb early on the First Day of the week.[89][90][91][92] The plain calendar emerged in the 17th century in England in the Puritan movement but became closely identified with Friends by the end of the 1650s and was commonly employed into the 20th century. It is less commonly encountered today. The term First Day School is commonly used, for what is called by most churches Sunday School.

In common with other Christian denominations derived from the 16th century Puritanism, many Friends do not observe religious festivals (e.g. Christmas, Lent, or Easter), but instead believe that Christ's birth, crucifixion and resurrection should be commemorated every day of the year. For example, many Quakers feel that fasting at Lent but then eating in excess at other times of the year is hypocrisy and therefore many Quakers, rather than observing Lent, live a simple lifestyle all the year round (see Testimony of Simplicity). These practices are often referred to as 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, something which has been advised since the first advice issued by elders in 1656.[93]


Quakerism differs from other mystical religions in at least two important ways. Quaker mysticism is primarily group-oriented rather than focusing on the individual. The Friends' traditional meeting for worship expresses of that group mysticism, where all the members of the meeting listen together for the Spirit of God, speaking when that Spirit moves them.

Quaker mysticism after the late 19th century includes a strong emphasis on outwardly-directed witness. Rather than seeking withdrawal from the world, the Quaker mystic translates his or her mysticism into action. They believe this action leads to greater spiritual understanding—both by individuals and by the Meeting. This view of mysticism includes social and political activities.

Notes and references

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  2. ^ "‘That of God’ in everyone". Quakers in Belgium and Luxembourg. http://www.qkr.be/?page_id=95. 
  3. ^ "Quaker Faith & Practice". Britain Yearly Meeting. http://qfp.quakerweb.org.uk/qfp11-01.html. 
  4. ^ "Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice 2011 draf". http://www.bym-rsf.org/publications/fandp/11worship.html#vocal. 
  5. ^ "Quaker atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who practice Quakerism without supernatural beliefs". Nontheist Friends. http://www.nontheistfriends.org/. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  6. ^ "Friends Beliefs". Evangelical Friends Church International. http://www.evangelicalfriends.org/6. 
  7. ^ "Friends United Meeting". http://www.fum.org/. 
  8. ^ World Council of Churches. "Friends (Quakers)". Church Families. http://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/church-families/friends-quakers.html. 
  9. ^ Fox, George (1803). Armistead, Wilson. ed. 2 (7 ed.). p. 186. http://books.google.com/books?id=pYxFAAAAIAAJ. 
  10. ^ a b Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in BritainFox (2012). p. 7. http://www.quaker.org.uk/sites/default/files/epistles-and-testimonies-2012.pdf. 
  11. ^ Drayton, Brian (1994) Recorded Ministers in the Society of Friends: Then and Now. Friends General Conference. http://www.fgcquaker.org/library/ministry/recordedministers-drayton.html
  12. ^ Adams, Cecil.Is the guy on the Quaker Oats box John Penn? The Straight Dope Accessed 2006-07-28.
  13. ^ Britain Yearly Meeting (2008). "19: Openings; paragraph 20". Quaker Faith and Practice (4th edition). http://qfp.quakerweb.org.uk/qfp19-20.html. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Wrigley, Edward Anthony; Schofield, Roger; Schofield, R.S. (1989). The population history of England, 1541-1871: a reconstruction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-521-35688-1. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pV9SZS4WpjkC&dq. 
  15. ^ a b George Fox (1694). George Fox: An Autobiography (George Fox's Journal). http://www.strecorsoc.org/gfox/title.html. 
  16. ^ Isaiah 66:2, King James Version (Authorized, 1611)
  17. ^ Ezra 9:4, King James Version (Authorized, 1611)
  18. ^ Margery Post Abbott et al., Historical dictionary of the Friends (Quakers) (2003) p. xxxi
  19. ^ David Yount (2007). How the Quakers invented America. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 82. ISBN 0-7425-5833-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=pk7ycUq3cxsC&pg=PA82&dq&hl=en#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  20. ^ Sydney G. Fisher (2009). "The Quaker Colonies". Echo Library. p.13 ISBN 1-4068-5110-8
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  22. ^ Nixon, Eva Anna (1985). A Century of Planting: A history of the American Friends' mission in India. Newburg, OR, USA: Barclay Press. ISBN 0-913342-55-6. 
  23. ^ a b c d Bebbington, David William (1989). Evangelicalism in modern Britain: a history from the 1730s to the 1980s. London: Unwin Hyman Ltd. ISBN 0-415-10464-5. 
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  25. ^ Kennedy, Thomas C. (2001). British Quakerism 1860–1920: The Transformation of a Religious Community. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  26. ^ a b Packer, Ian (1 April 2003). "Religion and the New Liberalism: The Rowntree Family, Quakerism and Social Reform". Journal of British Studies 42 (2): 236–257. DOI:10.1086/345607. ISSN 0021-9371. http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1086/345607. 
  27. ^ Blamires, David (1996). ") The context and character of the 1895 Manchester Conference". Friends Quarterly 30: 50. 
  28. ^ Northwest Yearly Meeting Historical Statement[dead link]
  29. ^ Kay S. Taylor, "The Role of Quaker Women in the Seventeenth Century and the Experiences of the Wiltshire Friends." Southern History 2001 23: 10-29. Issn: 0142-4688, not online
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h Burns Windsor, D (1980) The Quaker Enterprise: Friends in Business, Frederick Muller Ltd, London ISBN 0-584-10257-7
  31. ^ David Yount How the Quakers invented America (2007) pp. 83-84
  32. ^ "History of Malone". Malone University. http://www.malone.edu/about-malone/history-of-malone.php. 
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  39. ^ Barclay, Robert (1690). A Catechism and Confession of Faith. http://www.qhpress.org/texts/barclay/catechism/index.html. 
  40. ^ The Testimony of the Society of Friends on the Continent of America. New York: Richard and George S Wood. 1830. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CtctAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
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  42. ^ "Essential Truths". QuakerInfo.com. http://www.quakerinfo.com/esstruth.shtml. 
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  47. ^ al.], Margery Post Abbott ... [et. Historical Dictionary of the Friends (Quakers) (2nd ed. ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. pp. 327–328. ISBN 0-8108-7088-6. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WlTnzA6kHYwC&pg=PA328&lpg=PA328&dq=Bolivian+Holiness+Mission+Evangelical+Friends+Church&source=bl&ots=_7cCaucsFV&sig=a53kHYYP5vfM8AEozXPzLiGzPrI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MOZsT6HYDqK-0QWIyM3CBg&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Bolivian%20Holiness%20Mission%20Evangelical%20Friends%20Church&f=false. 
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  56. ^ James 2:17
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  58. ^ Friends United Meeting in East Africa (2002) CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE IN THE FRIENDS CHURCH. http://www.quakerinfo.com/eastafricafandp.pdf
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  66. ^ 43 percent of Quakers worldwide are found in Africa, versus 30 percent in North America, 17 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, 6 percent in Europe and 4 percent in Asia/West Pacific. See Quaker Information Center.
  67. ^ list of Australian Quaker Regional Meetings
  68. ^ www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/research/_pdf/poa-2008.pdf
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  83. ^ Yount, David (2007). How the Quakers invented America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. p. 11. ISBN 0-7425-5833-9. 
  84. ^ Frost, Jerry William (1968). The Quaker family in colonial America: a social history of the Society of Friends, Volume 2. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin. p. 436. 
  85. ^ Fox, George (1821). "To the Turk and all that are under his Authority, to read this over, which concerns their Salvation". The Works of George Fox: Gospel truth demonstrated, in a collection of doctrinal books, given forth by that faithful minister of Jesus Christ, George Fox: containing principles essential to Christianity and salvation, held among the people called Quakers. Marcus T.C. Gould. pp. 216–221. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wuEYAAAAYAAJ. 
  86. ^ Richard Price Hollowell (1870). The Quakers in New England: An Essay. Merrihew & Son, Printers. p. 26. http://books.google.com/?id=6IOQcwb7xTYC. 
  87. ^ Brett Miller-White (2004) The Journeyman – The Making of a Muslim Quaker Quaker Theology, 10
  88. ^ Valerie Brown (2006) The Mindful Quaker
  89. ^ Mark 16:2
  90. ^ Luke 24:1
  91. ^ John 20:1
  92. ^ John 20:19
  93. ^ Dewsbury, William; Farnworth, Richard. "The Epistle from the Elders at Balby, 1656". http://www.qhpress.org/texts/balby.html. 

Further reading

  • Abbott, Margery; Chijioke, Mary Ellen; Dandelion, Pink; Oliver, John William, ed. (June 2003). Historical Dictionary of The Friends (Quakers). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-4483-4. 
  • Bacon, Margaret Hope (April 2000). The Quiet Rebels: The Story of the Quakers in America. Pendle Hill Publications. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-87574-935-8. 
  • Bacon, Margaret Hope. "Quakers and Colonization," Quaker History, 95 (Spring 2006), 26–43.
  • Barbour, Hugh; Frost, J. William. The Quakers. (1988), 412pp; historical survey, including many capsule biographies online edition
  • Barbour, Hugh (October 1985). The Quakers in Puritan England. Friends United Press. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-913408-87-2. 
  • Benjamin, Philip. Philadelphia Quakers in an Age of Industrialism, 1870-1920 (1976),
  • Bill, J. Brent, Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality ISBN 1-55725-420-6
  • Boulton, David (ed.) 2006. Godless for God's Sake: Nontheism in Contemporary Quakerism. Dales Historical Monographs. ISBN 0-9511578-6-8
  • Birkel, Michael L., Silence and Witness: The Quaker Tradition ISBN 1-57075-518-3 (in the UK, ISBN 0-232-52448-3)
  • Braithwaite, William C. The Beginnings of Quakerism (1912); revised by Henry J. Cadbury (1955) online edition
  • Braithwaite, William C. Second Period of Quakerism (1919); revised by Henry Cadbury (1961), covers 1660 to 1720s in Britain
  • Brinton, Howard H., Friends for 350 Years ISBN 0-87574-903-8
  • Brock, Peter. Pioneers of the Peaceable Kingdom (1968), on Peace Testimony from the 1650s to 1900.
  • Bronner, Edwin B. William Penn's Holy Experiment (1962)
  • Burnet, G.B., Story of Quakerism in Scotland The Lutterworth Press 2007, Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-7188-9176-3
  • Connerley, Jennifer. "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
  • Cooper, Wilmer A., A Living Faith: An Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Beliefs. 2nd ed. ISBN 0-944350-53-4
  • Dandelion, Pink, The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction ISBN 978-0-19-920679-7
  • Davies, Adrian. The Quakers in English Society, 1655-1725. (2000). 261 pp.
  • Doherty, Robert. The Hicksite Separation (1967), uses the new social history to inquire who joined which side
  • Dunn, Mary Maples. William Penn: Politics and Conscience (1967)
  • Frost, J. William. The Quaker Family in Colonial America: A Portrait of the Society of Friends (1973), emphasis on social structure and family life
  • Frost, J. William. "The Origins of the Quaker Crusade against Slavery: A Review of Recent Literature," Quaker History 67 (1978): 42-58,
  • Gillman, Harvey, A Light that is Shining: Introduction to the Quakers ISBN 0-85245-213-6
  • Guiton, Gerard, The Growth and Development of Quaker Testimony' ISBN 0-7734-6002-0
  • Hamm, Thomas. The Quakers in America. (2003). 293 pp., strong analysis of current situation, with brief history
  • Hamm, Thomas. The Transformation of American Quakerism: Orthodox Friends, 1800-1907 (1988), looks at the impact of the Holiness movement on the Orthodox faction
  • Hamm, Thomas D. Earlham College: A History, 1847-1997. (1997). 448 pp.
  • Hatton, Jean. "Betsy: The Dramatic Biography of Prison Reformer Elizabeth Fry" (2005) ISBN 1-85424-705-0 and ISBN 0-8254-6092-1
  • Hatton, Jean. "George Fox: Founder of the Quakers" (2007) ISBN 978-1-85424-763-7 and ISBN 978-0-8254-6106-4.
  • Hubbard, Geoffrey, Quaker by Convincement ISBN 0-85245-189-X and ISBN 0-14-021663-4
  • Illick, Joseph E. Colonial Pennsylvania: A History. 1976. online edition
  • Ingle, H. Larry, First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism ISBN 0-19-507803-9 and ISBN 0-19-510117-0
  • Ingle, H. Larry, Quakers in Conflict: The Hicksite Reformation ISBN 0-87574-926-7
  • James, Sydney. A People among Peoples: Quaker Benevolence in Eighteenth-Century America (1963), a broad ranging study that remains the best history in America before 1800
  • Jones, Rufus M., Amelia M. Gummere and Isaac Sharpless. Quakers in the American Colonies (1911), history to 1775 online edition
  • Jones, Rufus M. Later Periods of Quakerism, 2 vols. (1921), covers England and America until World War I.
  • Jones, Rufus M. The Story of George Fox (1919) 169 pages online edition
  • Jones, Rufus M. A Service of Love in War Time: American Friends Relief Work in Europe, 1917-1919 (1922) online edition
  • Jordan, Ryan. "The Dilemma of Quaker Pacifism in a Slaveholding Republic, 1833-1865," Civil War History, Vol. 53, 2007 online edition
  • Jordan, Ryan. Slavery and the Meetinghouse: The Quakers and the Abolitionist Dilemma, 1820–1865. (2007) 191pp
  • Kennedy, Thomas C. British Quakerism, 1860-1920: The Transformation of a Religious Community. (2001). 477 pp.
  • Larson, Rebecca. Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700-1775. (1999). 399 pp.
  • LeShana, James David. "'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
  • Minear, Mark., "Richmond, 1887: A Quaker Drama Unfolds" ISBN (0913408980) ISBN (9780913408988)
  • Moore, Rosemary, The Light in Their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain 1646-1666 (2000) 314pp ISBN 0-271-01989-1
  • Moretta, John A., William Penn and the Quaker Legacy ISBN 0-321-16392-3
  • Mullet, Michael, editor, New Light on George Fox ISBN 1-85072-142-4
  • Nash, Gary. Quakers and Politics: Pennsylvania, 1680-1726 (1968)
  • Punshon, John, Portrait in Grey : a short history of the Quakers (1994) ISBN 0-85245-180-6
  • Punshon, John. Portrait in Grey: A short history of the Quakers. (Quaker Home Service, 1984).
  • Rasmussen, Ane Marie Bak. A History of the Quaker Movement in Africa. (1994). 168 pp.
  • Russell, Elbert. The History of Quakerism (1942). online edition
  • Smuck, Harold. Friends in East Africa (Richmond, Indiana: 1987)
  • Steere, Douglas. 1967. On Being Present Where You Are. Wallingford, Pa: Pendle Hill Pamphlet No. 151.
  • Tolles, Frederick B. Meeting House and Counting House (1948), on Quaker businessmen in colonial Philadelphia
  • Tolles, Frederick B. Quakers and the Atlantic Culture (1960)
  • Trueblood, D. Elton The People Called Quakers (1966)
  • Vlach, John Michael. "Quaker Tradition and the Paintings of Edward Hicks: A Strategy for the Study of Folk Art," Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 94, 1981 online edition
  • Walvin, James. The Quakers: Money and Morals. (1997). 243 pp.
  • Yarrow, Clarence H. The Quaker Experience in International Conciliation (1979), for post-1945

Primary sources

  • Bill, J. Brent, Imagination and Spirit: A Contemporary Quaker Reader ISBN 0-944350-61-5
  • Gummere, Amelia, ed. The Journal and Essays of John Woolman (1922) online edition
  • Jones, Rufus M., ed. The Journal of George Fox: An Autobiography online edition
  • Mott, Lucretia Coffin. Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott. edited by Beverly Wilson Palmer, U. of Illinois Press, 2002. 580 pp
  • Smith, Robert Lawrence, A Quaker Book of Wisdom ISBN 0-688-17233-4
  • West, Jessamyn, editor, The Quaker Reader (1962) ISBN 0-87574-916-X collection of essays by Fox, Penn and other notable Quakers

Children's books

External links