Africa Center for Apologetics Research Contending for the Faith once for all delivered to the saints
  1. Vision Uganda
  2. Cultic Groups in East Africa
  3. Resources
  4. Donate Now
  5. Blog
  6. Endorsements and Partners
  7. Contact ACFAR

EXPLORE GROUPS: General Church of the New Jerusalem

General Church of the New Jerusalem

Swedenborg, Swedenborgianiism, The New Church

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)


Bryn Athyn, PA USA

Bryn Athyn College

include Arcana Coelestia, The Divine Love and Wisdom, Divine Providence, The Apocalypse Revealed, Heaven and Hell, The True Christian Religion, You Can Believe!

include New Church Connection, General Church Outreach, Vineyard, New Church Life Journal

Swedenborg was a philosopher and theologian who claimed to have been visited by an angel in 1744. The church’s web site explains that "The New Church was founded on the belief that the Lord worked through Swedenborg to share His teachings about creation, life, and Himself (read about the New Church history). Swedenborg recorded these ideas in a groundbreaking, 35-volume set of writings that offer new hope for life through a clearer understanding of the Lord and a deeper meaning of the Old and New Testaments."

Believing that the "true, internal" meaning of the Bible had been revealed to him, Swedenborg denied the biblical doctrine of the Trinity and other central teachings of the historic Christian faith. He also explicitly rejected such universal statements of faith as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. One Swedenborg site explains that "A central point of difference between Swedenborg’s theology and traditional Christian thought, supported but hardly foretold by the concepts of his system, is his announcement that biblical prophesies [sic] of a Last Judgment and a Second Coming of the Lord had been fulfilled in his lifetime. He claims knowledge of these events on the authority of his having witnessed the judgment in the spiritual world, and interprets traditional concepts in their light. With the Last Judgment in 1757, as he sees it, the era symbolized by the ’old’ Christian Church came to an end."

The church’s web site notes that "The General Church is now the largest of the six worldwide church organizations that use the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg as the basis of their theology. The others are the Convention Church (headquartered in Boston, MA), the Conference Church (mostly in Europe), the Australian Association of the New Church, and the Lord’s New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma (also located in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania). (A sixth organization, the New Church in South Africa, may have larger numbers, but its membership is much less structured). Note that the church organizations in Australia and South Africa are distinct from the General Church societies in these locations." Many of Swedenborg’s followers are not affiliated with any church. John Chapman, known as "Johnny Appleseed," was a noted follower.


Australia, Brazil, Canada, Côte D’Ivoire, Denmark, France, Ghana, Kenya, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States

include English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Ukrainian

Listen on Apple Podcasts
© Africa Centre for Apologetics Research | Email:
Address: Post Office Box 72405—Clocktower | Kampala, UGANDA | Tel. +256 706 000 664
An affiliate ministry of The Centers for Apologetics Research (CFAR)
ACFAR Vision: A permanent ministry in Africa to answer the challenge of cults and aberrant Christian movements.
Uganda and its neighboring nations have a tragic history with cultic groups and false teaching. Learn more about this growing challenge.
Pastors, professors, and Christian leaders agree: The time for this ministry is now. Read what they have to say here.
Make a donation through our parent ministry, The Centers for Apologetics Research (CFAR).
The Challenge of the Cults in East Africa,
plus a growing collection of articles, audio, and videos.
News and commentary on equipping Christians to defend their faith in today Africa.
• Got a question?
• Sign up to receive ministry updates by e-mail