Are Quakers Christians?

‘This is actually an interesting and somewhat controversial question. Depending on who you ask, your answer is likely to be either, 1) “Yes, for the most part”; or 2) “No, not exclusively”. Both responses are correct.

Certainly, most Quakers (Friends) are Christian, and our beginnings were exclusively Christian. The Quaker faith originated in seventeenth century England during the civil wars when many were questioning the authority and role of government and of the established church, the Church of England.

George Fox and the Early Friends believed that each person could have direct personal access to the Spirit from within themselves without need for mediation by priest, a specific ritual or a specific sacred place. In their understanding, Jesus possessed a full measure of the Christ Spirit, and all humanity are sons and daughters of God. As Friends, through this direct access to the Spirit, they believed they could be empowered to live lives of integrity towards creating a more peaceful and just world.

However, not all Quakers are Christian. Many have a profound experience of the Spirit without associating it with Jesus and Christian tradition. We understand that the experience of the Spirit is not limited to Christian contexts. Throughout our history, we have been wary of becoming dogmatic about any particular creed. We do not demand or expect that our Members all be Christian, and we have been enriched by our openness.

We are members of the World Council of Churches and we work with many religions in the search for peace, equality and justice for all.’