This discussion is on the religions of the world. Religion is about beliefs and ways of worship. There are different religions in the world each with their own beliefs and practices. The religions under scrutiny in this case are Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Indigenous sacred traditions. Among these religions, Christianity is the world’s largest religion with more than 2.1 billion followers, followed by Islam with a population of about 1.25 billion members. The smallest religion is that of indigenous sacred traditions, comprised of around 4% of the world’s population. The other religions are mostly practiced in the geographical region where they were founded. All these religions have what they strongly believe, such that converting a person from one religion to another is the hardest task.
Hindus believe in the existence of one God in different forms. The Vedas is an important part of their teachings. This is the compilation of ancient hymns. They are guided by five ideas of life. These are meditation on the radiant inner being, reincarnation, karma, practicing yoga and fire sacrifice. Buddhists on the other hand believe that there is no supreme being. They rely on their own personal efforts to escape from the suffering of this world. Their faith is built on what they call the four truths of suffering. The first truth is that life inevitably involves suffering, is imperfect and unsatisfactory; the next one is that suffering originates in our desires. Thirdly, suffering will cease if all desires cease, and finally there is a way of becoming conscious of this state.
Daoism is also of the idea that there is no supreme being. They believe that answers are found within themselves through meditation. Again, they believe in allowing nature to take its course rather than trying to obstruct it. Things should just flow as they were meant to be. Judaism is believed to be the God’s chosen religion. They believe in one omnipresent and omnipotent God. They follow the 10 commandments, which according to them, is a moral code of conduct from God. The other religion is Christianity. Christians believe in Jesus as the son of God. They believe in a personal relationship with God, which is cultivated through constant worship, meditation and prayer. They also believe in eternal life, after the second coming of Jesus. The Bible is a guide for Christians, believed to have been inspired by God.
Islam also believes in the existence of one superior God just like Christianity. They believe in a prophet known as Muhammad, who received the word of God from angel Gabriel, contained in the holy book (Quran). Islamic faith is based on the five pillars of Islam, which are supposed to dictate how Muslims live. These pillars are the shahadah, the salat, the zakat, sawm, and the hajj. They believe in moral living and obedience to God. Finally, there is the indigenous sacred religion. These are traditional religions practiced by people in their places of origin. They are found in different parts of the world, but all have common beliefs. These beliefs revolve around their relationship with the spiritual world, connection with the whole creation, existence of spiritual experts and performing of rituals.
All these religions have one thing in common. They all have something they strongly believe in. Their beliefs can be diverse, but all narrow down to the spiritual perspective. The most significant difference is that, each religion beliefs in something, which is contrary to that of the other religion. This explains why different religions will never come together and agree on one believe. The religion that is closely related to Islam is Christianity. They both believe in one God, and the fact that there is eternal life and eternal condemnation in hell. Judaism is also closely related to Islam, in that they both have Abraham in their lineage.
The features of other religions that resonate best with me include the karma belief of the Hindus. This is about a person’s actions and there consequences. Knowing that our present actions determine the way we live in both the present and in the future enables us to choose our actions carefully. Another important aspect is that of Daoism, which requires people to follow the example of a river. It explains how a river flows weathering out its obstacles with time instead of trying to fight them. It also suggests that all accomplishments left behind should be forgotten. This is an important belief as it enables one to avoid many struggles, and maintain a positive attitude to life in all situations.