What does religion mean to you? • something one believes in and follows devotedly • usually has some form of “higher power” • Why do you think religion causes so many conflicts and wars in the world when it is supposed to promote peace? • What religion are you? • Why do you practice that religion?
Numbers • Christianity: 1.9 billion people • Islam: 1.1 billion • Hinduism: 800 million • Buddhism: 325 million • Judaism: 13 million
Christianity • Based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ • Originated in Palestine in the 1st century AD • Believe that Jesus was the son of God who came and died for people’s sins and then rose so that all people could be saved • Believe in one God(monotheistic) who created the universe and all things in it • Christianity originally developed as a part of Judaism
Christian Way of Life • Fellowship with God • Our relationships with others • Obedience to God's commands • Discipline
Important Days • Ash Wednesday-Lent • Palm Sunday • Maundy Thursday • Good Friday • Easter • Ascension • Pentecost • Advent • Christmas • Epiphany
Judaism • Is a monotheistic religion • Judaism is the oldest and smallest of the world's five great religions • Being a part of a Jewish community and living one's life according to Jewish law and traditions is very important. • The fundamental beliefs of Judaism are: -There is a single, all-powerful God, who created the universe and everything in it. -God has a special relationship with the Jewish people due to covenant that God made with Moses on Mount Sinai, 3500 years ago.
Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith • G-d exists • G-d is one and unique • G-d is incorporeal • G-d is eternal • Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other • The words of the prophets are true • Moses’ prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets • The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah were given to Moses • There will be no other Torah • G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men • G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked • The Messiah will come • The dead will be resurrected
613 Mitzvot • Judaism 101: List of the 613 Mitzvot
The Jewish place of worship is called a Synagogue • The religious leader of a Jewish community is called a Rabbi • Unlike leaders in many other faiths, a rabbi is not a priest and has no special religious status • The Jewish holy day, or Sabbath(Shabbat), starts at sunset on Friday and continues until sunset on Saturday • During the Sabbath, Jews do not work(drive, cook, etc)
7 Holy Days • Rosh Hashanah-Jewish New Year • Yom Kippur-A day of fasting and praying which occurs 10 days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah. The holiest day in the year • Sukkot-8 day festival of thanksgiving • Hanukkah-The Feast of Lights is an 8 day Feast of Dedication. It recalls the war fought by the Maccabees in the cause of religious freedom
Purim-The Feast of Lots recalls the defeat by Queen Esther of the plan to slaughter all of the Persian Jews, circa 400 BC • Pesa(Passover)-The 8 day festival recalls the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt circa 1300 BCE. A holiday meal, the Seder, is held at home • Shavouth-Pentecost recalls God's revelation of the Torah to the Jewish people
Menorah-It is a symbol of the nation of Israel and a mission to be "a light unto the nations.
The Star of David is the international symbol of Judaism • Flag of Israel has it
Kosher Foods • Foods are kosher when they meet all criteria that Jewish law applies to food • Characteristics that make a food non-kosher: • the mixture of meat and milk • the use of cooking utensils which had previously been used for non-kosher food • The type of animal it is
Leviticus 11:3 says that Jews may eat all animals that have cloven hooves and chew their cud • Leviticus 11:4 explicitly prohibited the consumption of animals that do not have these characteristics designating them "unclean to you." • Six mammals are specifically not allowed: • The camel • The hyrax • The hare • The pig • Whales and dolphins
Kosher animals are as follows: • Cows, goats, sheep, antelope, deer, giraffes, okapis and pronghorns • Most fish(excluding shellfish, sharks, octupus, eels and squid) • Chicken, duck, turkey • Milk and cheese are kosher but cannot be eaten with meat or mixed with meat. • Preparation • the slaughter of animals is designed to minimize the pain—usually done by a slice across the throat • this eliminates the practice of hunting for food unless it can be captured alive and ritually slaughtered. • All blood and veins must be removed from meat(salting and broiling are common methods)
Islam • Islam is the world's second most followed religion • It began around 1400 years ago in Arabia, but swiftly become a world faith, and now has around 1.2 billion people • "Islam" is an Arabic word which means “surrendering oneself to the will of God” • One will achieve peace and security by doing so • A person surrenders to the will of Allah by living and thinking in the way Allah has instructed. • Islam is more than a system of beliefs. The faith provides a social and legal system and governs things like family life, law and order, ethics, dress, and cleanliness, as well as religious ritual and observance—Islamic Republic
Where is Islam practiced? • The countries with the largest Islamic populations are not in the Middle East as most would think • The largest are Indonesia (170 million), Pakistan (136 million), Bangladesh (105 million), and India (103 million) • Islam's three holiest places, the cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, are all in the Middle East
The present form of Islam began in Arabia in 622 AD • It is based on the ministry of a man named Muhammad and on the words that Allah gave to the world through him • Muhammad did not found Islam. Islam was created by Allah at the beginning of time, and in fact Muslims regard Adam as the first Muslim • Muhammad was the final messenger through whom Allah revealed the faith to the world • There had been earlier messengers, among them Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
5 Pillars of Islam 1. Shahada(witness) is the Muslim profession of faith - "I witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah" • Muslims say this when they wake up in the morning and just before they go to sleep at night
2. Salat(daily prayer) is aprayer ritual performed 5 times a day by all Muslims over the age of 10 • Between first light and sunrise • After the sun has passed the middle of the sky • Between mid-afternoon and sunset • Between sunset and the last light of the day • Between darkness and dawn
3. Sawm(fasting) is abstaining each day during Ramadan • Sawm helps Muslims develop self-control, gain a better understanding of God's gifts and greater compassion towards the deprived. • Ramadan is the holiest day for Islam. It marks when Muhammad had the Qur-an revealed to him • Sawm is usually described as fasting, but it actually involves abstaining from all bodily pleasures between dawn and sunset • Not only is food forbidden, but also things like smoking, chewing gum, negative thoughts and sexual activity
4. Zakat(almsgiving) is giving alms to the poor • This is a compulsory gift of 2.5 % of one's savings each year • Giving in this way is intended to free Muslims from the love of money • It reminds them that everything they have really belongs to God.
4. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca that all physically/financially able Muslims should make at least once in their life • Mecca is the most holy place for Muslims • Takes place during days 8-13 of the 12th month of the Islamic Lunar calendar • They circle the Kaaba seven times on three occasions, say prayers, drink from a holy spring, walk to Mount Arafat to pray, feast, cast stones at three pillars(to fight Satan’s temptations), shave hair, run seven times between some hills
Other Info • The Qur’an is the Islamic holy book • The Qur'an is the actual word of God, and contains the fundamental beliefs of Islam • Mecca, Medina and Jerusulem are holy cities • According to tradition, the Qur'an was dictated to Muhammad • Two major sects • Sunni-920 million people(everywhere else) • Shiite-120 million people(Iran) • Comparing the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam
Islamic Law • The Sharia outlines all of the laws(comes from the Koran) • 5 Major Crimes: • theft, highway robbery, intoxication, adultery and falsely accusing another of adultery • Sharia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Food Laws • Very similar laws to the Jewish kosher foods • No alcohol, pork, blood, no pork fat products, scavenger animals • Food must be prepared similarly to the Jews • Slice to the jugular • Drain blood
Hinduism • Hinduism includes a very wide range of beliefs and practices, so there aren't many things that are common to all Hindu groups • Hinduism has no founder, no single book of faith, no creed, and no single source of authority(such as Jesus) • Hinduism is very individualistic but a big part of a person’s everyday life • There are 750 million Hindus in the world, mostly in India
For many Hindus, religion is a matter of practice rather than of beliefs. It's more what you do than what you believe. • Behind Hindu practice is the belief that every soul is trapped in a cycle of birth-death-rebirth(reincarnation). Every Hindu wants to escape from this cycle. • Hindus aim to live in a way that will cause each of their lives to be better than the life before. • Whether one is reborn into a better life, a worse life, or even to live as an animal, depends on Karma, which is the value of a soul's good and bad deeds.
Dharma is a “cosmic natural law” that forms the basis for Hindu philosophies, beliefs and practices and holds everything together • People that live in harmony with Dharma proceed more quickly toward Moksha • Hindus ultimate aim is escape from the life cycle altogether and achieve the ultimate liberation—Moksha • Hindus believe the universe doesn't have a beginning and an end. It's a cyclical pattern, so once it ends, it begins again. • One attains Moksha when one has "overcome ignorance" and no longer desires anything at all(and yes, that includes the desire for Moksha)
Hindu Beliefs • All good things in life are gifts from God • Finding out what your life’s calling is as Dharma suggest/requires is a very important goal • Being a fair and decent person is very important • Wealth, power and material belongings are good goals as long as they don’t become all important • Moksha is the ultimate goal
Four Stages of Life • Ages 12-24 you get educated and trained • Ages 24-48 you get married, raise a family, make money, get involved in many things • Ages 48-72 you become a mentor to a young person and start isolating themselves from the outside world • At age 72 you end ties to the outside world and get rid of your worldly possessions. Prayer and devotion become very important. • Mostly aimed at men and is not followed as much as it used to be
Hindu Gods • One would think Hinduism is polytheistic. Most Hindus would say they worship one God. • There is only one ultimate God, Brahman, but shows itself in many forms • The gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, for example, are different aspects of Brahman: • Brahma reflects God's divine work of creating the universe • Vishnu reflects God's work in keeping the universe in existence • Shiva reflects God's work in destroying it