The Fellowship (Christian Organization)
The Fellowship, also known as the Family, is a U.S.-based religious and political organization founded in 1935 by Abraham Vereide. The stated purpose of the Fellowship is to provide a fellowship forum for decision makers to share in Bible studies, prayer meetings, worship experiences and to experience spiritual affirmation and support.
The organization has been described as one of the most politically well-connected ministries in the United States. The Fellowship shuns publicity and its members share a vow of secrecy. The Fellowship's leader Doug Coe and others have explained the organization's desire for secrecy by citing biblical admonitions against public displays of good works, insisting they would not be able to tackle diplomatically sensitive missions if they drew public attention.
Although the organization is secretive, it holds one regular public event each year, the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C. Every sitting United States president since President Dwight D. Eisenhower, up to President Barack Obama, has participated in at least one National Prayer Breakfast during his term.
The Fellowship's known participants include ranking United States government officials, corporate executives, heads of religious and humanitarian aid organizations, and ambassadors and high-ranking politicians from across the world. Many United States Senators and Congressmen who have publicly acknowledged working with the Fellowship or are documented as having done so work together to pass or influence legislation.
In Newsweek, Lisa Miller wrote that, rather than calling themselves "Christians," as they describe themselves they are brought together by common love for the teachings of Jesus and that all approaches to "loving Jesus" are acceptable. In contrast, Jeff Sharlet, who was interviewed on NBC News and wrote a book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, and an article in Harper's about his experience serving as an intern in the Fellowship, has stated that the organization fetishizes power by comparing Jesus to "Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden" as examples of leaders who change the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their "brothers".
Read more about The Fellowship (Christian Organization): History, Influence, Beliefs and Theology, Leadership Model, Secrecy, Relationships With Other Organizations, Current and Former Members, Fellowship Involvement in Extra-marital Affairs of Politician Members, C Street Center, Finances
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... The Fellowship Foundation, which since 1935 has conducted no public fundraising programs, relies totally on private donation ... In 2007, the group received nearly $16.8 million to support the 400 ministries ...
Famous quotes containing the word fellowship:
“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.”
—John Fawcett (1739/401817)