Quakers called Friends, are a Christian group of religious movements formally known as the Religious Society of Friends, Society of Friends or Friends Church. Members of the various Quaker movements are all united in a belief in the ability of each human being to experientially access "the light within", or "that of God in every one"; some may profess the priesthood of all believers, a doctrine derived from the First Epistle of Peter. They include those with evangelical, holiness and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity. There are Nontheist Quakers whose spiritual practice is not reliant on the existence of gods. To differing extents, the different movements that make up the Religious Society of Friends/Friends Church avoid creeds and hierarchical structures. In 2007, there were about 359,000 adult Quakers worldwide. In 2017, there were 377,557 adult Quakers, with 49% in Africa. Around 89% of Quakers worldwide belong to the "evangelical" and "programmed" branches of Quakerism—these Quakers worship in services with singing and a prepared message from the Bible, coordinated by a pastor.
Around 11% of Friends practice waiting worship, or unprogrammed worship, where the order of service is not planned in advance, is predominantly silent, may include unprepared vocal ministry from those present. Some meetings of both types have Recorded Ministers in their meetings—Friends recognised for their gift of vocal ministry; the first Quakers lived in mid-17th-century England. The movement arose from the Legatine-Arians and other dissenting Protestant groups, breaking away from the established Church of England; the Quakers the ones known as the Valiant Sixty, attempted to convert others to their understanding of Christianity, travelling both throughout Great Britain and overseas, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of these early Quaker ministers were women, they based their message on the religious belief that "Christ has come to teach his people himself", stressing the importance of a direct relationship with God through Jesus Christ, a direct religious belief in the universal priesthood of all believers.
They emphasized a personal and direct religious experience of Christ, acquired through both direct religious experience and the reading and studying of the Bible. Quakers focused their private life on developing behaviour and speech reflecting emotional purity and the light of God. In the past, Quakers were known for their use of thee as an ordinary pronoun, refusal to participate in war, plain dress, refusal to swear oaths, opposition to slavery, teetotalism; some Quakers founded banks and financial institutions, including Barclays and Friends Provident. In 1947, the Quakers, represented by the British Friends Service Council and the American Friends Service Committee, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. During and after the English Civil War many dissenting Christian groups emerged, including the Seekers and others. A young man, George Fox, was dissatisfied with the teachings of the Church of England and non-conformists, he had a revelation that "there is one Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition", became convinced that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the aid of an ordained clergy.
In 1652 he had a vision on Pendle Hill 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, Barbados preaching and teaching with the aim of converting new adherents to his faith; the central theme of his Gospel message was. His followers considered themselves to be the restoration of the true Christian church, after centuries of apostasy in the churches in England. In 1650, Fox was brought before the magistrates Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious 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 Isaiah 66:2 or Ezra 9:4. Thus, the name Quaker began as a way of ridiculing Fox's admonition, but became accepted and is used by some Quakers. Quakers described themselves using terms such as true Christianity, Children of the Light, 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, the numbers increased to a peak of 60,000 in England and Wales by 1680. 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 and the Conventicle Act 1664; this was relaxed after the Declaration of Indulgence and stopped under the Act of Toleration 1689. One modern view of Quakerism at this time was that the relationship with Christ was encouraged through spiritualisation of human relations, "the redefinition of the Quakers as a holy tribe,'the family and household of God'". Together with Margaret Fell, the wife of Thomas Fell, the vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and an eminent judge, Fox developed new conceptions of family and community that emphasised "holy conversation": speech and behaviour that reflected piety and love. With the restructuring of the family and household came new roles for wom
Romanism was a derogatory term for Roman Catholicism in the past when anti-Catholicism was more common in the United States and the United Kingdom. Today the term is used to designate Roman Catholicism; the term was used in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Republican invectives against the Democrats, as part of the slogan "Rum and Rebellion". The term and slogan gained particular prominence in the 1884 presidential campaign and again in 1928, in which the Democratic candidate was the outspokenly anti-Prohibition Catholic Governor of New York Al Smith. Anti-Catholicism Papist Popish Plot Is Romanism Christianity? by T. W. Medhurst Romanism and the Reformation by Henry Grattan Guinness The Bible and Romanism – the window-dressing continues, by Arthur Noble
Shia and Sunni Islam are the two major denominations of Islam. They chose sides following the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in AD 632. A dispute over succession to Islamic prophet Muhammad as a caliph of the Islamic community spread across various parts of the world, which led to the Battle of Jamal and Battle of Siffin; the dispute intensified after the Battle of Karbala, in which Hussein ibn Ali and his household were killed by the ruling Umayyad Caliph Yazid I, the outcry for revenge divided the early Islamic community. The present demographic breakdown between the two denominations is difficult to assess and varies by source, but a good approximation is that 85% of the world's Muslims are Sunni and 15% are Shia Muslims and with most Shias belonging to the Twelver tradition and the rest divided between many other groups. Sunnis are a majority in most Muslim communities: in Southeast Asia, South Asia, a part of the Arab world. Shia make up the majority of the citizen population in Iraq, Lebanon and Azerbaijan, as well as being a politically significant minority in Pakistan, Syria and Kuwait.
Today, there are differences in religious practice and customs related to jurisprudence. Although all Muslim groups consider the Quran to be divine and Shia have different opinions on hadith. In recent years, Sunni–Shia relations have been marked by conflict the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict. Sectarian violence persists to this day from Pakistan to Yemen and is a major element of friction throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Tensions between communities have intensified during power struggles, such as the Bahraini uprising, the Iraq War, the Syrian Civil War and the formation of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that has launched a genocide against Shias. Sunnis are a majority in most Muslim communities in China and Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, most of the Arab World and among Muslims in the United States; this can be confusing because the majority of Arab Muslims in the United States are Shia, while the majority of Arab Americans are Christians, the conflation of Arab and Muslim being quite common.
Shias make up the majority of the Muslim population in Iran, Azerbaijan and Bahrain. Shia communities are found in Yemen where a large minority of the population are Shia, according to the UNHCR. Sources put the numbers of Shias at 30%. About 15% of Turkey's population belong to the Alevi sect; the Shia constitute around 30% of Kuwait, 45% of the Muslim population in Lebanon, 15% of Saudi Arabia, 12% of Syria, 20% of Pakistan. Around 15% of Afghanistan, less than 5% of the Muslims in Nigeria, around 5% of population of Tajikistan are Shia.... Shias are about 25-to-30 percent of the entire Muslim world. We don't have accurate statistics because in much of the Middle East it is not convenient to have them, for ruling regimes in particular, but the estimates are that they are about 25 to 30 percent of the Muslim world, which puts them somewhere between 230 and 320 million people.... The overwhelming majority of that population lives between Lebanon. Iran always had been the largest one, with a population of about 70 million.
Pakistan is the second-largest Shia country in the world, with about 30 million population. There are as many Shias in India as there are in Iraq; the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam. While Shias and Sunnis differ on the nature of the Mahdi, many members of both groups believe that the Mahdi will appear at the end of the world to bring about a perfect and just Islamic society. In Shia Islam "the Mahdi symbol has developed into a powerful and central religious idea." Twelvers believe the Mahdi will be Muhammad al-Mahdi, the twelfth Imam returned from the Occultation, where he has been hidden by Allah since 874. In contrast, mainstream Sunnis believe the Mahdi will be named Muhammad, be a descendant of Muhammad, will revive the faith, but will not be connected with the end of the world; the Shias accept some of the same hadiths used by Sunnis as part of the sunnah to argue their case. In addition, they consider the sayings of Ahl al-Bayt that are not attributed directly to Muhammad as hadiths.
Shias do not accept many Sunni hadiths unless they are recorded in Shia sources or the methodology can be proven of how they were recorded. Some Sunni-accepted hadith are less favored by Shias. Another example is hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, considered by Shias as the enemy of Ali; the Shia argument is that Abu Hurairah was only a Muslim four years of his life before Muhammad's death. Although he accompanied Muhammad for four years only, he managed to record ten times as many hadiths as Abu Bakr and Ali each. Shiism and Sufism are said to share a number of hallmarks: Belief in an inner meaning to the Quran, special status for some mortals, as well as veneration of Ali and Muhammad's family; the Five Pillars of Islam is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. These duties are Shahada, Zakāt, Sawm and Hajj; these five practices are essential to Shia Muslims. Shia theology has two concepts. There are Roots of Branches of Religion. Many distinctions can be made
Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity, initiated by Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the Mormons followed Brigham Young to what would become the Utah Territory. Today, most Mormons are understood to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; some Mormons are either independent or non-practicing. The center of Mormon cultural influence is in Utah, North America has more Mormons than any other continent, though the majority of Mormons live outside the United States. Mormons have developed a strong sense of commonality that stems from their history. During the 19th century, Mormon converts tended to gather to a central geographic location, between 1852 and 1890 a minority of Mormons practiced plural marriage, a form of religious polygamy. Mormons dedicate large amounts of time and resources to serving in their church, many young Mormons choose to serve a full-time proselytizing mission.
Mormons have a health code which eschews alcoholic beverages, tobacco, “hot drinks”, addictive substances. They tend to be family-oriented and have strong connections across generations and with extended family, reflective of their belief that families can be sealed together beyond death. Mormons have a strict law of chastity, requiring abstention from sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage and fidelity within marriage. Mormons self-identify as Christian, although some non-Mormons consider Mormons non-Christian and some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity. Mormons believe in the Bible, as well as other books such as the Book of Mormon, they believe that all people are spirit-children of God. Mormons believe that returning to God requires following the example of Jesus Christ, accepting his atonement through ordinances such as baptism, they believe that Christ's church was restored through Joseph Smith and is guided by living prophets and apostles. Central to Mormon faith is the belief that God answers their prayers.
The number of members in 1971 was 3,090,953 and as of 2018, there are 16,118,169 members worldwide. The word "Mormons" most refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members refer to themselves as Latter-day Saints or sometimes just Saints; the term "Mormons" has been embraced by others, most notably Mormon fundamentalists, while other Latter Day Saint denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it. Both LDS Church members and members of fundamentalist groups use the word "Mormon" in reference to themselves. LDS Church leaders have encouraged members to use the church's full name to emphasize its focus on Jesus Christ, have discouraged the use of the shortened form "Church of the Latter Day Saints", as well as the acronym "LDS", the nickname "Mormons"; the word "Mormon" is associated with polygamy, a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons. Today, polygamy is practiced within Mormonism only by people.
The history of the Mormons has shaped them into a people with a strong sense of unity and commonality. From the start, Mormons have tried to establish what they call "Zion", a utopian society of the righteous. Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, a "pioneer era" under the leadership of Brigham Young and his successors, a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century. In the first period, Smith had tried to build a city called Zion, in which converts could gather. During the pioneer era, Zion became a "landscape of villages" in Utah. In modern times, Zion is still an ideal, though Mormons gather together in their individual congregations rather than a central geographic location. Mormons trace their origins to the visions that Joseph Smith reported he had in the early 1820s while living in upstate New York. In 1823, Smith said an angel directed him to a buried book written on golden plates containing the religious history of an ancient people.
Smith published what he said was a translation of these plates in March 1830 as the Book of Mormon, named after Mormon, the ancient prophet–historian who compiled the book. On April 6, 1830, Smith founded the Church of Christ; the early church grew westward. In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland, Ohio where missionaries had made a large number of converts and Smith began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, where he planned to build the city of Zion. In 1833, Missouri settlers, alarmed by the rapid influx of Mormons, expelled them from Jackson County into the nearby Clay County, where local residents were more welcoming. After Smith led a mission, known as Zion's Camp, to recover the land, he began building Kirtland Temple in Lake County, where the church flourished; when the Missouri Mormons were asked to leave Clay County in 1836, they secured land in what would become Caldwell County. The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after the failure of a church-sponsored anti-bank caused widespread defections, Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, Missouri.
During the fall of 1838, tensions escalated into the Mormon War with the old Missouri settlers. On October 27, the governor of Missouri ordered that the Mormons "must be treated as enemies" and be exterminated or driven from the state
Giaour or Gawur meaning "infidel", a slur used in the Ottoman Empire for non-Muslims or more Christians in the Balkans. The terms kafir, gawur or rum were used in defters for Orthodox Christians without ethnic distinction. Christian ethnic groups in the Balkan territory of the Ottoman Empire included Greeks, Serbs and Vlachs, among others; the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica described the term as follows: Giaour, a word used by the Turks to describe all who are not Muslims, with especial reference to Christians. The word, first employed as a term of contempt and reproach, has become general and in many cases when was use was use as an insult. For example in parts of China, the term foreign devil has become void of offence. A strict analogy to giaour is found in the Arabic kafir, or unbeliever, so in use as to have become the proper name of peoples and countries. During the era of the Ottoman Tanzimat reforms, the use of the term gavur by Muslims for non-Muslims in a derogatory manner was prohibited to prevent problems occurring in social relationships.
Giaour is the name given to the evil monster of a man in the tale Vathek, written by William Thomas Beckford in French in 1782 and translated into English soon after. The spelling Giaour appears in the French, as well as in the English translation. In 1813 Lord Byron published his poem The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale, whose themes revolve around the ideas of love and afterlife in Western Europe and Ottoman Turkey. Le Giaour, an 1832 painting by Ary Scheffer, oil on canvas, Musée de la Vie romantique, Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, Paris. Gabr, Persian equivalent Kafir, Arabic equivalent Dhimmi Rayah This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Giaour". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11. Cambridge University Press. P. 927
Misnagdim is a Hebrew word meaning "opponents". The term "Misnagdim" refers to opponents of Hasidism; the term "Misnagdim" gained a common usage among Jews living in Europe as the term that referred to Ashkenazi Jews who opposed the rise and spread of early Hasidic Judaism. The rapid spread of Hasidism in the second half of the 18th century troubled many traditional rabbis. Hasidism's founder was Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov, or by the acronym "Besht". Much of Judaism was still fearful of the messianic movements of the Sabbateans and the Frankists. Many rabbis suspected Hasidism of an intimate connection with these movements; the characteristically "Lithuanian" approach to Judaism was marked by a concentration on intellectual Talmud study. Lithuania became the heartland of the traditionalist opposition to Hasidism, to the extent that in popular perception "Lithuanian" and "misnaged" became interchangeable terms. In fact, however, a sizable minority of Lithuanian Jews belong to Hasidic groups, including Chabad, Karlin-Stolin and Koidanov.
The first documented opposition to the Hasidic Movement was from the Jewish community in Shklow, Belarus in the year 1772. Rabbis and community leaders voiced concerns about the Hasidim because they were making their way to Belarus; the rabbis sent letters forbidding Hasidic prayer houses, urging the burning of Hasidic texts, humiliating prominent Hasidic leaders. The rabbis imprisoned the Hasidic leaders in an attempt to isolate them from coming into contact with their followers; the bans of excommunication against Hasidic Jews in 1772 were accompanied by the public ripping up of several early Hasidic pamphlets. The Vilna Gaon, Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, a prominent rabbi, galvanized opposition to Hasidic Judaism, he believed that the claims of miracles and visions made by Hasidic Jews were delusions. A key point of opposition was that the Vilna Gaon maintained that greatness in Torah and observance must come through natural human efforts at Torah study without relying on any external "miracles" and "wonders", whereas the Ba'al Shem Tov was more focused on bringing encouragement and raising the morale of the Jewish people following the Chmelnitzki pogroms and the aftermath of disillusionment in the Jewish masses following the millennial excitement heightened by the failed messianic claims of Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank.
Opponents of Hasidim held. Most of the changes made by the Hasidim were the product of the Hasidic approach to Kabbalah as expressed by Rabbi Isaac Luria, known as "the ARI" and his disciples Rabbi Chaim Vital. Both Misnagdim and hassidim were influenced by the ARI, but the legalistic Misnagdim feared in Hasidism what they perceived as disturbing parallels to the Sabatean movement. An example of such an idea was the concept that the entire universe is nullified to God. Depending on how this idea was preached and interpreted, it could give rise to pantheism, universally acknowledged as a heresy, or lead to immoral behavior, since elements of Kabbalah can be misconstrued to de-emphasize ritual and to glorify sexual metaphors as a deeper means of grasping some inner hidden notions in the Torah based on the Jews' intimate relationship with God. If God is present in everything, if divinity is to be grasped in erotic terms -- Misnagdim feared -- Hasidim might feel justified in neglecting legal distinctions between the holy and the profane, in engaging in inappropriate sexual activities.
The stress of Jewish prayer over Torah study and the Hasidic reinterpretation of Torah l'shma, was seen as a rejection of traditional Judaism. Hasidim did not follow the traditional Ashkenazi prayer rite, instead used a rite, a combination of Ashkenazi and Sephardi rites, based upon Kabbalistic concepts from Rabbi Isaac Luria of Safed; this was seen as a rejection of the traditional Ashkenazi liturgy and, due to the resulting need for separate synagogues, a breach of communal unity. Hasidic Jews added some halakhic stringencies on Kashrus, the laws of keeping kosher, they made certain changes in how livestock were slaughtered and in, considered a reliable mashgiach. The end result was that they considered some kosher food as less kosher; this was seen as a change of traditional Judaism, an over stringency of halakha, again, a breach of communal unity. With the rise of what would become known as Hasidism in the late 18th century, established conservative rabbinic authorities worked to stem its growth.
Whereas before the breakaway Hasidic synagogues were opposed but checked, its spread into Lithuania and Belarus prompted a concerted effort by opposing rabbis to halt its spread. In late 1772, after uniting the scholars of Brisk and other Belorussian and Lithuanian communities, the Vilna Gaon issued the first of many polemical letters against the nascent Hasidic movement, included in the anti-Hasidic anthology, Zemir aritsim ve-ḥarvot tsurim; the letters published in the anthology included pronouncements of excommunication against Hasidic leaders on the basis of their worship and habits, all of wh
Reform Judaism is a major Jewish denomination that emphasizes the evolving nature of the faith, the superiority of its ethical aspects to the ceremonial ones, a belief in a continuous revelation intertwined with human reason and intellect, not centered on the theophany at Mount Sinai. A liberal strand of Judaism, it is characterized by a lesser stress on ritual and personal observance, regarding Jewish Law as non-binding and the individual Jew as autonomous, openness to external influences and progressive values; the origins of Reform Judaism lay in 19th-century Germany, where its early principles were formulated by Rabbi Abraham Geiger and his associates. It is identified with progressive political and social agendas under the traditional Jewish rubric Tikkun Olam, or "Repairing of the World". Tikkun Olam is a central motto of Reform Judaism, action for its sake is one of the main channels for adherents to express their affiliation; the movement's greatest center today is in North America.
The various regional branches sharing these beliefs, including the American Union for Reform Judaism, the Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism in Britain, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, are all united within the international World Union for Progressive Judaism. Founded in 1926, the WUPJ estimates it represents at least 1.8 million people in 50 countries: close to a million registered adult congregants, as well as numerous unaffiliated individuals who identify with it. This makes it the second-largest Jewish denomination worldwide, its inherent pluralism and great importance placed on individual autonomy impede any simplistic definition of Reform Judaism. They warrant and obligate further modification and reject any fixed, permanent set of beliefs, laws or practices. A clear description became challenging since the turn toward a policy favouring inclusiveness over a coherent theology in the 1970s; this overlapped with what researchers termed as the transition from "Classical" to "New" Reform in America, paralleled in the other, smaller branches across the world.
The movement ceased stressing principles and core beliefs, focusing more on the personal spiritual experience and communal participation. This shift was not accompanied by a distinct new doctrine or by the abandonment of the former, but rather with ambiguity; the leadership allowed and encouraged a wide variety of positions, from selective adoption of halakhic observance to elements approaching religious humanism. The declining importance of the theoretical foundation, in favour of pluralism and equivocalness, did draw large crowds of newcomers, it diversified Reform to a degree that made it hard to formulate a clear definition of it. Early and "Classical" Reform were characterized by a move away from traditional forms of Judaism combined with a coherent theology. Critics, like Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, warned that Reform became more of a Jewish activities club, a means to demonstrate some affinity to one's heritage in which rabbinical students do not have to believe in any specific theology or engage in any particular practice, rather than a defined belief system.
In regard to God, while some voices among the spiritual leadership approached religious and secular humanism – a tendency that grew from the mid-20th century, both among clergy and constituents, leading to broader, dimmer definitions of the concept – the movement had always maintained a theistic stance, affirming the belief in a personal God. Early Reform thinkers in Germany clung to this precept; the God-Idea as taught in our sacred Scripture" as consecrating the Jewish people to be its priests. It was grounded on a wholly theistic understanding, although the term "God-idea" was excoriated by outside critics. So was the 1937 Columbus Declaration of Principles, which spoke of "One, living God who rules the world"; the 1976 San Francisco Centenary Perspective, drafted at a time of great discord among Reform theologians, upheld "the affirmation of God... Challenges of modern culture have made steady belief difficult for some. We ground our lives and communally, on God's reality." The 1999 Pittsburgh Statement of Principles declared the "reality and oneness of God".
British Liberal Judaism affirms the "Jewish conception of God: One and indivisible and immanent, Creator and Sustainer". The basic tenet of Reform theology is a belief in a continuous, or progressive, occurring continuously and not limited to the theophany at Sinai, the defining event in traditional interpretation. According to this view, all holy scripture of Judaism, including the Pentateuch, were authored by human beings who, although under divine inspiration, inserted their understanding and reflected the spirit of their consecutive ages. All the People Israel are a further link in the chain of revelation, capable of reaching new insights: religion can be renewed without being dependent on past conventions; the chief promulgator of this concept was Abraham Geiger considered the founder of the movement. After critical research led him to regard scripture