MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD Confucianism Judaism Christianity Islam Buddhism Hinduism
Religion’s Founders Jesus of Nazareth – Jewish teacher • Taught love for Jewish God; that there is only one true God; that people should love others as they do themselves • Called Christ (after Greek word for Messiah – Christos) after he was crucified (A.D. 30), arose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Christianity Matthew, Mark, Luke & John – recorded Jesus’ life and teachings in the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament of the Christian Bible). Paul – greatly responsible for spread of Christianity; founded churches.
Religion’s Founders Judaism • Abraham • Made covenant (promise or agreement) with God (2000 B.C.) • Abraham accepted God as the only god (monotheism, which was unusual at the time) • God promised that Abraham would be the leader of many people. • Moses • Led Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and accepted Ten Commandments from God at Mount Sinai. • Led Israelites to the promised land (promised by god as part of the covenant made at Mount Sinai) – Israel.
Religion’s Founders Islam • Muhammad – the final prophet (or messenger) of God • About A.D. 610, Muhammad was told by the angel Gabriel that he was to be a prophet of Allah (God, in Arabic). Gabriel gave Muhammad religious verses to recite and told him to teach others.
Religion’s Founders Hinduism None -- Hinduism does not have any one founder and it does not have a Bible or a Koran. Therefore, it does not require its followers to accept any one idea. It is part of the culture (shared way of living) of the peoples with which it is associated.
Religion’s Founders Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama (563 BC – 483 BC) – a prince who became unsatisfied with his easy life when he realized that it would pass and that he was subject to old age, sickness and death like everyone else. So, he left his home and family and spent six years searching for enlightenment (inner calm and understanding), which he found by meditating under a bodhi tree. Buddha = Enlightened One or Awakened One
Religion’s Founders Confucianism Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) – Chinese philosopher
How Many? Out of 6.4 billion people worldwide Christianity Hinduism Buddhism 2 billion 1.05 billion 1.1 billion Catholics 367 million Protestants 216 million Orthodox Approx. 350 million Judaism 13.3 million Confucianism Up to 225 million (in combination with other Chinese religions) Islam 1.3 billion
Major Beliefs Christianity • God is a Trinity, the single eternal being existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. • Jesus is both fully God and fully human, two "natures" in one person. • Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave birth to the Son of God. • Jesus is the Messiah hoped for by the Jews, the heir to the throne of David. Until he returns at the end of the world, the Church has the authority and obligation to preach the Gospel and to gather new disciples. • Jesus was innocent of any sin. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, believers are forgiven of sins. • Jesus will return personally, and bodily, to judge all mankind and receive the faithful to himself, so they will live forever in the intimate presence of God.
Major Beliefs Judaism • God is one - Judaism is based on strict monotheism, the belief in one God, the eternal creator of the universe and the source of morality. • God is all powerful, as well as all knowing. • God is non-physical and eternal (everlasting). • One may pray only to God. • The Torah (five books of Moses) is the primary text of Judaism • God will reward those who observe His commandments, and punish those who do not. • God chose the Jewish people to be in a unique covenant with God. • People can atone for sins through words and deeds. • There will be a moshiach (messiah), or perhaps a messianic era.
Major Beliefs Islam • Six articles of belief: • Belief in God, the one and only one worthy of all worship. • Belief in the Angels. • Belief in the Books (sent by God). • Belief in all the Prophets and Messengers (sent by God). • Belief in the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah) and in the Resurrection. • Belief in Fate (Qadar) • Five Pillars o Islam: • "Shahadah": Worship only God (Allah); and Muhammad is his messenger. 2. "Salah": Five daily Prayers (salah). 3. "Zakat": The Giving of Zakaah (charity), which is distributed among the poor. 4. "Ramadhan": Fasting from dawn to dusk in the month of Ramadan (sawm). 5. "Hajj": The Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca during the month of Dhul Hijjah, which is required once in a lifetime for one who has the ability to do it.
Major Beliefs Hinduism All gods and living beings are representatives of a single universal spirit, Brahma (the Creator). • Brahma is present in all things. • Brahma has no form, and is eternal. • Brahma is creator, preserver and transformer of everything. • Brahma appears in the human spirit as atman, or the soul. • Other important gods (that are really a part of Brahma): • Vishnu the Preserver • Siva the Destroyer • 3 most important concepts are: • Reincarnation – when people die, their souls are reborn into new bodies • Dharma – the moral duty that must be fulfilled during one’s lifetime (depends on social position) • Karma – the consequences of people’s actions; determines a person’s next cycle of reincarnation
Major Beliefs Buddhism The Buddha’s teachings focused on the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS: 1. All human life contains suffering and sorrow; 2. Desire causes suffering; 3. By rejecting desire, people can attain nirvana (perfect peace) which frees the soul from reincarnation; 4. Following the Eightfold Path leads to the rejection of desire and the attainment of nirvana. The Eightfold Path Right faith, intentions, speech, action, living, effort, mindfulness and meditation
Major Beliefs Confucianism • Emphasizes the importance of family • Respect for elders • Devotion to the past • People should accept and carry out their given roles. (“Let the ruler rule as he should and the minister be a minister as he should.” “Let the father act as a father should and the son act as a son should.”) • People, particularly rulers, should act morally and ethically.