Quakers – also called Friends or the Religious Society of Friends – date their origins back to 1652 in north-west England and deem George Fox, an itinerant preacher, their founder. Together with other “seekers”, George Fox brought into the tumultuous times in Britain the message of the direct personal experience of God, informed by the scriptures, within a distinctly Christian framework. His theology was related to that of Anabaptist groups of the time, although the Quakers kept themselves distinct. This direct personal experience of the Holy Spirit has been characterized as “the Inner Light” or “that of God in everyone”. Following on the teachings of Jesus, the sense of the kingdom in the present, and the aversion to killing “that of God” in anyone, Quakers refused military service and are generally pacifists. They are one of the historic “peace churches”, along with Mennonites and Brethren. On behalf of Quakers world-wide, two Quaker organizations were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947, in recognition of international Quaker relief work.
Buoyed by a strong evangelical fervour, Quaker ministers (all unpaid) spread the Quaker message throughout Great Britain and Ireland, northern Europe, the British colonies in the Americas, and the Caribbean. In 1682, William Penn received a royal grant of a colony now known as Pennsylvania, and founded its capital, Philadelphia, which remains a centre of American liberal Quakerism. As Quakers in the colonies grew in numbers and moved westwards with the expansion of the USA, different influences affected both their faith and practice. Today there are four strands of Quakerism, which are evangelical, pastored, conservative, and liberal unprogrammed who worship in silent waiting. Each strand traces its roots back to George Fox and the early Quakers.
In the early 1900s, Quakers from America and Europe sent out missionaries to Latin America, Africa and India. Today the largest block of Quakers can be found in East Africa; they are pastored Friends. Evangelical Friends can be found in Central Africa, India, Peru, Bolivia, Taiwan and Central America. Liberal unprogrammed Friends predominate in Europe, Central and South Africa, and the north-eastern USA. The organization within the Religious Society of Friends – the usual denominational designation – begins with the local monthly meeting or church, which belongs to a wider gathering called Yearly Meeting. There are umbrella organizations known as Evangelical Friends International, Friends United Meeting (pastored tradition) and Friends General Conference (liberal unprogrammed tradition), which regroup several yearly meetings.
Founded in 1937 in response to a need for a place where Friends from the four traditions can relate to each other, the Friends World Committee for Consultation is composed of yearly meetings from around the world. Having no executive authority over its constituent yearly meetings, the FWCC aims both to promote a deeper understanding among Friends of different nations and faith traditions, and to represent Friends at world bodies such as the World Council of Churches, the Catholic Church, and the United Nations, where it holds general consultative status recognized by the Economic and Social Council. The office of the FWCC is in London.
The FWCC has 103 member yearly meetings, representing 368,000 Christians. The Friends United Meeting (28 Yearly Meetings) and the Friends General Conference (14 Yearly Meetings) in the USA, as well the Canadian Yearly Meeting are members of the WCC.
Periodical: Friends World News
Member Yearly Meetings of the Friends World Committee for Consultation
Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting
(Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa,
Zambia & Zimbabwe)
Burundi Yearly Meeting
Congo Yearly Meeting
Kinshasa Monthly Meeting (DRC)
Hill House Monthly Meeting (Ghana)
Kenya – 15 Yearly Meetings (through FUM)
Port Harcourt Worship Group (Nigeria) Tanzania – 2 Yearly Meetings
Uganda Yearly Meeting (through FUM)
Aotearoa New Zealand Yearly Meeting Australia Yearly Meeting India – 4 Yearly Meetings Hong Kong Monthly Meeting (China SAR) Japan Yearly Meeting Seoul Monthly Meeting (Korea)
Cuba Yearly Meeting (through FUM) Jamaica Yearly Meeting (through FUM)
Austria Quarterly Meeting (of German YM) Belgium and Luxemburg Monthly Meeting Britain Yearly Meeting Czech Republic: Prague Worship group Denmark Yearly Meeting Estonia Finland Yearly Meeting France Yearly Meeting German Yearly Meeting Greece (Athens Christian Friends Meeting – of Ohio YM) Hungary: Budapest Worship Group Iceland: Kópavogur Worship Group Ireland Yearly Meeting Italy Latvia Lithuania: Kaunas Quaker Group Netherlands Yearly Meeting Norway Yearly Meeting Russia: Moscow Monthly Meeting Spain: Barcelona Monthly Meeting Sweden Yearly Meeting Switzerland Yearly Meeting
Middle East Yearly Meeting (Palestine and Lebanon)
Canadian Yearly Meeting
Evangelical Friends Church-Mid-America
Friends General Conference (USA – 13 Yearly Meetings) Friends United Meeting (11 Yearly Meetings in the USA)
Intermountain Yearly Meeting (USA)
Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) (USA)
North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) (USA)
North Pacific Yearly Meeting (USA)
Northwest Yearly Meeting (USA)
Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative) (USA)
Pacific Yearly Meeting (USA)
Evangelical Church Star of Bethlehem (Bolivia) Evangelical Church Bolivian Union of Friends Friends National Evangelical Church (Bolivia) Central Yearly Meeting of Friends (Bolivia) Friends Bolivian Holiness Mission Church of the Friends in El Salvador Friends National Evangelical Church of Guatemala Friends Holiness Yearly Meeting (Guatemala) Friends Yearly Meeting of Honduras Religious Society of the Friends Evangelical Churches (Mexico) General Meeting of the Friends in Mexico Friends National Evangelical Church of Peru
The Holiness movement originated in the first half of the 19th century in the United States as a renewal movement within American Methodism but soon became trans-denominational, and by the third quarter of the century was also international. It sought to recover the emphasis of John Wesley on the perfection of love in the lives of believers. This perfection was understood as the wholehearted love of God and others, not to be confused with human flawlessness, and as God’s will for all believers, not just for a special class. Methodism had thrived on American soil since 1766, but by the early 19th century, some within its ranks were convinced that the original Wesleyan emphasis on the perfection of love had been muted. Setting out to retrieve it, they were influenced by the revival and camp meeting focus on instantaneous conversions. Consequently, as the Holiness leaders called believers to the perfection of love, they, too, stressed the importance of an instantaneous experience of perfect love. As they preached, wrote and taught they used not only the language of perfection (see 1 John 4:17-18) but also the language of entire sanctification (see 1 Thess. 5:23). They understood this experience to occur subsequent to conversion, but not to be confused with the glorification that takes place at the time of the resurrection of the body. Furthermore, in line with the earlier Wesleyan movement, their call was for every believer to enter into a covenant of personal holiness for the glory of God. Instead of only some especially gifted persons in the church entering into a carefully disciplined life of holiness, all believers were to do this; they were to present themselves to God as living sacrifices in the midst of the regular routines of life.
The Holiness emphasis began taking on denominational expression with the founding of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection in 1843 and the Free Methodist Church in 1860, both of which grew out of a social witness to holiness – the abolition of slavery and the cessation of renting pews so as to remove economic barriers to participation in worship. In 1867 the movement became more organizationally cohesive with the convening of the first Holiness camp meeting, with some 10,000 in attendance. An outgrowth of this was the founding of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness, precursor to the present Christian Holiness Partnership (CHP). In the course of time, many other church bodies emerged including The Salvation Army in England in 1878, the Church of God (Anderson, IN) in 1880, and the Church of the Nazarene in 1908. By 1874-75 the international character of the movement is indicated by the large Holiness gatherings that convened especially in Germany, Switzerland and England.
The Holiness movement has spawned many denominations all around the world, many of which are small, due, in part, to its strong emphasis on the disciplined life. According to the CHP, the movement is now spread in some 160 nations. Some four million adherents are in North America, three million in Africa, and four million in Asia. One of the largest Holiness churches in the world is the Korea Evangelical Holiness Church with a million members. The combined membership of all Holiness denominations in Korea is three million. The Japanese Holiness Church founded in 1917 was a persecuted, confessing church during World War II. Some 130 believers were imprisoned for refusal to submit to the radical nationalism of the period.
Three organizations of great importance to the movement are the above-men-tioned Christian Holiness Partnership (CHP), the Wesleyan Theological Society (WTS), and Wesleyan/Holiness Clergy International (WHCI). The CHP facilitates cooperative efforts among denominations, camp meetings, institutions such as colleges, seminaries, missionary agencies and publishing houses, and individuals. The WTS is a scholarly society, with over 600 members, that publishes the Wesleyan Theological Journal. Given the long history of Holiness women in ministry, the WHCI nurtures women clergy and students.
Scholarly works about the movement include Melvin E. Dieter’s The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century, 2nd edition (Lanham, MD and London: Scarecrow, 1996), and Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement edited by William
C. Kostlevy, in the Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements series, No. 36 (Scarecrow, 2001).
The total number of adherents to the Holiness movement is about 12 million believers who, for the most part, are committed participants in church life. Twenty-one denominations cooperate in the Christian Holiness Partnership, and hundreds of independent congregations and local churches that belong to denominations which are not officially identified as members. There are no Holiness churches as such in membership with the WCC, but several member churches are traditionally close to the Holiness movement.
Member churches of Christian Holiness Partnership
Association of Evangelical Churches Association of Independent Methodists Bible Holiness Movement Brethren in Christ Church Churches of Christ in Christian Union Church of God (Anderson) Congregational Methodist Church Evangelical Christian Church Evangelical Church of North America Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region Evangelical Methodist Church Free Methodist Church of North America Missionary Church (North-Central District) Church of the Nazarene Primitive Methodist Church The Salvation Army (USA) The Salvation Army of Canada and Bermuda Wesleyan Church
Japan Emmanual General Mission
(list is not exhaustive)
The Lutheran churches, most of which are members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), emerged from one of the prominent strands of the Reformation movements within the (Western) Catholic Church in the 16th century. In the course of the doctrinal controversies of that time, the doctrine of justification by faith through grace alone became the decisive issue and the hallmark of Lutheran teaching. It emphasizes that God redeems human beings from the power of sin through the cross of Jesus Christ and confers God’s own righteousness upon them. The Lutheran tradition considers the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments, received and responded to in faith without any human merit, as central to the life of the church. The Lutheran confessional writings, e.g., the Augsburg Confession and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, interpret core convictions regarding the significance of the gospel for individual and common life in faith. The Bible is affirmed as the sole rule of faith, to which all the creeds and other traditions and beliefs are subordinated.
Lutheran churches are partners in the majority of church communion agreements that have been established, e.g., the Leuenberg Concord (1973, now called Community of Protestant Churches in Europe), the Meissen Agreement (1991), the Porvoo Agreement (1992), and Full Communion agreements in the USA and Canada. Varying forms of worship have developed over the centuries, in interaction with local cultures. Lutheran worship tradition has sought to maintain liturgical continuity with the ancient church, in the reading and proclamation of the word of God and in the celebration of the sacraments, baptism and holy communion. Lutheran churches strongly emphasize elementary and secondary religious education as well as theological study and research. The doctrine of the two rules of God has been a well-known part of Lutheran tradition. This teaching has at times been discredited through misinterpretation, e.g., in Nazi-Germany in the 1930s and ‘40s. In recent decades attempts have been made to reinterpret this teaching as a basis for critique of injustice, authoritarian regimes and destructive societal developments.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) was founded in 1947. Since 1990 it defines itself as a communion of churches, united in pulpit and altar fellowship. The LWF confesses the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and is resolved to serve Christian unity throughout the world. LWF and its member churches have been, and remain, active partners in the ecumenical movement through dialogues, where they seek to make specific theological contributions. On behalf of its member churches, the LWF signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by Faith with the Catholic Church in 1999, in the city of Augsburg, one of the main historic sites of Lutheranism.
Until the first half of the 20th century, Lutheran churches were most heavily concentrated in Germany, the Nordic and Baltic countries and the USA. Since the foundation of the LWF, the gravitation centre of worldwide Lutheranism has shifted to the global South, with sizeable churches in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The diaconal agenda of the Lutheran churches has increasingly emphasized challenges related to justice and peace, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and dialogue with other faiths, including indigenous spiritualities. The LWF has also contributed by dialogue to improved understanding of the relations between the church and the Jewish people.
The LWF attaches great importance to the relationships between its member churches in the regions. In Africa a Lutheran Conference was formed in 1955, and three sub-regional groupings have been set up: the Lutheran Communion in Central and Eastern Africa (LUCCEA), the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA), and the Lutheran Communion in Western Africa (LUCWA). In 2005, a Lutheran Council in Africa was established. Asia is also divided into three subregions: the North East Asian Lutheran Communion (NEALUC), the West and South Asian Lutheran Communion (WeSALUC), and the South East Asian Lutheran Communion (SEALUC). In Europe a regional office for the expression of communion in the Region of Central Eastern Europe (ROCEE) was opened in Bratislava (Slovakia) in 2003. The other regions in Europe are Central Western Europe, and the Nordic Region, where the Lutheran family meets regularly. The Latin American and Caribbean Region includes 13 LWF member churches in Latin America and two in the Caribbean. A regional office exists also for the North America Region.
The LWF has 140 member churches in 78 countries, representing nearly 66 million Christians in the world; 73 of its member churches are also members of the WCC (directly or indirectly). The office of the LWF is located in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.
Periodical: Lutheran World Information
Besides the Lutheran World Federation, another global body bringing Lutheran churches together is the International Lutheran Council. The ILC came officially into existence in 1993, as the result of a process of formation that began in 1952. The ILC defines itself as “a worldwide association of established confessional Lutheran church bodies which proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the basis of an unconditional commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and infallible word of God and to the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord as the true and faithful exposition of the word of God”. The International Lutheran Council has 30 member churches representing 3.3 million Christians in the world. The office of the ILC is located in St. Louis, Missouri (USA).
Member churches of the Lutheran World Federation Africa
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Angola Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Cameroon Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo (DRC)
Evangelical Church of Eritrea
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya
Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church Lutheran Church in Liberia Malagasy Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mozambique
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (DELK) Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria Lutheran Church of Nigeria Lutheran Church of Rwanda Lutheran Church of Senegal Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (Cape Church) Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (N-T)
Moravian Church in South Africa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe
Lutheran Church of Australia Bangladesh Lutheran Church Bangladesh Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church Hong Kong and Macau Lutheran Church Chinese Rhenish Hong Kong Lutheran Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong
Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (India)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh (India)
Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (India)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Himalayan States (India)
Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur & Assam (India)
India Evangelical Lutheran Church
Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church (India)
Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church (India)
South Andhra Lutheran Church (India)
Arcot Lutheran Church (India)
Batak Christian Community Church (Indonesia)
Christian Communion of Indonesia Church in Nias
Christian Protestant Angkola Church (Indonesia) Christian Protestant Church in Indonesia
Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church Patpak Dairi Christian Protestant Church (Indonesia)
Protestant Christian Batak Church (Indonesia)
Protestant Christian Church in Mentawai (Indonesia)
Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (Indonesia)
Indonesian Christian Church
Nias Protestant Christian Church (Indonesia)
United Protestant Church (Indonesia) Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church Japan Lutheran Church Kinki Evangelical Lutheran Church (Japan) Kazakhstan: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States Lutheran Church in Korea Kyrgyzstan: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States Basel Christian Church of Malaysia Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia Lutheran Church in Malaysia and Singapore
Protestant Church in Sabah (Malaysia)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Myanmar Lutheran Church in the Philippines Lutheran Church in Singapore Lanka Lutheran Church (Sri Lanka) Taiwan Lutheran Church Lutheran Church of Taiwan (Rep. of China) Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand Uzbekistan: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria
Belarus: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States Lutheran Church of Belgium: Arlon and Christian Mission Evangelical Church in the Republic of Croatia
Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (Czech Republic) Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland Evangelical Lutheran Church of France Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine (France)
Malagasy Protestant Church in France
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Württemberg (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baden (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thüringen (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mecklenburg (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schaumburg-Lippe (Germany)
Church of Lippe (Lutheran Classis) (Germany)
North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Germany)
Pomeranian Evangelical Church (Germany)
Latvia Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (Germany)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland
Lutheran Church in Ireland Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania
Protestant Church in the Netherlands Church of Norway
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania
Russia: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Slovak Republic
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovenia
Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia and Montenegro Church of Sweden
Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Switzerland
and the Kingdom of Liechtenstein Ukraine: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States Lutheran Church in Great Britain Lutheran Council of Great Britain
Evangelical Church of the River Plate (Argentina) United Evangelical Lutheran Church (Argentina) Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church
German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bolivia
Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia German-speaking Evangelical Church in Bogotá St Martin’s Congregation (Colombia) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Costa Rica Lutheran Costarican Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ecuador
Salvadoran Lutheran Synod (El Salvador)
Evangelical Lutheran Congregation La Epifanía (Guatemala) Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras Mexican Lutheran Church German-speaking Evangelical Church in Mexico Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peru Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Venezuela
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and Holy Land
Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (Canada)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (USA)
Lithuanian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Diaspora
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea
Member churches of the International Lutheran Council
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana
Lutheran Church of Nigeria Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
Lutheran Church of Australia China Evangelical Lutheran Church Lutheran Church – Hong Kong Synod
India Evangelical Lutheran Church
Japan Lutheran Church Lutheran Church in Korea Lutheran Church in the Philippines Lanka Lutheran Church (Sri Lanka)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Denmark Evangelical Lutheran Church of England Evangelical Lutheran Church – Synod of France and Belgium Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (Germany) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina Christian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Republic of Chile Lutheran Church of Guatemala Lutheran Synod of Mexico Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay Lutheran Church of Venezuela
Lutheran Church – Canada Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (USA)
Gutnius Lutheran Church (Papua New Guinea)