An Insight on the Religions of the World
It is said that man acknowledges the existence of a higher power, a supernatural being, a spiritual deity, in the seen on unseen form. It is all about faith based on the acceptance and following of a religion. Hence, a big percentage of the world’s population is religious. The religions may differ in teachings among other issues, but they tend to have a common element, they all teach of a higher power- a God.
Understanding today’s religions starts with knowing the beginning and history of existing religions. In fact some religions date back thousands of years while others are less than a decade old and more are still to be born. However, those that have a common teaching of the existence of God who is the giver of life, the creator, the all-knowing, and more have greater followers than most of the new religions that include some that do not acknowledge the existence of a god or the devil.
This piece will shed some light on some of the most profound religions of the world as well as the new age religion.
Christianity is the biggest religion in the world with its presence noted in almost every corner of the earth. It follows the teachings of Christ who was mentioned in the Bible as the Messiah, the Saviour of Mankind, and the Son of God. The religion does teach of an Almighty God, the father of Jesus Christ, the God, who created heaven and earth and everything in them. It is, however, divided into various denominations, with catholic Christianity taking the largest percentage followed by the protestant Christianity that is further segmented into other smaller denomination. Christianity teaches of acceptance of Christ and focus of living in a relationship with the One Almighty God as opposed to doing good works and practicing religious rituals. Christianity has more than 2 billion followers, but the number is slowly dropping.
Islam also holds a similar belief in the existence of One Almighty God, the creator of everything on earth and in the heaven. Islam teaches that God, named Allah is the source of both good and evil for everything that happens in the universe is but of Allah’s will. The religion majors on following Allah’s teachings by practicing and following the religious rituals and doing good work as these will be judged by Allah. People upholding a relationship with Him is but as a servant of Allah. Islam teaches Muslims to know the creed of Allah by heart, pray five times a day, taking a month in a year for fasting and staying away from human pleasures, and giving to the needy. Islam has well over 1 billion followers and the number is still growing.
Hinduism does hold a similar belief in One Divine Being who has an infinite existence represented by many forms of gods and goddesses. It holds the teachings of reincarnation of these gods and goddesses into other things like animals, idols, people who are viewed as gurus, temples and other things. It teaches that when a person dies, he or she passes on to a new position in life, reincarnated in respect to his or her actions in his or her previous life. For instance, if a person was evil, then he or she will experience a life of hardships in the next life. The reincarnations can only be avoided if one live a life free of karma, to set the soul free upon death. The religion has just under a billion followers.
Buddhism is a religion that follows the teachings of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). The religion holds not worshipping any God or gods, it focuses on spiritual enlightenment that will set a person free from the cycles of life and death. It holds similar belief of reincarnation as that of Hinduism. The religion has more than 300 million followers.
The New Age religion removes the existence of a god or God but refers to man as a God. It teaches men being of a divine power having a higher consciousness within themselves. It teaches men being one with the universe and everything within and around it; everything that men can touch, see, hear, etc. is of a divine nature as them. It views all ills, evils, and sufferings faced my men as illusion.