SE/S Asia

Hinduism Explained!!!

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Hinduism started as long ago as 2000 B.C.E., and it's the third-largest religion in the world, with more than a billion believers. Hindus believe in one supreme being. They also believe in the divinity of poetic scriptures called Vedas. Hymns called Agamas are also considered important.

Hindus believe the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution. They also believe in karma, or the idea that each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds. Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karma has been resolved and or liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahisma, or respect for all life, in thought, word and deed.

Hinduism holds that no religion teaches the way to salvation above all others, so all deserve tolerance and understanding. While there is one supreme being, different aspects of it sometimes take on different forms.

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Buddhism Explained!!!

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Buddhism is a philosophy and a major religion with as many as 300 million followers worldwide. Buddhism developed around the fifth century B.C.E. from Hinduism and the teachings of a man named Siddhartha Gautama (also called the Buddha) and his disciples. The word "Buddha" means "enlightened one." Buddhism varies in practice from country to country, but it is primarily centered on the belief that suffering on Earth is a result of human desire and ignorance. Buddhists believe that to reach an enlightened state (called Nirvana) they must follow the code which instructs them: "To avoid all evil. To do good. To purify one's mind." Buddhists believe that humans are reincarnated again and again and are forced to suffer on Earth until they can learn to live the teachings of the Buddha, allowing them to break out of the cycle of reincarnation to Nirvana. To do this, Buddhists must follow something called the Noble Eightfold Path. This path requires that followers learn to have the Right Sight, the Right Thought, the Right Speech, the Right Action, Right Job, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Buddhists also follow something called the Five Precepts. These state the importance of not hurting other living things, not taking things, not lying, not taking drugs or alcohol, and not behaving badly.


Christianity Explained!!

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The Christian movement first became popular throughout the Mediterranean during the 1st Century C.E. Back then, all land in and around the Mediterranean was ruled by the Roman Empire, which made it easy for new ideas to spread across this large area.

Christianity centered on a figure called Jesus, the son of the Jewish God who had died and been resurrected to redeem the sins of mankind. Interestingly, the earliest Christians frequently disagreed about exactly who Jesus was, and how the basic ideas of Christianity should be interpreted! Christian communities in different cities often had completely different understandings of Jesus, and regularly fought with one another over which group represented “true” Christianity. Various gospels, or stories about Jesus, were written during this time, and early Christians also explained and defended their positions in letters, dialogues, and other writings.

The Christian movement became more popular as time went on, and gained many followers throughout the Roman Empire. At first, Roman authorities persecuted Christians. They felt that Christian beliefs threatened the official Roman religion, which included worshipping the emperor as a god. But in the 4th Century C.E., the Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, and paved the way for it to become the new official state religion of the Roman Empire. Over the following years, the Roman Catholic Church was founded, its basic beliefs were clarified, and the New Testament as we know it today was assembled from existing gospels and other writings. This helped unify Christianity and establish its central set of beliefs.


Islam Explained!!!!

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Islam is an Abrahamic religion, meaning that it shares roots, stories, and beliefs with both Judaism and Christianity. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. Islam is based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad which were recorded in a holy book called the Qu'ran (pronounced kuh-RON). Muhammad was a religious and political leader who lived from 570 to 632 C.E. in what is now known as Saudi Arabia. Muslims believe that in the later part of his life, an angel visited Muhammad, bringing him messages from God (called Allah in Islam). Muhammad is viewed by Muslims as the last prophet of God, but Muslims also believe in Jesus, Moses, and other messengers of God from Christianity and Judaism.

Islam is based around five "pillars." These include praying five times a day, giving to the poor, fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, and making a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Muslims also abstain from drinking alcohol and eating certain foods. Some Muslim women cover their heads based on suggestions from the Qu'ran about modesty. Muslims pray in religious buildings called mosques. There are an estimated 1.4 billion Muslim people living throughout the world, and Islam is the world's second-largest religion after Christianity.