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The history of religion in the us

The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart 10/14/2011 The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart When you think of religion in the United States and how it started you may think of the first settlers. These were not the first being to worship a higher power in the United States. The Indians believed in and worshiped The Great Spirit. Despite the many tribes like the Sioux and Iroquois they all had the same belief in The Great Spirit. The Great Spirit could be present in animals as well as inanimate objects. They all developed great ceremonies to on it. Then came the colonists, the first settlers, who were predominantly protestant these settlers left their home countries because of religion. They did not want to be told how to worship their God. These colonists were Christians but as they began to settle, those with different beliefs separated themselves and developed new segments of religion. The puritans left their country to escape religious prosecution. They later developed the religions of Baptist and Congressionalist’s. Their religion was based on the teachings of John Calvin, and was thought to purify the religion of the Church of England. Their religions eventually lead to self isolation and witch hunts of people who did not follow their religion. The Methodists were a group of Oxford University Students. They were not fleeing religious prosecution when they arrived. The Methodist Church as become the second largest Protestant Church in the United States today. The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart Lutherans were like no other American Christian denomination; their national origin did play an important role in their history. Members came from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The Lutherans settled on the East Coast and American Midwest, and celebrated worship services in their native tongues. Presbyterians who bore little resemblance to the liturgy, structure, and tradition associated with the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian and Reformed churches share a common origin in the teachings of John Calvin. Their belief structure and practices are centered on the Bible and “ the sovereignty of God. ” Presbyterians make up one of the largest branches of Protestant Christianity today. The next religion, the Quakers, were founded in 1647 by English preacher George Fox, the Society of Friends emphasized a direct relationship with God. One’s conscience, not the Bible, was the ultimate authority on morals and actions. The state I live in Pennsylvania was founded by the Quakers, specifically William Penn, as a religious sanctuary. Quakers did not have a clergy or dedicated church buildings, and therefore held their meetings in which participants deliberated silently on issues and spoke up when “ the Spirit moved them. ” Dressed in plain clothes, Quakers preferred a simple life over one enjoyed by the aristocracy of England and the burgeoning merchant class in the colonies. They also shared an abhorrence of violence. I find my beliefs, even though I The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart follow or believe in no God, similar, that if you were to need the faith in religion, you should not need to have a specific building, life style or presence in society to practice that religion. That doing so just creates a difference among people creating more separation in a race that should be united. And violence should never be tolerated, growing up in a house hold where violence and abuse was common place, this is a rule that people in my life need to abide by. The oldest Christian churches: Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Eastern Orthodoxy, have left their unique stamp on the history of religion in America. Called ” liturgical” for their adherence to an elaborate, set form of ritualistic worship practices, most of those churches observe seven sacraments throughout their members’ lives, whereas later Christian denominations usually celebrated only two. Anglicanism, The Church of England (later the Episcopal Church in the U. S.) was first planted on American soil at the ill-fated Roanoke Colony in Virginia, when their first services were held on August 13, 1687. Since that landing, they grew and experienced numerous schisms. Their worship services are similar in some ways to those of Roman Catholicism, and their clergy orders are the same: bishops, priests, and deacons. The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart Eastern Orthodoxy in America consists of more than a dozen church bodies whose national origin is reflected by their names, such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, and the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. Eastern Orthodox beliefs are based on holy tradition, or doctrines from early Christianity, and the Bible. Utopian communities were established in America as places where followers would not waiver could achieve a perfect religious, political and social system. The first community was established by a group of Dutch Mennonites in 1663 near what is now Lewes, Delaware. When the constitution was written it stated in the first amendment which is called the “ Establishment Clause”, “ Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. ” Also, the relationship between religion and politics was established in the Article VI of the First Amendment that states, “ No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. ” The definition of the separation of church and state found in the U. S. Constitution has caused more disagreement than any other in the nation’s history. The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart This is a continuously tried amendment, to be challenged by people of religion who try to push their religion or a religion on anyone and everyone who would listen. Just like prayers in schools are constantly pushed by religious politicians. It should not be anyone’s choice on what to believe, it is for a person to decide solely on their own through age and experiences. Religion has continued to change over the decades as more and more immigrants of different religions come to the United States such as Muslim, Buddhists, Jewish, they have been joined by more modern religions like Scientology and Mysticism. More and more people have also chosen, like myself, to have no religion but to base their lives on scientific beliefs in the way the earth and its creatures were created. However religious people also have this similar belief just stating their God would have to have their hand in this somehow. This would contradict most Christian religions. The History of Religion in the United States Christa Hart Work Cited http://www. u-s-history. com/pages/h3787. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/History_of_religion_in_the_United_States

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