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Religion is a cultural system of behaviors and
practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places,
ethics, and societal organization that
relate humanity to an order of existence
Christianity: 1.9 billion people
Islam: 1.1 billion
Hinduism: 800 million
Buddhism: 325 million
Judaism: 13 million
Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest
religions, with its leading characteristics such
as messianism, heaven and hell, and free will
influencing other religious systems,
including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion, with
the Torah as its foundational text and considered by
religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal
relationship that God established with the Children of Israel
The Jewish place of worship is called a
The religious leader of a Jewish
community is called a Rabbi
Unlike leaders in many other faiths, a
rabbi is not a priest and has no special
religious status
The Jewish holy day, or Sabbath(Shabbat),
starts at sunset on Friday and continues
until sunset on Saturday
During the Sabbath, Jews do not
work(drive, cook, etc)
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on
the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is the world's largest
religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global
population, known as Christians. Christians believe that Jesus is
the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as
the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament
Based on the life and teachings of Jesus
Originated in Palestine in the 1st century
Believe that Jesus was the son of God who
came and died for people’s sins and then
rose so that all people could be saved
Believe in one God(monotheistic) who
created the universe and all things in it
Christianity originally developed as a part
of Judaism
Islam is the religion articulated by the Quran, a text
considered by its adherents to be the word of
God (Allāh), and by the teachings and normative example
Muhammad. It is the world's second-largest religion and
the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with over
1.7 billion followers or 23% of the global population,
known as Muslims
Ten Commandments
Important Days
Ash Wednesday-Lent
Palm Sunday
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Is a monotheistic religion
Judaism is the oldest and smallest of the
world's five great religions
Being a part of a Jewish community and
living one's life according to Jewish law
and traditions is very important.
The fundamental beliefs of Judaism are:
-There is a single, all-powerful God,
who created the universe and
everything in it.
-God has a special relationship with the
Jewish people due to covenant that
God made with Moses on Mount
Sinai, 3500 years ago.
Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith
G-d exists
G-d is one and unique
G-d is incorporeal
G-d is eternal
Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other
The words of the prophets are true
Moses’ prophecies are true, and Moses was the
greatest of the prophets
The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral
Torah were given to Moses
There will be no other Torah
G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men
G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked
The Messiah will come
The dead will be resurrected
613 Mitzvot
Judaism 101: List of the 613 Mitzvot
7 Holy Days
Rosh Hashanah-Jewish New Year
Yom Kippur-A day of fasting and praying
which occurs 10 days after the first day of
Rosh Hashanah. The holiest day in the
Sukkot-8 day festival of thanksgiving
Hanukkah-The Feast of Lights is an 8 day
Feast of Dedication. It recalls the war
fought by the Maccabees in the cause of
religious freedom
Purim-The Feast of Lots recalls the defeat by
Queen Esther of the plan to slaughter all of
the Persian Jews, circa 400 BC
Pesa(Passover)-The 8 day festival recalls the
exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt
circa 1300 BCE. A holiday meal, the Seder, is
held at home
Shavouth-Pentecost recalls God's revelation
of the Torah to the Jewish people
Menorah-It is a
symbol of the nation
of Israel and a
mission to be "a light
unto the nations.
A Yarmulke is worn
during prayer to shoe
respect to G_d
The Star of David is
the international
symbol of Judaism
Flag of Israel has it
Kosher Foods
Foods are kosher when they meet all
criteria that Jewish law applies to food
Characteristics that make a food nonkosher:
the mixture of meat and milk
the use of cooking utensils which had
previously been used for non-kosher food
The type of animal it is
Leviticus 11:3 says that Jews may eat all
animals that have cloven hooves and chew
their cud
Leviticus 11:4 explicitly prohibited the
consumption of animals that do not have these
characteristics designating them "unclean to
Six mammals are specifically not allowed:
The camel
The hyrax
The hare
The pig
Whales and dolphins
Kosher animals are as follows:
Cows, goats, sheep, antelope, deer, giraffes, okapis and
Most fish(excluding shellfish, sharks, octupus, eels and
Chicken, duck, turkey
Milk and cheese are kosher but cannot be eaten with meat
or mixed with meat.
the slaughter of animals is designed to minimize the pain—
usually done by a slice across the throat
this eliminates the practice of hunting for food unless it can
be captured alive and ritually slaughtered.
All blood and veins must be removed from meat(salting and
broiling are common methods)
Islam is the world's second most followed religion
It began around 1400 years ago in Arabia, but swiftly
become a world faith, and now has around 1.2 billion
"Islam" is an Arabic word which means “surrendering
oneself to the will of God”
One will achieve peace and security by doing so
A person surrenders to the will of Allah by living and
thinking in the way Allah has instructed.
Islam is more than a system of beliefs. The faith
provides a social and legal system and governs things
like family life, law and order, ethics, dress, and
cleanliness, as well as religious ritual and
observance—Islamic Republic
Where is Islam practiced?
The countries with the largest Islamic
populations are not in the Middle East as
most would think
The largest are Indonesia (170 million),
Pakistan (136 million), Bangladesh (105
million), and India (103 million)
Islam's three holiest places, the cities of
Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, are all in
the Middle East
The present form of Islam began in Arabia in
622 AD
It is based on the ministry of a man named
Muhammad and on the words that Allah gave to
the world through him
Muhammad did not found Islam. Islam was
created by Allah at the beginning of time, and in
fact Muslims regard Adam as the first Muslim
Muhammad was the final messenger through
whom Allah revealed the faith to the world
There had been earlier messengers, among
them Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
5 Pillars of Islam
1. Shahada(witness) is the Muslim
profession of faith
- "I witness that there is no god but
Allah, and that Muhammad is the
prophet of Allah"
Muslims say this when they wake up in
the morning and just before they go to
sleep at night
2. Salat(daily prayer) is a prayer ritual
performed 5 times a day by all Muslims
over the age of 10
Between first light and sunrise
After the sun has passed the middle of
the sky
Between mid-afternoon and sunset
Between sunset and the last light of the
Between darkness and dawn
3. Sawm(fasting) is abstaining each day during
Sawm helps Muslims develop self-control, gain
a better understanding of God's gifts and
greater compassion towards the deprived.
Ramadan is the holiest day for Islam. It marks
when Muhammad had the Qur-an revealed to
Sawm is usually described as fasting, but it
actually involves abstaining from all bodily
pleasures between dawn and sunset
Not only is food forbidden, but also things like
smoking, chewing gum, negative thoughts and
sexual activity
4. Zakat(almsgiving) is giving alms to the
This is a compulsory gift of 2.5 % of
one's savings each year
Giving in this way is intended to free
Muslims from the love of money
It reminds them that everything they
have really belongs to God.
4. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca that all
physically/financially able Muslims should
make at least once in their life
 Mecca is the most holy place for Muslims
 Takes place during days 8-13 of the 12th
month of the Islamic Lunar calendar
 They circle the Kaaba seven times on
three occasions, say prayers, drink from a
holy spring, walk to Mount Arafat to pray,
feast, cast stones at three pillars(to fight
Satan’s temptations), shave hair, run
seven times between some hills
The Kaaba
Kaaba - Wikipedia, the free
Other Info
The Qur’an is the Islamic holy book
The Qur'an is the actual word of God, and
contains the fundamental beliefs of Islam
Mecca, Medina and Jerusulem are holy
According to tradition, the Qur'an was
dictated to Muhammad
Two major sects
Sunni-920 million people(everywhere else)
Shiite-120 million people(Iran)
Comparing the Sunni and Shiite branches of
Islamic Law
The Sharia outlines all of the laws(comes
from the Koran)
5 Major Crimes:
theft, highway robbery, intoxication, adultery
and falsely accusing another of adultery
Sharia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Food Laws
Very similar laws to the Jewish kosher
No alcohol, pork, blood, no pork fat
products, scavenger animals
Food must be prepared similarly to the
Slice to the jugular
Drain blood
1) Christianity
2) Islam
3) Hinduism
4) Buddhism
5) Shenism
6) Taoism
7) Shinto
8) Falun Gong
9) Sikhism
10) Judaism
Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most
notably in India and Nepal. Hinduism has been
called the "oldest religion" in the world, and
scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or
synthesis of various Indian cultures and
traditions, with diverse roots and no founder
Hinduism includes a very wide range of
beliefs and practices, so there aren't many
things that are common to all Hindu
Hinduism has no founder, no single book
of faith, no creed, and no single source of
Hinduism is very individualistic but a big
part of a person’s everyday life
There are 750 million Hindus in the world,
mostly in India
Śruti is Sanskrit for "that which is heard" and refers to the
body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts
comprising the central canon of Hinduism
Smriti, literally "that which is remembered," refers to a body
of Hindu texts considered fluid and freely rewritten by
anyone in ancient and medieval Hindu tradition
For many Hindus, religion is a matter of practice
rather than of beliefs. It's more what you do
than what you believe.
Behind Hindu practice is the belief that every
soul is trapped in a cycle of birth-deathrebirth(reincarnation). Every Hindu wants to
escape from this cycle.
Hindus aim to live in a way that will cause each
of their lives to be better than the life before.
Whether one is reborn into a better life, a worse
life, or even to live as an animal, depends on
Karma, which is the value of a soul's good and
bad deeds.
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a
variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely
based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism
originated in India, from where it spread through much of Asia,
whereafter it declined in India during the middle ages
Hindu Beliefs
All good things in life are gifts from God
Finding out what your life’s calling is as
Dharma suggest/requires is a very
important goal
Being a fair and decent person is very
Wealth, power and material belongings
are good goals as long as they don’t
become all important
Moksha is the ultimate goal
Theravāda (literally "school of the elder monks") is a branch of Buddhism that
uses the Buddha's teaching preserved in the Pāli Canon as its doctrinal core.
Theravada also includes a rich diversity of traditions and practices that have
developed over its long history of interactions with varying cultures and
religious communities. It is the dominant form of religion
in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is practiced by
minority groups in Bangladesh, China, Nepal, and Vietnam
Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism.
In the course of its history, Mahāyāna Buddhism spread from India to
various other South, East and Southeast Asian countries such
as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Taiwan, Mongolia, Korea, Japan,
Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore
A lingua franca is an established language adopted
by speakers in a particular place or context in
order to facilitate communication among a
linguistically diverse group. It is typically a second
language shared by a group of speakers whose
native tongues are mutually unintelligible. Unlike
pidgin, which is a primitive language created for
the purpose of communication between
linguistically diverse speakers, a lingua franca is an
already developed language that is adopted by
speakers as a second language
Dharma is a “cosmic natural law” that forms the basis
for Hindu philosophies, beliefs and practices and holds
everything together
People that live in harmony with Dharma proceed more
quickly toward Moksha
Hindus ultimate aim is escape from the life cycle
altogether and achieve the ultimate liberation—Moksha
Hindus believe the universe doesn't have a beginning
and an end. It's a cyclical pattern, so once it ends, it
begins again.
One attains Moksha when one has "overcome
ignorance" and no longer desires anything at all(and
yes, that includes the desire for Moksha)
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab
region of the Indian Subcontinent during the 15th
century. The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism include faith and
meditation on the name of the one creator, unity and equality
of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for
social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest
conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life
Four Stages of Life
Ages 12-24 you get educated and trained
Ages 24-48 you get married, raise a family,
make money, get involved in many things
Ages 48-72 you become a mentor to a young
person and start isolating themselves from the
outside world
At age 72 you end ties to the outside world
and get rid of your worldly possessions. Prayer
and devotion become very important.
Mostly aimed at men and is not followed as
much as it used to be
Confucianism is described as tradition, a philosophy, a
religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of
governing, or simply a way of life. Confucianism developed
from what was later called the Hundred Schools of
Thought from the teachings of the Chinese
philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE), who considered
himself a retransmitter of the values of the Zhou
dynasty golden age of several centuries before
Hindu Gods
One would think Hinduism is polytheistic. Most
Hindus would say they worship one God.
There is only one ultimate God, Brahman, but
shows itself in many forms
The gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, for
example, are different aspects of Brahman:
Brahma reflects God's divine work of creating
the universe
Vishnu reflects God's work in keeping the
universe in existence
Shiva reflects God's work in destroying it
Proselytism is the act of attempting
to convert people to another religion. Proselytism,
or religious conversion, is actively promoted in
many Christian denominations
Founded in India around 500 BC by
Siddhartha Guatama
Became Buddha, the Enlightened One,
when he was 29
He was trying to find the true meaning of
life and eventually, through four trancelike stages of meditation, he was
enlightened to the Buddhist was of life
His main teachings was to eliminate
human wants as they are the cause of
suffering in the world
Buddhism has no unique creed, no single authority
and no single sacred book
Buddhism focuses on each individual seeking to
attain enlightenment
Key beliefs and values are contained in "The Four
Noble Truths“
1. Life means suffering
2. The origin of suffering is attachment to worldly
3. The end to suffering is attainable through
eliminating physical wants/needs
Eventually can achieve Nirvana(no wind)
Nirvana means freedom from all worries and troubles
4. The path to the end suffering and achieve Nirvana is to follow the
Eight Fold Path
Sharia law is an Islamic code of conduct that
regulates personal conduct and social affairs in a
particular territory. It is enforced, to varying degrees,
in Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen,
and Somalia, to name a few. Turkey, despite a
majority Muslim population, has a secular government
and does not subscribe to Sharia law
Eight Fold Path
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
Think and do the right things at all times
3. Right Speech
To see and view things as they really are
Attained true wisdom
Do not lie, curse, slander, or gossip
4. Right Action
Do not harm yourself or others, do not steal,
and no sexual misconduct
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
Give 100% effort in what you do
7. Right Mindfulness
No jobs dealing in weapons, in living beings
(including raising animals for slaughter as well
as slave trade and prostitution), working in
meat production and butchery, and selling
alcohol and drugs
Having the power to control our thought
process and see the truth behind things
8. Right Concentration
Ability to have deep concentration and ability
to focus on wholesome thoughts and actions
Try to follow Buddhist’s Eight Fold Path for
48 hours.
Blog your results. Did you make it
through? If so, was it tough? If not, what
made it challenging?