How To Start A Religion?
Have you ever felt dissatisfied with existing religions? Have you ever been fed up with the lack of tolerance in many existing religions? If you are inspired to change, you can start your religion. It may take a lot of effort to organize and officially recognize your religion. However, if this is something you are inspired to do, it will be very beneficial to see that your work leads to a thriving membership.
1. Write A Plan
The process of establishing a religion requires the most amount of preparation. You can start by writing down your thoughts on why you want to invent a new religion. It is important to understand the root cause of your religion’s existence if you want it to succeed. It is possible to begin a religious organization:
- Because you are dissatisfied with the people who currently exist.
- Because you are deeply inspired and/or have seen glimpses of the secret knowledge you want to share.
- To perform weddings and other celebrations in your way.
- As a joke.
- Criticizing other religions.
2. Develop a cosmology
Suppose your religion intends to explain broad questions about the universe’s origin, the nature of reality, and the future. In that case, you will want to develop a cosmology that explains all of these things. The cosmology of your religion may describe things like a creation story and conjectures about the ultimate end of things. Be as creative or inspired as your religion says.
3. Choose A Name For Your Religion
The name of your religion should reflect its purpose and foundation, so don’t choose it carelessly. Think about your religion’s central beliefs or messages, and try to reflect these in the word or phrase that will serve as its name. Names of religions invented in the past include:
- Church of all worlds
- Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Also Know About: Does Muslim Religion Not Eat Pork?
4. Develop A List Of The Core Tenets Of Your Religion.
These can explain how it views relationships (Should you be benevolent to others? Act on your interests?) These theories can also have philosophical arguments, explaining how your religion sees the world differently from others. For example, the tenets of your religion may contain arguments that prove that its deity(s) exist if any.
- If you want, write a holy book or explain all these things.
5. Talk To People About Your Religion.
Once you’ve worked out the core ideas of your religion, you can start inviting other people to join you. Many experts recommend working slowly in the beginning. You can talk to some of your acquaintances, then build on from there by mouth-to-mouth. When you have a reliable and fairly stable group, you can work with them to develop bylaws that describe how your religion will be organized and managed.
6. Read About Historical Examples.
If you’re looking for inspiration when planning your religion, you can look to the history of other religions. Studying the world’s major religions can give you ideas, but you can also read about recent examples of invented religions, such as:
- Ale. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology.
- Church of All Worlds is an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land.
- Discordianism, and its foundational text Principia Discorda.
7. Learn The Benefits Of Official Recognition
Churches recognized as non-profits are automatically considered tax-exempt according to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 501(c). You do not need to apply for this protection if you meet the guidelines of the Code. This tax exemption will give legal and financial protection to your religious beliefs and allow it to be practised freely by the principles of its founders.
- Although the tax exemption is automatic for accredited churches, you can still apply for it formally. This may be a good idea if you just want to be sure that your religion qualifies for this protection or if you think applying officially will give it some legitimacy.
- If you’d like to seek tax-exempt status for your religion, fill out IRS Form 1023-EZ.
8. Meet The Guidelines For Legally Establishing A Church.
The IRS uses the term “church” broadly to mean any recognized religious group. The primary guidelines for recognition stipulate that any revenue earned by the church may not be used for financial gain to any individual or shareholders or to influence political decision-making (lobbying). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will consider whether a religious group officially qualifies as a church if it meets some combination of features, including:
- It has cult and worship practices.
- Its membership differs from that of other religious groups.
- Have a recognized course of study to appoint leaders in religion.
- It has a clear history.
- Religion has some form of fundamental texts or literary tradition.
- Its formal leadership.
- There are official or common locations to worship.
- The church has a regular worship service and congregation.
9. Apply for a certificate of formation
A certificate of formation (sometimes called articles of formation) is a document used in many places to formally incorporate religion as a legally recognized entity. Suppose describes what a non-profit organization will do, how it will be managed, etc. Check your local laws to see if this document is required to be filed.
10. Obtain An Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Even if you qualify for tax-exempt status, you’ll want to apply for an EIN from the IRS. This number will be required if your religion has ever had an employee.
- Even if your faith is tax-exempt, you are required to take income tax withheld from the employees of your organization.
11. Keep Records
The tax-exempt status allows religious organizations special audit protection. Yet, it’s vital to keep accurate budgets for all your expenses. These can include salaries, expenses, money collected from members of your religion, etc.
12. Have Frequent Services or Meetings.
Studies have shown that the most successful religions have congregations that meet frequently. Suppose your faith includes worship services or rituals you can consider several times per week. Your religion will be more likely to increase in numbers of members, and potential members have the flexibility to choose to attend services.
13. Create A Welcoming Feeling.
People are more likely to become regular members of your religion if you provide them with a welcoming place to visit. Whatever your religious services include, consider placing them in a comfortable environment that is easily accessible. For example, people intimidated or put off by traditional religious services may be more likely to attend an informal, coffee-house-style service.
14. Offer Lots Of Programs.
Worshipping and increasing your understanding of the core principles of your religion may be the most important aspects of your services. However, offering additional programs can increase a sense of community among members of your religion while keeping people closer to the religion itself. Consider incorporating activities such as:
- Music for services and entertainment
- game nights
- reading group
- Social functions (youth groups, retirement meetings, etc.)
- Community service (beautification projects, prison access, food campaigns, etc.)
How many people do you need to start a religion?
What is needed to start a religion?
That’s the legal aspect. Another person is correct that you “don’t need to declare as a religious organization”, but if you’re interested in the many tax and regulatory advantages, it’s a must. What appears to be the main problem, that’s a hard one, and I’d go with three since two people are just me and you talking. Religion, too, suggests that there exists some sort of organization. Still, it doesn’t have to be a specific organization but rather dogmas, concepts, and the principles of religion – I would say that it is at least implying that the religion is independent of any single person. I’m sure all the legal stuff mentioned above needs to demonstrate that. However, philosophically or theologically, it shouldn’t simply be “Marc declares” as well as “Marc and Joe declare”. It must be something that can last.
The rest of it is nothing, and I don’t believe it. Theologically, one can go on – religious beliefs don’t require gods or gods or any other particular god and no higher power or even a higher concept, except I would guess that there’s some reason for the Church, even if it’s “for our overall betterment”. This, in both definitions, along with some kind of definition for what it is and what it means, is all that’s needed. It is important to note that “usual” doesn’t necessarily mean that it is theologically accurate, but sometimes it is. It is possible to have completely man-made elements accepted, but all must accept a common belief system. It is a type of ideal – or ideals in “higher quality of thing”. In many ways, many things are religious.
However, I’d like to think that the difference between those who belong to the Lion’s Club and the Methodist Church is that in the former, there are entry barriers. They’re nice people who are doing good things. There is no doubt if I went intending to join and was all gung-ho about it, I could. However, they don’t have to. I’m guessing that’s what makes the difference. This is a split answer, and, in that sense, when you find that a Catholic church allows only Catholics to attend their general meetings and services, they’re not considered a “church”. Also, you can’t force anyone to join the Church. This is a crime and could result in non-profit implications since it’s more like a “club” similar to Lion’s Club or the Lion’s Club.