"While all men within our territories are protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of their consciences..."

George Washington to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, 1789

While a private man when it came to his personal religious beliefs, George Washington worked tirelessly to ensure people of all religions had the right to practice within the United States.

"For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens"

George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, Wednesday, August 18, 1790

George Washington's Religious Beliefs

George Washington's Religious Beliefs

Washington was generally private about his religious life. While his church attendance varied throughout his life, Washington was a devoted member of the Anglican Church. In 1762, he became a vestryman at Pohick Church and served as a churchwarden for three terms.

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Catholicism

Catholicism

Washington's statements regarding Catholicism and freedom of religion set precedents for the new nation.

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“I trust the people of every denomination, who demean themselves as good citizens, will have occasion to be convinced that I shall always strive to prove a faithful and impartial Patron of genuine, vital religion.”

George Washington to the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, May 29, 1789.

“Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated."

George Washington to Sir Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792.

Quiz

Quiz

See how much you know about Washington’s religious beliefs and practices.

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Christ Church

Christ Church

First built in 1773, George Washington purchased a pew at this Fairfax Parish church in Alexandria and was a lifelong member of the congregation.

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George Washington

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