Religions of The World; Different Religions And Their Beliefs
Religions in the world are numerous. Many nations and ethnic groups practice different religions. Some of the religions are unknown while some are known in the world. What brought about religion? Why are there differences in religion? Truthfully, there are some apologetics studies that have revealed the “why” and “what” rhetoric on differences in belief as seen in the world today.
The concept of God is simple to understand. Every religion believes on a Supreme Being which was not created by another. This Supreme Being is God meaning “self-existent one”. I made this statement because of the belief that a Supreme Being created this world and its dynamics of creation is beyond comprehension. Therefore, the similarities of all religions is that all they believe on a supreme being called God. Secondly, there is a wide belief that this Supreme Being has a channel (savior) through which He is reached. All religion believes in justices and mercy (kindness, showing help to the less privilege).
The differences in religions are as follows: savoir (the way or channel) and way of living and transformation of life brought by the savoir, forgiveness of sin (research has it that only Christianity believes in forgiveness of sin ). Now of the main reasons why there are different religions is the belief of the way or channel or savior through which to this Supreme God is accessed and reached.
That is why you will see Islam calls it Mohammed, Christians call theirs Christ Jesus and others follow suit. So, the quest for the way has resulted to different belief systems to this supreme God. Secondly, different religion are found today because of diverse understanding about this Supreme Being and how to access Him. The most popular religions are known as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, African traditional religion (ATR), Confucianism, Baha’i, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, and Sikhism.
Many articles have been written which are resourceful as regards to this subject matter. This article on world most practiced religions is vivid and straight to the point. The article focused on the main practice and faith of each religions. Less history is told and the few points or peculiarities of each religion is stated here for quick understanding.
HOW DO WE KNOW THE TRUE RELIGION IN THE WORLD TODAY
The question on how to know and identify the true religion is on the basis of transformation of live and manifestations faith that each religion achieves. Actually, all religions claims to be true but on the other hand some lack power of manifestation and transformation that such faith brings. Faith is not all about believing but accepting the power transformation to lives such faith brings. Take for instance, in my analysis and research, it is only Christianity that has a living founder and the level of transformation that it has achieved across the globe for ages is massive. You cannot believe in what is dead but what is alive.
Christianity is the fastest growing faith in the world. Christians believe that Christianity is not a religion but a lifestyle. Religion does with routine or rituals but this not how Christianity is defined. The founder of Christianity is Christ Jesus who is believed by the Christians to be the son of the Living God (Supreme Being). Also, the basic faith of Christianity is anchored on the trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) and the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. The main focus and aim of Christianity is to become like Christ Jesus both in character and deeds and finally receive Him and enter the kingdom of God after life on earth (eternal life with God in heaven).
Suffice to say that other faith or religions also derived their culture or basis of living from the principles of faith of Christianity. Christians believes in power and transformation of life which is brought about by the life of Christ in them. This is my faith and I will tell you that no other faith should you be than Christianity. According the bible, when you want to become a Christian, you must be born again meaning being born of God; this is done by receiving His Son, believing in Him and confessing to His Lordship. Salvation is by no other accept through Jesus and John 14, Jesus Christ in His earthly existence, says that He is the way, the Truth and Life and no one comes to the Father, except by Him. Also, when He died and resurrected, God appointed Him the head of all creation in heaven and on earth. Check what happens when you become born again here.
Christianity uses bible as the book that contain the way of life, the information concerning the kingdom where they are going after life on Earth, information about their creator and His son and all other information that pertain to godliness and holy living. The bible contains the word of God and it is powerful such that it can make one wise and cause your life to be transformed through the help of the Holy Spirit. The bible speaks of the wisdom of God, the prophecies to come and ones that has come to pass, the promises of God, and different dispensations that have come and gone. It was written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as men of God were carried to make utterances of God.
Buddhism religion was founded by Gautama Buddha in 400s BCE. It initially started as a religion and philosophy. Buddhism is mostly practiced in Southeast Asia, India and China. It has been receiving supports from many leaders (political and religious). Buddhism is recognized as the fourth largest or practiced religion in the world. It has been estimated that more than or less than 200 million citizens in China practice Buddhism. Roughly, the population of Buddhism believers is up to 7.5 percent of the world’s population.
The founder of Buddhism is Gautama Buddha, a thinker whom many stories suggest that he lived between fourth and sixth centuries BCE. This religion could be traced from the teachings of Gautama Buddha in the early 400 BCE.
The believers of Buddhism is called Buddhist. According to some teachings of religious leaders in Buddhism, Buddhism faith is rooted in the ideas of moral rectitude, detachment from material desires, peaceful living, and illumination through meditation, wisdom, kindness, and moral behaviors.
Buddhism as a religion is divided into two categories of belief namely Theravada and Mahayana. The objectives of Theravada worship are to have liberty from ignorance, material desires, and anger. The principle of worship employed in achieving Theravada is by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path or Nirvana. On the other hand, the objectives of practicing Mahayana is to achieve self-control, meditation, and expression of the insight.
Amongst the religions of the world, Hinduism is the religion with no founder. Hinduism was formulated from different Indian traditional beliefs dating far back as 1500 BCE. They also represent many things as their god and they have the highest number of idols. As a result of competition Hinduism had with Jainism and Buddhism as recorded in history, it’s believers reduced or wane. After the medieval period, it was recognized again and mostly seen in Indian and Nepal. Today, Hinduism has billions of practitioners all around the world; about 15% of the world population.
Hinduism faith centers on four cardinal belief systems which are ethics and duties (known as Dharma), prosperity and work (called Artha), desires and passions(called Kama), and liberation and salvation (known as Moksha). They also, believe in the reincarnation or rebirth and other metaphysical beliefs.
Islam is amongst the monotheistic religion in the world such as Judaism and Christianity. Judging biblically, Islam is known as the son of the bond woman called Hagga who was Abraham’s maidservant. What I mean here is that the origin of Islam is traced to Ishmael. Islam believes that Allah or God is the Supreme Being and teaches that Muhammad is his messenger. In other way, Muhammad is the channel to reach Allah according to Islamic religion faith.
Records from Islamic history showed that Muhammad was spoken to by God through Archangel Gabriel around 600 CE. This encounter with God formed the foundation of the Quran which is used by the Islamic community. Quran contains the way and rules of engagement of the Islam.
Islamic religion believes in peace and moral values, though recently, violence is being experienced amongst some groups of the religion. Islam practice sharia law which contain legal codes of conduct. This law addresses every ethics, family matters and business issues of done in Islam. They believe in afterlife when good conduct is adhere and condemnation when not adhere. There is also a popular view and belief that people say about Islamic religion which is the reward of seven virgins in paradise when one kills another outside his faith (this might be true or a misconception though).
Islamic faith is rising rapidly in the Middle East Southeast Asia, and North Africa. The history of Islam will be incomplete if Mecca is not mentioned. Mecca is considered the first pilgrimage of Muhammad during his leadership. Before now, Islam was the fastest growing religion but no longer because Christianity is recorded the highest in 21st century. Considering the population of believers, Islam is a religion with the largest believers with an estimate of 24.5 percent of the world population.
Judaism is known as a monotheistic religion which is practiced by the Jews. The Jews are under Abrahamic lineage or Israel from the old times. Israel divided into Israel and Judah during the reign of King Rehoboam in the bible history. It is a religion originated and practiced in the Middle East of the world.
History recorded that Judaism is a religion that started with Abraham while living in the land of Canaan. The Jewish faith is founded or established upon the covenant between Abraham and God when he encountered Him. This covenant is still practiced till date as a symbol of that covenant. Judaism do not believe in Christ as savior or king because they are a waiting for kings who will be leading them to war or a political leader. The percentage of the people practicing Judaism ranges up to 0.2-0.3% of the world’s population which is roughly 22 million. The countries that practiced Judaism are: Asian, Arab world, some population of USA, Israel, Afghanistan, France, Algeria, South‑East European and others.
Shinto is a religion that is practiced in Japan. Initially Shinto was not known or recognized as a religion but a form of Japanese cultural. It originated from several practices of Japanese cultures. Its history was traced to the sixth century CE. Shinto believes or worships is in kami (or spirits). The medium of their worship is through public shrines. Shrines are manmade gods or crafts made by men’s hand such as art crafts.
Japan has many shrines ranging in thousands. Also, Japanese culture or lifestyles such as dress, dance, and ritual are also founded in Shinto customs. Recent reports in 2008 showed that an estimate of 26% of Japanese people visits Shinto shrines or worship centers.
African Traditional Religions (ATR)
African Traditional Religions is majorly found in Africa. This is the worship of gods or spirits through several mediums. In Africa, there are many medium or cultures with their different gods. This is traced from the colonial masters of each country. As they were colonized, they were introduced to the worship of different gods. Just as in olden days where some nations have different gods that does different functions. Some have gods that gives them farming produce, others children and gods that gives long life and prosperity.
African traditional religion is comprised of many beliefs and cultures amongst her communities. For example, there are different languages in Nigeria, many of those languages has their own god, sometimes, and families represent the priest for their own gods.
- African Diaspora Religions
- Indigenous American Religions