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World Religions

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Spencer McMains

on 15 September 2015

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Transcript of World Religions


Hinduism has been around for thousands of years. Most Scholars and Historians believe it could be traced back 5,000+ years ago back to The time of Indo- European Migrations with the Aryans.

The Aryans are credited as the introducer for Hinduism as there is still an unknown founder for the religion.

The early form of Hinduism was known as Brahmanism , which developed in India among Indo-European-speaking people.

The Rigveda is Hinduism's earliest form of writing about it's history. The teachings in this text were mainly based off of Brahmanism.
Believed to begin during the Bronze age in the Middle East and told through the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

God guided the Jewish people and created a way of life for them. Then Moses gave them the Ten Commandments which is a set of rules/standards to live by.

The Jews became a powerful population with kings such as Saul, David, and Solomon, who built the first great temple.

Beliefs/ Values
Jews believe that there is only one single God who they can have a personal relationship. This relationship they have with god is a mutual one. If they do good for god then god will do good for them.

They also believe that all Jews are connected with each other. Regardless of where they are in the world, they are all apart of a community.

The Torah is Judaism's most important text. It contains the stories and commandments that inform them about life and death. The 10 commandments are what the Jews believe to be the most important in the Torah.
Most of the population of Jews are found in the United States and Israel. They can also be found in France, Canada, Russia, South Africa, etc.

There is an estimate of about 14.2 million Jews in the world.

United States



Important Figures
Abraham (Prophet Ibrahim)- Lived around 1500 BC. He is the founder of Judaism and most Jews trace their roots back to Abraham. He is also a main figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Moses- Believed to be born in 1391 BC and died in 1271 BC. Leader who brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and provided them with a code of law known as the Ten Commandments.

David- Was the first king of Jerusalem. He established Jerusalem as the capital of the nation. This created a place of worship for the Jews.

Worship/Religious Practices
A devoted Jew is required to pray three times a day, in morning, afternoon, and evening. Much of Jewish prayer consists of reciting the written services aloud in synagogue.

A synagogue is the Jewish place of worship, but is also used a community center as well.

One of the most important Jewish practices is the eating of kosher foods. The Jewish dietary laws have held great meaning for the Jewish people throughout their history.

Observant Jews will say a blessing over everything they eat or drink, or in most of the activities they do. Doing this lets them and go know they involve him with everything.
Something Unique
Confucianism is based off of the teachings of a Chinese Philosopher, Kong Qiu. Although he is formally known as Confucius (c. 551-479 B.C.E.).

At first his traditions and thoughts were not recognized until after his death where most of his followers came from.

During the 4th century, an interpreter of Confucius named Mengzi, and including many others, joined the argument concerning Confucian. These followers added their own ideas about human nature and morality (teachings of Confucius).
Beliefs/ Values
Confucianism teaches include the ideas of harmony, obedience to parents and authority, and that people are to behave "properly" in their roles in everyday life.

He created these ethnic rules as a moral guidance to make the world a better place

Confucius followers believe in the Ethical Teachings:
Li: includes ritual, propriety, etiquette, etc.
Hsiao: love within the family: love of parents for their children and of children for their parents
Yi: righteousness
Xin: honesty and trustworthiness
Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others; the highest Confucian virtue
An estimated 5 to 6 million people follow Confucianism worldwide. Many followers of Confucianism also believe in other religions such as Buddhism. Mainly because Confucianism is more on the side of moral rules than religion.

About 26,000 North Americans are followers of Confucianism. The other 5.95 million followers are in Asian countries. Countries such as China, Korea, and Vietnam
Important Figures
Confucius (孔子, circa 551 BC – circa 479 BC)- Creator of a better understanding of the philosophy of Confucianism.

Mencius (孟子, circa 371 – circa 289)- Considered the second most important Confucian philosopher. He wrote the book called Mencius which in the book he substitutes the philosophy of Confucianism by a system of ideas showing the good of men.

Worship/Religious Practices
There are no specific rituals or religious practices, as Confucianism is really just a set of philosophies and not seen as an actual religion.

This makes it not necessarily believing in a God or Gods, rather than believing in Confucius' thoughts and practices.

Followers of Confucianism look to better themselves and their society. This is done through education and enlightenment.

Worship includes respecting your elders, continuing the family by marrying and having children, and by bringing no shame or disgrace to the family.
Something Unique
Confucius' birthday is believed to be on September 28th, along with mine :)
Hindu people believe in life continuing even after death. They feel as if a body is only a carrier for your soul. It does not die when your body dies. This is also known as reincarnation.

Reincarnation is based off of Karma. If good behavior and deeds are done in your current life you will come back as a higher being in your next life, if not you will either stay in your current being or go lower.

Karma is mainly focused in the caste system, the Hindi way of keeping order and duty.

Many Hindus believe that animals also have souls/life force,which explains the large amount vegetarians among Hindus.

Hinduism accounts for 13.26 percent of the world's population which makes it the 3rd largest religion in the world.

Theres about 850,000,000 million folowers

A large population of Hindus are found in India and Nepal but can also be seen in Bangladesh, Singapore, Malayasia, Sri Lanka, etc.

Republic of India- 700 million
Nepal- 23 million
Bangladesh- 14 million
Bali- 3.3 million
Important Figures
Sri Aurobindo (1872 - 1950)- A very intelligent indian scholar and philosopher. Had a vision to build on inner self-development. So that every person can unify theirselvs and express the god-like aspects in theirselves.

Gandhi- One of the most recognizable Hindus. He led with religious and political beliefs for freedom and rights for all of his followers. Seen as Hindu holy man and leader of nonviolent resistance throughout the world.

The Gods and Goddess' of Hinduism- Brahma (the creator), Vishnu
(the preserver),Shiva (the destroyer)
Worship/Religious Practices
Hindus worship in many forms and each way is a sign of devotion to a Deity.

First is the Nitya, which is non-optional and consist of daily rituals which could range from making offerings at a shrine or praying to the family deities with mantras. It is expected to be followed 3 times a day

Next is the Naimittika, which is also non-optional. Its practiced at certain times of year. Followers visit temples and make offerings or by participating in annual festivals.

Last is the Kamya. This worship is optional unlike the other 2. The Kamya is a holy pilgrimage to sacred sites such as the Ganges river.

Something Unique
Buddhism began in about 580 B.C. by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama

Siddhartha left his home at age 29 after seeing suffering in the city and set out in the search of enlightenment. After going through a path of self-denial, discipline, and meditation, he finally achieved enlightenment and it relinquished him from all his pain and suffering.

He then began teaching of how to achieve enlightenment through the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path.
Siddhartha created the 4 noble truths as a way of teaching about Buddhism. Followers of Buddhism are expected to follow these to live a virtuous
Four Noble Truths
-The First Truth is to find the presence of suffering
-The Second Truth, is to seek the cause of suffering, which in Buddhism is desire and ignorance.
-The Third Truth, is to end suffering, usually through achieving Nirvana.
-The Fourth truth, is the way to achieve the end of suffering, which is explained in the Noble Eightfold Path.
The steps of the
Noble Eightfold Path
are Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
Today, however, many varieties of Buddhism are found in China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Southeast Asia.

There is an expected 314,939,000 followers of Buddhism all mostly found in Asian regions.

China: 107,000,000
Japan: 89,650,000
Thailand: 55,000,000
Sri Lanka: 12,000,000
Religious Figures
Siddhartha Gautama- Founder of Buddhism and the teachings to find enlightenment

Ashoka- Emperor of China in the 3rd Century BCE, helped idealize Buddhism and spread it throughout china with temples and structures.

Dalai Lama- This person is considered the all holy Buddhist at the time. There has been only 14 in all of history and all are believed to be reincarnated after the other. The current one is Tenzin Gyatso of Tibet.
Worship/Religious Practices
Like other religions there are many ways to worship in Buddhism. The most common is of prayer in either homes or temples.

Most of the practices of Buddhism are done through Rituals, Bowing at religious holy sites or even chants to the Buddhas.

Meditation is also a common way as it is healthy and peaceful for the body. Buddhist find this as a way to help them clear there mind and ending desires and ignorance.
Something Unique
Islam was founded in 633 CE (7th century) by the Prophet Muhammad and his teachings. It is a Monotheistic religion developed in the Middle East.

Muslims strive to follow in the example of Muhammad as he was picked as a chosen prophet in the book of the Qur'an by Allah, the god of Islam.

By the time Mohammed was 60 he had finally made it to Mecca with an army ready to fight for its control. After gaining control of the city he started spreading his religion, Islam. Because of this, Islam began spreading rapidly.
Spencer McMains
Islam’s basic teaching is called the Islamic creed. This consists of six beliefs, found throughout the Qur'an. The most widely known creed is, “There is no God but Allah,” which most dedicated muslims recite daily.
Muslims also follow the 5 Pillars of Islam:
1. Stated beliefs, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is the prophet of Allah.”
2. Praying five times a day facing Mecca.
3. Alms giving, offering money for the needy.
4. Ramadan, where they fast during the daylight hours.
5. Their pilgrimage to Mecca which is required for all Muslims before death.

Islam can be divided into 2 sects, The Sunni & Shi'a. These two different sects are widely hated by each other and much of the time genocide or mass murders have been the outcome of this.
Shi'a: Make up 20% of the Islam religion and believe that you must be a direct decedent of Muhammad to have control of Islam
Sunni: Make up 80% and believe you do not need to be a direct decedent of Muhammed.
Most Muslims are located in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, Western Africa, Indonesia islands, even in places like China and Russia.

1.57 billion people of all ages are believed to be following Islam making up 23% of the worlds population.

Population by a few countries:
Indonesia 202,867,000
Pakistan 174,082,000
India 160,945,000
Bangladesh 145,312,000
Egypt 78,513,000
Nigeria 78,056,000
Iran 73,777,000
Religious Figures
Muhammad- The most important of all prophets. Muhammad is known as the founder of Islam and the Seal of the Prophets as he received the Holy Qur'an from Allah as a final message.

Jibrail- This is the chief angel and is Allah's messenger. JIbrail sends messages from Allah to humans. He was an intermediary between Allah and Muhammad

Jesus- He is seen as 2nd greatest prophet behind Muhammad. Jesus and his mother Mary are also discussed relatively much in the Qur'an as Islam teaches that Jesus was given the message of the Gospel by Allah.

Worship/Religious Practices
One of the most important Rituals/Worship of Islam is the 5 pillars. A majority of Muslims find this a duty to complete throughout their life.

When praying, it is expected to perform a ritual cleansing of the body and mind. The hands, arms, face, neck, and feet are washed, if water is available and prayers are performed facing in the direction of Mecca.

It is mandatory for Muslim males to attend the mosque (Muslim place of worship or even used as a community center.) for a Friday noon prayer.
Something Unique
Christianity dates back to a rough and shaky past of Palestine. Jesus was the son of god and sent to teach and persuade of a more pure Judaism religion all ruled under god to spread love and peace.

Jesus created a ministry of 12 men and traveled with them spreading his teachings until soon the Roman government had become suspicious of him and crucified him to his death.

After tombing his body, they were to find that he had opened the tomb 3 days after his death and walked out, confirming for many followers that Jesus was gods son. Helping to spread the religion immensely.
Much like other religions, Christians believe prominently in one thing; There is only one God and Jesus is the Messiah

Christians also believe that god is a trinity, meaning he is 1 being, but made up of 3 persons. The father, The son, and the Holy spirit.

The god of Christianity is a very forgiving one. Because of this Christians believe in faithfulness with god and the righteousness way so that they can have a better relationship with him.
Scholars believe that there is 2.18 billion Christians all around the world, which is equal to 2/3's of the worlds populations.

It is so widespread that it's in 200 different countries in mass numbers. Such as the U.S, Brazil, Mexico, Britain, Russia, China, Russia, etc.
Religious Figures
Jesus- Seen is seen as the Son of God who was sent from god to teach/enforce the law of god.

Mary- Mother of Jesus. It was said that she was the mother of Jesus even though she was still a virgin, hence her common name, the Virgin Mary. For all Christians, Mary became admired more than any other woman in the Bible.

Paul (or Saul)- One most responsible for spreading the religion. He had spread it throughout the Mediterranean is the leading to become the religion of the Roman Empire.
Worship/Religious Practices
Christians worship weekly,yearly, and for special occasions. These special occasions include; Easter and Christmas. Places of worship and praying together are usually in churches.

A big thing with Christianity is weekly worship either during the week or end of the week with music and food and etc.

Christians seek to build their daily lives closer to god with prayer and scripture reading.

Something Unique
Hinduism traditions are responsible for the creation of concepts and practices such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Vastu.
According to the Jewish law, anyone who is born of a Jewish mother, counts as a Jew no matter what. Which means no matter how badly you dont want to go to that barvitsma, you have to go.
A 200 year old monk was found mummified sitting in a lotus position as if he had died meditating... Some say he had reached Nirvana and did not look back.
Because the Bible is the world's number one bestseller, it is also the most shoplifted book in the world.
Islamic advances in the use of paper are the primary reason we read books rather than scrolls today
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