List of World religions
Lotus Temple of Delhi is the famous Bahi’a House of Worship
The Baha’i faith is one of the youngest of world’s major religions. It was founded by Baha’u’llah in Iran in 1863. Iran was then a mainly muslim country, and the faith was proclaimed by a young Iranian, who called himself The Ba’b. He said that a messenger would soon arrive from God, who would be the latest in a line of Prophets including Moses, Muhammad and Jesus Christ.
Teachings and Beliefs of Bahi’a Religion
Baha’u’llah which means “Glory of God” in Arabic was born as Mirza Husayn Ali in 1817.
Baha’i’s believe that Baha’u’llah is the most recent manifestation of God.
Baha’u’llah himself stated that he is not God’s final messenger.
Baha’a faith accepts all religions as having true and valid origins.
It has three principle teachings Unity of God, Unity of religion and Unity of humanity.
Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development and attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist seek to reach a state of Nirvana, following the path of Buddha, who went for the search of enlightenment around sixth century BC.
Teachings and Beliefs of Buddhist Religion
Buddhist believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. The path to enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.
Buddhist believe that life is both endless and subject to impermanence, suffering and uncertainty. These states are called the tilakhana, or the three signs of existence. Existence is endless because individuals are reincarnated over and over again, experiencing the suffering throughout many lives.
It is impertinent because no state, good or bad, lasts forever. Our mistaken belief that things can last is a chief cause of suffering.
The path to enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.
Candomble’ means dance in honour of Gods. Candomble’ is a religion based on African beliefs which is particularly popular in Brazil. It has about two million followers. The religion is a mixture of Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs which originated from different regions is Africa. It has also incorporated some aspects of Catholic faith over time. Slave Africans brought their beliefs with them when they were brought to Brazil during slave trade and this is reason why Candomble’ is popular in Brazil.
Beliefs of Candomble’ Religion
Practitioners of Candomble’ believe in one powerful god called Oludumare’ who is served by lesser deities. These deities are called Orixas.
They believe that each person has their own orixa. These orixa controls their destiny and also protects them.
Christianity is the World’s biggest religion, with about 2.2 billion followers worldwide. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived on the holy land 2000 years ago. Christians worship in churches and their spiritual leaders are called priests. Bible is the holy book which consists of old and new Testaments.
Beliefs of Christianity
Christians believe that Jesus was the messiah promised in the Old Testament.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. They also belief that God sent his son Jesus to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins.
Christian believe that there is only one God, but there are three elements to this one God – God the father, God the son and The Holy Spirit.
Christians believe in Crucifixion in which God gave his life to resurrect people from their sins and arose again on the third day which is called the Resurrection.
Hinduism is also referred as Sanatan Dharma. Hinduism is the oldest living religion in world or at least its elements stretch back to many thousands of years. Hinduism can not be restricted to such easy definition because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it. Unlike most other religions Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Throughout its extensive history, there have been many key figures teaching different philosophies and writing innumerable holy books. For these reasons Hinduism is referred as “Way of Life” or “a family of religions”.
Beliefs of Hinduism
Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth governed by individual’s karma. Karma here refers to the set of behaviour and actions during routine life.
Hindus believe that soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on the karmas of previous life.
Islam began in Arabia and was brought to picture by Prophet Muhammad. The word Islam means submission to God. Islam is the second largest religion of the world with about 1.6 billion followers. The arabic word for God is Allah. Followers of Islam are called Muslims. Islam came to light about 1400 years ago in 6th century AD in Mecca.
Beliefs of Islam
Muslims believe that there is only one God.
As per muslim beliefs God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach then how to live according to proper way. Jesus, Moses and Abraham are respected as prophets of God.
Muslims believe that Muhammad was the final and last Prophet.
Muslims base their laws on their holy book Quran and the Sunnah.
There are five basic pillars of Islam. They are – declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once.
Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches way to liberation by living the lives of harmlessness and renunciation. The essence of Jainism is concern for the welfare of every being in the universe and for the health of universe itself. Jains are strict vegetarians and live in a way that minimises their use of world’s resources. Mahavir is considered as the last tirthankar and also the founder of Jainism. There are two sects of Jainism – Digambara and Swetambara. Digambars are sky clad means without clothes while Swetambars are white clothed always.
Beliefs of Jainism
There are 24 tirthankars as per Jain beliefs. The first tirthankar was Rishabh dev or Adinath. The last tirthankar was Mahavir.
Jains believe that human beings as well as, animal and plants contain living souls. Each of these souls is considered of equal value and should be treated with respect and compassion.
Jains believe in reincarnation and seek to attain ultimate liberation which means escaping away from the continuous cycle of life and death so that immortal soul lives for ever in a state of bliss.
The Three Jewels or three guiding principles of Jainism are “Right Vision (Samyak dristi), Right knowledge (Samyak Gyan), and Right conduct (Samyak Charitra).
The supreme principle of Jainism is non-violence (ahimsa).
Their are five mahavratas (five vows) as per Jain beleifs – i) Ahimsa, ii) Non attachment to possessions, iii) not lying, iv) not stealing and v) sexual restraint.
Judaism is one of the ancient monotheistic religions and was founded over 3500 years ago in Middle East. Judaism was founded by Moses, although Jews relate their history back to Abraham. Judaism has a rich history of religious text, but the central and most important religious document is Torah.
Beliefs of Judaism
Jews believe that God appointed Jews to be his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behaviour to the world.
Jews believe that there is only one god with whom they have covenant.
Rastafari is a young Africa centered religion which developed in Jamaica in 1930s. This religion came to existence after the coronation of Haile Selassie as the King of Ethiopia in 1930. Followers of Rastafari are known as Rastafarians, Rastas, Sufferers, Dreads or Dreadlocks.
Beliefs of Rastafari
Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie is God and that he will return to Africa to rescue the black community who are living in exile due to colonization and slave trade.
Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak in 15th century CE in northern parts of India specially present Punjab region. The most important part in Sikhism is the internal religious state of the individual. It stresses the importance of doing good actions rather than merely carrying out rituals. The Sikh scripture is Guru Granth Sahib, a book that Sikhs consider a living guru.
Beliefs of Sikhism
Sikhs believe that the way to lead a good life is to – keep God in heart and mind at all times, live honestly and work hard, treat everyone equally, be generous to the less fortunate, serve others.
Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs. Taoism is also called as Daoism which is more accurate as per Chinese accent. Its literal meaning is the way. It is the religion of unity and opposites : Yin and Yang. The principle of Yin Yang sees the world as filled with complementary forces -action and non action, light and dark, hot and cold and so on.
Iranshah Atash Behram
Iranshah Atash Behram of Udvada, Gujarat is the oldest Fire Temple of India
Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. It was founded by Prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago. Zoroastrians believe that there is only one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) and he created the world. Ahura Mazda revealed the truth and teachings through Zoroaster. Zoroastrians pray several times a day.
The community temple of Zoroastrians is called Fire temple or Agiyari.
The holy scripture of Zoroastrians is called Avesta.
Avesta contains gathas which are seventeen hymns thought to be composed by Zoroaster himself.
Zoroastrians are roughly split in two groups – Iranians and Parsis.