The Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) are a worldwide faith group whose work includes social, economic, political and climate activism, peace work and cultivating communities.

Quakerism began in the 1650’s as a non-conformist religion founded by George Fox in the North of England. Founded on the principles of each individual having “a spark of God within them”, equality is at the heart of Quaker values alongside simplicity, truth, peace and sustainability.

Today there are Quakers in nearly every country in the world (map) and Quaker practice looks different across these countries. In the UK, Quakers hold ‘unprogrammed’ Meeting for Worship, which is based in silence. There is not one person leading but everyone is welcome to minister. In other countries, Quaker worship may include a pastor, singing hymns and a sermon.

The video below explains how many Quakers there are worldwide and where they are distributed.

Learn more about Quakers in the UK and worldwide to understand our work in the world and the diversity in beliefs and worship.


“Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.”

– George Fox, 1656