This fraternal organization is based on the ancient organization of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ or Knights of the Temple that was founded in the 11th century. As a result of the Crusaders’ success in battle against the Moslems and the capture of Jerusalem around 1099, religious zeal drove both rich and poor, noble and peasant to undertake pilgrimages to the most inhospitable lands to offer their devotions at places made sacred by associations with the life of Christ...
What is the Knights Templar?
The Knights Templar is an international, philanthropic, chivalric order affiliated with Freemasonry. Unlike the initial degrees conferred in a Masonic Lodge, which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religious affiliation, the Knights Templar is one of several additional Masonic Orders in which membership is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in the Christian religion. The full title of this Order is The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta There are many organizations around the world that take their inspiration and their name from the historical Knights Templar. Most are charitable groups who are inspired by the Knights' dedication to chivalry and their refusal to surrender during battle. The most important of which is the Masonic branch of Knights Templar. While the connection to the historic Knights Templar is tentative at best, Freemasons offer membership to Christian Masons on the York Rite path who have been successfully initiated into the Royal Arch.