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World Religions

A concise overview of five of the world's most popular religions.

Elle Bartlett

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of World Religions

Christianity Christianity is currently the most popular religion in the world. Its beliefs are mostly centered on God, the creator of life, and Jesus, his son that was sent to Earth. One sacred text of Christianity is the Bible. Christians are divided into three broad groups, with many subgroups. They are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. The most common practice of Christianity is praying. This religion is most common in North America, South America, and Europe. A worldwide symbol of Christianity is the cross. Buddhism Buddhism was first practiced about 2,500 years ago in Northeastern India by Siddhartha Gautama. Now, over 350 Buddhists follow it around the world. The goal of this religion is to recognize suffering and eliminate it. Many Buddhists are trying to reach the ultimate concept of Buddhism, Nirvana. It is a state with no suffering, the most blissful state that a person can experience. The World's Religions The five most popular religions involve Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. My presentation is an overview of the origins and history; amount of followers and areas of prevalence; beliefs and rules; holy books and writings; places of worship and significant sites; and holy days from each religion. I will also include a biography to cite my research sources on each religion. Hinduism Hinduism is a very popular religion in India and Nepal. It could be the oldest known religion. It is related to Buddhism in some ways, but it is also very different. Hindus believe in reincarnation, which is life after death, and karma, which is saying that if you do something bad, a bad thing will happen to you and if you do something good, a good thing will happen to you. Those two beliefs are similar to Buddhism, but Hindus believe that there is a God, unlike Buddhists. Islam Islam is the worlds second most common religion. The name itself means 'submission to the will of God' which is in a way the goals of Islam. People who follow Islam are called Muslim. Judaism Judaism is the first of three religions that believe in God as an almighty ruler. People that adhere to Judaism are called Jewish or Jews. The spiritual leaders in Judaism are called Rabbis. Many people call themselves Jewish yet they do not follow any Jewish law. Elle Bartlett World Religions Origins Buddhism originated in Northern India around the fifth century B.C.E. The religion was created by Siddhartha Gautama, who is referred to by Buddhists as Buddha. Bibliography http://www.chiddingstone.kent.sch.uk/homework/religion/buddhism.htm
http://www.dimensionsinfo.com/how-big-is-the-borobudur-temple-2/ Amount of Followers In 544 B.C.E. there was the first Buddhist council, a great meeting of many Buddhists. This would be the first of six, with the number attending increasing each time. History There are an estimated 600 million Buddhists in the world today, 400 of which live and practice Buddhism in China. Areas of Prevalence Buddhism is practiced throughout the world, notably in Asia. Countries with a large percentage of the population being Buddhists include Mongolia, Bhutan, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, and China. Beliefs One belief of Buddhism is reincarnation. This is essentially the idea that when you die, you will return to Earth in either another form or again as a human. This cycle will keep repeating until you achieve Nirvana (a state of freedom from suffering.) Another belief is that all living things are equal. Continuing, the belief of Dukkha is that suffering exists, Samudaya: there is a cause for suffering, and Nirodha: there is an end to suffering. Rules The five main precepts which are essentially the same for every Buddhist, are as follows: 1) Do not kill. 2) Do not steal. 3) Do not lie. 4) Do not misuse sex. 5) Do not consume alcohol or other drugs. Holy Books and Writings One holy book of Buddhism is the Tripitaka or Tipitaka. The name translates to three baskets, and it is separated into three parts, Discipline, Discourse, and Special Teachings. Another type of holy texts are the Sutras. They are separate writings about Buddhism and the Buddha, equaling to over 2,000 texts. Also, there are the writings of Nagarjuna. He was an early Buddhist writer, and he wrote about how things related to other things, and when one thing changes, all of the things it is related to change too. Places of Worship Buddhists often worship at home or at a temple and it is not considered better or worse to worship at either place. If they are at home, there will be a quiet room set aside with a statue of the Buddha, some candles, and an incense burner. At the temple, there would be something representing the Buddha, and then the building would represent the five elements (Fire, Air, Earth, Water, and Wisdom.) Significant Sites Three of the most famous Buddhist temples are the Borobudur in Indonesia, the Bagan in Myanmar, and Shwedagon Pagoda also in Myanmar. Holy Days There are a many holy days in the Buddhist religion including the following: Dharma Day marks the start of Buddha's teaching; Sangha Day is in honor of the whole Buddhist community; Kathina is in celebration of the largest Alms-giving ceremony of the year; Parinirvana marks the death of Buddha; and Wesak marks the Buddha's birthday. Origins Christianity developed from the religion Judaism in 33 C.E. It is said to have been formed by the Son of God, Jesus, but it may have also been mostly started by his followers. Bibliography http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/
http://www.cathnewsusa.com/2012/11/who-invented-the-nativity-scene/ History Christian history is mostly focused on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was born in a manger to a young virgin woman named Mary. He and his twelve disciples spread the word of God. Amount of Followers Two billion people in the world call themselves Christians. Of those two billion, about six million preach Christianity to the followers. Areas of Prevalence The United States, Brazil, and Mexico have the largest amounts of Christians in their countries, however, this does not mean that they have the highest percentage of Christians. In fact, only about 70% of the United States' citizens say that they are actually Christian. Beliefs One belief of Christians is that there is only one God and that Jesus is his son. Another belief is if that they are justified in their actions from God's eyes, and act as God wishes them to, they will go to heaven once they die (heaven is the place where God resides.) Also, Christians believe in the trinity, which is the Father, or God; the son, Jesus; and the holy spirit. Rules The rules of Christianity could be described as the ten commandments, which are ten rules written in the bible that God commanded. 1) No other Gods. 2) No idols. 3) Don't take God's name in vain. 4) Honor the Sabbath. 5) Honor your parents. 6) Don't murder. 7) Don't commit adultery. 8) Don't steal. 9) Don't testify falsely about your neighbor. 10) Don't covet. Holy Books and Writings The most important holy book in the Christian religion is the bible. It contains texts about how God created the Earth, and is also based mainly upon Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrections. It also contains the ten commandments. Other important writings include the Didache, a record of a meeting involving Jesus' disciples. Places of Worship Many Christians worship at a church. At the church, there will often be a scripture reading from the bible, and a Pastor preaching a message from God. In addition, people will often sing Hymns and participate in Communion, which is in reminiscence of the Last Supper (before Jesus died.) Significant Sites There are several memorable Christian sites, including Christ the Redeemer in Brazil which is a statue of Jesus, and Vatican City, where there are many cathedrals and chapels. Holy Days All Saints Day: A day in remembrance of all saints; November 1.
Lent: A season of reflection and repentance; 40 days before Easter.
Easter: Commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the date changes every year.
Christmas: The celebration of the birth of Jesus; December 25. The sixth Buddhist council Siddhartha Gautama Buddhism Areas of Prevalence The Tripitaka The Borobudur Christianity Areas of Prevalence Jesus The Bible The Christmas Scene Bibliography http://www.northforest.org/ChristianApologetics/worldreligions.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/obama-diwali-statement-2012_n_2122621.html Origins Hinduism originated near to the Indus Valley in Pakistan. There is no known date or person to have started Hinduism, and some people say that it has been eternal. History Some people say that you choose for yourself whether you want to be Hindu. This means that if you say you are one, then you are. This comes from India, long ago. Hinduism was considered a very broad religion, and more like many traditions coming together than a separate religion. Amount of Followers Hinduism is the third most popular religion in the world, totaling at about 900 million adherents. Areas of Prevalence Hinduism is most common in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, and surprisingly the United States. About 17 percent of Indians are Hindu. Hinduism Areas of Prevalence Beliefs Hindus believe in many concepts. Atman is the eternal self, Dharma is the power that holds the universe, Varna is the responsibilities to each person and their class, Karma is the belief that every action has a responding reaction, Samsara is reincarnation, Purushartha is the goals of a person. They also believe in God, an all powerful being. Rules There are not really any defined rules in Hinduism, it is more of if you believe in it or not. The Hindu symbol for Karma Holy Books and Writings The Veda is the most revered text in the Hindu religion. It is made up of four parts: The Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads. Another writing is the Bhagavad Gita, which is a part of the longest poem in the world. It tells about the Hindu prince Arjuna. Places of Worship Hindu worship is more individual than a group thing. There is often a shrine at home where they will worship, or puja. It involves images called murtis, and prayers called mantras, and diagrams called yantras. Hindus can also worship at a temple. Significant Sites Some famous Hindu temples include Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Meenakshi Amman Temple in India, and Prambanan in Indonesia. The Meenakshi Amman Temple Holy Days Diwali: The festival of lights
Hanuman Jayanti: commemorates the birth of the monkey god
Krishna Jayanti: marks the birth of the god Krishna
Navaratri: symbolizes good beating evil
Holi: Spring festival of fertility
Makar Sankranti: celebrates the sun moving into the northern hemishpere A shrine for Diwali Islam Symbol Bibliography http://www.mrdowling.com/605-islam.html
http://www.mistertopten.com/top-ten-most-beautiful-mosques-in-the-world/ Origins Muslims believe that the religion Islam has existed since the beginning of time, and that it was introduced to people by the prophet Muhammad. He was born in Saudia Arabia in 570. He began to recieve revelations from God, and these were written down and the religion Islam spread from there. History There are many important figures in the shaping of Islam's history. God is the almighty power, Abraham is the father of the Arabs, and Muhammad is a prophet that introduced Islam. The Prophet Muhammad Amount of Followers Islam is the second most common religion in the world, after Christianity. An actual number of Muslims is not known, but it is estimated to be at over one billion. Areas of Prevalence Indonesia, Pakistan, and India have the largest Muslim populations. The common locations are concentrated in Northern Africa and Western Asia. Beliefs There are six main beliefs of the Islam culture: Allah is the only God; Angels exist; the Holy Books are right; the Prophets should be followed; the day of judgement is coming, and that Allah knows everything that will happen. Rules There are five basic rules of Islam called pillars. 1) You must believe in Allah as the only God. 2) There should be prayer to Allah five times a day. 3) A certain amount of money must be paid each year to the poor. 4) You must fast during Ramadan. 5) A person must express eternal devotion to Allah at least once in his lifetime. The Five Pillars of Islam Holy Books and Writings The Holy book for Muslims is the Qur'an. It is considered to be the sacred word of God, and corrects all mistakes in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. There are 114 chapters in all, and the first known copy was made in the ninth century. In the past it was common for people to memorize the Qur'an, and some still do so today. The Qur'an Places of Worship A place for Muslims to worship or pray is in a Mosque, which is similar to a church or temple. Everyone sits on the floor and women sit separate from the men. Significant Sites There are many beautiful Mosque's around the world, such as The Imam Mosque, the Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Brunei, and the Faisal Mosque in Pakistan. The Faisal Mosque Holy Days Ashura: The day Noah left the Ark
Eid Ul-Fitr: Begins on the first sighting of the new moon
Lailat al Qadr: The night when the Qur'an was first revealed to Muhammad
Al-Hijra: The Islamic New Year
Milad un Nabi: The birthday of the prophet Muhammad
Ramadan: A month of fasting to remember when the Qur'ad was first revealed and when heavens gates opened. The Star of David, which is a Jewish symbol Bibliography http://www.justsymbol.com/jewish-symbol-1.html
http://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/friedlander12/education/jewish-education/955-2/ Origins Judaism originated in the Middle East, around 1490 BC. Judaism was founded by Moses of the Bible, but some people also think it was founded by Abraham. History In Ancient Jewish history, God guided Jews out of many troubles and saved them from their sins many times. In recent times, the Holocaust is an important event in Judaism history because it was an attempt to wipe out all Jews and it killed over 6 million. Amount of Followers There are around 15 billion Jewish people in the world today. Areas of Prevalence Judaism has the most amount of followers in North America, and then Israel second. However, the largest percent of Jews is in Israel with North America second. Beliefs Jews believe that there is a single God who created the universe, and that God appointed Jews to be his chosen people to spread his love and ethics. Rules There is a list of 617 rules of Judaism, however many people nowadays do not follow it. Instead, they stick to praying once or twice a day, keeping Kosher, and honoring God as a way to maintain a good relationship with God. Holy Books and Writings The Torah is the first part of the Jewish bible (the first five chapters) where Jews think that God dictates how Jews should live. Also there is the Talmud which is a written version of many Jewish laws. The Torah The Talmud Places of Worship Jews worship God in synagogues or temples in the United States. In more strict synagogues women and men have to sit separately and women have to have their head covered. Significant Sites Some significant synagogues are the Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow, the Tempio Maggiore in Florence, and the Szeged Synagogue in Hungary, The Szeged Synagogue Holy Days Rosh Hashanah: The Jewish New Year
Yom Kippur: The day of Atonement
Sukkot: The Feast of Tabernacles
Tu B'Shevat: The new year for trees
Hannukah: The miracle of the oil
Passover: Remembrance of the Israelites freedom from slavery
Purim: Celebrates the book of Esther in the Bible
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