Top 10 Most Powerful Religions in the World
A religion is a set of beliefs that is held by a group of people so passionately with some sort of sacrifice. There are many different religions, each with a different set of beliefs. The beliefs are about the world and the people in it, about how they came into being, and what their purpose is. These beliefs according to some religious sects, are often linked to supernatural beings such as God, a number of gods or spirits. They may also be linked to an idea such as a path that the spirit of each person should take towards goodness, truth and duty. This they called spirituality.
Each religion has different ideas about these things. Each religion also has a “moral code” which is a set of beliefs about how humans should act. Each religion usually has their own type of “devotions” when people worship or pray. They often have rituals (special things that are always done in the same way) for certain times of the year or certain times of a person’s life. Other words that are used for religion are “faith” and “belief system”. Altogether, followers of religion can be known as ‘believers’, or ‘the faithful’. Few people follow more than one religion at a time.
The largest religions in the world
In the world there are many religions like ,Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, Judaism and Jainism. There are many other religions. People who do not believe in any gods are called atheists. People who say that there is no evidence are called agnostics. Below you will see the Details about history of all religion.
Christianity is the most broadly practiced religion in the world, with more than 2 billion followers. The Christian faith centers on beliefs regarding the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While it started with a small group of believers, many historians regard the spread and adoption of Christianity throughout the world as one of the most successful spiritual missions in human history.
Some basic Christian concepts include:
- Christians are monotheistic, i.e., they believe there’s only one God, and he created the heavens and the earth. This divine Godhead consists of three parts: the father (God himself), the son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit.
- The essence of Christianity revolves around the life, death and Christian beliefs on the resurrection of Jesus. Christians believe God sent his son Jesus, the messiah, to save the world. They believe Jesus was crucified on a cross to offer the forgiveness of sins and was resurrected three days after his death before ascending to heaven.
- Christians contend that Jesus will return to earth again in what’s known as the Second Coming.
- The Holy Bible includes important scriptures that outline Jesus’s teachings, the lives and teachings of major prophets and disciples, and offer instructions for how Christians should live.
- Both Christians and Jews follow the Old Testament of the Bible, but Christians also embrace the New Testament.
- The cross is a symbol of Christianity.
- The most important Christian holidays are Christmas(which celebrates the birth of Jesus) and Easter (which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus).
Islam! Islam Is the religion of Peace, What message Allah said through Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H and his all Prophets spread the same message. Islam teaches how to live the life with peace, mercy and forgiveness. Every prophet of Allah teaches us the peace. In Islam there is no racism, no white black issue, no majority minority issue and no poor and rich issue. Islam only teaches us the simple law of living the lives with love, care, humble, respect and teaching us there is only one super power exits in the world to whom should we prayer and ask everything whatever we can ask for life and life which will come after end of life and his last prophet is Muhammad S.A.W.
Who are Muslims?
Muslims are peoples who believe on Islam, as a believer of Islam Muslim worship to Allah and accept Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H is last messenger of Allah also believe on all prophets and all holy books. Who want to become a Muslim they need to accept the Islam by accepting “There is no GOD except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” by this declaration the believer announces his/her faith in Allah and Prophets of Allah.
Origins of Islam and Christianity
Islam and Christianity even Judaism came from Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his sons. Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H from his elder son Prophet Ismail, Prophet Musa (Moses) and Prophet Essa (Jesus) from his youngest son Prophet Ishaq. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) established the resolution which today is city of Makah and built the Ka’ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.
Pillars of Islam
The Five pillar of Islam and framework of the Muslim life.
- Testimony of Faith
- Zakat (Support of the needy)
- Fasting during Ramadan
- Pilgrimage to Makah once in life who are able to do
Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam. Roughly 95 percent of the world’s Hindus live in India. Because the religion has no specific founder, it’s difficult to trace its origins and history. Hinduism is unique in that it’s not a single religion but a compilation of many traditions and philosophies.
Some basic Hindu concepts include:
- Hinduism embraces many religious ideas. For this reason, it’s sometimes referred to as a “way of life” or a “family of religions,” as opposed to a single, organized religion.
- Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic, which means they worship a single deity, known as “Brahman,” but still recognize other gods and goddesses. Followers believe there are multiple paths to reaching their god.
- Hindus believe in the doctrines of samsara (the continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation) and karma (the universal law of cause and effect).
- One of the key thoughts of Hinduism is “atman,” or the belief in soul. This philosophy holds that living creatures have a soul, and they’re all part of the supreme soul. The goal is to achieve “moksha,” or salvation, which ends the cycle of rebirths to become part of the absolute soul.
- One fundamental principle of the religion is the idea that people’s actions and thoughts directly determine their current life and future lives.
- Hindus strive to achieve dharma, which is a code of living that emphasizes good conduct and morality.
- The Om and Swastika are symbols of Hinduism. The Swastika, which represents good luck, later became associated with evil when Germany’s Nazi Party made it their symbol in 1920.
- Hindus revere all living creatures and consider the cow a sacred animal.
- Food is an important part of life for Hindus. Most don’t eat beef or pork, and many are vegetarians.
- Hinduism is closely related to other Indian religions, including Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.
Hindus worship many gods and goddesses in addition to Brahman, who is believed to be the supreme God force present in all things. Some of the most prominent deities include:
- Brahma: the god responsible for the creation of the world and all living things
- Vishnu: the god that preserves and protects the universe
- Shiva: the god that destroys the universe in order to recreate it
- Devi: the goddess that fights to restore dharma
- Krishna: the god of compassion, tenderness and love
- Lakshmi: the goddess of wealth and purity
- Saraswati: the goddess of learning
Guru Nanak (20 October 1469 – 7 May 1539) is the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was born in the village of Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in present-day Pakistan. His parents, Mehta Kalu and Matta Tripat, were Hindus and belonged to the merchant caste. Even as a boy, Nanak was fascinated by religion, and his desire to explore the mysteries of life eventually led him to leave home. Nanak married a woman named Sulkhni, of Batala; together, they had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das. His brother-in-law, the husband of his sister Nanki, got a job for him in Sultanpur as the manager of the government granary, but his employment there wouldn’t last long. One morning, when he was 28 years old, Nanak went (as usual) down to the river to bathe and meditate. It was said that he was gone for three days. When he reappeared, filled with the spirit of God, he said, “There is no Hindu and no Muslim.” It was then that he began his missionary work and the religion of Skihism was born into the world.
Nanak’s journeys, successors
Tradition states that Nanak made four great journeys, traveling to all parts of India, and into Arabia and Persia; visiting Mecca and Baghdad. He spoke before Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Parsees, and Muslims. He spoke in the temples and mosques, and at various pilgrimage sites. It was during this period that Nanak met Kabir (1441-1518), a saint revered by both Hindus and Muslims.
Wherever he went, Guru Nanak spoke out against empty religious rituals, pilgrimages, the caste system, the sacrifice of widows, of depending on books to learn the true religion, and of all the other tenets that were to define his teachings. Never did he ask his listeners to follow him. He asked the Muslims to be true Muslims and the Hindus to be true Hindus.
Buddhism began in India 2,500 years ago and remains the dominant world religion in the East. There are over 360 million followers of Buddhism worldwide and over a million American Buddhists today. Buddhist concepts have also been influential on western culture in general, particularly in the areas of meditation and nonviolence. Buddhism is based on the teachings of a Nepali prince named Siddharta Gautama who lived around 500 BCE. According to Buddhist tradition, the sheltered young prince was shocked by the suffering he saw outside his palace walls, so he left his life of luxury to seek answers. Eventually he succeeded, becoming the Buddha–the “Enlightened One.” He spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching the dharma (the path to liberation from suffering) and establishing the sangha (a community of monks). Over its long history, Buddhism has taken a wide variety of forms. Some emphasize rituals and the worship of deities, while others completely reject rituals and gods in favor of pure meditation. Yet all forms of Buddhism share respect for the teachings of the Buddha and the goal of ending suffering and the cycle of rebirth. Theravada Buddhism, prominent in Southeast Asia, is atheistic and philosophical in nature and focuses on the monastic life and meditation as means to liberation. Mahayana Buddhism, prominent in China and Japan, incorporates several deities, celestial beings, and other traditional religious elements. In Mahayana, the path to liberation may include religious ritual, devotion, meditation, or a combination of these elements. Zen, Nichiren, Tendai, and Pure Land are the major forms of Mahayana Buddhism.
Satanism, any of various religious or countercultural practices and movements centred on the figure of Satan, the Devil, regarded in Christianity and Judaism as the embodiment of absolute evil. Historical Satanism, also called devil worship, consists of belief in and worship of the Judeo-Christian Devil and the explicit rejection of his antithesis, God, and (in Christianity) God’s Incarnation, Jesus Christ. It was traditionally based on the “black mass,” a corrupted rendition of the Christian Eucharist, and ritual magic evocations of Satan. Some more-recent forms of spiritual or theistic Satanism recognize Satan as an independent non-Judeo-Christian deity. Other modern Satanic movements, including the U.S.-based Church of Satan (founded 1966), celebrate Satan not as a god but as a symbol of supposedly anti-Christian moral values or as a pre-Christian life principle. Such movements may be atheistic, agnostic, or deistic. They do not promote or practice evil in any literal sense but may profess extreme forms of individualism and ethical egoism and may reject traditional Abrahamic religions, particularly Christianity, as hypocritical and repressive.
Historical Satanic cults have been documented in Europe and North America as far back as the 17th century, but their earlier roots are difficult to trace, just as the number of such Satanists in any period is frequently overestimated. Roman Catholic churchmen readily attributed Satanism to “witches” and to such heretics as the gnostics, Cathari, and Bogomils, but that charge does not correspond to the heretics’ own understanding of their beliefs, and the alleged Satanism of those persecuted in the heyday of witch burning may rest on no better foundation than the overheated imagination of witch finders and confessions obtained by torture (see Salem witch trials). Modern witchcraft and Neo-Paganism are not to be confused with historical Satanism, since those groups worship non-Judeo-Christian deities. Historical Satanism, as devotion to the Judeo-Christian source of evil, can exist only in symbiosis with that tradition, for it shares but inverts its worldview.
Also Check: Understanding Islam
Roman Catholicism is a worldwide religious tradition of some 1.1 billion members. It traces its history to Jesus of Nazareth, an itinerant preacher in the area around Jerusalem during the period of Roman occupation, in the early 30s of the Common Era. Its members congregate in a communion of churches headed by bishops, whose role originated with the disciples of Jesus. Over a period of some decades after Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the bishops spread out across the world to form a “universal” (Greek, katholikos) church, with the bishop of Rome (traced to the apostle Peter) holding primacy. Today Vatican City — and specifically, Saint Peter’s Basilica — stands over the grave of Peter, and the pope is considered Peter’s successor. Catholic Christianity began as a persecuted religious community, illegal in the Roman Empire in its earliest days, but within some three hundred years and with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, it became legal and eventually was recognized as the official religion of the Empire. With the decline and fall of Rome in the 5th century, the Roman Church assumed both temporal and spiritual authority in the West; it thus had enormous influence on the development of the art and culture of the western world through the Middle Ages. Today, its growth is fastest in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Judaism is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Followers of Judaism believe in one God who revealed himself through ancient prophets. History is essential to understanding the Jewish faith, which is embedded in tradition, law and culture.
The Jewish Religion
Jewish people believe there’s only one God who’s established a covenant—or special agreement—with them. Their God communicates to believers through prophets and rewards good deeds while also punishing evil. Most Jews (with the exception of Messianic Jews and a few other groups) believe that their Messiah hasn’t come—but will one day. Today, there are about 14 million Jews worldwide. Most of them live in the United States and Israel. Traditionally, a person is considered Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish.
The Jewish sacred text is called the Tanakh or the “Hebrew Bible.” It includes the same books as the Old Testament in the Christian Bible, but they’re placed in a slightly different order. The Torah—the first five books of the Tanakh—outlines laws for Jews to follow. It’s sometimes also referred to as the Pentateuch. Jewish people worship in holy places known as synagogues, and their spiritual leaders are called rabbis. The six-pointed Star of David is the symbol of Judaism.
The origins of Jewish faith are explained throughout the Torah. According to the text, God first revealed himself to a Hebrew man named Abraham, who became known as the founder of Judaism. Jews believe that God made a special covenant with Abraham and that he and his descendants were chosen people who would create a great nation. Abraham’s son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob, also became central figures in ancient Jewish history. Jacob took the name “Israel,” and his children and future generations became known as Israelites. More than 1,000 years after Abraham, the prophet Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt after being enslaved for hundreds of years. According to scriptures, God revealed his laws, known as the Ten Commandments, to Moses at Mt. Sinai.
Jainism [i.e., the religion of Jina], religious system of India practiced by about 5,000,000 persons. Jainism, Ajivika , and Buddhism arose in the 6th cent. BC as protests against the overdeveloped ritualism of Hinduism , particularly its sacrificial cults, and the authority of the Veda. Jaina tradition teaches that a succession of 24 tirthankaras (saints) originated the religion. The last, Vardhamana, called Mahavira [the great hero] and Jina [the victor], seems to be historical. He preached a rigid asceticism and solicitude for all life as a means of escaping the cycle of rebirth, or the transmigration of souls . Thus released from the rule of karma, the total consequences of past acts, the soul attains nirvana , and hence salvation. Mahavira organized a brotherhood of monks, who took vows of celibacy, nudity, self-mortification, and fasting. Since the 1st cent. AD, when a schism developed over the issue of nudity, there have been two great divisions of Jains, the Digambaras [space-clothed, i.e., naked] and the Svetambaras [white-clothed]. Jainists, then as now, accumulate merit through charity, through good works, and in occasional monastic retreat. Early Jainism, arising in NE India, quickly spread west, and according to tradition Chandragupta , the founder of the Maurya empire, was converted to the sect, as were several kings of Gujarat. The Jaina canon, however, is preserved in an ancient dialect of NE India (see Prakrit literature ). As Jainism grew and prospered, reverence for Mahavira and for other teachers, historical and legendary, passed into adoration many beautiful temples were built and cult images set up. However, as time passed, the line between Hindu and Jain became more and more unclear. Soon Hindu gods such as Rama and Krishna were drawn into the Jaina pantheon, and Hindu Brahmans began to preside at Jaina death and marriage ceremonies and temple worship. The caste system, which primitive Jainism had rejected, also became part of later Jaina doctrine. Modern Jainists, eschewing any occupation that even remotely endangers animal life, are engaged largely in commerce and finance. Among them are many of India’s most prominent industrialists and bankers as well as several important political leaders. A distinctive form of charity among Jains is the establishment of asylums for diseased and decrepit animals.
Zoroastrianism is an ancient Persian religion that may have originated as early as 4,000 years ago. Arguably the world’s first monotheistic faith, it’s one of the oldest religions still in existence. Zoroastrianism was the state religion of three Persian dynasties, until the Muslim conquest of Persia in the seventh century A.D. Zoroastrian refugees, called Parsis, escaped Muslim persecution in Iran by emigrating to India. Zoroastrianism now has an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 worshipers worldwide, and is practiced today as a minority religion in parts of Iran and India.
The prophet Zoroaster (Zarathrustra in ancient Persian) is regarded as the founder of Zoroastrianism. It’s arguably the world’s oldest monotheistic faith. Most of what is known about Zoroaster comes from the Avesta—a collection of Zoroastrian religious scriptures. It’s unclear exactly when Zoroaster may have lived. Some scholars believe he was a contemporary of Cyrus the Great, a Persian king of the sixth century B.C., though most linguistic and archaeological evidence points to an earlier date—sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C. Zoroaster is thought to have been born in what is now northeastern Iran or southwestern Afghanistan. He may have lived in a tribe that followed an ancient religion with many gods (polytheism). This religion was likely similar to early forms of Hinduism.
Zoroastrianism shaped one of the ancient world’s largest empires—the mighty Persia Empire. It was the state religion of three major Persian dynasties.
Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, was a devout Zoroastrian. By most accounts, Cyrus the Great was a tolerant ruler who allowed his non-Iranian subjects to practice their own religions. He ruled by the Zoroastrian law of asha (truth and righteousness) but didn’t impose Zoroastrianism on the people of Persia’s conquered territories.
Zoroastrian concepts, including the idea of a single god, heaven, hell and a day of judgment, may have been first introduced to the Jewish community of Babylonia, where people from the Kingdom of Judea had been living in captivity for decades.
When Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 B.C., he liberated the Babylonian Jews. Many returned home to Jerusalem, where their descendants helped to create the Hebrew Bible.
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