Dear Readers: Do you have any idea when your religion was founded and by whom? If you are not interested in the subject, skip today’s column and go directly to the horoscope or crossword puzzle. I found the following fascinating:
If you are a member of the Jewish faith, your religion was founded by Abraham about 4,000 years ago.
If you are Hindu, your religion developed in India around 1,500 B.C.
If you are a Buddhist, your religion split from Hinduism, and was founded by Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama of India, about 500 B.C.
If you are Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ began your religion in the year 33.
If you are Islamic, Mohammed started your religion in what is now Saudi Arabia around 600 A.D.
If you are Eastern Orthodox, your sect separated from Roman Catholicism around the year 1000.
If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-monk in the Catholic Church, in 1517.
If you belong to the Church of England (Anglican), your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.
If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded when John Knox brought the teachings of John Calvin to Scotland in the year 1560.
If you are Unitarian, your religious group developed in Europe in the 1500s.
If you are a Congregationalist, your religion branched off from Puritanism in the early 1600s in England.
If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1607.
If you are a Methodist, your religion was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.
If you are an Episcopalian, your religion was brought over from England, to the American colonies and formed a separate religion founded by Samuel Seabury in 1789.
If you are a Mormon (Latter-Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your church in Palmyra, N.Y., NOT Salt Lake City, which would have been my guess. The year was 1830.
If you worship with the Salvation Army (yes, it’s a religious group, not just an organization that collects money in kettles on Christmas and serves dinners to the homeless), your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.
If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year your religion was founded by Mary Baker Eddy.
If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your religion was founded by Charles Taze Russell in Pennsylvania in the 1870s.
If you are Pentecostal, your religion was started in the United States in 1901.
If you are an agnostic, you profess an uncertainty or a skepticism about the existence of God or a Higher Being.
If you are an atheist, you do not believe in the existence of God or any other higher power. This country’s best-known atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, has not been seen or heard from in more than a year. According to her son, she has disappeared without a trace.