Religion – “respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods”, “obligation, the bond between man and the gods”- is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure. Here are five of the most known religions of the world.
Most of the religious Western World- North America, Europe, and Oceania- follow this monotheistic religion based on the Bible. Thousands of Christians around the world celebrate on the day marked Good Friday, which is when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Jerusalem, Christian pilgrims took part in processions along the route that Jesus is believed to have taken in his last days as he carried the cross.
“Islam” literally means “submission to God” and the Quran is its holy book. Islam is most often practised in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, Western Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Malay Archipelago with concentrations of worshipers in Eastern Africa, the Balkan Peninsula, Russia, and China. The Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred sanctuary and pilgrimage shrine, which stands in the heart of Mecca’s Masjid Al-Haram mosque, contains the holy Black Stone believed to be the only piece remaining from an altar built by Abraham. Pilgrims try to touch and kiss the Black Stone and the door of the Kaaba.
Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, and “a way of life.” From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India, the term dharma is preferred, which is broader than the western term religion.
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 is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from ‘budhi’, ‘to awaken’.
Judaism is the world’s oldest Abrahamic religion. There are about 15 million followers who are called Jews. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, teaching the belief in one God. Both Christianity and Islam have similarities with Judaism. Judaism is characterized by a belief in one transcendent God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions.