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World Religions

  1. What is Religion? (The Basics) Religion is a belief in a supernatural power or powers that are regarded as the creators and maintainers of the universe. It is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
  2. Types of Religions Monotheistic religions believe in one god. Polytheistic religions believe in many gods. Animistic or traditional religions often believe that different aspects of nature have divine powers.
  3. Religions of the World
  4. Religions of the World Religion Followers Christianity 2.2 billion Islam 1.6 billion Hinduism 950 million Buddhism 350 million Judaism 14 million
  5. Southwest Asia The three religions that began in Southwest Asia (Middle East) are also many times considered the Big Three of Religions are: A. Judaism (2000 BCE) B. Christianity (26-36 CE) C. Islam (610 CE)
  6. Judaism Some of the major beliefs of Judaism are: A. Monotheistic - There is one god who is all powerful and all knowing. B. This god made a special covenant or agreement with Abraham, who is the ‘father’ of the Jewish people. C. God revealed his laws to his people through Moses and the ten commandments.
  7. Western Wall The Western Wall or Wailing Wall is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. Parts of the wall are remnants of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard, and is arguably the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself.
  8. Star of David The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David is a generally recognized symbol of modern Jewish identity and Judaism. Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles.
  9. Christianity Christianity was heavily influenced by Judaism. Some of the major beliefs of Christianity are: A. Monotheistic - There is one god who is all powerful and all knowing. B. Jesus Christ died for the sins of humankind. C. Salvation comes from faith in God.
  10. Christianity Christians believe the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are holy books. The first four books of the New Testament were written by followers of Jesus. Some branches of Christianity are: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodox.
  11. Islam Islam is a monotheistic religion that developed in Saudi Arabia in the early 600s. Islam is directly related to Judaism and Christianity. Islam was founded by the Prophet Muhammed who lived from 570 to 632 in Saudi Arabia.
  12. Islam
  13. Islam The five pillars or central teachings of Islam are: A. A statement of faith B. Prayer (five times a day in the direction of Mecca) C. Charity D. Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime (called the Hajj) E. Fasting (during the month of Ramadan)
  14. Islam The teachings of Muhammed were collected into a book called the Koran. Muslims worship in buildings called mosques.
  15. Dome of the Rock The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691 and is now one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture. It has been called 'Jerusalem's most recognizable landmark'. The site's significance stems from religious traditions regarding the rock, known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart, which bears great significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
  16. Mecca Mecca, the birthplace of Muhammad and the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer.
  17. Hinduism Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It is a polytheistic religion that originated in South Asia, present day India, around 2500 B.C.E. Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma. A person dies, then lives again, until they finally reach moksha (liberation from the repeating cycle of birth, life and death). Hindus have several holy books called Vedas, Upanishads, and the epics the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
  18. Hinduism Atman is the spirit or soul of a person, which most Hindus believe, is eternal. Brahman refers to a supreme spirit but it can also mean an infinite and unchanging reality. Hindus believe that the goal of life is to realize that your atman is the same as Brahman and thereby reach moksha, or liberation.
  19. Hinduism The caste system is a system of social organization in India. When a person is born they are born into one of four castes or as a Dalit. This system has led to discrimination and has been outlawed in India. Hindus still debate whether the caste system is part of Hinduism or an outdated social custom.
  20. Hinduism The castes are: A. Brahmins: Teachers and priests. B. Kshatriyas: Warriors, nobles, and kings. C. Vaishyas: Farmers, merchants, and businessmen. D. Shudras: Servants and laborers.
  21. Buddhism Buddhism was founded by a man named Siddhartha who was born around 500 - 400 B.C. in Nepal. Buddhism is related to Hinduism and shares many of the same basic beliefs. The relationship between Buddhism and Hinduism is similar to the relationship between Christianity and Judaism.
  22. Buddhism One major part of the culture includes praying to the Buddha, the god of Buddhism. People will seek out statues of the Buddha to pray and leave gifts for.