What Is Religion?
According to The Washington Times, did you know that eighty-four percent of the worlds population is religious? That’s about eight out of ten people that you see are religious. So, what are these religions? Why are they important? Where did they come from? These are some of the questions that people may wonder.
However, they are only experts on the religions they believe in. Religion has been a consistent topic throughout history and a popular argument, but no one knows where it comes from. This can be detrimental because as a society, we should all understand what each other believe in. Religion is a worship in a controlling power from a God or gods. Chronologically speaking, the first religion that has no date of origin because of its “age” Hinduism.
Hindu in Greek means “Indus Valley” or Indian. Yes, this religion originated in India. About eighty-five percent of people currently living in India believe in Hinduism. Overall, it has one billion followers, and it is polytheistic, meaning they believe in multiple gods. By multiple, scholars mean three-hundred-thirty million.
They have a god for just about every object, deity, etc. For example, they have a sun god, but followers say the ultimate god or head god is named Brahman who they will say prayers to or worship. There is an after-life, like Heaven for Christians. They believe you come back as a different spirit. For example, if you were “bad” in your life as a human, you would come back as an animal. Going back, the first surviving text can go as far back to 1500 B.
C. In the twentieth century however, is when it started to become popular nationally, you could say it took a long time. Hindu is one of the most complex religions, and something most people probably couldn’t handle. But there’s always a few that have too believe it, right? Judaism was second in line, with fourteen million followers and probably one of the most interesting. Judaism began around 2000 B.C.
as the religion of Abraham in the Bible. This religion is believed in by Jews. Like Christians, they read and acknowledge information from the Bible. They also believed Jesus was a man who died on the cross, but they believe He was just a prophet like the others. So, who is there Savior or Redeemer? They believe that the “real christ” hasn’t returned yet, and he must come from the line of Abraham, and to this day they wait for him. Judaism is based solely on the Old Testament of the Bible, this also comes with a fan of strict laws and orders they must follow routinely.
The “Torah” is the first five books of the Bible, were you will find the laws, and this is what they follow daily. Unlike Hinduism, Judaism is monotheistic or one God. Therefore, it’s a little less complicated. But for twelve-year-old girls, and thirteen-year-old boys it isn’t. In fact, it is a stressful time because they must remember their vows for their Bar Mitzvah (boys) or Bat Mitzvah (girls).
This means they are no longer minors, but they must fulfill or live up to the Torah’s commandments. This isn’t fun, but what is fun is the celebration that comes afterwards which is basically like a quinceanera. All in all, this religion is very similar to Christianity with minor tweaks, but probably major effects. Next in history’s order is Christianity. You probably saw that coming.
Anyways Christianity is still the worlds largest believed religion with 2.2 billion followers. Christianity is based on the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, it is monotheism. In the Bible, it says Jesus of Nazareth performed many miracles that are beyond man, but came down as man, to rightfully humble Himself.
Another difference between Judaism and Christianity, is the strictness in which it follows. Christian churches are more open and free unlike Orthodox Judaism churches. But, Christianity is broken down into many branches. For example, there is Catholics, Baptists, and Protestants. They all believe the same but may do minor things a little different. The most popular of those branches today would still be Roman Catholic.
Christianity is mainly professed in the U.S. as well as Europe, but that number is slowly decreasing. Christians proclaim that Jesus will come back down to Earth to take up His children, or believers, to Heaven in what is called the Rapture, as stated in the Book of Revelations. The main reason more people believe or know about Christianity is because the Bible is the most published book around the world with 78.5 million copies each year.
Most people aren’t statistic people, but they know that’s a lot! A semi-new religion is Buddhism. Most people recognize this religion for the fat baby looking thing. That is one of the gods they worship, or the founder of the religion named Siddhartha Gautama who lived in 500 B.C., and was a young prince in the Asian, Mesopotamian area.
One day, he saw suffering and helped his community and others for the rest of his life almost like Gandhi, and got the title Buddha. This is like their Jesus. Buddhism is very popular in Asia today, it’s focused on peace, meditation, and no violence. There are 500 million followers and they believe one can get to Mahayana or their after-life, through meditation, good-deeds, and a combination of other elements. Buddhism is polytheistic, and the actual word Buddha in Greek, means “enlightened one.
” People see Buddhism as rather entertaining, but it has some good principles that can relate to all religions. A rather controversial religion now would be Islam. Scholars say it came the earliest, but people (including myself) think it isn’t because of their Bible, called the Qur’an, is nearly identical to the Christians Holy Bible. Islam has 1.6 million followers, and the founder of the religion is Muhammad.
Muhammad to them is Christ. Or their Savior., however, they acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth and Moses from the Bible only as prophets. The god that rules over the people of Islam is named Allah, which would be like Christians “God.” The religion itself is based on strict laws and rules, they follow these rules not only in their homes, but in worship places called Mosques.
The story behind Muhammad is he was a man who came from mecca, or a city in western Saudi Arabia to Medina, to escape persecution. There he built a community based on Islam an Arabian power. Eight years later, he went back to Mecca, and conquered it. The reason he believed he was Christ was because one day he was spending nights and days in a cave, and he had a dream or vision. It was the Angel Gabriel like the one in the Bible saying that Muhammad was the “Messenger of God.” The Qur’an are the accounts of his life.
Islam’s believe the Bible is a lie and not original. This frequently causes world debates, and it feels like you’re either on one side or the other. In conclusion, religion is important because even if one doesn’t believe that specific religion, you can’t have conversations about it with someone who does believe it. More importantly, if people are trying to prove to them that your religion is the right way to go, you must try and contradict their point, which is hard to do if you don’t understand their point. I feel religion is an interesting topic and we as people should try and see other peoples point without judging them.
It might clear up some air.