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A Look at World Religion Other Than Judaic-Christian

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Insofar as a new year has begun and regardless of faith or creed, religion affects has an effect on almost everyone in some way or fashion, we thought it might be good to do a little research about world religions. What follows is a brief capsulated look at non-Judah-Christian religions.


Religion can be defined in broad terms basically a system of belief in a greater power that involves a set of ethical and philosophical rituals. The main religions here are based on information provided by http://www.religioustolerance.org and are briefly discussed in no particular order.

Bahá'í is the youngest religion and was begun in Iran in the mid-1800s by Siyyid Ali-Muhammad (Bab) who prophesized the coming of ‘One greater than Himself.’ The official symbol of Bahá'í is a five point star; however, a nine point star is more commonly used. Addressing Bab’s prophesy, one follower of the religion, Mizra Husayn-Ali-i-Nun, declared that he was the manifestation of the coming foretold by Bab. His proceeded to spread a message of world peace, democracy, civil and equal rights for women and the acceptance of science. Many Muslims consider Bahá'í a splinter group and many of its members are persecuted because of their beliefs.
 
Confucianism is classified as a world religion, but is more of an ethical and philosophical set of principles. The movement began in China and has since spread to Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan. In reality Confucianism in only one of three main parts of the traditional Chinese religion which is a blend of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Hinduism differs from other religions that celebrate a single Deity mostly because there is no founder or a specific system of theology. Hinduism also does not have a single Deity, Holy Test or rigid set of moral teachings. It is also the only major religion that does not worship or believe in a Prophet. Most consider Hinduism more of a way of life than a religion which is more often compared to Native American spirituality than other world religions.

Islam insists that there is only one God, Allah and that his messenger is Muhammad who spread the word about prayer, and personal cleansing such as that experience by Muslims during Ramadan (fasting). Muhammad also taught that if anyone harms or shows hostility toward someone, Allah would punish them in kind.

Jainism is an ancient religion which bases its philosophies on a series of 24 individuals, or Jinas who have conquered. The first Jina was a giant who lived over 8 million years ago. The 24th Jina was Vardhama, or Great Hero who is credited with founding the religion. The word conquer as it pertains to Jainism means that each of the 24 Jinas have conquered over love, hate, pleasure, pain, attachment and aversion allowing them to free their soul to welcome knowledge, perception, truth and ability.

Shinto is a Japanese religion thought to have begun around 500 BCE and was initially a mix of nature, fertility and shamanism. As the movement grew, the Yamato Dynasty gave themselves Divine powers based upon Shinto and the religion ultimately became the official religion of Japan. Differing from other religions, Shinto has no founder or scriptures and only semblance of priesthood.

Sikhism, started by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the late 15th or early 16th century after he allegedly received a vision which induced him to preach the path toward enlightenment and God. Ji preached a single deity and encouraged brotherhood while rejecting idol worship and the traditional caste system of Hinduism.

Taoism is respected as one of

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