Did The Knights Templar Believe In God?

Did The Knights Templar Believe In God?

The Knights Templar, one of the most renowned and powerful medieval organizations, has inspired countless myths, legends, and speculative theories about their beliefs and actions. But one question continues to echo across the ages – did the Knights Templar believe in God? The simple answer is yes, but their understanding of God and their actions in the name of their faith was intricate and complex.

What Did the Knights Templar Do? 

The Knights Templar was a Christian military order formed in the early 12th century to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land during the Crusades. Officially endorsed by the Catholic Church in 1129, the Templars became a favored charity throughout Christendom and were notable for their distinctive white mantles adorned with a red cross.

The Templars established a network of fortifications across the Holy Land and became a significant military and political power. In battle, they were famed for their courage and fighting skills, often forming the vanguard of Crusader armies. Their role expanded over time to include administrative and financial functions. The order developed a sophisticated economic infrastructure, running estates across Europe and the Middle East, lending money to monarchs, and even establishing an early form of banking and a system of credit.

However, the Templars’ influence waned after the fall of the last Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land. Accusations of heresy, likely fabricated by those who owed them money, led to their downfall. In 1312, Pope Clement V disbanded the order under pressure from King Philip IV of France. Despite their dramatic end, the Knights Templar left an indelible mark on history, and their legacy continues to inspire fascination and speculation today.

Were the Knights Templar Good or Bad?

Whether the Knights Templar were “good” or “bad” is subjective and hinges on perspective and context. They were a complex organization that played a pivotal role in one of the most turbulent periods in history, and their actions had both positive and negative aspects.

On the one hand, the Templars are often seen as noble warriors dedicated to their faith and the protection of Christian pilgrims. They established a network of fortifications across the Holy Land, ensuring safer passage for pilgrims. Their disciplined lifestyle and commitment to their vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and efforts to foster peace have earned them respect.

On the other hand, the Templars were also part of the Crusades, a series of religious conflicts marked by extraordinary violence and intolerance. Their role in these wars, which often involved killing in the name of religion, is seen as a negative aspect of their legacy. Moreover, their later history was marred by accusations of heresy and corruption, which, though likely exaggerated or fabricated, added a darker shade to their reputation.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the Templars were a product of their time, shaped by the Middle Ages’ social, political, and religious dynamics. While they certainly had their flaws, they also had their virtues. Whether they are viewed as “good” or “bad” largely depends on one’s interpretation of their actions within the historical context.

What Religion Did the Knights Templar Follow?

The Knights Templar followed the Roman Catholic faith, the dominant form of Christianity in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages when the order was active. The Templars were not merely soldiers but also monks, and their lives were characterized by strict adherence to religious principles and practices as outlined in the Roman Catholic doctrine.

The Templar Rule, a code of conduct devised for the order, underlined the importance of their religious duties. Templars were expected to attend mass daily, pray multiple times a day, and follow the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, akin to other monastic orders of the period.

In the context of the Crusades, the Templars perceived their martial activities as part of a holy war, fighting in the name of their faith. They aimed to protect Christian pilgrims and reclaim holy sites from non-Christian control, driven by their devotion to God and the Church. Despite the later allegations of heresy that led to their downfall, there is strong historical consensus that the Knights Templar were fervently religious and adhered closely to the tenets of Roman Catholicism.

The Knight Templar God

The Knights Templar was established around 1119 and remained operational until 1312. At its core, the Templar was a Catholic military order, and its members were monks sworn to poverty, chastity, and obedience. They were devoutly religious, subscribing to the Christian concept of God as defined by the Roman Catholic Church at the time.

The Templars were religious warriors fighting in the Crusades to recapture the Holy Land for Christendom. This genuine faith in God was a cornerstone of their identity. The Templar’s Rule, a guide for their lives and actions, emphasizes their devotion to God and the church. They attended mass daily, prayed regularly, and maintained the rigorous discipline to foster a strong religious environment.

Did the Knights of Templar Fight for God?

Given the religious motivations and objectives behind the Crusades, it is accurate to say that the Knights Templar fought for God – or at least for their interpretation of God’s will as it was understood during the High Middle Ages. The church sanctioned them, and their mission was to protect Christian pilgrims and recapture Jerusalem and other holy sites from Muslim control.

In this context, the Knights Templar perceived their martial activities as a form of holy war. They believed that by fighting the so-called ‘enemies of Christ,’ they were fulfilling a divine mandate. The spiritual rhetoric of the time painted the Templars as the ‘Militia of Christ,’ instilling in them the belief that their efforts on the battlefield had spiritual significance and that their sacrifices were part of a divine cause.

What God Do Knights Templar Believe In?

The Knights Templar followed the Christian God as defined by Catholic doctrine. This meant they believed in the Holy Trinity – God as the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The Templars’ religious practices reflected this belief, and their faith was deeply intertwined with their military duties.

Yet, in the years following the dissolution of the order, several unfounded rumors and conspiracy theories began to circulate, suggesting that the Templars had strayed from orthodox Christian beliefs and had adopted sinful practices, such as worshiping idols or invoking strange gods. None of these allegations were substantiated, and many historians agree that they were part of the smear campaign orchestrated by King Philip IV of France, who sought to disband the order and seize their wealth.

Did the Knights Templar Kill People Who Didn’t Believe in God?

The Knights Templar were primarily involved in the Crusades, violent conflicts marked by religious intolerance. As part of these conflicts, they undoubtedly engaged in combat with non-Christians, including Muslims in the Holy Land and pagans in the Baltic during the Northern Crusades. But it is essential to note that the Templars’ military activities were not exclusively driven by a desire to eliminate those who did not believe in their version of God but rather as part of larger political and territorial conflicts.

As devout Catholics, the Templars believed in the concept of ‘Just War’ as propagated by the Church, which justified warfare under specific moral and ethical conditions. Their adversaries were not necessarily targeted because of their religious beliefs alone but due to their perceived threat to Christendom and the Templar’s objectives. Moreover, it is worth noting that the Templars were not unique in this respect – religiously fueled violence was common during the Middle Ages across different factions.

Templars vs. Crusaders: Beliefs 

While the terms “Templars” and “Crusaders” are sometimes used interchangeably in the context of the Crusades, they do not represent the same groups or beliefs. The Templars were a specific order of knights within the larger movement of the Crusades, and their beliefs, while rooted in the same Christian faith, manifested in distinct ways.

In the broadest sense, the Crusaders were all the Christians from Western Europe who participated in the religious wars known as the Crusades, spanning the 11th to the 15th centuries. They hailed from different kingdoms and classes and followed various Christian denominations. Motivated by a call from Pope Urban II and subsequent popes, they aimed to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslim control. Their faith was more of a collective expression of Christianity, interpreted in diverse ways by different participants.

Crusaders’ beliefs were not uniform – they ranged from deeply religious individuals motivated by the promise of spiritual reward or salvation to those driven by the prospect of earthly gain, adventure, or a pardon for past sins. Crusaders fought under the banner of the Cross, but a complex blend of religious fervor, political ambition, and personal aspiration influenced their motivations and actions.

The Knights Templar, on the other hand, was a particular religious-military order within the wider Crusading movement. Established around 1119, the Templars followed a strict rule based on the Cistercian monastic order. Their beliefs were a more specific expression of the Christian faith. Templars took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, dedicating their lives to the defense of the Holy Land and the protection of Christian pilgrims. Their religious and military lives were tightly interwoven, following a regimented prayer, discipline, and combat routine.

While Templars were Crusaders, not all Crusaders were Templars. The complexity and diversity of beliefs within the Crusader movement remind us of the nuanced nature of historical religious movements. Understanding these differences is crucial for a comprehensive view of the Crusades and their participants.

When Did the Knights Templar End?

The Knights Templar ended in the early 14th century due to a series of events initiated by King Philip IV of France. After the fall of Acre in 1291, marking the loss of the last major Christian stronghold in the Holy Land, the order’s influence began to wane. With significant debts and an opportunity to increase his power, Philip sought to bring down the Templars.

The process began on Friday, October 13, 1307, a date often linked with the origin of the “unlucky Friday the 13th” superstition. On this day, King Philip IV ordered the arrest of the Templars across France, including the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay. The Templars were charged with a series of fabricated accusations, including heresy, blasphemy, and various forms of misconduct.

The arrested Templars were subjected to trials that involved torture, leading to coerced confessions. Amid the trials, Pope Clement V initially tried to protect the Templars but eventually succumbed to the political pressures. In 1312, at the Council of Vienne, under the weight of the scandal and ongoing pressure from King Philip IV, Pope Clement V issued a papal bull, Vox in excelso, which officially dissolved the order.

Jacques de Molay, the last known Grand Master of the Templars, was burned at the stake in 1314, marking a symbolic end to the order. However, the Templars’ legacy continued, evolving into myths and legends, inspiring various organizations to claim their heritage today.

What Are the Knights Templar Called Today?

Today, the Knights Templar exists in various forms, as numerous modern organizations claim to be the spiritual or literal successors of the medieval order, although these claims are often contested.

One such organization is the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ). It describes itself as a Christian, chivalric, and ecumenical organization dedicated to promoting Christian values, good works, and historic preservation. However, the SMOTJ has no direct historical connection to the original Templars.

Another contemporary organization is The United Religious, Military, and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta, better known as the Knights Templar within Freemasonry. Established in the 18th century, the Masonic Templars incorporate some Templar symbols and rituals, but their relationship to the medieval order is symbolic rather than historical.

The Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH) is an international organization also identifying with Templar heritage. The OSMTH focuses on humanitarian, charity, and peace missions.

It’s crucial to note that these and other such organizations, while inspired by the Knights Templar, do not represent a continuous tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. The original Knights Templar order was disbanded in the 14th century, and these modern groups should be understood as tributes to the Templar ideals rather than direct continuations of the chronological order.


In the end, the Knights Templar were deeply religious individuals who believed in the Christian God and saw their military endeavors as a divine calling. They fought for what they understood to be God’s will during the Crusades and lived their lives according to the rigorous spiritual discipline dictated by their order’s rules. Their actions, both noble and controversial, were a reflection of the religious, political, and societal climate of the Middle Ages. While some aspects of their beliefs and practices may seem alien to our modern sensibilities, they remain an enduring testament to the profound influence of faith on history.