Religons

Learn the religons

Christianity

Founded by Founded by Jesus Christ approximately 2,000 years ago, Christianity is one of the most influential religions in world history. Although this faith began as a small sect of Judaism during the first century in ancient Israel, the Christian religion has nearly 2 billion followers at the beginning of the 21st century and can be found in every corner of the globe.


The Christian faith is live out within the institution called the Church. The three major branches of the Christian church are Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. There are similarities and differences between these three branches. There are also similarities and differences between Christian denominations, which extend to issues such as beliefs, practices, and holidays.


The table of contents below will direct you to various topics on the Christian religion, from beliefs to comparison charts, to symbols, to holidays, to important literature, and much more. approximately 2,000 years ago, Christianity is one of the most influential religions in world history. Although this faith began as a small sect of Judaism during the first century in ancient Israel, the Christian religion has nearly 2 billion followers at the beginning of the 21st century and can be found in every corner of the globe.

The Christian faith is live out within the institution called the Church. The three major branches of the Christian church are Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. There are similarities and differences between these three branches. There are also similarities and differences between Christian denominations, which extend to issues such as beliefs, practices, and holidays.

Judaism

Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world today. Jewish history extends back through the ancient Israelite and Hebrew people to Abraham. As a timeline of Judaism shows, through centuries and millenniums of suffering, persecution, dispersion, and victory, Judaism continues to exert a profound influence around the world. The basic facts of Judaism are found in its beliefs, history, and practices.

Jewish beliefs begin with the conviction that there is only one God. This important truth is revealed through the sacred writings of men like Moses and the prophets, the most important of which is the Torah. In Judaism, religion isn't one aspect of life - it is life. There are holidays and celebrations year round, like Passover and bar mitzvahs, to commemorate what God has done in the past and is doing in people's lives today.

At the beginning of the 21st century, approximately 14 million people identify themselves as Jews. And there are three main branches or denominations in Judaism, each of which has a different approaches to religious life, like adherence to the Law.

Islam

Terrorism, unjustified violence and the killing of non-combatant civilians (or even intimidating, threatening or injuring them) are all absolutely forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to bring peace to a society whether its people are Muslim or not. The extreme actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be a result of their ignorance, frustration, uncontrolled anger or political (not religious) ambitions. Anyone who condones or commits an act of terrorism in the name of Islam is simply not following Islam and is, in fact, violating its very tenets. These people are individuals with their own personal views and agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true teachings of Islam than fanatical Christians are of the true teachings of Christianity or fanatical Jews are of the true teachings of Judaism. The most prominent examples of such "religious" fanatics are Anders Behring Breivik, the 2011 Norwegian terrorist who claimed in his manifesto to be "100 percent Christian" and Baruch Goldstein, perpetrator of the 1994 Hebron massacre who is considered by some Jews to be a "hero" and a "saint". Extremism and fanaticism are problems not exclusive to Muslims. Anyone who thinks that all Muslims are terrorists should remember that the former boxer Muhammad Ali, perhaps the most celebrated person of our era, is a practicing Muslim The word "jihad" does not mean "holy war". It actually means "to struggle" or "to strive". In a religious context it means the struggle to successfully surrender one's will to the will of God. Some Muslims may say they are going for "jihad" when fighting in a war to defend themselves or others, but they say this because they are conceding that it will be a tremendous struggle. But there are many other forms of jihad which are much more relevant to the everyday life of a Muslim such as the struggles against laziness, arrogance, stinginess, one's own ego, or the struggle against a tyrant ruler or against the temptations of Satan, etc. Regarding the so-called verses of "holy war" in the Qur'an, two points: A) The term "holy war" neither appears in the Arabic text of the Qur'an nor in any classical teachings of Islam. B) The vast majority of verses in the Qur'an pertaining to violence refer to wartime situations in which Muslims were permitted to defend themselves against violent aggression. Any rational, intellectual analysis of the context and historical circumstances surrounding such verses, often ignored by pundits or violent extremists, proves this to be true. Other verses of violence deal with stopping oppression, capital punishment and the like.
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Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) grew up in a wealthy family. He decided to follow a path of self-denial, but did not find truth until he sat down under a tree, now known as the Bo tree. There he was "enlightened" and obtained the knowledge he had been looking for.

According to legend, Buddha sat under the Bo Tree for 49 days and was tempted by demons. He discovered four noble truths and the Eightfold Path to Nirvana, or ultimate bliss.

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism: 1) existence is suffering, 2) the cause of suffering is craving and attachment, 3) suffering ceases at some point and turns to Nirvana (liberation or total bliss) and 4) there is a path to Nirvana which is made up of eight steps, sometimes called the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path to Nirvana is to be "right" in all these areas: concentration, views, speech, resolve, action, livelihood, effort, and mindfulness.

There are two major schools of Buddhism: Mahayana and Theravada or Hinayana. There is a third school, the Vajrayana, but it only has a small following.


    Dozens of different sects of Buddhism are derived from these schools, all having different characteristics, but sharing the basic beliefs.

    Buddhists believe in reincarnation and that one must stop the cycle of rebirth as a suffering, selfish individual, and must attain Nirvana, which is the highest point and the end of the self.

    Karma is the belief that good deeds/behavior will be visited back on individuals as well as bad deeds/behavior. This is the basis for living a good, moral life.

    The Pali Tipitaka is the earliest collection of sacred Buddhist writings; used mostly in the Theravada school. Translated, it means the "Three Baskets."

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    Hinduism

    Hinduism is an ancient world religion with no known founder or known date of origin. The term "Hinduism" simply derives from the word "India" and refers to a wide variety of religious traditions and philosophies that have developed in India over thousands of years. Most Hindus worship one or more deities, believe in reincarnation, value the practice of meditation, and observe festive holidays like Diwali and Holi.

    When it comes to Hinduism, many people have questions like: What do Hindus believe about the universe and people? What gods and goddesses do they believe in? Do they believe in an afterlife? What are the values, traditions, and ethics of Hindus? Who are their teachers and leaders? What are Hindu followers like? What are the different expressions of Hinduism in the world today? And what can be know about Hinduism's history?

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