What Is Unitarianism?


Unitarianism is an organized religion named for its adherents' belief in the unity of humanity and creation and the belief that God is one being and not three-in-one as characterized by the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity. Unitarianism also allows a wide range of beliefs among those who belong to the church. In fact, there are many Jews, Christians, Buddhists and even atheists who consider themselves Unitarians.

Unitarians place a great deal of emphasis on religious freedom for the individual. They insist that everyone be free to search for meaning in existence and draw their own conclusions. In keeping with that line of thought, Unitarians do not believe that ultimate religious truth was ever recorded by a religious figure or institution.

The first Unitarians lived in Transylvania and Poland in the 16th century. Their movement grew as a result of the Protestant Reformation. However, many Christians objected to Unitarians denying the Holy Trinity and persecuted members of the church. Many Unitarians are active in social justice and local charitable work as a result of their collective belief that religion should create positive change in the world.

The Unitarian Church was among the first to allow women to serve as ministers and one of the first to support equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The denomination grew by nearly 16 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.