Differences between Quakers vs Puritans

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Since the Religious Society of Friends has existed for more than 350 years, it is often difficult to find commonalities between Quakers and Puritans. Both groups were non-conformist Christians who advocated a more personal relationship with God. One difference is that Quakers are considered peaceable because they do not believe in fighting wars or engaging in violence of any kind while Puritans believed that military service was one way to serve God. Another difference is that Quakers use quiet meditation, whereas Puritans used vocal prayer as their primary form of worship. 

In 1660, the Puritans and Quakers were at odds. The Quakers were a radical sect of Protestants who believed that they had been called directly by God to communicate with Jesus Christ. They also practiced equality between men and women, as well as pacifism. In contrast, the Puritans were a more mainstream group who followed strict rules from the Bible to live their lives for God. These two groups clashed on many issues such as gender roles, religious freedom, and even clothing styles based on what was seen as “Godly.

Comparison between Quakers and Puritans

Parameters of ComparisonQuakersPuritans
BelieveQuakers believe in direct communion with God and do not need a priest to mediate the relationshipPuritans believed that they were chosen by God to be His chosen people and that all other religions were false  
IdeaThe Quaker Idea of Inner Light is shared among all membersPuritanism’s idea of “Godly” is only given to those who are worthy.  
AuthorityQuakers don’t believe in any external authorityPuritans rely on their pastors for guidance  
EqualityQuakers believe in equality and tolerancePuritans believe in hierarchy
PacifistQuakers are pacifistsPuritans like to fight

What are Quakers?

Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, is a religious group that was founded in England during the seventeenth century. They are best known for their silent meetings and refusal to take oaths. The Quaker religion typically emphasizes equality among all people, simplicity of lifestyle, and non-violence. 

Some aspects of this faith include A rejection of violence as a means to solve the conflict; Rejection of titles such as “Lord” or “Sir”; Giving equal respect to women and men; A strong focus on community building within the church; Commitment to social justice working with those who have been oppressed by society. There are many different branches within the Quaker movement but they all share these same values which make them stand out from other religions.

Quakers is a religion that was formed in England during the 17th century. It is not an evangelical church and has no professional clergy, but it does believe in God and Jesus Christ. Quakers do not have any sort of physical or emotional rituals such as baptism or communion. Instead, they meet together for worship every week to share their lives and discuss their revelations from God. 

Quakers are pacifists who believe that violence only begets more violence and try to live by this mantra at all times to spread peace throughout the world. They also refuse to take oaths because they feel like it contradicts their belief in simplicity and integrity which they prioritize over everything else. This may seem strange coming from a religious organization but it does not impact their church practices.

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What are Puritans?

Puritans are a Protestant religious group that emerged in the 16th century in England. They were centered around the idea of restoring pure Christianity to the church and society. Puritans believed that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not through good works. They also emphasized personal and family piety, strict self-discipline, and rigorous moral purity. Many Puritans emigrated to North America in the 17th century, where they helped found some of the country’s earliest colonies. Today there are still many descendants of Puritan immigrants living in the United States.

Puritans were a religious group who migrated from England to America in the early 17th century. They were known for their strict, conservative beliefs, which influenced American society and government. While their influence has faded over time, Puritans continue to be an important part of American history.

The word “Puritan” is commonly used today to describe anyone who is extremely religious or moralistic. But the term refers to a specific group of people who lived in colonial America from 1620 to 1676. Puritans were extreme Calvinists who believed that God had already chosen who would go to heaven and who would go to hell. They tried to create a society that was pure and holy, free from sin. This led them to be very strict and repressive towards anyone who didn’t adhere to their beliefs. Puritans are an important part of American history, but their legacy is complex and often contradictory.

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10 Differences between Quakers and Puritans

1. Quakers believe in direct communion with God and do not need a priest to mediate the relationship.

2. Puritans believed that they were chosen by God to be His chosen people and that all other religions were false.

3. The Quaker Idea of Inner Light is shared among all members, while Puritanism’s idea of “Godly” is only given to those who are worthy.

4. Quakers don’t believe in any external authority, while Puritans rely on their pastors for guidance.

5. Quakers allow women into leadership positions such as elders or preachers, while men hold most positions of power in the church.

6. The Quaker dress code is simple and modest – no flashy colors or jewelry, but Puritan dress codes require strict adherence to rules about what they can wear.

7. Quakers believe in equality and tolerance, Puritans believe in hierarchy.

8. Quakers are pacifists, Puritans like to fight.

9. Quakers don’t need pastors or churches because they can worship God anywhere; Puritans have a pastor and church building.

10. Quakers wear their hair long and natural, whereas the Puritan men’s hair is short and women’s hair is up with curls at the end.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Quakers

1. Quakers believe that everyone has a right to worship in their way.

2. Quakers do not have clergy and they do not use the Bible as a source of authority.

3. The Society of Friends was founded by George Fox, who had been an apprentice weaver.

4. As one of the few pacifist movements in Christianity, Quakerism emerged during the English Civil War (1642-1651). 

5. In 1647, George Fox wrote “The Great Case of Liberty Of Conscience” which was published over two years later and is considered to be one of his most important works.

6. William Penn established Pennsylvania as a haven for people persecuted for religious beliefs.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Puritans

1. Puritans were the first to use the word “America”.

2. One of the most famous Puritan preachers was John Cotton.

3. The term “Puritanical” is often used to describe someone who does not enjoy worldly pleasures, such as alcohol or sex.

4. The oldest existing American church building was built by a group of Puritans in the 1630s.

5. There are many different types of puritanism – some believe that God should be worshipped through strict rules and rituals, while others believe that it’s important to have a personal relationship with God.

6. In 1953, President Eisenhower ordered all federal buildings in Washington D.C., including churches, closed on Sundays for one day per week due to his belief in separation between religion and government.


Quakers believe in an “Inward Light” that leads to salvation. Puritans believed in predestination and the need for good works. The idea of an Inward light is similar to what we know as conscience, which can be seen through people’s actions whether they are religious or not. A person who has a strong sense of right and wrong would have a clear conscience because it would guide them on how to act appropriately without being told by someone else (such as their parents). This theory could lead us to conclude that Quakerism was more about personal responsibility than following rules set forth by others while Puritanism was all about living according to strict guidelines dictated by other people such as God or pastors/priests.

Puritans were more strict in their religious beliefs and practices. They believed that they should make no concessions to the world, but live by God’s law alone. They felt guilty about enjoying worldly pleasures because it might distract them from salvation or lead people to try to be saved through good works rather than faith in Christ alone. Puritan theology was based on the predestination-the idea that some are destined for heaven while others are destined for hell before birth, so there is nothing one can do to change this fate. The Quakers had a different approach with religion: they did not believe that anyone deserved eternal punishment just because of who they were born into; instead, everyone could have access to communion with God if they chose repentance and conversion as demonstrated by their actions.


Resource 01: https://www.history.com/topics/immigration/history-of-quakerism
Resource 02: https://www3.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/puritans.html

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