Religion is a shared collection of beliefs that have been passed on from believers to converts. They are also held by supporters to have a meaningful and important impact based on cultural practices. However, there are religious professionals who express formal aspects of the religion and who act in positions of leadership. To add on, there are specific rituals reserved for them to carry out, and it results in the beliefs to generate practical implications for how life should be lived. On the other hand, religions usually involve spiritual explanations of a persons place in the world in an attempt to answer questions such as, “why we are here” and “what is our purpose”. To go along with that, religions also include a worship of deities, supernatural entities, ancestry, and conceptions of holy and sacred activities. Lastly, all religions in the world have significant similarities and differences between each other, which makes it fascinating for people to gain from.
Christianity is the most widely practiced religion across the world with a staggering amount of two billion followers. This religion focuses on the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a result, numerous historians consider the spread and adoption of Christianity throughout the world to be one of the most successful spiritual missions on earth. In addition, there are many beliefs that Christian followers live by. First off, Christians are monotheistic, which means they only believe that there’s only one God, and that he created the heavens and the earth. Also, there are three parts that all consist with the divine Godhead of Christianity, which is the father which is God himself, the son who is Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Since the nature of Christianity revolves around the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, Christians strongly believe God sent his son Jesus to save the world. They also believe Jesus was crucified on a cross to offer the forgiveness of sins and was then resurrected three days after his death before going to heaven. Christians contend that Jesus will return to earth again in what’s known as the Second Coming. However, the cross is a key symbol of Christianity that gives followers hope and faith. The most important Christian holidays are Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus, and Easter which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. To conclude, these beliefs by Christians all have a positive impact on their way of living life and remaining faithful.
Moreover, Christians believe that Jesus was a real person who was born to a young Jewish virgin named Mary in the town of Bethlehem which was located in Jerusalem. That being said, the Christians believed the conception was a supernatural event by God impregnating Mary. Even though there wasn’t much detail on Jesus’s childhood, several scriptures stated that he grew up in Nazareth, and that he and his family fled persecution from King Herod and moved to Egypt. After a while, when Jesus became older he began his public ministry after being baptized in the Jordan River by the prophet who was known as John. After that, for the past three years, Jesus traveled with his twelve disciples who are supporters of Jesus, and Jesus himself taught large groups of people and performed what witness described as miracles. For instance, a miraculous event that occurred was raising a dead man named Lazarus from the grave and he was able to cure the blind. All in all, Jesus’s birth had a significant effect on the Christian religion in plenty of ways.
There are a variety of teachings that Jesus has set for all Christians to embrace so that they can be fulfilled with happiness. Some teachings are to love God, love your neighbor as yourself, forgive others who have wronged you, love your enemies, don’t judge people, and ask God for forgiveness of your sins. However, there is a specific list of rules that Christians follow which is called the ten commandments by God. The commandments said by God stated, “you shall have no other Gods before me”, “you shall not make yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it”, “you shall not misuse the name of Lord your God”, “you shall remember and keep the Sabbath Day Holy”, “obey your father and mother”, “you must not commit murder”, “you must not commit adultery”, “you must not steal”, “you must not give false evidence against your neighbour”, and “you must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods.” Those commandments said by God, are followed by Christians and give an outline how to live and be faithful to God.
The Christian bible is a collection of sixty-six books written by lots of authors. It is divided into parts, which is The Old Testament and The New Testament. The old testament is the book Judaism followers and describes the background of the Jewish people. It also outlines specific laws to follow and it explains the lives of many prophets along with predicting the coming of Messiah. Then the new testament was written after Jesus’s death and the first four books of it was Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John who were known as the “Gospels”. To add on, letters written by early Christian leaders who were known as “epistles” made up a large portion of the New Testament and those letters written offered instructions for how the church should operate. Lastly, the final book in the New Testament called Revelation, describes a vision and prophecies that will occur at the end of the world and to describe the state of it.
Today in the world Christianity is spread in many countries around the globe. According to WorldAtlas.com, the most popular country with Christianity is the United States with a total of 240 million people. Then, WorldAtlas.com also stated other popular countries such as Brazil with 180 million, Mexico with 107 million, the Philippines with 86 million, and Nigeria with 74 million. Therefore, these countries that are popular with the Christian religion has a positive impact on the culture because people around the world with many diversities are able to share the same values.
On the other hand, Buddhism is a religion that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama more than 2,500 years ago in the country of India. Along with that, there are over 470 million followers and this religion has historically been the most successful in East and Southeast Asia. However, its influence is growing in West Asia and numerous Buddhist ideas and philosophies continue to combine with other faiths. Additionally, “The Buddha” who was Siddhartha Gautama lived during the fifth century with a wealthy family and was the prince of Nepal at that time. Siddhartha did have an easy life, but he was intrigued by the suffering in the world and decided to give up his wealthy life and endure poverty. As a result, this didn’t fulfill his needs, so he promoted the idea of the “Middle Way” which means existing between two extremes. Even though he did sought a life without social indulgences, he did suffer from deprivation. After six years of Siddhartha’s discoveries, Buddhists believed Gautama found enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree. Therefore, he spent the rest of his life teaching others how to achieve a peaceful state of mind.
The beginnings of Buddhism started when Siddhartha passed away in 483 B.C., and his spiritual followers began to organize a religious movement. Then the impact that it had was Buddha’s teachings became the foundation that would develop into the religion of Buddhism. During the third century, Ashoka the Great, who was the Mauryan Indian emperor, made Buddhism the central focus of India. While Buddhism was the center piece of India, Buddhist monasteries were built, and missionary work was inspired throughout the country. All in all, over the next few centuries, Buddhism began to spread beyond India and the ideas and philosophies of Buddhists became more diverse.
There are many different forms of Buddhism that are in the world today and it includes Theravada Buddhism which is in the countries of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, and Burma. Then, Mahayana Buddhism is common in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam. Also, Tibetan Buddhism is popular in the countries of Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Bhutan, and certain parts of Russia. Lastly, there is also different subsects of Buddhism which involves Zen and Nirvana and some other forms of Buddhism incorporate ideas of other religions and philosophies such as Taoism and Bon.
Siddhartha’s teachings were known as “dharma” and he taught acts of wisdom, kindness, patience, generosity, and compassion. But more specifically, Buddhists lived by five morals precepts which prohibited killing living things, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, lying, and the use of drugs and alcohol. Siddhartha did travel a lot throughout his life, but he did that in order to give sermons on how to live and achieve enlightenment and effective morals. Moreover, the four noble truths that Siddhartha taught were the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that frees people from suffering. Finally, those truths explain why humans hurt and how to have the ability to overcome suffering.
Buddhists cherish several key holy books such as the Tipitaka, the Sutras, and The Book of the Dead. The Tipitaka includes texts, known as the “three baskets” and it is believed to be the earliest group of Buddhist writings. The Sutras texts describes sacred teachings adored by Mahayana Buddhists. Then the Book of The Dead is a Tibetan text that narrates the stages of death in depth. Furthermore, Buddhist holidays are another major aspect of their peaceful culture. Every year, Buddhists celebrate Vesak, which is a festival that remembers Siddhartha Gautama’s birth, enlightenment, and death. Also, during each quarter moon, followers of Buddhism participate in a ceremony called “Uposatha”. Which is an event that allows Buddhists to renew their commitment to their teachings. As a final point, Buddhism is a peaceful religion that began with the brilliant teachings by Siddhartha Gautama and motivated followers to lead the way of Buddhism morals for many years to come, and it resulted in this religion to expand and grow in the whole continent of Asia and other areas of the world.
Judaism is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion, which goes all the way back to four thousand years ago. Today, there are over 14 million Jews worldwide which is an amazing factor to people in the community. Followers of Judaism believe in one God who revealed himself through ancient prophets. However, Jewish people also believe that their God communicates to believers through prophets and rewards good deeds while punishing evil actions. Nevertheless, Jews believe that their Messiah will come back one day and bring back prosperity.