3 WORLD RELIGIONS • The Middle East is the birthplace of three major monotheistic world religions. • Judaism • Christianity • Islam
JUDAISM • Judaism is the oldest surviving monotheistic religion, arising in the eastern Mediterranean about 4,000 years ago. Abraham is traditionally considered to be the first Jew and to have made a covenant with G-d in Canaan (known as Palestine and Israel). • Jews believe in one god and his prophets, with special respect for Moses as the prophet to whom G-d gave the law. Jewish law is embodied in the Torah. • Some traditional holidays are Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukah and Passover.
CHRISTIANITY • Christianity developed out of the monotheistic tradition of Judaism; Jesus, its founder. It began in the city of Judea. • The followers of Jesus wrote about his life and teachings, which is in the New Testament of the Bible, called the Gospels. • Some Christians celebrate Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, and Lent.
ISLAM • Most people in the Middle East are Muslims. • Many governments in the Middle East follow Islamic principles. • Muhammad founded the religion in Mecca, Arabia in 622 A.D. The teachings of Muhammad are written in the Koran/Quran. • Muslims observe traditions such as Ramadan, Mawlid Al Rasul, and Isra’ Mi’raj.