religion Monotheistic – belief in one god Polytheistic – belief in many gods Animistic – belief in divine forces in nature
Judaism • Oldest of the Southwest Asian • religions • Called Jews • Live in Israel, United States, Canada, • South America, and Europe • Began more than 4,000 years ago • founded in 1300 BC • Oldest monotheistic religion • Laws and teachings come from • a holy book called the Torah • Religious center is Jerusalem
Founder: Abraham Nearly 15 million people practice this religion today Western Wall or Wailing Wall is significant to the religion
Believe that a messenger of God, the Messiah, will arrive to unite the world in peace. History Drought and famine forced them into Egypt where they lived as slaves. Moses led them out of bondage into the Sinai Desert where they wandered for 40 years.
God gave his commandments to Moses on top of Mount Sinai. The Holocaust - The Nazi Party murdered 6 million European Jews during WWII Jews believe that they are God’s chosen people, and that the state of Israel, given to them by God, is a holy place.
Holy Books • Torah – 1st five books of the Old Testament • Nevi’im – books of the prophets • Ketuvim – writings • Tanakh
Core Beliefs: The synagogue is the site of worship for the Jewish faith Rabbi – church leader Common Symbols 6-pointed Star of David Yarmulke (cloth skullcap) Tallit(frined prayer shaw) Menorah - candelabrum
Important Holy Sites • Temple Mount / Foundation Stone – considered to be the most holiest site for Jewish people; it is the location of many events mentioned in the Bible • Western Wall – most sacred place • Jerusalem – holiest city • Mount of Olives • Hebron
Holidays, Rituals, and Observances • Sabbath (Shabbat) – begins on Friday night and lasts until sundown on Saturday • Yom Kippur – a day of repentance for wrongdoings • Hanukkah – celebrated in December • Bar Mitzvah – celebrates a boy’s 13th birthday and his entrance into adulthood
Christianity • Monotheistic religion • Based on the teaching of • Jesus Christ • Largest of all religions • Teachings follow the Bible • It spread from • Jerusalem • Has 3 major groups: • Roman Catholic • Protestant • Eastern Orthodox
Began more than 2,000 years ago with Jesus Christ – believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God It is estimated to have 2 billion followers Believe that Christians are an eternal life will come to them if they follow the Ten Commandments, love and help others and live as the Bible teaches.
Christians believe sinners will be punished in the afterlife. Holy Communion represents the Last Super. Baptism is when a person is welcomed into the church. Church leaders are called priests or ministers.
Place of worship – church Symbols of Christian faith: Fish Cross Lamb Important Places: Jerusalem – the Holy Land Vatican City Lourdes, France Church of the Holy Sepulcher – resurrection of Jesus
Holidays and Observances • Christmas – December 25 (celebrates the birth of Christ) • Epiphany – January 6 (marks the visit of the Three Wise Men to baby Jesus) • Lent – beginning of late February or early March (time of repentance) • Good Friday – the day when Christ was crucified • Easter – celebrates Jesus’ resurrection
Hinduism • Dates back around • 4,000 years • Concentrated in • India • Polytheistic religion – • worship hundreds of • gods and goddesses
Caste System shapes the lives and culture of Hindus • It is a level of fixed social classes with specific rites and duties
Hinduism Facts: • Began in Northwestern India • Approximately 900 million Hindus – make up about 15% of the world’s population • Most live in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh • It has no single founder • The gods and goddesses forms one Supreme Being called “Brahma”
Sacred Texts: • BhagavadGita – • considered to be • revered scripture • Vedas 4 collections – • oldest sacred texts • of Hinduism • Upanishads – • collection of stories • Mahabharata – • poem about war • between 2 families
Symbolism Om or Aum – made up of 3 Sanskrit letters and is the most important symbol in Hinduism. It is the symbol of piety. Swasitka – a pictorial character that symbolizes the eternal nature of the Brahman Ganges River – “Mother Ganges” Cow – considered sacred
Core Beliefs • Samsara – reincarnation; souls are born and reborn in another person or animal • Goal is to reach moksha (salvation) when the soul merges with the god Brahman • Believe their actions throughout life will determine how they will be reborn • Cows are sacred • Caste system
Holy Sites • Ganges River • Tirthas – places of pilgrimage • Varansi (called Benares or Kashi) – honor the dead • Mathura – birthplace of Krishna • Chaidambaram – considered to be the temple of temples
RITUALS & OBSERVANCES Worship in a temple or mandir that is dedicated to a particular go or goddess A shrine in the temple features a statue of that deity Shoes are removed before entering the temple
Families have small shrines in their homes Samskaras – ceremonies marking the major points of a Hindu’s life Diwali – festival of lights Holi – festival of colors and spring Mahashivaratri (Shiva Ratri) – night scared to Shiva Rama Navami – birthday of Lord Rama Krishna Jayanti – birthday of Lord Krishna
Islam • Based on the teaching of • Muhammad • Followers are known as • Muslims • Monotheistic religion • 2nd largest religion • God is called Allah • Holy book is the Koran • or Qur’an • Religion began in • Southwest Asia • Two major divisions: • Sunni and Shiite
Islam means “Peace through the submission to God.” Muslim means “anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God.” Islam is a complete way of life that governs all facets of life: moral, spiritual, social, political, economical, intellectual, etc.
Five Pillars of Faith • Shahadah – declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God • Formal prayer 5 times a day • Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan • Poor-due tax – 2.5% of one’s savings given to the needy at the end of each year • Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once
Beliefs • God is loving, merciful, and compassionate but also swift in punishment • God revealed 99 of his names (attributes) in the Holy Qur’an • The prophets brought the message of peace and submission (Islam) to different peoples at different times
Holy Sites: • Mecca • Medina • Dome of the Rock • Hebron – Cave of the • Patriarchs Worship in a mosque
The star and crescent was adopted during the spread of Islam Green was thought to be Muhammad’s favorite color; others believe green symbolizes vegetation and life
Festivlas Eid-ul-Fitr: the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast; end of Ramadan Eid-ul-Adha: the Feast of Sacrifice; also known as Baqri-Eid (the Cow Festival); every Muslim is expected to offer a sacrifice at this time Ramadan Laylatul-Qadr: the Night of Power; night the Qur’an was 1st brought down
Buddhism • Developed around 250 • B.C. in India • Founder – Siddhartha • Gautama • Leader is called the • Enlightened One • Teachings promote the • correct way of living in • order to reach an • enlightened spiritual • state called nirvana • Spread from India to • Southeast Asia
Buddhism Facts • Has 376 followers • 4th largest religion in the world • Sacred texts: Pali Canon and sutras • Spiritual leader: Monk • Place of ritual: Temple, meditation hall • Main locations: China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia
Buddhism is a path of spiritual development that helps a person in finding the true nature of life. Buddhism emphasizes on experiencing, rather than teaching or learning. It considers meditation as the means to enlightenment.