Five Major World Religions

By Tatum Brown

Overview

The five major world religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.


Buddhism

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama about 2,500 years ago. "A key concept of Buddhism is Nirvana, the most enlightened, and blissful state that one can achieve. A state without suffering. " Buddhists believe in 3 main things, which are also known as the "The Three Jewels" because they are so precious. Theses jewels include the belief in Buddha, Dharma, and the Sangha. Buddhists also believe in reincarnation, Nirvana, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path. Buddhism rituals include meditation, mantras, mudras, prayer wheels, etc. In the religion of Buddhism, it does not say there is a God, but Buddhists do worship more than one thing, so it is polytheistic. The holy book of Buddhism is called the Tripitaka. Buddhism is based on the Buddha's teachings which can be divided up into three main parts, the Three Signs of Being, The Four Noble Truths, and The Eightfold Path. Major holidays of Buddhism include Buddhist New Year, Vesak, Dhamma Day, etc.
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Is Buddhism a Religion or Philosophy?

Hinduism

Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, and was developed out of Brahminism. "Hindus believe in a universal soul or God called Brahman. Brahman takes on many forms that some Hindus worship as gods or goddesses in their own right. Hindus believe that there is a part of Brahman in everyone and this is called the Atman." Hindus also believe in reincarnation, Karma, and Samsara. Some Hindu rituals include Ayurveda, Puja, Hatha Yoga, etc. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion which means the Hindu people believe in more than one God. Some of these Gods are called, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc. For many Hindus, they have four major goals in life. These include Moksha, Dharma, Artha, and Karma. The holy book of Hinduism, is not really one book, but a collection of scriptures. This collection is called the Vedas. Major holidays of Hinduism include Holi, Diwali, Ganesha-Chaturthi, etc.
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Ancient History of Hinduism

Islam

Islam is the second most popular religion in the world, founded by the prophet, Muhammed. People who practice the Islam religion are called Muslims. Muslims believe that there is only one God, or Allah who created and rules everything. Rituals of the Muslim people include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the five things every Muslim must do. These five Pillars of Islam are, daily confession of faith, daily ritual prayer, paying the alms tax, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca. The Islam religion is monotheistic because Muslims believe in only one God, Allah. The holy book of Islam is called the Qur'an. Muslims celebrate two major holidays, Ramadan, and Ashura.
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What Is Islam? Questions and Answers

Christianity

Christianity is the worlds largest religion, founded by Jesus Christ around A.D. 30. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, and they also believe that there is only one God, but that this one God consists of 3 people. These people include God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Rituals of the Christian religion include going to church worship services on Sunday, being baptized as either a child or adult, and participating in communion. Christianity is a monotheistic religion, because they believe in inly one God. The holy book that Christians use is called the Bible, which is divided into an Old and New Testament. Major holidays of the Christian religion include Christmas, Easter, and Lent.
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What is Christianity?

Judaism

Judaism is among one of the oldest religions to exist, but also one of the smallest. It was established between God and Abraham around 1812 BC, during the Bronze Age, in the Middle East. Jews believe there is one God, also known as Yaweh, who created the universe, but also who every Jew can have a personal relationship with. Certain rituals that Jews practice are "Keeping Kosher", certain worship and prayer, the 613 Commandments, the Rabbinic law, wearing certain types of clothes such as Kippahs and tallits, etc. Since the Jews believe there is just one God that created the universe, it is a monotheistic religion. The Jewish holy book is the Torah. Along with the Torah, the written form which is known as the Talmud is Judaism's oral tradition. Major holidays of Judaism include Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, etc.



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Facts about Judaism