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Appendix

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Earlier Interpretations of Christian Faith (Northwest Yearly Meeting)

(Northwest Yearly Meeting)

Northwest Yearly Meeting continues to look to the “Richmond Declaration of Faith” (1887) as a basic document of Friends belief. It also continues to set forth interpretations of Christian faith for contemporary Friends. A significant statement of faith was adopted in 1902, and major revisions were made in 1945, 1970, and 1987. For the 1987 adoption, see “What Friends Believe”.

In the section below are the most recent interpretations adopted by the Yearly Meeting prior to 1987. The following “Doctrines,” “Testimonies,” and “Fundamental Truths” are from the 1979 Constitution and Discipline; they include the official changes and additions made between 1979 and 1987.

Doctrines

[“Doctrines” was adopted in 1970 with the wording shown below and was reprinted in 1979. One of the paragraphs, given here as the introduction, has been included in every Discipline of the Yearly Meeting since 1902. It received minor editing in 1945. For the 1987 revision of this paragraph see “What Friends Believe”]

The doctrines of the apostolic days are held by Friends as essentials of Christianity. The Fatherhood of God, the deity and humanity of the Son; the gift of the Holy Spirit; the atonement through Jesus Christ by which men are reconciled to God; the resurrection of our Lord, which gives us assurance of the resurrection of all true believers; the high priesthood of Christ, by whom we have access to the Father in the forgiveness of our sins; the individual priesthood of believers—these are most precious truths, to be held as vital, life-giving realities.

God’s Revelation in Christ

We profess unwavering allegiance to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe the Word of God spoken in every heart was supremely manifest in Jesus Christ, true God and perfect man. Through His life, His atoning death, and His resurrection we receive God’s forgiveness and are restored to holiness by His grace, as we walk in Christ’s light.

The Church as the People of God

We believe the church to be composed of persons who, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, have been born into His Kingdom and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one body. Scripturally, the term “church” refers to various groupings of Christians as well as to the entire body of Christ. A denomination denotes Christians freely united by common biblical convictions, associated in worship, teaching, and public witness of the faith. The Friends Church is so denominated.

The Place and Authority of the Holy Spirit

We believe God reveals His truth to men. There are no spiritual insights or principles of truth apart from the revelation of God. By inspiration of His Spirit, God reveals Himself to us in Scripture. God by His Spirit enlightens reason and instructs conscience. Man may, therefore, receive from the Holy Spirit the wisdom and the power individually, and corporately through the church, to hear and obey the Lord.

The Place and Authority of Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures, inspired of God, are the divinely authorized record of the doctrines which Christians are bound to accept, and of the moral principles which are to regulate their lives and actions. Interpreted by the Holy Spirit, they are an unfailing source of spiritual truth.

Man’s Salvation

We believe the Holy Spirit convicts man of sin and convinces him of Christ as the only hope of salvation. By faith in Christ, and His blood shed on Calvary, man knows himself forgiven of God. Having been regenerated and reconciled to God, the believer by faith receives Christ’s promised baptism with the Holy Spirit and so is enabled to live in victory over sin now, and prepared for the resurrection and eternal life in the world to come.

Our Lord’s Return

We believe the risen Lord, now present with His Church, will return in person to consummate His rule over men and nations. We believe His triumph will end the usurpations of Satan, and that, after the resurrection and final judgment of the wicked, the universe will be restored to the glory for which it was created.

The Worship and Work of the Church

We believe all Christians receive certain gifts from the Spirit for use in and for the church. Some may preach, others evangelize, teach, heal, administer, counsel, bear burdens, or help in a variety of ways to fulfill the Great Commission. The church seeks to encourage and rightly order the exercise of these gifts for the sake of the Kingdom. Gifts in the ministry often warrant official recognition and financial support by the church.

Friends worship on the basis of obedience to the Holy Spirit. Our communion with the Lord is unbroken by outward rite or ceremony. In the covenant of the promised Holy Spirit, Christ leads us both in worship and in the business of the church. In our meetings we provide opportunity not only for preaching but also for praise, silent and vocal prayer, song, testimony, exhortation, and the sharing of concerns for the furtherance of the Gospel. Friends observe the first day of the week for worship and rest. They also encourage daily private and family worship.

Testimonies

[“Testimonies” was adopted in 1970 and reprinted in 1979. Concerns about integrity marriage and family amusements, alcoholic beverages and harmful drugs, peace and war, and the Christian’s relation to the state—all have been expressed in every Discipline of the Yearly Meeting. Statements on capital punishment and race relations were adopted in 1958 and revised in 1970. Dates of recent changes and additions are indicated.]

Integrity in Word and Deed

In allegiance to Christ and obedience to His clear commands, we refrain from swearing legal oaths and from profanity in speech. It is our conviction that openness toward others is not well served by Christians holding membership in secret societies. We seek to evidence Christian holiness by conducting our family, business, and civic responsibilities with honesty toward others and as good stewards before God.

Marriage and the Family

[Revised in 1982; third paragraph added in 1981] Marriage is ordained of God for the ordering of the human family in love and discipline. It is no mere civil act. We feel it should be entered into reverently within the church. The body of believers has a responsibility to pray for and encourage couples who are in marital distress, believing that diligent care within the Body may avert the tragedy of divorce. Marriage is for life and ought not be broken by divorce except on scriptural grounds. In all cases serious attempts should be made for forgiveness and for reconciliation.

Where divorce has occurred, it is the responsibility of Friends to demonstrate the love of God so that the divorced person may live purposefully within the Christian fellowship. Whether the person remains single or remarries, the church is to show love. If a remarriage occurs, the church is to encourage the new marriage relationship to be centered in Christ’s love. Persons who have been divorced but are living consistent Christian lives should not be hindered from joining the church or working in it. A central purpose of the church is to assure men and women that Christ brings a new beginning in life and its potential fulfillment. When there is forgiveness, there is no desire to remember the past. Just as Christ called and blessed those whom He forgave, so must we.

Friends affirm the state of singleness (non-marriage) as an appropriate lifestyle chosen by some (1 Corinthians 7:6-9) as well as a state in which one may unwillingly find oneself. Not all are expected to marry and some may find the state of singleness preferred. A single person is considered qualified equally with others in regard to spiritual gifts and abilities for use in the Lord’s work.

Respect for the Body

[Revised in 1981] Believing that one’s body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” and that we should therefore “glorify God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), we exhort all believers to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 1:21). In view of this, we encourage members to give prayerful and conscientious consideration in regard to their reading matter, the amusements they attend, and the activities in which they participate. In contrast to any sensual obsession evidenced in the media, in style of dress, and in printed matter, Friends positively affirm the sacredness of the body and mind and urge Christians to deport themselves in a way that glorifies God. Members are warned against the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages and other habit-forming and body-defiling drugs, including marijuana, tobacco, beer, and wine. We urge vigorous opposition to the persistent traffic by society in such products.

Human Sexuality

[Added in 1982] Friends believe that the divine intent of marriage is to fulfill the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of humankind and that only within the bonds of marriage divinely ordained can there be a beautiful sexual relationship for the purposes of reproduction and life enrichment. Adultery and fornication are sinful because they distort the purposes of God for the right ordering of human sexuality.

Friends believe that the practice of sexual perversion in any form is sinful and contrary to the God-ordained purposes in sexual relationships. These perversions include sexual violence, homosexual acts, transvestism, incest, and sex acts with animals. The sin nature is capable of vile affections when humankind rejects the moral laws of God.

Scriptures relating to these distorted and perverse forms of sexuality include Genesis 19:1-13; Deuteronomy 22:5; Leviticus 18:20, 22, 23; Romans 1:24-28; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 2 and 6:9-20. Neither in the Scriptures nor in church history have these practices been regarded as consistent with righteous living.

Friends do not accept as members those involved in these perverse practices; neither do they permit them to hold positions of responsibility or leadership in the church. However, Friends believe that the grace of God is adequate to cleanse and deliver from all sin (1 John 19; 2 Corinthians 5:17), and they desire to be tender and sensitive to all people, ready to express kindness, love, and forgiveness. See also Jude 7, 8; Colossians 3:5-7; and Revelation 2:18, 27. When the erring one has been repentant, the past should not be remembered. As Christ called and blessed those whom He forgave, so must His followers. Friends must not hinder the forgiven person from holding membership or having responsibility in the church.

Friends churches should exercise concern for their members on matters of sexuality and should discipline offenders in love and truth (see “Rules of Discipline”).

Peace and War

The teachings of Jesus, the whole spirit of His gospel, and the provisions of His grace call us to live at peace with all men. We feel that war and violence are not consistent with the Christian holiness to which we are summoned in Christ. We encourage our members to find alternative ways in which to achieve civil justice and to work within civil society for the redress of wrongs.

The Christian and the State

All men stand accountable to God, whom they have the right to worship and serve freely without state control. We resist every effort of the State to usurp the prerogatives of God. We recognize, nonetheless, that civil government is an instrument of God to restrain evil and provide for the welfare of men. Out of Christian conviction, then, we respect and submit to the government within its proper function.

Sacredness of Life

[Second paragraph added in 1981] Because we trust God as the righteous judge before whom men spend their lives in probation, we oppose capital punishment. We feel it is an unchristian preempting of the authority of God over human life. As a leaven in society, Christians ought to lift civil government to a closer approximation to God’s laws for human affairs.

Because we believe human life is sacred and created in God’s image, we oppose induced abortion for personal convenience or population control. Under no circumstances should abortion be considered without competent medical, psychiatric, and spiritual counseling.

Race Relations

Although we recognize that social injustice arises in whatever situations individuals can gain selfish advantage of others, we believe the church ought firmly to bear public Christian witness to the justice due all mankind under God. We repudiate all efforts to discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, or caste. We seek to witness the dignity and worth of all before God. We seek to bind up the hurts of those who suffer injuries. In the fellowship of the church we strive to break down the artificial barriers created by the prejudice of human beings.

Christian Living

[Added in 1981] Because God entrusted man with the responsibility in the care and use of earth’s natural resources, Christians ought to maintain a lifestyle that will help to conserve and replenish resources important for the life of future generations. As Quakers, who have a long tradition of adhering to scriptural injunctions for plain living, we should seek to transform the values of our culture rather than to conform to them in this important area (Matthew 6 :4-34; Philippians 4:6; Romans 12:2; Genesis 1:28).

Fundamental Truths

[“Fundamental Truths” was adopted in 1945. It was reprinted in 1970 and 1979 except that one paragraph was removed to serve as the introduction to “Doctrines”]

The Scriptures

The Holy Scriptures were given by inspiration of God and are the divinely authorized record of the doctrines Christians are bound to accept, and of the moral principles which are to regulate their lives and actions. In them, as interpreted and unfolded by the Holy Spirit, is an ever fresh and unfailing source of spiritual truth for the proper guidance of life and practice.

The Spirituality of Religious Experience

The sinful condition of man, his proneness to yield to temptation, the world’s absolute need of a Savior, and the cleansing from sin in the work of forgiveness and sanctification through the blood of Jesus are clearly set forth in the gospel of salvation. The possession of spiritual life is thus assured through a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior who through His love and sacrifice draws us to Him. The vital principle of the Christian faith is the truth that our salvation and higher life are personal matters between the individual soul and God. The teachings of Jesus Christ concerning the spiritual nature of religion, the impossibility of promoting the spiritual life by the ceremonial application of material things, the fact that faith in Jesus Christ Himself is all sufficient, and His presence in the believer’s heart—these virtually destroy every priestly system and point the soul to the only satisfying source of spiritual life and power. Friends accord to every person the right of equality with every other.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

Conviction for sin is awakened by the operation of the Holy Spirit, who causes the soul to feel its need of reconciliation with God. The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ as the only hope of salvation; as one yields to Him he is brought into newness of life through the regenerating power of the Spirit, and has a true realization of citizenship in the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit witnesses further to the fact of a saved man’s adoption into the family of God and of a consequent sonship through Christ. A changed nature and life give evidence of this new relation. Thus established in grace, one is able to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, which gives further confirmation of a renewed state in grace.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit

The newly converted child of God soon realizes that, although the Christian experience is well begun, he is but a babe in Christ. He senses a soul need that has not yet been met. As he seeks for further light he finds a longing for a greater triumph over the sin in his nature that so constantly besets him. At this point Friends call his attention to the purifying and empowering baptism with the Holy Spirit with which Christ baptizes the earnest believer. Through it the Spirit is poured out upon him and a complete separation takes place in his life, in that sin and holiness are clearly seen as antipodes which cannot coexist if complete victory is to be experienced. John the Baptist, in his presentation of this essential baptism (Matthew 3:11, 12), made clear the fact of the complete destruction of the chaff, on the one hand, and the perfect preservation of the wheat on the other. The chaff represents sin; the wheat, the purified nature of man preserved in holiness. The soul is thus sanctified wholly, or made pure from the defilement of sin within. Thus a complete triumph over sin in the nature is provided for and growth in grace is greatly accelerated.

The Bestowment of Gifts

[Revised in 1982 and 1987] Friends believe that spiritual gifts are bestowed by the Holy Spirit for the propagation of the Gospel, for the perfection of believers, and for the edifying of the church in faith and power. In seeking the baptism with the Holy Spirit, Friends have sought not so much to receive a particular gift as to be controlled by the Giver of the gifts. Even so, it is recognized that the Spirit gives different gifts to different members of the body of Christ (Romans 12). The exercise of these gifts brings Christ’s truth to personal consciousness in varied ways appropriate to need. Accordingly, sharp distinctions between different types of ministry should not be attempted. Persons may have multiple gifts, exercised at different times, both through ordinary abilities sanctified to divine use and through extraordinary sensitivities and actions.

Friends believe that gifts are for God’s glory and that enduement of power must be subordinate to purity. Friends also believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit brings heart cleansing and conformity to the image of Christ (Acts 15:8). In Hebrews 12:14 (NIV) we are asked to “make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy: without holiness no one shall see the Lord.” For evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit Friends are exhorted to look to inner transformation. This transformation empowers the believer to live in victory over willful sin and produces a condition of love, shown outwardly by the fruit of the Spirit and Christian graces.

Friends worship is characterized by simplicity and the freedom of the Holy Spirit to minister to the worshipers gathered. Similarly, service and ministry, both channels for Truth, are characterized by obedience to God and single devotion to His will. A local church in gospel order will foster the right use of gifts, whether in worship or as witness in the world.

There is a gift of speaking to the states and needs of individuals, to congregations, and to the orders of society. This prophetic ministry is characterized by its spiritual vision, its penetrating application of biblical truth, the self-evidence of its message, and its timeliness. Such discerning ministry often arises out of open, silent worship, as Christ lays His message upon a ready messenger. Such ministry reaches to the understanding as well as to the emotions, for it bears the mark of divine unction whether spoken by a minister or by another. It should not be confused with praise or testimony, although these have their place in worship. Prophetic speaking or writing may occur also within ordinary channels of human activity, as Friends declare the word of the Lord. Such prophetic words may be intensely personal and private or pertinent to public life. As a movement Friends have aimed at faithfulness to Christ as Truth without fear or compromise. They have aimed at the high gift of prophetic ministry as admonished by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:1.

There is a gift for the ministry of instruction and exposition for teaching the truth. Those who possess this gift are enabled to contribute in different degrees toward establishing the membership and expanding the conception of divine things. This ministry of teaching requires a balanced, trained, and well-stored mind and the consecration of that mind to the service of Him who is the Truth.

There is the gift of exhortation, which is an ability for making an appeal to the hearts of men, stirring them to a sense of God’s love and His purposes for them; it is the power of moving and convincing souls. Those who possess this gift are peculiarly fitted for evangelistic work.

There is also the pastoral gift, which consists especially of ability to do personal work with individuals or with families. This gift enables the possessor to comfort those who mourn, to lead the members into a deeper religious life, to arouse in the young an interest in the things of the Spirit, and to impress others with a sense of the scope and reality of the spiritual life. It is the gift of shepherding and feeding the flock.

The church does not make or appoint ministers; it only recognizes gifts where they exist and properly provides for their exercise and development as a sacred bestowal of the Head of the Church.

In addition to those for the ministry of the Word, other gifts are set forth in the Scriptures. Friends should prayerfully await and receive the divine leading and should be open to the movings of the Spirit. The gift of tongues (languages) is not considered the evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This view is supported in 1 Corinthians 12:30, where the question “Do you all speak in tongues?” is answered with an implied “no.”

According to the belief of Friends, Scripture teaches that any gift of the Holy Spirit is to be exercised in a setting and manner edifying to the Church (1 Corinthians 14:26-33). Any practice in worship or other Christian gathering is to be a spiritual help to the body of Christ and to the individuals involved.

The Lord’s Return

The grand consummation of the divine purpose in regard to His people is seen in the prophetic utterances found in the Scriptures concerning the return of the Lord. He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords to reign over all His universe and thus bring to an end the operations of Satan and his minions. The saints are comforted, as they view the devastations caused by sin in the world, in the assurance that the Lord will come in power and great glory for the punishment of evil doers and the eternal deliverance of His people from the evils of the world. The Lord declares in Revelation 22:20, “Surely I come quickly;” and the Church, the bride, the Lamb’s wife, responds, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Friends should ever keep this great truth in mind, and thus not be misled by the arguments and reasoning of unbelievers.

Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Friends Church

The Holy Bible

We believe that the Holy Scriptures were given by the inspiration of God; that there can be no appeal from them to any other authority whatsoever; that they are fully sufficient to make one wise unto salvation through faith that is in Jesus Christ; that the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures must ever be its true interpreter as He works through the disciplined and dedicated minds of those within His Church; that any professed guidance that is contrary to these Scriptures must be counted as a delusion.

God

We believe in one God, revealed through the Holy Bible in the person of Jesus Christ; that He is both the creator and preserver of all things visible and invisible; that He alone is worthy of worship—honor, glory, dominion, praise, and thanksgiving—both now and forevermore; and that in the unity of the Godhead there exist three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, inseparable in divinity, power, glory, and eternity.

Jesus Christ

We believe Jesus Christ to be the only-begotten Son of God; that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; that He is the express image of the invisible God; and that He combines within Himself both the nature of God and the nature of man in one perfect indivisible personality—the God-man.

We believe that He was crucified as an atonement for the sins of the whole world, making provision whereby man could find the forgiveness of sins, the power for a new life, and be brought back into a perfect relationship with the Father.

We believe that He arose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of God, making intercession for us, and that He will come to earth again to receive His Church unto Himself and to judge the world in righteousness.

Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit to be the third person of the Godhead, proceeding from both Father and Son, but equal with them in authority, power, and glory; that He convicts the world of sin, imparts life to the penitent believer, sanctifies the child of God, and enables one by His indwelling presence to love God supremely.

Man

We believe that God created man in His own image; that he enjoyed unbroken fellowship with his maker; and that his whole life centered in the person of God. We believe that man fell from this original state by an act of transgression; that in this fall man suffered the immediate loss of his perfect relationship to God, making self the center of his life; and that in this act he suffered immediate spiritual death. In this disposition to sin all men are born. We own no principle inherent naturally in man by which he may be saved, except by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as a provision for all mankind.

Salvation

We believe that by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the direct and immediate agency of the Holy Spirit, man may be recovered from his fallen state through divine enlightenment, forgiveness of sin, regeneration and sanctification of his affections, and the final glorification of his body; that in this life man may love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength; that he may live in victory over sin and enjoy unbroken fellowship with his Father; and that once more his whole life may center in and revolve around his Creator and Father.

We believe that the experience of sanctification is the work of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified and exalted to a supreme love to God; and the believer is empowered to witness to the living Christ. This is accomplished by the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the life of a dedicated and believing child of God; that this is both an act in which the heart is cleansed from an imperfect relationship and state and a process in which the life is continuously disciplined into paths of holiness.

The Church

We believe that all those persons who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior are born again into His Kingdom by the Holy Spirit, and that these constitute the Church universal of Jesus Christ. This Church we believe to be spiritual in nature, universal in scope, holy in character, and redemptive in her life and purpose. We believe that wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ, He is truly present in the person of the Holy Spirit and that such an assembly is a local church, the visible expression of His body, and the Church universal. We believe that every believer must relate himself to the local and visible body of Christ being fitly framed together with others into a holy temple in the Lord and builded together for a habitation of His Spirit.

Christian Work

We believe that in the church, the believer is committed to both the worship and the work of God, that this work involves not only personal righteousness as the fruit of a new life, but the ministry of evangelism and teaching; that in this commission of Christ every believer is involved in the stewardship of the Kingdom, and that it is fulfilled only by faithful service in and through the fellowship of His Church; and that this work is continuous until Christ comes again calling the Church unto Himself. We believe that all Christians are called upon to witness by word and by deed within a sinful world, not returning evil for evil, but in Christlikeness demonstrating love, forgiveness, and the way of peace.

We believe that in the fellowship of His body, the Holy Spirit gives to every member a gift to be exercised for the mutual advantage of every member in the body, and for the influence of the church upon those outside; that the ministry is such a gift given to certain ones whom God calls and ordains for a special service of leadership in His Church; that this service may be that of pastoring, teaching, evangelizing, or administration.

Liberty

We believe in the doctrine of Christian liberty, and that this liberty is to be granted in all areas that are not essential to one’s final salvation. While we recognize that among God’s children there are differences of faith and practice, due to our imperfection, we must look forward to the time when we shall all come into a greater unity of the faith. Until then we believe that in essentials there must be unity, that in nonessentials there must be liberty, but in all things there must be charity.

Spiritual Realities

We believe that both Christian baptism and communion are spiritual realities beyond the mere physical and outward ordinances; that baptism is an inward receiving of the Holy Spirit in which He becomes Lord over all—guiding, cleansing, empowering, and in general representing God to us in immediate experience; that communion is the daily receiving and realization of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; that this communion is dependent not only upon the condition of the believer walking daily in the light of Christ, but in the historic act of Christ on Calvary as His body was broken and blood shed once and for all for us; that Christ thus becomes a daily personal spiritual reality known immediately in Christian experience; and that through Him and His baptism God and divine realities are known experientially and immediately.

Resurrection and Judgment

We believe in the second coming of Christ that at His coming the dead shall be resurrected, some to everlasting glory and others to everlasting shame; that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive recompense for the things done in the flesh; that the judgment of the blessed shall be unto heaven, and the judgment of the lost unto hell; that the punishment of the wicked and the blessedness of the righteous shall be everlasting; that this judgment is in the hands of our compassionate Redeemer, who doeth all things after the counsel of His wisdom, love, and holiness.

Statement of Faith of the National Association of Evangelicals
  1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Christ.
Estimated Membership of the Society of Friends (1986)

Africa …………………………………………………………………………………108,305
Burundi …………………………………………………………………………….3,000
Ghana* …………………………………………………………………………………17
Uganda …………………………………………………………………………….1,500
East Africa YM, Kaimosi 1 …………………………………………………30,000
East Africa (South), Vihiga …………………………………………………58,000
Elgon Religious Society of Friends 2 …………………………………..15,000
Tanzania 3 …………………………………………………………………………..500
Pemba YM* …………………………………………………………………………140
Southern Africa* …………………………………………………………………..148
Madagascar 4 ……………………………………………………………………….NA

Asia ……………………………………………………………………………………….4,518
China, People’s Republic 5 …………………………………………………….NA
Taiwan ……………………………………………………………………………..3,000
India 6 …………………………………………………………………………………580
Bundelkhand* ………………………………………………………………………321
General Conference* ………………………………………………………………34
Mid India* …………………………………………………………………………….225
Japan ………………………………………………………………………………….258
Philippines …………………………………………………………………………..100

Australia ……………………………………………………………………………….1,084

Near East ……………………………………………………………………………………60

New Zealand …………………………………………………………………………….681

Central and South America ………………………………………………….54,997
Bolivia 7 …………………………………………………………………………36,500
Iglesia Nacional de Los Amigos (INELA) (Bolivia YM) ……15,000
Iglesia Amigos Santidad and “splinter” …………………………10,000
Iglesia Central de Los Amigos ………………………………………3,500
Others 8 …………………………………………………………………….8,000
Colombia ………………………………………………………………………………..7
Costa Rica …………………………………………………………………………….60
Cuba …………………………………………………………………………………..300
El Salvador ………………………………………………………………………….350
Guatemala 9 ……………………………………………………………………10,000
Honduras ………………………………………………………………………….1,500
Jamaica ………………………………………………………………………………400
Mexico ………………………………………………………………………………..380
Peru …………………………………………………………………………………5,500

Europe …………………………………………………………………………………20,973
Belgium and Luxemburg ………………………………………………………….40
Denmark ……………………………………………………………………………….38
France* ……………………………………………………………………………….121
Germany (Democratic Republic) ………………………………………………50
Ireland ………………………………………………………………………………1,684
London ……………………………………………………………………………18,076
The Netherlands …………………………………………………………………..150
Pyrmont (German Federal Republic) ………………………………………430
Sweden and Finland …………………………………………………………….129
Norway ……………………………………………………………………………….130
Switzerland ……………………………………………………………………………95
Others in Europe ……………………………………………………………………30

North America …………………………………………………………………………………111,039
Both FUM and FGC Affiliations 10 …………………………………………14,413
Baltimore ………………………………………………………………………….3,723
Canada …………………………………………………………………………….1,140
New England …………………………………………………………………….3,922
New York ………………………………………………………………………….5,124
Southeastern ……………………………………………………………………….504
Friends United Meeting …………………………………………………………45,863
Southwest …………………………………………………………………………7,095
Indiana …………………………………………………………………………….7,880
lowa …………………………………………………………………………………5,137
Nebraska ………………………………………………………………………….1,216
North Carolina …………………………………………………………………12,932
Western ……………………………………………………………………………8,452
Wilmington ………………………………………………………………………..3,151
Friends General Conference …………………………………………………17,251
Central Alaska ……………………………………………………………………..120
Illinois …………………………………………………………………………………..941
Lake Erie ………………………………………………………………………….1,005
Northern ……………………………………………………………………………..251
Ohio Valley ………………………………………………………………………….870
Philadelphia …………………………………………………………………….12,896
South Central ……………………………………………………………………….358
Southern Appalachian …………………………………………………………..430
Others …………………………………………………………………………………380
Evangelical Friends International/North America …………………..25,685
Eastern Region …………………………………………………………………8,712
Mid-America ……………………………………………………………………..7,607
Northwest …………………………………………………………………………7,905
Rocky Mountain …………………………………………………………………1,461
Conservative …………………………………………………………………………1,676
lowa …………………………………………………………………………………..645
North Carolina …………………………………………………………………….300
Ohio …………………………………………………………………………………..731
Unaflliated ……………………………………………………………………………. 6,151
Alaska* …………………………………………………………………………….2,860
Central (Indiana) ………………………………………………………………….437
Intermountain ………………………………………………………………………783
Missouri Valley ………………………………………………………………………45
North Pacific ………………………………………………………………………..533
Pacific ………………………………………………………………………………1,493
World International Membership ………………………………………………54

GRAND TOTAL ……………………………………………………………………………….301,711

* Indicates the figure has not been updated since the 1982 publication of Finding Friends Around the World by FWCC. NA—Not Available.

Notes

  1. Membership statistics for East Africa are extremely elusive and hard to pinpoint. In most groups of East African Friends a two-year membership preparation course is required. Therefore, the actual number of members could only be a fraction (some say one-half) of those who would consider themselves “Quakers” and regular, committed attenders. Also, some groups do not count children below 15 years of age (ERSF), and some count only men. Therefore, when the meaning of “membership” is not uniform, it is difficult to be sure that numbers are representative and meaningful. There are also groups of Friends in such places as Nigeria and Turkana for which there are no available statistics. The following figures were quoted by the late Eldon Helm after his visit, representing FUM, in 1984. (Statistics are unknown for Nairobi and “Northern” Yearly Meetings. Actually, these two yearly meetings are still in the process of being established, which is reflected by the fact that at the time of this writing Friends from Malava and Witale are seeking a name other than “Northern.”) Other reports have estimated 75,000 members, with twice the number of committed attenders (Zablon Malenge, of Nairobi, Kenya), and 45,000 by the FWCC—which Val Ferguson feels is a fairly representative figure for adult members who have completed the two-year membership course and are regular, financial contributers. Helm’s figures were chosen because his on-site report seemed most representative of membership as it is understood in other parts of Quakerism.
  2. ERSF only considers its “converted” members as those who are 15 years of age or older. Since there are about 15,000 young Friends (15 years or younger) who are contributing (financially) attenders, Eldon Helm added them to the 15,000 adult members for a rough total of 30,000. However, we have retained the 15,000 figure, as it reflects “actual” members.
  3. This work is overseen by FUM, while Pemba YM (also in Tanzania) represents work begun by London YM in 1897.
  4. In 1968, Friends from the Malagasy Republic joined with two other Protestant groups to become the united “Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar.”
  5. There is reason to believe that there are still many Friends in Mainland China. In 1982, Arthur O. Roberts led a George Fox College study tour to China, and they met with several Quaker contacts there. Statistics, however, are very uncertain.
  6. The 1982 FWCC report suggests that these statistics are quite low.
  7. These figures are approximate calculations, based on number of Friends churches within each of these groups.
  8. There are three or four groups in Bolivia that have splintered off from Friends. They still go by the name of Friends and are therefore included in these statistics.
  9. The figures for Guatemala and Honduras were received from Andres Carranza, COAL Offices in Mexico City.
  10. Because this figure represents those yearly meetings with dual affiliation with FUM and FGC, it should be added to the sum of each to arrive at the total (i.e., for FUM the total is 60,276, and for FGC it is 31,664.)

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