The Bacon-Centric Church You Probably Didn't Know Existed

Sure, we all have our favorite foods that we simply can't get enough of. It's even safe to say that some people's lives revolve around food — cooking it, eating it, serving it, studying it, and the list goes on. But imagine loving a food so much that it literally becomes the center of your religion. No, seriously. This is the case for more than 30,000 people who are collectively infatuated with one of the most popular cured meats on the planet: bacon. You read that right. There exists a religion solely dedicated to bacon aficionados from all walks of life — and it's growing at a surprisingly high rate.

The United Church of Bacon, whose slogan is "Praise bacon" and whose logo is two slices of crispy bacon positioned to resemble praying hands, is an established organization with members from all around the globe, per Mental Floss. Talk about bringing home the bacon! So, what's cooking with this delicious denomination, and does it actually require observers to consume copious amounts of bacon?

The United Church of Bacon is open to bacon-loving religious skeptics

Prophet John Whiteside, the founder of the United Church of Bacon, spoke with The Washington Post in 2014 about the mission of the bacon-worshiping group. It was established in 2010 with atheists, agnostics, and nonbelievers in mind but also welcomes those of any faith. Why did they choose bacon as their rallying point? "Bacon is real and can be proven to exist in a court of law. We are a church of skeptics. If you can prove it, we will believe it," Whiteside explained. "Bacon is our god, bacon is not jealous, you may have other gods or no gods before bacon," he described a few of the beliefs of Baconism.

The church's clergy members — who have the authority to officiate weddings and conduct baptisms and funerals — are called friars. The opening lines of "Hail Piggy: A Prayer for Bacon," a play on Catholicism's "Hail Mary," are a medley of porky puns, such as, "Hail Piggy, full of grease, the Lard is with thee." Clearly, some flavorful strategy has been put into the congregation's principles.

The organization's official website states, "Bacon is our symbol of worship because it is representative of things that we love and that we can prove exists. Because of that, if you believe in the existence of bacon, you're welcome in our church!" And yes, this open-armed philosophy absolutely still applies to those who observe vegetarian or kosher diets.