The Middle colonists were a mixture of religions, including Quakers (led by William Penn), Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and others. A brief definition of the different types of religion in the colonies are detailed  in the following Chart: The different types of Religion in the Colonies, Fast Facts and info about Religion in the Colonies, Religion in the Colonies is a great history resource for kids, Social Studies Homework help for kids and children - Religion in the Colonies, Religion in the Colonies - Colonial America - America - Facts - Colonies - Colonists - History - US - History - Interesting - Information - Info - Events - Kids - Religion in the Colonies - Children - Studies - Colonies - United States - America - USA - Social Studies - Religious beliefs in the Colonies - Colonists - Religious beliefs in the Colonies - Teaching resource - Religion in the Colonies - Social Studies - Religion in the Colonies - History - Teachers - Kids - Famous - Religious beliefs in the Colonies - Colonial America - Religion in the Colonies. Although most colonists considered themselves Christians, this did not mean that they lived in a culture of religious unity. Other colonies were established where religious tolerance was exercised. The New England region, in the north, was dominated by Congregationalists, including Puritans and Separatists such as the Pilgrims. Colonial-Era Meeting House, Sandown, New Hampshire. The colonies officially declared their independence in 1776 forming the United States of America. Christianity was further complicated by the widespread practice of astrology, alchemy and forms of witchcraft. In some areas, women accounted for no more than a quarter of the population, and given the relatively small number of conventional households and the chronic shortage of clergymen, religious life was haphazard and irregular for most. In the British colonies, differences among Puritan and Anglican remained. In a surprising way, these principles sat very well with the basic beliefs of rational Protestants (and deists). At the core of this rational belief was the idea that God had endowed humans with reason so that they could tell the difference between right and wrong. Colonial America: A list of the various religions present in colonial America. In Great Britain, the Protestant Anglican church had split into bitter divisions among traditional Anglicans and the reforming Puritans, contributing to an English civil war in the 1600s. Even in Boston, which was more highly populated and dominated by the Congregational Church, one inhabitant complained in 1632 that the “fellows which keepe hogges all weeke preach on the Sabboth.”2. The punishments imposed on the Nonconformists and Dissenters included being fined, whipped and imprisoned. . Against a prevailing view that eighteenth-century Americans had not perpetuated the first settlers' passionate commitment to their faith, scholars now identify a high level of religious energy in colonies after 1700. The different denominations consisted of various unified religious congregations and churches. Surprisingly, alchemy and other magical practices were not altogether divorced from Christianity in the minds of many “natural philosophers” (the precursors of scientists), who sometimes thought of them as experiments that could unlock the secrets of Scripture. In even sharper contrast to the other colonies, in New England most newborns were baptized by the church, and church attendance rose in some areas to 70 percent of the adult population. Learn about George Washington’s 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, an important moment in the history of religious freedom in America. Religion in the Colonies - The Catholic Religion and the Glorious RevolutionUnder the rule of King James II of England (reigned 1685 – 11 December 1688) the American colonists were under the direct control of the monarch. A separation from the Church of England was forced because the Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch. [There] seem to be evidence that some form of rationalism—Unitarian, deist, or otherwise—was often present in the religion of gentlemen leaders by the late colonial period.”11 Whether Unitarian, deist, or even Anglican/Congregational, rationalism focused on the ethical aspects of religion. In contrast to other colonies, there was a meetinghouse in every New England town.6 In 1750 Boston, a city with a population of 15000, had eighteen churches.7 In the previous century church attendance was inconsistent at best. William Penn, the founder of the colony, contended that civil authorities shouldn’t meddle with the religious/spiritual lives of their citizens. Government in these colonies contained elements of theocracy, asserting that leaders and officials derived that authority from divine guidance and that civil authority ought to be used to enforce religious conformity. King James II believed in 'the Divine Right of Kings' and tried to create religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists against the wishes of the English Parliament which led to the Glorious Revolution in which James was replaced by King William III and Queen Mary II. The Religion in the Colonies adhered to the religious practises of many denominations. Religion in Colonial America, by Professor Jeffry Morrison. The anti-Catholicism of America’s Calvinist past found new voice in the 19th century. Laws mandated that everyone attend a house of worship and pay taxes that funded the salaries of ministers. Knowing the difference also meant that humans made free choices to sin or behave morally. With French Huguenots, Catholics, Jews, Dutch Calvinists, German Reformed pietists, Scottish Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, and other denominations arriving in growing numbers, most colonies with Anglican or Congregational establishments had little choice but to display some degree of religious tolerance. His Puritan religious group believed that they would establish a pure church in New England  that would offer a model for all churches. The fear of such practices can be gauged by the famous trials held in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 and 1693. John Winthrop, a powerful Puritan leader was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In the early years of what later became the United States, Christian religious groups played an influential role in each of the British colonies, and most attempted to enforce strict religious observance through both colony governments and local town rules. Although colonial America was governed under the British rule, it developed differently than Britain. Religion in the Colonies - The American RevolutionThe American Revolutionary War ended the rule of the British and the religion in the colonies based on the practises of the Church of England. The middle colonies saw a mixture of religions, including Quakers (who founded Pennsylvania), Catholics, Lutherans, a few Jews, and others. Overall, religion was an important aspect in the colonization of America. In addition, in their search for God’s truths, rationalists such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin valued the study of nature (known as “natural religion”) over the Scriptures (or “revealed religion”). Local variations in Protestant practices and ethnic differences among the white settlers did foster a religious diversity. The many peoples who called early America home represented a great variety of spiritual traditions. The laws he drew up pledged to protect the civil liberties of “all persons . The long, hazardous, 3000 mile trip from Europe to North America was undertaken by many in a search for religious freedom. Despite the evangelical, emotional challenge to reason underlying the “Great Awakening,” by the end of the colonial period, Protestant rationalism remained the dominant religious force among the leaders of most of the colonies: “The similarity of belief among the educated gentry in all colonies is notable. Much like the north, this was the result of the proliferation of churches, new clerical codes and bodies, and a religion that became more organized and uniformly enforced. The letter exchange between George Washington and the Hebrew congregation of Newport was not the only landmark event in the early history of America that dealt with issues of religious freedom and identity. As we might expect, established clergy discouraged these explorations. The New England colonists were largely Puritans, who led very strict lives. This article on  the biography and life of Religion in the Colonies provides facts and information about: History of the first 13 Colonies and religious beliefs in the New World, Religion in the Colonies: The religious beliefs and the quest of the colonists for religious freedom. Indeed, Pennsylvania’s first constitution stated that all who believed in God and agreed to live peacefully under the civil government would “in no way be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion of practice.”5  However, reality often fell short of that ideal. 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