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What Is a Quaker?



What Is a Quaker?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.15

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    laid-back, mythology-based, unprogrammed, urgings, peaceably, refusal, mid-twenties, sermon, best, pacifism, sect, truthful, authority, conscientious, objectors, pacifist
     content words:    William Penn, Religious Society, George Fox, Holy Spirit, To Quakers, North America, South America, United States


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What Is a Quaker?
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     Back in the mid-1600's, there were two groups of Christians who did not want to submit to the authority of the Church of England. We're familiar with one of those groups. They were the Puritans who settled in the American colonies. The other group also came to America. They were called the Quakers. William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was a famous Quaker. He was in his mid-twenties and living in England when he became a Quaker.
 
2     Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends, and they are called Quakers and Friends interchangeably. George Fox, born in 1624 in England, is the founder of the Quakers. However, he didn't plan to create a new religious sect. He believed that he had rediscovered original Christianity. The Church of England didn't see it that way.
 
3     Quakers are perhaps best known for their pacifism; that is, they oppose war as well as the death penalty. They can avoid serving in wars by proving that they are conscientious objectors. That means, based on moral or religious principles, they do not believe it is right to take up arms and fight; they object to harming other human beings. They want to live peaceably among all people.

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