The following information is intended to deal with a topic mentioned
in the leaflet 'What is Freemasonry'.
It explains the United Grand Lodge of England's
view of the relationship between Freemasonry and religion.
is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It demands of its members
a belief in a Supreme Being but provides no system of faith of its own.
is open to men of all religious faiths. The discussion of religion at its meetings
The Supreme Being
The names used for the Supreme Being enable men of
different faiths to join in prayer (to God as each sees Him) without the terms of
the prayer causing dissention among them.
There is no separate Masonic God; a Freemason's
God remains the God of the religion he professes.
Freemasons meet in common respect
for the Supreme Being, but He remains Supreme in their individual religions, and
it is no part of Freemasonry to attempt to join religions together. There is therefore
no composite Masonic God.
Volume of the Sacred Law
The Bible, referred to by Freemasons
as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open at every Masonic meeting.
The Obligations taken by Freemasons are sworn on or involve the Volume
of the Sacred Law, or the book held sacred by those concerned. They are undertakings
to help keep secret a Freemason's means of recognition, and to follow the principles
The physical penalties, which are purely symbolic, do not form part
of an Obligation. The commitment to follow the principles of Freemasonry is, however,
Freemasonry Compared with Religion
Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of
a) it has no theological doctrine, and by forbidding religious discussion
at its meetings will not allow a Masonic theological doctrine to develop.
b) It offers
c) It does not claim to lead to salvation by works, by secret knowledge
or by any other means. The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition
and not with salvation.
Freemasonry Supports Religion
Freemasonry is far from indifferent
to religion. Without interfering in religious practice it expects each member to
follow his own faith, and to place above all other duties his duty to God, by whatever
name He is known. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.