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The religious culture of Virginia


Forest in Virginia
Forest in Virginia

The first English settlers in Virginia designated the Church of England as the colony’s established church. Dissenters in the colony, including Puritans and Quakers (see Society of Friends), did not accept the established church. In the early 1700s, German settlers brought with them the Mennonite, River Brethren, Amish, and Lutheran faiths. In the 1740s a religious revival began, and the Presbyterians and other groups, particularly in what is now West Virginia, propagated fundamentalist beliefs. In 1786 the Virginia assembly passed legislation separating church and state. During the 19th century both the Baptist and the Methodist denominations grew.

The church membership of Virginia is predominantly Protestant, and the largest denomination is the Baptists. Virginia also has many Roman Catholics. Two of Virginia’s Christian broadcasters extended their influence nationwide through cable television evangelism. Televangelist Jerry Falwell broadcast from Lynchburg, where he established Liberty University. Pat Robertson based his Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach. "Virginia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.

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