World Religions

By Eliana Yamouni


Christianity is a monotheistic religion that follows the teaching of Jesus, the son of God. Jesus died on the cross and then rose from the dead in order to free everyone from their sins (wrong doings) and to open the gates of heaven. It is believed that if you don't love Jesus and ask for the forgiveness of your sins, then you go to Hell after you die. The teachings of Christianity can all be found in the Bible, the holy book. Some of the major rituals of Christianity are daily prayer, confession, baptism, and first communion. The following are a some of the major holidays on the Christian calendar:
  • Christmas: the day of Jesus' birth
  • Last supper: when Jesus revealed that bread represents his body and wine represents his blood
  • Good Friday: the day the Jesus died on the cross
  • Easter: the day that Jesus rose from the dead

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Judaism is a monotheistic religion that works to prepare for the coming of the messiah, and believes that God is the almighty one. Their holy book is the Torah, and they follow it's teachings along with those of the prophets such as Abraham. It is known that the Jewish religion focuses more on actions than beliefs, because the most important thing is to have a good relationship with God. Jews practice the rituals of prayer, worship, and eating only Kosher foods. Some of the major Jewish holidays are:

  • Hanukkah: eight day celebration of the victory overMaccabees
  • Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year
  • Yom Kippur: the day to atone for sins

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Hinduism is the polytheistic belief that there is one god, but many forms of him. It is believed that you can call god by what ever name you want because there is no "wrong" religion. In Hinduism you are offered to pray to the god of your choice according to what you are praying for. Hindus believe in the principal that what goes around comes around (Karma), and based on how much good or bad Karma you have depends on what happens when you die. If you have bad Karma, when you die, you will reincarnate into something "bad." This process will keep repeating itself until you finally "discover" god in you and become one with god.

Major holy books of Hinduism:

  • Vedas
  • Ramayana
  • Mahabharata
  • Parunas

Major Hindu holidays:

  • Diwali: celebration of lights
  • Holi: spring festival in honor of Krishna
  • Krishna Jayanti: birth of Krishna (one of gods)

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Islam is the monotheistic religion that believes that Allah is the transcending creator of all of existence. Muslims also believe that there is a coming messiah, Jesus, and he siesta at the right hand if god. t is believed that The prophet Mohammad was given a revelation by the archangel Gabriel, told him that there is one god. In the Islamic religion, there are five pillars/commandments that Mohammad created. These pillars can be found in the holy book, the Quran, and are:
  • There is one god, Allah, and Mohammad is his messenger
  • You must fast during the month of Ramadan
  • Give to the poor
  • Make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holy city were Mohammad had his first revelation
  • Pray five times a day
Some of the major holidays of the Islamic religion are:

  • Ramadan: Time of fasting commanded by the Quran
  • Muharram: Islamic New Year
  • Mowlid al-Nabi: prophet Mohammad's birthday
  • Eid al-Fitr: celebration that ends Ramadan

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Buddhism is the non-theistic religion that is focused towards achieving enlightenment, also known as achieving Nirvana. Buddha was the first to ever be enlightened and taught about how to realize enlightenment for one's self. The basics of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths which are:
  • The truth of suffering
  • The truth of the cause of suffering
  • The truth of the end of suffering
  • The truth of the path that frees us from suffering
These truths teach about existence, the self, life and death. Buddhists must explore, understand, test, and realize these lessons and the truths, through mediation because that is what Buddhism is. A few of the major Buddhist holidays are:

  • Buddhist New Year
  • Visakah Puja: Buddha's birthday
  • The Festival of Tooth: the procession of Buddha's casket

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