What is Religion? What are the existing beliefs?
What is Religion? What are the existing beliefs? Mankind has always believed in something since its existence. We will give you information about the known religions in the world by explaining the concept of religion…
What is religion and what are the religions of the world?
The concept of religion is quite complex. Religions have been around since the beginning of mankind, because believing in something is in the nature of every human being. ‘Atheism’ will come to your mind, you will say, ‘but they don’t believe’. No, they also believe in order not to believe. After all, isn’t not believing another dimension of believing? Let’s go back to the concept of religion. So what is religion in a nutshell?
What is Religion?
First of all, by defining the concept of religion, we can put an end to this confusion in our minds by assuming what religion is not. We will not define religion as belonging to only one religion. It is helpful to bring all religions together on a common basis and make a general definition. Religion contains a series of symbols; These symbols, representing respect or fear, are associated with rituals or ceremonies.
There may be no place for gods in any religious belief, but there is always an object or entity that arouses fear or admiration. Mainly 3 major religions believe in divine power, and some religions believe in lofty figures even though they are not gods.
Diversity between religions
In traditional societies, religion is the basis of social life. In whatever direction society has moved, religious symbols have formed in that direction. The Indians believed in the religion of shamanism. Shamans in the tribe, unnatural happenings; The fact that they had the ability to cast magic made them worshiped by humans.
Totemism and Animism
Two of the religions that are common in small communities are totemism and animism. The word totem originated from Native American tribes; It was used to describe animals and people, who were believed to have supernatural powers. Totem, word or belief has been preserved from the past to the present. We can still find totem holders.
Animism is the belief in ghosts or spirits. Spirits separated as good or bad can influence human behavior in many ways.
In ancient societies, “polytheism” generally believed in more than one god. The Turks believed in the belief of the sky god, which was a monotheistic belief in the past.
Beliefs in traditional societies have been influenced by many factors, such as geography and climate features. For example, the one who was engaged in agriculture had the mother earth, the god of fertility.
What Are Monotheistic Religions?
There are 3 major religions that have been most influential in the history of the world and continue their influence today. If we rank them according to the time of emergence; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All of these religions originated and developed in the Middle East. They are the most common religions in the world.
Judaism is the oldest of the three religions. BC It originated in 1000 years. It is considered the first monotheistic religion. The sacred book sent to the Hebrews by divine power is the Torah. Jews or Jews do not accept later religions saying they want people to obey God’s commandments regularly and the only religion is Judaism.
He describes himself to the Jews as follows; “We are the reflections of God on earth.” After World War II, there was no state where Judaism was an official religion. Jews lived in Europe, Asia and North Africa. Millions of Jews, subject to widespread persecution, were exterminated in concentration camps set up by the Nazis during World War II.
The prophet who took as his duty the propagation of Christianity, one of the monotheistic religions, is Jesus Christ. The holy book of Christianity is the Bible. This religion, born in the Middle East, Hz. It was spread to other continents by Jesus and his 12 apostles.
Christianity is the most widespread religion in the world with over 2 billion followers. Although Christians are scattered all over the world, they are most concentrated in Europe, America and Australia. 3 main sects of Christianity; The Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches and the Orthodox Church.
It is known as the second largest religion in the world. His Prophet Muhammad and his holy book is the Quran. Muslims, the last prophet Hz. They believe in Muhammad and all previous prophets. Muslims have 5 basic religious duties that they must fulfill.
Terms of the religion of Islam
- To bring Kalima-i Shahada, that is, to utter aloud the words “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is His messenger” and to believe in it.
- It is praying five times a day after performing ablution, turning one’s face towards the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia while praying.
- It is fasting in the month of Ramadan.
- It is giving zakat to the poor to the extent determined by Islamic law.
- It is for every Muslim who can afford to go on a pilgrimage at least once in his life.
- Today, Islam has spread over very wide geographical areas.
What Are the Religions of the Far East?
There are major differences between the religions of the Far East and the three monotheistic religions. Hinduism is the oldest of the Far Eastern religions and still has its continuity. This belief has a history of 6000 years. Hinduism, being a polytheistic religion, is quite diverse in itself. Most Hindus believe in reincarnation, that every living being is part of a process of birth, death and rebirth that has no beginning and no end.
Class differences between Hindus are clearly drawn. This system, which we call caste, does not draw a line between believers and unbelievers.
Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism
Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism; It shapes the ethical religions of the East. Buddhism stems from the ideas of Siddharta Gautama, also known as Buddha, the Hindu prince of a small kingdom in southern Nepal in the 6th century.
According to Buddha, people can escape the cycle of reincarnation by renouncing their desires. The path to salvation, the duties imposed by this world, is self-discipline and meditation. Buddha rejects the Hindu caste system. It is quite common in China and Korea.
While Buddhists worship
Confucianism is the basis of the prevailing group culture in traditional China. Confucius lived at the same time as Buddha. Confucius was a teacher like the founder of Taoism. Very wise, Confucius was the basis of his belief that people should be in harmony with nature and respect their past.
How many religions are there in the world?
There are many religions in the world. It is estimated that there are about 4200 different religions and beliefs worldwide.
What are the differences between religions?
The differences between religions differ in their belief systems, customs and ceremonies. There can be significant differences between the basic principles, beliefs and rituals of religions. For example, some religions worship more than one god, while others believe in a single god. According to some, there is an afterlife, while others do not accept it.
How do religions affect people’s lives?
Religions play an important role in people’s lives. Religions are used to meet people’s spiritual needs, establish ethical and moral values, direct their pursuit of peace and happiness, and create solidarity and unity in a society. Religions can also help people better understand themselves and other people and contribute to the better functioning of their communities.
Are religion and science opposites?
Religion and science are not contradictory because they serve different purposes. While religion is used to meet people’s spiritual needs, science is used to understand and explain the natural world. Some people try to combine religion and science, while others make a sharp distinction between them.