The Jewish Faith is close to 4000 years old and was founded by Abraham. The Hindu Religion came out of India somewhere around 1500 BC. The Buddhist Religion is the result of a splinter sect from Hinduism founded by Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) in about 500 BC. Catholicism appeared in the year 33 AD. Mohammed started the Islamic Religion in the area of Saudi Arabia
at about 600 AD. The Eastern Orthodox Church separated from the Roman Catholic Church
in about the year 1000 AD. Martin Luther created the Lutheran Church in 1517, the result of a split from the Roman Catholic Church. The first Lutheran congregation in North America was founded
in Wilmington, Delaware in 1638. Their faith is based on the Bible, and the Augsburg Confession.
King Henry the VIII started the Church of England in 1534 because a pope would not grant him
a divorce. The Tenets of this church are the supremacy of the Bible as the test of doctrine.
Emphasis is place on the most essential Christian doctrines and creeds, and the Book of Common Prayer is used. The Amish or Mennonite Faith was founded in Switzerland in the 1500s.
They seceded from the Zurich State church, and most immigrated to Pennsylvania in the
eighteenth century. The Presbyterian Religion was based on the teachings of John Calvin, brought to Scotland by John Knox in 1557, and to North America by Irish missionary Francis Makemie in 1706. They place their faith in the Bible.
A religious group called the Unitarians was first developed in Europe in the 1500s. The Unitarian Universalist Association was the result of a merger between a denomination organized in 1779
called the Unitarian Universalist Association of America, and the American Unitarian Association that was founded in 1825. Members of this congregation profess no creed. Their strong social, ethical, and humanitarian concerns are manifested from the search for religious truth through
the freedom of belief. Their efforts are aimed at the creation of a worldwide interfaith religious Community. The Congregationalists are a religious group that split from Puritanism in England
in the 1600s. The Baptist Religion was founded by John Smyth in Amsterdam in 1607.
In the seventeenth century in England, George Fox preached against organized churches.
The result of this was the formation of the religious Society of Friends, or the Quakers. Their faith
is based on the “Inner Light.” For them it is the voice of God's Holy Spirit experienced within each individual. The Reverend John Wesley began evangelistic preaching within the Church of England
in 1738. John and Charles Wesley founded the Methodist Religion in England in 1744.
A separate Wesleyan Methodist Church was established in 1791. The Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in the United States of America in 1784, when Samuel Seabury was installed as its first bishop.
The Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. Their faith is based on the Bible, the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price, all of which are considered scripture. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the result of the teachings of William Miller; it was founded in North America in 1863. The Salvation Army, which is actually a religious group, was founded by William Booth in England in 1865. Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Scientist Religion in 1879. In Pennsylvania, the Jehovah’s Witness Religion was founded by Charles Taze Russell in the 1870s. The Pentecostal Religion was begun in the United States in 1901.
There are many other religious groups founded on beliefs that are considered mainstream and some that are not. I regret they are too numerous to mention. My personal take from this is that the number of religious denominations result from the differences in culture, beliefs, opinions, and practices. However,
one truth remains, there is only one “supreme entity.” Almost every mainstream religious group has faith
in this belief. Even tribal cultures that we “civilized” people label “primitive” tend to believe in a power that has supreme domain over any other deity they conceive. It seems that regardless of the method of worship,
all religious doctrine leads back to one God or Divine Energy of Life.