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Transcript of World Religions
By Jaren Yambing RMS
Amount of Followers and Areas of Prevalence
As of 2012, there are 13,746,100 Jews in the world.
Of these approximately 13 million Jews, 42.9% live in their country, Israel, while the other 57.1% are part of the Jewish Diaspora and are living away from their homeland, primarily in the USA.
Beliefs and Rules
In general, the Torah refers to all of the Jewish laws and teachings, but as Judaism is open to interpretation, it can refer to the written sections of the Torah or even the 5 Books of Moses. For sake of clarity, we'll talk about the two main parts of the Torah, the Written Torah or the Tanakh and the Oral Torah or the Talmund.
Places of Worship/ Significant Sites
The Jews worship in a Synagogue which can also be called a "shul" or a "temple" depending on what movement of Judaism you're from. Synagogue comes from the Greek word meaning "place of assembly" which is exactly what Jews do in a synagogue; Jews pray, study, and socialize in a synagogue. Synagogues have a sanctuary where people pray, an ark where they store the Torah, an Eternal Lamp, and a Menorah.
The Jews enjoy several celebrations every year!
In September or October, Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah which is basically Jewish New Years. 10 days later they celebrate Yom Kippur where they make up for their sins.
In the Springtime, Jews celebrate Passover where they remember the ancient Jews being freed from slavery in Egypt. Many families read the part of the Torah Passover takes place in, creating a mini reenactment of the story, complete with special foods.
In November or December, Jews celebrate Hanukkah which is called the festival of lights. This holiday was made when the temple was almost running out of oil for their eternal light, but it somehow lasted for 8 straight days! The symbol of this holiday is the menorah.
Every Friday, at sundown the Sabbath starts and ends the next day at sundown. This is the Jews's day of rest.
The Jews also have some more personal celebrations like births and deaths. Another personal holiday is the Bar/Bat Mitzvah when a 13 year old becomes an adult.
All of these celebrations start on sundown of the first day and end on sundown on the last day.
Islam started around 610 AD when Muhammad got a message from God telling him that he was going to be the last prophet. When Muhammad started preaching about his one God, the people from his city, Mecca, rejected him and his beliefs because they were polytheistic and believed in many Gods. So, Muhammad left for the nearby town of Medina and in 630 AD he led his new Muslim army against his hometown Mecca. Two years later, Muhammad died. Then Islam really took off and in 100 years Islam spread from Spain all the way to India in a great empire called the Caliphate ruled by the Caliph. The great Empire eventually fell to the Mongols and Islam never regained it's former glory. In the 1900's, Muslim nations regained their independence from major European powers and
are currently spreading their religion from a more
regional one centered in the Middle-East, to a more
Amount of Followers and Areas of Prevalence
As of 2012, there are 1,600,000,000 Muslims in the world. Contrary to popular belief, most Muslims (62%) live in Asia with population centers in Indonesia, India and Pakistan. However, there are still a lot of Muslims (20%) in their area of origin, the Middle-East and North Africa.
Besides the aforementioned holiday Ramadan and the Hajj pilgrimage , Muslims celebrate many holy days.
Al-Hijra is the Islamic New Year celebration and it remembers how Muhammad and his early followers left Mecca for Medina, starting the Islamic calendar.
Eid-al-Adha /Id ul Adha is the most important feast in Islam which is celebrated when one is done with their Hajj. This four day feast remembers how the Prophet Ibrahim was prepared to sacrifice his son to Allah.
When Ramadan is over, Muslims celebrate Eid al Fitr /Id ul Fitr which is a lot like Thanksgiving in the USA.
Lailat-al Miraj & Israa’ marks the time when Muhammad ascended into heaven at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
Lailat al-Qadr is also known as the Day of Power. It takes place during the last ten days of Ramadan; it marks the first time that Muhammad started to write the Qur'an.
Muslims believe in one God named Allah and their belief are based on Pillars.
Muslims worship in buildings called Mosques or traditionally, Masjid.
Like Jewish Synagogues, Islamic Mosques are not only a place of worship and prayer to Allah, they are also an important gathering and learning space. Mosques are often characterized by their tall towers known as minarets and also large domes which Muhammad made in his first mosque. Within there are washing/purification areas and also separate sections of the mosque for male and female visitors. One important feature is that mast mosques face towards Mecca where all Muslims have to direct their prayers.
In Islam there are three very important mosques. The first is Masjid-al-
Haram or The Sacred Mosque. This is the mosque that all Muslims have to visit on their Hajj. In the center of the mosque there is this tiny black building called the Kaaba. Muslims try to touch the special black stone on the corners of the Kaaba and there is also a special well underneath which basically founded and supported the city of Mecca. The second is Masjid-al-Nabawi or The Prophet's Mosque which is in Medina where Muhammad
went after he and his followers left Mecca to regroup. The last important Mosque is Masjid Al-Aqsa where Muhammad ascended into
Places of Worship/Significant Sites
The holy books and writings of Islam are the ones in the third Pillar of Faith, but the most important one is the Qur'an written by the prophet Muhammad. Unlike the other four books, the words of the Qur'an are actually God's words with no changes. This is because the angel Jubra'eel basically possessed the illiterate prophet and wrote the Qur'an down. The Qur'an contains 114 chapters called Surah. These chapters contain important information about Allah, the beliefs of Islam, the Prophets and the Islamic law Shari'ah. In short, the Qur'an teaches all Muslims how to live and be a decent human being which is whats needed to be awarded in both this life and the afterlife.
Unlike the previous two religions, Hinduism's origins are unclear and it seems like it has been here for over 4000 years making it the world's oldest religion. Hinduism itself can most likely be traced back to the Indus River Civilization because they practice many things that the Hindus do like taking part in a ritual bath. Then in about 1000 BCE, the Aryans or noble ones came to the land we now call India. With them their brought their language, Vedic Sanskrit which was used to write the Vedas. This period of time was called the Vedic period and we can see the beginnings of the Hindu religion with ritual sacrifices and the worship of many Vedic Gods called devas. As time went on, the religion became more structured when they started to worship three major Gods, Vishnu, Shiva and Devi. They started to write their holy books during this time. Then in 1757, the former Indian Kingdom of Mughul was defeated by the British starting a roughly 200 year rule. The Hindus of India were pressured by the British to convert to Christianity; in response, Mahatma Gandhi peacefully protested and he was able to free India from Britain. Once free, everyone was starting to call India a Hindu country and Hinduism was a Indian religion and they started to persecute other religions. As time went on the Hindus spread around the world, bringing yoga with them.
Amount of Followers and Areas of Prevalence
There are 1 billion Hindus in the world today mostly in India and surrounding areas. One of these countries, Nepal, is officially Hindu; India, even though it is called a Hindu country is actually secular.
Like Judaism, Hinduism doesn't actually have a dogma meaning that they don't have an actual set of beliefs to make them Hindus. Instead they have a general set of nine beliefs.
The holy books of Hinduism are the Vedas. The Vedas contain many mantras which are considered words of power. The Vedas themselves are divided into four parts:
Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and the Upanishat.
Samhita: The Samhita is the heart and core of the Vedas containing many mantras.
Brahmana: The Brahmana tell the reader how to interpret and use the teachings from the Samhita.
Aranyaka: The Aranyaka is the part of the Vedas that focuses on philosophy.
Upanishat: The Upanishat is the benchmark for Hindu philosophy and analyzes their God.
The Hindus also have a lot of other books like the
Agamas, Purana, Itihasas, Glta, and the
Places of Worship and Significant Sites
Hindus worship in places called mandirs or more commonly, temples. These temples are often dedicated to one of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and contain a shrine just for them in the inner part called garbhargriha.The rest of the temple is basically built off of the garbhargriha. Hindus do not have a specific day they have to visit the temple, but while in the temple, they do a ceremony called puja. In Puja they pray and give offerings to the deity of the temple. Most Hindus also have a personal shrine at their homes to worship to their deities.
The Ganges River is very significant in Hinduism. Hindus often take a pilgrimage to the Ganges to be cleaned in the sacred water. Hindus also spread their cremated ashes in the Ganges
The Hindus Celebrate three main holidays each year: Diwali, Holi, and Dusshra
Diwali: Diwali is the Hindu's New Years celebration celebrated in October or November. It is known as the festival of lights because in Hinduism, light is seen as knowledge.
Holi: Holi is celebrated in March or April and heralds the beginning of spring. There are parades and people basically have a water balloon fight with colored water and powders.
Dusshra: Dusshra is the festival that remebers how Rama defeated the evil Ravana. It is ususally celebrated in September and has plays about the God Rama.
Kumbha Mela is also an important festival, but it only takes place in January or February every 12 years. In this festival millions of people bathe in the Ganges River.
Christianity all started when the virgin Mary had a baby boy, Jesus. When he grew up, Jesus begin his ministry teaching people about God with his 12 disciples. Many people thought that Jesus was the Messiah, so he was crucified by the Romans and died; three days later, he rose from the dead. Jesus later ascended into heaven and his disciples had to spread the word about Jesus. One such disciple was Paul who helped spread Christianity even when they were persecuted. However, Christianity really started to grow when the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 400 AD and everyone else followed. He also held the Council of Nicea which formed the basis of the Christian faith. There was growing animosity between the Eastern and Western parts of the Church and after Constantine died, Christianity had officially split into the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church in 1054 AD. As time went on some radicals disliked some of the Roman Catholic Church's powers and by 1517, Martin Luther, a German monk started spreading t his ideas. This sparked the reformation which was a split between the new Protestants and the Catholics; then there was a civil war all across Europe and countries had to choose which side to back up, Catholic or Protestant. Each country's Protestants created their own denominations and many moved to America in the 17th century. Now Christianity has spread across all the corners of the globe and has become the biggest world religion. Although they are all split, every denomination still believe in the rule set by the Council of Nicea.
Amount of Followers and Areas of Prevalence
As of 2010, there are 2.18 billion Christians around the world making it the biggest world religion. Half of them are Catholics, with 1.1 billion followers; Catholics are mostly prevalent in Latin America, but there are also a lot of Catholics in the Philippines, the US, and South and West Europe. There are about 800 million Protestants mostly residing in the USA, but there is also a lot of Protestants in Africa and North and central Europe. Lastly there are about 260 million Orthodox mostly residing in Russia, and Eastern Europe.
Although splintered, all Christians accept the same basic principles of faith. One of the most important things they believe in is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This is called the Holy trinity with God being the father, Jesus God's son, and the Holy spirit; contrary to popular belief, they do not believe in three gods. Christians also believe in an afterlife. One of the things that Catholics and Orthodox believe in are the Saints who are basically really good Christians. Protestants do not believe in Saints because they help you when you pray to them. Christians often pray to their God as Jesus taught them because it is their means of communication to God. Christians also believe in baptism and the Eucharist. Baptism is when a person is accepted into the church usually by water baptism. Eucharist is a meal to represent Jesus' Last Supper. The Bread is supposed to represent Jesus' body and the Wine is supposed to represent Jesus' blood.
The Holy Book of Christianity is the Bible which is the best selling book of all time. The Bible is separated into the Old and New Testament each containing 39 and 27 books respectively. The Old Testament is basically the Jewish Torah and talks about God's covenant with his people, the Jews. The New Testament was written after Jesus died and contains a section all for him, the Gospels. The Gospels are the four books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which chronicle Jesus' life because they were Jesus' disciples and knew him personally. The rest of the New Testament is mostly the disciple Paul's letters to other Christians around the Roman Empire when Christians were persecuted. There are other sections of the New Testament too, but the entire Bible is basically the story of how God loves his people.
Places of Worship and Significant Sites
Christians worship in buildings called Churches. Most Christians go to church on Sunday where there is a service for them to attend and worship. Churches usually have pews, baptismal fonts, lecterns and most importantly, the altar. The pews are the long benches where people sit during mass. The baptismal font is a stone container which has Holy Water which is used to baptize people into the Church. The lectern is a special stand where people read the bible to the whole church among other things. Lastly, the altar is the holiest part of the Church; here the priest prepares the bread and wine for the Eucharist. A lot of older churches also feature stained glass.
There are many significant sites for each Christian denomination, but there are a few holy places in Israel which all Christians share.
Bethlehem is where Jesus, the Messiah, was born making it very important to Christians worldwide.
Jerusalem is also very important to Christians. Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead in Jerusalem. There are also many other spots that are important to Christians in Jerusalem.
There are four main Seasons in Christianity, Lent, Easter, Advent, and Christmas.
Lent: Lent starts forty days before Easter on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time to prepare for Easter and self-examination. Christians usually have to fast on certain days of Lent and some give something up, like chocolate for example. Lent also includes the days leading up to Jesus' death on Good Friday.
Easter: Easter starts on the Sunday after Good Friday and is the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead. It is the most important holiday Christians because it is when Jesus died and rose again to make up for their sins. The different Christian denominations celebrate Easter up to five weeks apart due to different types of calendars. Easter ends with Pentecost when Jesus ascended to heaven and gave the Holy Spirit to his followers.
Advent: Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas and is celebrated in preparation for Jesus' birthday and second coming.
Christmas: Christmas is Jesus' birth which is celebrated on December 25th. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem and this holiday celebrates it. Today, Christmas has become extremely commercialized with the tradition of giving others presents. The Christmas season ends with Epiphany when the wise men or magi visited Jesus.
The holidays of St Patrick's Day and Valentines Day are also Christian Holidays.
Buddhism has its origins in 563 BCE when Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as the Buddha, was born. Born to a warrior king and queen, the Buddha had a good life until he became a young adult and went on four chariot rides. On those rides he saw the forms of human suffering: Old Age, Illness, and Death. From there on out the Buddha realized earthly pleasures just masked human suffering, so he left his family and sought a teacher. After almost starving himself, Siddhartha ate some food and began to meditate under a tree. 1 to 180 days later, he attained Nirvana or Enlightenment. Then he started to teach what he had learned. When he died, the Buddha's followers started monasteries around Asia. The Indian King Ashoka also spread Buddhism around India in 300BCE. Then in 100 CE,the two major sects of Buddhism, Mahayana and Hinayana split. Today, the Hinayana sect is almost non-existent while the Mahayana sect is thriving
Amount of Followers and Areas of Prevalence
As of 2010, there are 488 million Buddhists in the world.
Of these 488 million, only 1.3% live outside of Asia its continent of origin.
China has the most Buddhists with 50% of all Buddhists There is also a lot of Buddhists in other Asian countries like Thailand, Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, and South Korea.
Buddhism is based off of the teachings of the Buddha which are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
There are three main types of Holy Books in Buddhism: The Tripitaka, Mahayana Buddhist Sutras, and The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Tripitaka: The Tripitaka are the first Buddhist teachings. At first they were handed down by word of mouth, but in 300BCE the three parts were written down by the First Buddhist Council. The Vinaya Pitaka talked about the rules of the monks and the Buddhist community, the Sutra Pitaka was about the right behavior for a Buddhist and the Abhidharma Pitaka which is about Buddhist philosophy and psychology.
Buddhist Sutras: These Sutras were written by the Mahayana Buddhist to expand on the original Tripitaka. Some famous Sutras are the Lotus, Heart, and Land of Bliss Sutras.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Tibetan Book of the Dead talks about the various stages of death. Lamas usually recite passages from this book to dead people so they can possibly gain enlightenment.
Places of Worship and Significant Sites
There are plenty of places for Buddhist to worship. The most common are temples and shrines. A temple is a place where Buddhist and pay their respects to the Buddha or to meditate with others. Some Buddhists have their own shrines at home so they can worship any time they want. Some of the more uncommon places of worship are Stupas and Pagodas. The Stupas were the first Buddhist shrines and were made to house the Buddha's ashes and other sacred items. Pagodas are a different type of Buddhist temple being a tower reaching out towards wisdom. They are in China or Japan.
There are also some special places pertaining to the Buddha. The Buddha's birthplace which is called Lumbini Grove. Bodh Gaya is especially important because it is where the Buddha reached Nirvana. Sarnarth is where the Buddha did his first sermon. Kusinara is the place where he died.
In recent times, Dharamsala India has become important to Buddhism. This is because this is where the Dalai Lama lives since the Chinese kicked him out of Tibet.
Monasteries are also important because they are places that a Buddhist can live in a religious community called a Sangha.
There are two main holidays in Buddhism: Wesak and Vassa.
Wesak: Wesak is the Buddhist celebration of the Buddha's birth. During this holiday people decorate their Buddha statues, take offerings to monasteries, and light fireworks. Some sects of Buddhism also celebrate the Buddha's enlightenment and death at this time.
Vassa: Vassa isn't really a holiday, but more a time meditate/study. Originally it was always rainy during Vassa so all they could do was meditate and study. However there is also a celebratory aspect because the monks get new robes.
There are also a few festivals which are only celebrated in a few countries. In Japan, Buddhists celebrate Hana Matsuri or the Flower Festival. This celebrates the Buddha's Birthday and everything is decorated in cherry blossoms. Buddhists celebrate the Festival of the Sacred Tooth in India. In this festival people have a parade with one of the Buddha's teeth.
Judaism started when God chose Abraham to be the father of his people, the Jews. This started a new religion, Judaism. As time went on, Judaism became much more structured with kings and the creation of a central temple in Jerusalem. Sadly, between 920 BCE and 600 BCE the Jews split up and their temple was destroyed. It was also around this time that the Jews were exiled to Babylon; they were later freed, but many Jews decided to live away from their homeland which is called the Jewish Diaspora. By 1 CE the Roman Empire was in control of Jerusalem and Jesus was born. Jesus' followers later split from Judaism and formed Christianity. Afterward, the Jews experienced a period of alternating good and bad times. The Jewish Diaspora also persisted with Jews living all around Europe and coming to America in 1648. However the Jews were persecuted and exiled in a lot of the places; the best example of this is the Holocaust when 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis in WWII. After the war, the UN made a plan to make a country just for the Jews, Israel. Israel is surrounded by Arab states so there currently isn't a good relationship between the Jews and the Arabs.
This map shows countries where there are over 5,000 Jews
Unlike some other religions, Judaism doesn't have an actual list of beliefs for one to be a Jew. The closest thing they have to a list of beliefs is Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith which is a list of what most Jews believe.
Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith
1) God Exists
2) God is one and unique
3) God is incorporeal
4) God is eternal
5) Prayer is directed to God alone and to no other
6) The words of the prophets are true
7)Moses' prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of all prophets
8) The Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given to Moses
9) There will be no other Torah
10) God knows the thoughts and deeds of men
11) God will reward the good and punish the wicked
12) The Messiah will come
13) The dead will be resurrected
Did you know that Rambam is an acronym for Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon who is also known as Maimonides?
Instead of focusing on a dogma, Jews place more emphasis on their actions and relationships with others, especially God. These relationships have certain obligations, but how one interprets them is totally up to the practitioner ranging from an Orthodox interpretation saying these obligations are unchanging laws to a Reform interpretation which says that you don't have to follow these obligations.
The Written Torah
The Oral Torah
The Tanakh is the part of the Torah that is written onto scrolls.
The Tanakh or Written Torah is separated into three parts: Torah, Nevi'im, and Kethuvim
The Torah section is known as The Law and includes Moses' 5 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The Nevi'im section deals with Judaism's many prophets and even has a book called "The Twelve" which unsurprisingly talks about twelve prophets.
The Kethuvim section is called The Writings and it seems like it is all of the other books in the Torah which are not about the Prophets or written by Moses.
No one is allowed to touch the actual Torah scrolls, so Jews use those little finger pointers from Elementary School or Yad to follow the text.
The Jews read the Tanakh in little weekly snippets called parshiyot. A collection of these parshiyots is called chumash.
The counterpart of the the Tanakh is the Talmund or the Oral Torah. As its name suggests, this section of the Torah was originally spoken until about 200 CE when someone decided to write it down as the Mishnah. All the Talmund does is explain and interpret the Tanakh, but it is really hard to understand because it is written in a way that the reader is expected to know what the author is talking about. The Talmund is divided into 6 sections called sedarim which is in turn divided into several masekhtot. The Sedarim are
or Holy Things, and
or Purities. Most Jews read a page of the Talmund each day
which is called daf yomi.
In addition to the Tanakh and the Talmund, Jews also read other writings which are not part of the actual Torah. Some of these are midrashim which goes more in depth into stories from the Tanakh. There is also a lot of responsas which are rabbi's answers to certain questions about Judaism. There are also other books like Rambam's Minshneh Torah and Joseph Caro's Shulchan Arukh which try to create codes of Jewish law. In conclusion, there is a lot of material on Judaism so there is much for any Jew to read and learn in
The Jews also have a couple of important places, mostly in their homeland of Israel. The city of Jerusalem has been important to Jews since ancient time because it is their capital. In Jerusalem, there is the Western or Wailing Wall which is thought to be part of the ancient temple of Jerusalem. Mt Sinai is also important to Jews because it is
where Moses received the 10 Commandments to be
put into the ark of the covenant.
As you can see, there is an enormous amount of Muslims in Asia, but there are still some Muslims in other areas around the globe.
Did you know that Indonesia has the most Muslims at 209 million Muslims?
Pillars of Islam
Shahada is the first pillar of Islam where practitioners proclaim that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Pillars of Islam
Salah is the second Pillar of Islam where the practitioner has to pray the Salats five times a day at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night.
Muslims have to do the above set of movements during their Salah; this is known as rak'a
Pillars of Islam
Seyam of Siyam
The third Pillar of Islam is called Seyam or Siyam. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims have to fast from sun-up all the way to sun-down. Sick, people, children, and pregnant women don't have to fast during Seyam/Siyam.
Pillars of Islam
Zakah is the fourth Pillar of Islam where all Muslims have to give 2.5% of their money to charity. This is very similar to a tax.
Pillars of Islam
The fifth Pillar of Islam is the Hajj. The Hajj is a pilgrimage to the Islamic city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This pilgrimage is required at least once in a Muslim's lifetime and begins in the month of Dul Hejja.
Pillars of Faith (1)
In Islam you have to believe in the one true God, Allah.
Pillars of Faith (2)
Muslims believe that God created Mala-eka or Angels which are unseen.
Pillars of Faith (3)
Muslims believe in the books that Allah revealed to them. There are five books: Abraham' Scrolls, David's Psalms, Moses' Torah, Jesus' Gospel, and Muhammad's Qur'an
Pillars of Faith (4)
Muslims also believe in Allah's messengers, the Prophets. The prophets were revered for being models for humankind, but they weren't given divinity because that is only for Allah.
Pillars of Faith (5)
Muslims believe that the world will end with the Day of Judgement. On this day, Allah will judge the living and the dead and sent them to Paradise, also known as Jannah, or Hellfire, also known as Jahannam.
Pillars of Faith (6)
The last Islamic Pillar of Faith is the Muslim's belief that everything in the universe is under the control of Allah. However Muslim themselves cannot just lay back and wait for Allah to control their lives for them, they have to try to be good people. Either way, Allah will make sure that everyone dies when their time comes.
They also have a set of laws called the Shariah. Some of these laws say that Muslims cannot consume alcohol, drugs, pork, predatory animals, and dead animals. Surprisingly, Islams are pacifists considering that they conquered a lot of land back in the days of the caliphate.
Both genders also have very modest clothing.
As you can see, Hindus really only live in Asia, specifically South Asia.
1) Hindus believe in 1 supreme being who made the world.
2) Hindus believe in the Vedas and Agamas, their Holy Books.
3) Hindus believe that the universe goes through a cycle of creation and destruction.
4) Hindus believe in Karma which is basically good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.
5) Hindus believe in reincarnation until moksha where a Hindu is released from the cycle of rebirth.
6) Hindus believe in divine beings and they have to worship them to have a connection with them.
7) Hindus believe that they need a enlightened master to know the Transcendent Absolute and other good stuff.
8) Hindus love all life and practice ahimsa which is also called non-injury. This means they are pacifists and can't kill others.
9) Hindus believe that no religion is best because they have different paths to reach their goals.
Hinduism also has four main sects.
Saivism: These Hindus worship the God Siva
They also created yoga
Shaktism: These Hindus worship the Goddess Devi
They also use magic
Vaishnavism: These Hindus worship Lord Vishnu
They are deeply devotional
Smartism: These Hindus worship all major gods
They are very liberal
The caste system is also very important in Hinduism
This picture sums up the caste system nicely
As you can see, Christianity is pretty much spread out around the world
Like Hinduism, Buddhism is really only prevalent in Asia
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
The First Noble Truth
The Second Noble Truth
The Third Noble Truth
The Fourth Noble Truth
The First Nobel Truth is about the different kinds of suffering. When the Buddha set out of his palace as a young adult, he saw three forms of suffering: Old Age Sickness, and Death. So the Buddha says that life is not ideal and pleasure from desires is only temporary and when we are not suffering we are unsatisfied.
The Second Noble Truth is about the origin of suffering. The Buddha says that the origin of suffering is desire or tanhā. There are Three Roots of Evil.
The Rooster: The Rooster represented Greed and Desire
The Pig: The Pig represented Ignorance and Delusion
The Snake: The Snake represented Hatred and Destructive Urges
The Third Noble Truth is about how one can be released from suffering. The Buddha says that you can eliminate desire/suffering by liberating yourself from attachment. This is Nirvana which means extinguishing desire/suffering. Once you have attained Nirvana, you are enlightened and you are in a state of spiritual joy. Enlightened people also have compassion for all life and are released from a cycle of rebirth.
The Fourth Noble Truth is about how you can be released from suffering. The Buddha says you can do this by doing the Eightfold Path which is also called the Middle Way.
NOTE: You do not need to the Eightfold path in order.
Right Understanding is basically accepting Buddhist teachings. Buddhists are not supposed to follow the Buddha's teachings blindly, but are supposed to see for themselves if they are true or not.
Right Intention is a commitment to cultivate the right attitudes. So this is basically always having a good view on everyone.
Right Speech is always telling the truth and not gossiping or being mean in your words
Right Action is being peaceful. This means no stealing, killing, or overindulgence.
Right Livelihood is basically not harming living things. This means they cannot eat animals.
Right Effort is not thinking evil things and instead keeping a positive state of mind.
Right Mindfulness is being aware of you body, sensations, feelings, and your states of mind
Right Concentration is having mental focus
Technically speaking, Buddhism is a way of life, not a religion.