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The Duggars Practice an Exclusive Form of Christianity Called ‘Independent Baptist’: Learn More

Followers of the former TLC reality series 19 Kids & Counting and the since-canceled spin-off, Counting On, know that the stars of the show, the Duggars, stick to strict religious practices. However, since the large brood first aired on television in September 2008, the devout family has been held under a microscope following a number of scandals — including Josh Duggar’s guilty verdict in his child pornography case and his cheating scandal. To learn more about the Duggar’s religion, keep reading.

The Duggars Are Independent Baptists

If you ask any members of the famous family, they say that they are Independent Baptist, also called Independent Fundamentalist Baptist or IFB, which is a more strict and highly exclusive form of Christianity. They even attend a “home church” to worship amongst a select group of others. 

The reality stars follow many of the same principles as the Quiverfull religion, though both Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar have both denied that’s they associate with this sect of Christianity. Quiverfull is known for putting emphasis on conservative, patriarchal values.

“In the Quiverfull movement, your kids are blessings from God and they are also weapons in the culture war,” USC assistant professor of religion Cavan Concannon previously explained to People. “Some people in the movement would say that part of having a lot of kids is an attempt to birth more conservative Christians in a world that doesn’t have enough of them.”

Most followers will only use the original King James Version of the Bible as they believe it is the only true Word of God and that it is meant to be taken literally. For example, followers of the religion believe that Satan is real and creates false religions, evolution has no merit and people who have not accepted Christ as their Savior are doomed to Hell. 

Their Strict Rules

Viewers of the family’s two reality shows are no strangers to the rules they expected their children to follow. It is expected that men are the head of home and church while women must remain submissive — which has led to several rules that the daughters of the Duggars abided by before leaving home after marriage.

Women and girls are required to wear their hair long, wear modest clothing and both sexes have strict rules when it comes to courting, including having a chaperone present.

“Courtship is really waiting for the one God has for you and praying through the whole process,” Jim Bob told People in April 2014.

“The chaperones then have clear guidelines for what is acceptable and what’s not,” Michelle shared in a family blog in 2015. “They’re the accountability.”

The Duggar children are also strictly homeschooled, possibly with other members of their religious sect. 

Jim Bob and Michelle have strict rules that discourage birth control as well, but that wasn’t always the case.

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