World Religions

By: Tori Kellett

What is religion?

It's a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and the purpose of the universe. Especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency, involving daily devotionals.

Christianity is a monotheistic religion, which mean they believe in only one God. Christians believe that God sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to come down to Earth, live a perfect life, spread the word of God with his 12 disciples, and die on the cross for all mankind to erase sin. Jesus was then buried in a tomb and rose again 3 days later. When Jesus arose he went to his disciples and told them to go out and spread the word of God to all corners of the world.
There's a book most Christians read called the Bible. The Bible is the word of God summed up into one book. It's contains the Old Testament taken from the Jewish Torah and the New Testament which contains four eye witness gospels about Jesus' life.

There are two major holidays that are Christian based. The first one is Christmas which us used all around the world. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The second one is Easter which celebrates the resurrection of the savior on the third day after his crucifixion. That's the reason why the cross is the primary symbol of Christianity.

Christians worship at church every Sunday morning or Saturday evening. They regularly read the bible and pray. Being baptized shows that you have excepted Christ as your one and only savior and that he died on the cross for your sins and mine.

Hinduism comes from the word "India" and can refer to many religious tradition and philosophies. There are about 900 million worshippers in the world. It can be classified as polytheistic religion where most Hindus worship more than one diety, sometimes even monotheistic when you consider the principal gods Shiva, Vishnu, or Shatki are regarded as manifestations of a single reality, "The One" , "Pursha", "Brahman".

Hindus believe in the authority of the Vedas which is the oldest Indian sacred texts often called the Books of Knowledge. The authority of the Brahmans who is the priest. They also believe in the existence of the enduring soul that reincarnated from body to another at death. They have a law of Karma. Karma determines ones destiny both in current life and the next life. The primary principal is that ones moral actions have unavoidable and automatic effects on ones fortune in this life and the effects in their next life. Their ultimate goal is the release from the cycle of rebirth and to unite with God as one.

They worship in temples. They have many different rituals that are practiced regularly. Avurveda which is the ancient system of medicine and healing.

Hathayoga is the meditative movement that contemplates the ONE reality.

Kundalini yoga is something used to awaken psychic energy.

Puja is the gazing upon a diety to connect with its divine energy.

The Sadhu are Hindus who choose to sell their possessions to and devote themselves to.

Buddhism was founded in India by Siddharta Gautama known as Buddha. It remain the dominant religion for the Far East. It has 360 million worshippers. The Buddha is the only master. Believers take refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and Sangha. Buddha is the teacher, the Dhamma is the teachings, and Sangha is when the community joins together. Buddhism is more of an atheistic belief because Buddhist don't believe the world was created and ruled by a god. The purpose of life is to develop compassion for all living things, and to develop wisdom leading to the realization of the ultimate truth.

In Buddhism the main goal of life is to end suffering. The Buddha taught that humans suffer because we continually strive after things that do not give lasting happiness.

Tripitaka is the earliest collection of Buddha teaching. Mahayana sutras was later evolved teachings. The Tibetan Book of the Dead goes into detail of the stages of death. Some holidays are Vesak also known as Buddha day celebrates Buddhas birthday. There's a major festival that goes on to celebrate or remember the birth, enlightenment, and the death of Buddha.

Islam was founded in Mecca, Saudia Arabia by Muhammad, a trade merchant from Arabia. Islam is a monotheistic religion. Allah who is the God they worship believe is the creator, provider, and determiner of humans destiny. He is regarded as the greatest god among to many gods deserving worship. There are 1.3 billion worshippers and it's the second largest religion primarily found in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They believe in the Allah, the same God revealed to the Christians but the revelation became distorted and Muhammad is considered the prophet to bring the real truth. Believers must submit to the will of Allah and attain paradise after death.
The Quran is the holy book of Muslims and they worship in a mosque. There are 5 pillars of Islam are what devoted Muslims must do. They have to confess faith, have daily prayer, 5 times a day and they must be facing east. They pilgrimage to Mecca and fasting durning Ramadan. Ramadan is a major holiday which is the holy month and symbolizes when the Quran was sent down as a guide. Eid - al - Fitr is a festival that marks the end of Ramadan and breaks the fast. Hijra is the Islamic New Years. Eid - al - Adha is a festival of the sacrifice that takes place at the end of the Hijra.

Judaism is one of the oldest religions. Abraham was the founder of Judaism, and he is known as the father of the Jewish people. Judaism is a monotheism religion because they only believe in one God. Although they believe that Jesus Christ was never the son of God, so they are still waiting for the Messiah to come. Moses was the person who freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt. He had the Torah and gave it to the Jewish people as a guide in life. They believe there will never be another Torah and that there was an oral Torah given to Moses. Some rituals the Judaism community has is a BatMitzvah which is a ceremony celebrating a 13 year old girl going out into the community of adulthood. A BarMitzvah is when your celebrating a 13 old boy. A kiddushin is a Jewish wedding.

Hanukkah is a holiday that Jewish people which last 8 days long that honors the dedication of the Holy Temple durning the time of Maccabean Revolt. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Years. Purim is a holiday that celebrates the delivery of the Jewish people as it was told in the Book of Ether. Shavuot is a holiday that celebrates Gods gift of the Torah. It also celebrates the new spring harvest season.