Religion can be described as set of beliefs that explain the universe; religion is more than spirituality and is complicated in understanding the world. Religion can be portrayed as belief concerning one or more deities and incorporating ceremonies, ethical guidelines and rituals.
I would focus on only four basic religions which are popular all over the world; they are Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism & Judaism. My essay would consist of Beliefs, Leaders Quality, Comparisons and differences between religions and Structures of religion.
Christianity portrays that Jesus Christ is the son of God and was to earth to bring salvation unto man, Christians also refer to Jesus as the Messiah. The three largest groups in the world of Christianity are the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the various churches of Protestantism. The Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches were the only churches that were found first before the establishments of other Protestant churches.
These are core belief of real Christians who really worship God.
God created all that is seen and unseen
Jesus is the Son of God and is one with God
Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
Jesus suffered and was crucified
Jesus rose again (the Resurrection)
Jesus ascended into Heaven
Jesus died and was buried
Anyone can have salvation
Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead
People who repent of their sins will be forgiven
Structure of Christianity
Christianity is made up of 3 divisions which are Catholic, protestant and orthodox.
The oldest Christian church to be formed, Catholic Church is made up of churches, headed by bishops, in communion with the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. The Roman Catholic Church through Apostolic progression traces its origins to the Christian community founded by Jesus Christ. Catholics maintain that the one, holy and true God which you can get through Jesus Christ.
In the 16th century, Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Calvin inaugurated what is called Protestantism. Luther’s theological heirs are known as Lutherans. In addition to the Lutheran and Reformed branches of the Reformation, there is Anglicanism after the English Reformation. The Anabaptist institution was largely not accepted by the other Protestant parties back then, but has achieved a measure of confirmation in more recent history. Some but not most Baptists prefer not to be called Protestants, claiming a direct ancestral line going back to the apostles in the 1st century.
Eastern Orthodoxy comprises those churches in communion with the Patriarchal Sees of the East, such as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Like the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church also traces its heritage to the foundation of Christianity through Apostolic succession. Eastern Orthodoxy is the second largest single denomination in Christianity, with over 200 million adherents.
The Oriental Orthodox Churches (also called Old Oriental Churches) are those eastern churches that recognize the first three ecumenical councilsaa‚¬”Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus but reject the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon and instead espouse a Miaphysite Christology.
Muslims believe that God is one and without equal. Muslims also accept as true that Islam is the absolute and worldwide account of an ancient faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
Muslims uphold that previous messages and revelations have been to some extent tainted or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur’an to be both unaltered and the final revelation from God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and compulsory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on practically every aspect of life and society, encircling everything from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment.
Islam beliefs are made of the five main pillars of Islam which are considered obligatory for all believers, they are the shahadah (creed), daily prayers (salat), almsgiving (zakah), fasting during Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.
Law and Jurisprudence of Islam
The Sharia (literally “the path leading to the watering place”) is Islamic law created by traditional Islamic scholarship, which Muslim groups hold on to. Sharia is the face of the divine will, and constitutes a system of duties that are current upon a Muslim by virtue of his religious belief.
Islamic law covers all aspects of life, like foreign relations and governance, to matters of daily living. The Qur’an describes hudud as the punishments for five specific crimes: unlawful intercourse, false accusation of unlawful intercourse, consumption of alcohol, theft, and highway robbery. The Qur’an and Sunnah also contain laws of inheritance, marriage, and restitution for injuries and murder, as well as rules for fasting, charity, and prayer.
This is a religion and beliefs surrounding a diversity of traditions, way of life and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha.
Buddhist traditions in the East
After Buddha’s death, splits occurred. There are three systems of thought within Buddhism which are separate. Each tradition in turn has many sects. One cause divides the religion into three main groups by their location:
Theravada Buddhism (a.k.a. as Southern Buddhism) now has over 100 million followers. Buddhist missionaries from India took the religion to some countries, but it originally only gained a grip in Sri Lanka. It later extends from Sri Lanka to Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and parts of Vietnam. They promoted the Vibhajjavada School, by the 15th century; this structure of the religion reached almost its present geological extent.
Mahayana Buddhism (a.k.a. Northern Buddhism) is the largest religion in China, Japan, Korea and much of Vietnam. The practice entered China during the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE). It found early reception there among the workers; later, it progressively involved the ruling class. Buddhism reached Japan in the 6th century. It passed through relentless domination during the 1960’s in China during the Cultural Revolution.
Eastern Buddhism contains many discrete schools: T’ein-t’ai, Hua-yen, Pure Land teachings, and the Meditation school. They commemorate the New Year, harvest festivals, and five anniversaries from the lives of Buddha and of the Bodhissattva Kuan-yin. They also engage in Dana, Sila, Chanting, Worship and Pilgrimage.
Judaism is the religion, beliefs, and way of life of the Jewish people. Originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud, it is well thought-out by Jews to be the appearance of the covenantal affiliation God developed with the Children of Israel. Judaism claims a chronological permanence straddling more than 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, and the oldest to survive into the present day.
Beliefs of Judaism
Judaism belief is made up of the Ten Commandments which are:
I am the Lord your God
You shall not recognize the gods of others in My presence
You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain
Remember the day of Shabbat to keep it holy
Honor your father and your mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
Do not give false testimony against your neighbor
You shall not covet your fellow’s possessions
In Judaism, the Messiah or the Anointed One is the Hebrew name for the promised savior of humankind. Christians believe Jesus Christ as the Messiah. However, the Jewish religion contends that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus Christ was just another prophet.
Worship and Practices
From tradition Jewish pray in a congregation three times a day, The study of Torah, the discovered will of God, also is considered an act of worship. aa‚¬A“The Torah is read religiously each Sabbath. The Sabbath is spent in prayer, study, rest, and family feasting. Over the course of a year, the entire Torah will be read on Sabbath and festival days. The Jewish year includes five major festivals Passover, Shabuoth, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur and two minor one Hanukkah and Purim.aa‚¬?
COMPARISONS AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM, BUDDHISM AND JUDAISM