Religion is often associated with the belief in a superhuman power.
It is a system that includes faith and worship in various ways and forms. In a psychological point of view, religion is viewed as a person’s defense mechanism in times of crisis, sorrow or even joy.
Varying cultures often leads to different religions. In fact, there are a lot of religions, each divided in various sects and set of doctrines.
Even Christianity, a belief in Christ, is divided into many forms. Jesus in different religions has various names like God, Allah, Buddha and many more. Each religion has different beliefs.
There are also many religious books of different religions known as the Bible, Qur’an, and Tripitaka among many others. These often contain specific beliefs and practices being upheld by the group these books are considered holy.
Oftentimes, religions become the reason for factions among people of the world. Religion has become an excuse to wage war.
Some religious beliefs oppose those of other religions which usually starts a conflict. It is even believed that religion, instead of uniting people, divides the human race.
To know more about this topic, below is a list of world religions and their beliefs:
1. Christianity – By far the biggest religion of the world with more than 2 billion followers, Christianity is deeply rooted in the belief of Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity.
The foundation of Christianity was based on Jesus’s selfless sacrifice to give his son to die on the cross to wash away the sins of the people. While many Christians believe that they will be saved simply by acknowledging the fact that Jesus is their savior, some also think that good works and faith make the cut for salvation.
There are a lot of sects under Christianity which fall under these three major branches – Catholicism, Fundamentalist Christians or Protestantism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Each has its own set of beliefs; some believe in sacraments, some don’t. Some of them even have opposing doctrines. Even Christianity is divided. Christianity’s holy scripture is written in the Bible.
2. Islam – Islam is the next biggest religion with more than 1 billion followers. Islam is mostly concentrated in the Middle East.
The religion’s foundation is based on the teachings of Muhammad, a prophet of God with whom he revealed his last words. God’s last words were then written in the Qur’an – Islam’s holy book.
Even Islam has 2 major denominations – the Shi’a and the Sunni. Sunni Muslims have roughly 85% followers while Shi’a has the remaining 15%.
Islam believers think that their religion is far superior to others that’s why an Islam follower must not marry a non-Muslim or even believe his words. When a non-Muslim says something negative about the religion, he must be executed.
3. Buddhism – Buddhism is another non-theistic religion that has more than 350 million followers. Buddhism is concentrated in Asia.
This religion was taught by Siddharta Gautama also known as Buddha or the Enlightened One. Buddhists believe that anyone can reach enlightenment – a state where one person realizes his being and awakens from being ignorant.
If a person teaches enlightenment to others, he may be considered or called a Buddha too. Buddhists believe in karma thus they often treat other people the way they wanted to be treated. They also believe in reincarnation or rebirth.
4. Judaism – Judaism is another religion with 15 million followers concentrated in Israel. Judaism is the religion of the Jews who believe in the principles indicated in the Tanakh and Talmud – both are holy books of Judaism.
Judaism is mainly characterized by the belief in an omnipotent, transcendent and all powerful God who governs everything. It is believed that Judaism is the oldest religion still practiced today starting from the day God made a covenant with Abraham.
5. Confucianism – This religion follows the teachings of Confucius – a Chinese sage. The religion has 5 million followers mostly concentrated in China and other parts of East Asia.
This religion is also known as Ruism. Confucianism also bases its beliefs in many ancient Chinese texts which include the four books – Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Analects and Mencius.
6. Hinduism – Hinduism is another ancient religion that has survived until the present day. It has more than 1 billion followers who are mostly concentrated in India, Nepal and other parts of Asia.
Hinduism’s holy text is called the Vedas. Common beliefs and practices characterized by Hinduism are karma, reincarnation, and the yogas.
7. Shinto – Shinto is another religion which is sometimes considered to be more cultural than religious because of its practices.
Shinto has more than 5 million followers mostly concentrated in Japan and other parts of Asia. It was derived from Buddhism and some Chinese beliefs and practices.
This religion does not believe in a single, all-powerful god but in Kami – the varieties of gods that dwell in animals, trees, mountains, and even their ancestors and many more.
8. Occultism – This is considered a belief system with increasing number of followers. Occults most of the time do not believe in a god but more on mysticism and magic. Followers believe that religious inclinations only hamper spiritual growth.
9. Satanism – This is an atheist religion that doesn’t believe in any god. Even Satan is not considered a god but only a symbol of their religion. Satanism makes use of evil symbology for anti-religious endeavors.
10. Scientology – This is a very modern religion that has caught the attention of many because of its prominent followers like Tom Cruise. Scientology is based on the writings of a science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.
They also believe in Dianetics, a set of practices written by Hubbard which will help them attain the perfection of their mental faculties.