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Major Religions of the World 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?

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Major Religions of the World

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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?
  • Christianity: 1.9 billion people
  • Islam: 1.1 billion
  • Hinduism: 800 million
  • Buddhism: 325 million
  • Judaism: 13 million
  • 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
Christian Way of Life
  • Fellowship with God
  • Our relationships with others
  • Obedience to God's commands
  • Discipline
important days
Important Days
  • Ash Wednesday-Lent
  • Palm Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
  • Ascension
  • Pentecost
  • Advent
  • Christmas
  • Epiphany
  • 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
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
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
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
kosher foods
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Founded in India around 500 BC by Siddhartha Guatama
  • Became Buddha, the Enlightened One, when he was 29
  • He was trying to find the true meaning of life and eventually, through four trance-like stages of meditation, he was enlightened to the Buddhist was of life
  • His main teachings was to eliminate human wants as they are the cause of suffering in the world
Buddhism has no unique creed, no single authority and no single sacred book
  • Buddhism focuses on each individual seeking to attain enlightenment
  • Key beliefs and values are contained in "The Four Noble Truths“
  • 1. Life means suffering
  • 2. The origin of suffering is attachment to worldly things
  • 3. The end to suffering is attainable through eliminating physical wants/needs
    • Eventually can achieve Nirvana(no wind)
    • Nirvana means freedom from all worries and troubles
eight fold path
Eight Fold Path
  • 1. Right View
    • To see and view things as they really are
    • Attained true wisdom
  • 2. Right Intention
    • Think and do the right things at all times
  • 3. Right Speech
    • Do not lie, curse, slander, or gossip
  • 4. Right Action
    • Do not harm yourself or others, do not steal, and no sexual misconduct
5. Right Livelihood
    • No jobs dealing in weapons, in living beings (including raising animals for slaughter as well as slave trade and prostitution), working in meat production and butchery, and selling alcohol and drugs
  • 6. Right Effort
    • Give 100% effort in what you do
  • 7. Right Mindfulness
    • Having the power to control our thought process and see the truth behind things
  • 8. Right Concentration
    • Ability to have deep concentration and ability to focus on wholesome thoughts and actions
  • Try to follow Buddhist’s Eight Fold Path for 48 hours.
  • Blog your results. Did you make it through? If so, was it tough? If not, what made it challenging?