Religions of the World

From Buddhism to Judaism

The Budda that promises Nirvana

Buddhism began in India nearly 2,500 years ago by a 'wise' man named Siddhartha Gautama, who believes that he know how to break free of suffering. Both Buddhism and Hinduism stem from the same culture, India, though, that is about all that is similar between the two. Buddhists believe that your Karma, or your thoughts, actions, and words spoken all of which contribute to your Karma, determines your next life, after being reincarnated. They believe that you can only move up the Caste System in your next life, of which you must climb to the top, and you must move up once more, only instead of a rebirth, you reach Nirvana. By reaching Nirvana, you have freed yourself of the suffering of which is life. Another way of practicing Buddhism is by meditation. They believe that meditation clears your mind, and brings you to a peaceful state for a brief period of time. This method of ‘freedom’ spread to many regions, including but not limited to Ceylon, Burma, Nepal, Tibet, central Asia,China, and Japan were all regions in which received this ‘freedom’. One of the many ways in which it was spread was through the readings of the holy books called the Tripitaka, Mahayana Sutras and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Finally, Buddhism affects a person’s everyday life by showing kindness and compassion to everyone. They also meditate once a day to clear their mind, and to keep the peace within their body and spirit.

The Many Forms of Brahman

Hinduism was not founded by one single person. It was in fact founded by a group of people, however, we do not know who these individuals were. We do know however, that Hinduism began between 2,300 BC, and 1,500 BC. Hindus are Polytheistic, and believing in millions of Gods. Although, these many Gods are believed to be the many forms and parts of Brahman. Similar to Nirvana, Hindus strive to reach Moksha, and can reach it through four different paths. The first is The Path of Knowledge, where one must obtain spiritual knowledge between the soul and Brahman. The second is The Path of Meditation, where you concentrate on one thing, finding your ‘real’ self within you, and become one with the Brahman. The third is The Path of Devotion. This involves you choosing a form of Brahman, and worshiping that God throughout your life in your thoughts, words, and deeds. The fourth and final path is The Path of Good Work. Similar to your karma in Buddhism, your deeds, words and thoughts all determine whether or not you go to Nirvana. Furthermore, what path you choose determines the way you live your life, and how much you devote yourself to Hinduism. Unlike Buddhism however, Hinduism only remained popular within two regions, India, of which it was founded, and Nepal. As with any other religion, Hinduism was spread through the reading of the Vedas, or the Hinduism Holy Book.

The Religion that Wasn't

Though Confucianism is not technically a religion, though a way of life, it is still a practice that eventually all of China was practicing many years ago, in 480 BC. This way of life was created by a guy named Kong Qiu, although was given the name Confucius by a group of Jesuit missionaries. He developed Confucianism as a social policy of there always being a dominant in a relationship, and a way that China might find order and peace, for they were going through a rough time of unrest and disorder. The system says that a Ruler is dominant over its subject, a Father is dominant over his son, the Eldest Brother is dominant over the youngest brother, a Husband is dominant over his wife, and a Friend is dominant over a friend. Though mainly popular in China, few adopted it outside of China. By having this system in effect, it provides order from the chaos, and an order of authority, and this system worked for many years, and although it nearly collapsed, it is experiencing a revival over these past several years as China’s leaders attempt to bring back the social policy.


The Africans of Religion

Finally, Judaism is one of the most famous, as well as infamous, religions of the world, given the infamous title by Adolf Hitler during World War II with his mass extermination of the Jews. Out of the 9.7 million Jews that lived in Europe at the time, the Nazis were able to kill 2.8 million of the Jews. This was one of the largest, if not the largest religious casualty in a war, similar to the crusades, only instead of it being a war between religions, it was an execution of a religion during a war. Although, the hatred they receive stems from before Hitler was born. In 1570 AD, Martin Luther founded a religion branching off from Christianity. He started Lutheranism, although it branches heavily from Christianity. He kept the church relatively unchanged, but he changed other parts of the church, such as not needing to go to a priest to get forgiveness from God. He also expected Jews to convert to his faith, which was later named Lutheran. And when most Jews didn’t convert to Lutheran, he began preaching that the Jews are the source of everyone’s problems, and that they are devils sent by God. And the people listened, and since then, Jews had been discriminated against ever since. Ever since, Jews have always had a bad name The have always been the topic of discrimination in religion. Putting aside the discrimination that Jews have suffered, the history is far more interesting. Judaism was founded over 3,500 years ago by Abraham, who has appeared in both the Bible and the Torah, the Jewish equivalent to the Bible. Judaism began in the Middle East, although the exact location is unclear even to this day, although what is clear is their beliefs. They believe that they are the chosen people by God, and that they are to lead the human race to greatness. They also don’t believe in Christmas. Instead, they believe in what is called Hanukkah. Compared to other religions, Judaism is not too intense. The only interruption in their schedule is on Saturday, or their holy day where they go to a temple/synagogue to worship God, and reflect on all he has done for them. Besides for worshipping on Saturday, their life is normal besides for also not being allowed to eat certain meats. They also must follow their code of conduct called the halakhahs.

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Religions of the World

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Christianity Update!

Christianity is the most popular religion in the world to date, encompassing over 2.2 billion people, or 32% of the population. Though a common misconception between much of the population is that Jesus was the founder. He wasn't. He was the ‘son of God’, if you believe it. Although, it wasn't until one of his followers, Peter, witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, and then founded Christianity. Along with the religion came the Bible, possibly the most famous of the holy books. Rome was the founding place of Christianity, essentially because Rome crucified Jesus. And though unpopular in Rome, Christianity has managed to not only spread to the rest of the world, but to become the most popular religion in the world. What they follow is the 10 commandments, as well as have a few beliefs. They believe that Jesus is the son of God, as well as they only believe in one God. They are monotheistic. They also believe in going to Heaven or Hell, and you also need to donate to the poor and be a good person to get into Heaven. You also have a better chance of getting in if you are a poor person. This religion also affects its followers lives by preferring that they keep the Lord’s day holy, which is Sunday, and go to church that day. Christians also experience Christmas, as well as Easter.

Islam, the Outsiders, the Terrorists?