Over the years, further splits and deviations of the church were seen, as many more churches blossomed throughout the world. Eventually, Swedenborgians were found in global regions including South America and Asia. In this article, you will learn some of the beliefs of the religion, as well as some of the different churches that evolved (and their numbers).
Today, the General Church boasts about 5,000 members spread across 33 churches. The Swedenborgianism Church of North America with headquarters situated in Newton (a suburb of Boston) claims 37 active churches with close to 1,500 members within the United States. To date, the General Church of New Jerusalem hold the most worshippers that any of the other churches. In Great Britain, the General Conference has close to 1,500 members.
There is also the Lord’s New Church, which is mainly associated with inhabitants of South Africa. However, there are about 200 members that reside within the United States. Throughout the years, they have sustained a reputation for fighting for issues of justice. In Australia and Germany, there are also about 200 to 500 members. However, the total number of Swedenborgians is believed between 25,000 and 30,000 with members living in Asia, South America, and Africa.
Understanding the Beliefs of Swedenborgianism
In order to understand what Swedenborgianism is all about, it is suggested to become familiar with some of the doctrines that the New Church follows. Swedenborgians believe that:
” 1. That there is one God and that He is the Lord Jesus Christ. Within Him there is a Divine Trinity.
2. That a saving faith is to believe in Him and to live a life of charity.
3. That all evils originate in mankind and are to be shunned.
4. That good actions are of God and from God, and are therefore necessary for life and should be done.
5. That these good acts are to be done by mankind as if from him/herself; but that it ought to be acknowledged that they are done from the Lord with Him and by Him.
6. That one’s fate after death is according to the character one has acquired in life; specifically that those governed by the love of the Lord or the love of being useful to others are in heaven, and that those governed by love of self or the love of worldly things are in hell.”
Additionally, Swedenborgians believe that when they enter marriage, this act is eternal. They feel that when an individual is to become a married person that they will enter a true spiritual journey with their spouse that continues in the afterlife. If a person passes away before they have a chance to marry, Swedenborgians believe this person will locate a spouse while in heaven. As for people who follow this practice, it is reported that Robert Frost was married in a Swedenborgian ceremony.