Learn about all World religions



What is religion?

To answer the question, what is religion or what is religion, we need to know the origin of this word. The English equivalent of the word Dharma is 'Religion'. Now in Bengali, Dharma usually means 'Religion'. But in Bengali its meaning is slightly different.

The word dharma is derived from Sanskrit √dhri. In that case the word is used to mean containing something. The religion of fire is burning, the religion of trees is to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. People of different regions have different religions.

In English, the term refers to the human relationship with a spiritual power, Supreme Being or something heavenly . The ultimate goal of human life or the thoughts after death is explained through religion. Prayers, rituals, scriptures, religious laws etc. are considered.

What does religious mean?

If we use the word dharma in the sense of religion, then religious means followers of a particular religion. For example: Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists etc. And if we use it in the sense of possessing, then one who possesses any characteristic (or, religion) is a religious person.

What is worship?

If we look at the lexical meaning we find that sub means 'near' and asana means 'seat'. In the religious sense, worship means sitting close to the Creator with concentration. Different religions have different worship practices. Some prostrate, some sing songs, some offer sacrifices to God.

Saka Upasana, Akara Upasana, Saguna Upasana, Nirguna Upasana - there can be different types of worship.

Major religions of the world

Theologians have divided the various religions into several main categories-

  • Abrahamic religions (includes Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha'i, etc.)
  • Indian Religions (Indian includes Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, etc.)
  • Religions of China and Japan (Tao, Shinto, Confucian, etc.)
  • African Religions and Others (Different African Groups)

There are numerous beliefs beyond these four categories. Zoroastrianism in Iran, moreover, there are various sub-groups on each continent - they can be considered as 4

Abrahamic religion

Abrahamic religion
When you hear the word Abrahamic religion, the first thing that comes to mind is something related to Abraham. A man named Abraham lived in Ur Kasdim, Samor area and died in Hebron ( Mesopotamia area ). He was born in 2150 BC according to the Bible .
Yes, that's right - a character in the Bible and Quran is Abraham or, Ibrahim. His children were preachers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These religions are also called Semitic religions. Abraham's two children are-
  • Isaac (Jesus was his descendant, the Jewish kings and prophets also descended from him) - Isaac
  • Ishmael (Muhammad was his descendant) - Ishmael

Another name of Isaac's son Jacob was Israel. The name of Jacob's fourth son was Yehudah . Abraham's children were believers in one Creator. The word Islam means submission to a Creator, Judaism also means belief in a Creator. And, the teaching of Jesus was also belief in one creator. According to most Christians, Jesus himself is man on earth, God in heaven.

In addition, Baha'i, Rastafari or Mormonism can be considered as branches of these main religions.

Basic characteristics of Abrahamic religions

Some things appear as common denominators among these religions. Let's know some things like-

  • The Creator is One, He alone should be worshipped. Although many call the Christian Trinity pluralistic, it does not mean that more than one creator exists or is worshipped.
  • Many prophets belong to these religions
  • All believe in the Creator of Prophet Abraham (Yahweh, Jehovah or, Allah).
We will discuss the major Abrahamic religions-

Take a look at some of the smaller (follower wise) Abrahamic religions, follower numbers, founders and symbols in the figure below-

Minor Abrahamic religions

Photo credit: Islam90 , photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. 

Noah, or Abraham, is considered by many to be the first person to reject (or oppose) idolatry after the Flood. Christians believe that he was the first to witness the Trinity, that the teaching of the Trinity came to him in the form of three angels. Muslims call him the father of nations, the Bible also calls him the father of many nations. He was the first Muslim (according to Muslims) after Noah.

Belief in life after death is part of this religion. Although it is believed that the soul survives after this life without a mortal body, there is disagreement among religions about what happens in the afterlife.


Indian religion

Indian religion
Indian religion refers to the religions that originated in India. Many people think that everyone around the Indus River is Hindu, so Indian religion means Hinduism. Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Jains are all Hindus. It can be said if the word Hindu is used in the sense of geographical identity. But generally all religions that originated in this subcontinent are termed Indian religions by theologians.

What is Dhamma?

Although it may sound similar, religion and Dhamma are not the same. There is a Buddhist scripture called the Dhammapada in which the words of the Buddha are recorded in poetic language. This book has total 26 chapters and 423 verses.

The word dhamma means closely to bring forth or, protect. Through the Dhammapada, Buddhists speak of preserving the order of the world. This book of Gautama Buddha's words is therefore, appreciated by all.

Numerous religions were and still are prevalent in the region. Some see them separately while others consider them included in the main beliefs. Major (by consecutive number) Beliefs-
This classification was not based on the country now called 'India'. In this region-wise classification, therefore, Islam, Judaism, and Persian are none of these. Matua, Brahma are also not classified separately.

Religions of China and Japan

Religions of China and Japan
Religions that originated in the Far East are called Far Eastern religions. Such as: Tao, Shinto, Confucianism, East Asian Buddhism etc. These religions originated in East Asia. These are usually polytheistic or, monotheistic religions.

These types of religions are popular in China, Japan, Korea. Many call them philosophy instead of religion

Here we will discuss some famous beliefs of this region-
  • Tao
  • Shinto
  • Confucian
  • Buddhist philosophy of the Far East
Like traditional Abrahamic religions, these religions do not have the same concept of heaven-hell, good-evil, and God. It is not an exaggeration to call it a regional culture. Again, there is no way not to say Religion because of its influence. East Asian philosophy is very different from that of the rest of the world.

African religions and others

African and other religions

Every country in the world has small ethnic groups with different religious beliefs. They are often not included in mainstream religions. As in other parts of Africa, there are, and have been, different beliefs.

Characteristics of the Religions of African Peoples

The whole matter will not be clear to you without telling some features. Some of the features are-

  • Ritual to appease the Lord through ancestral spirits
  • Animals, birds, vegetables are offered to ancestors
  • Many people think that the real world revolves in cycles. There is a link between the birth of new babies and the death of the elderly
  • Moon, stars, planets, stars are considered as sacred powers

There are many different beliefs among different peoples, but there are also many similarities between them. Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, South Africa, North Africa all have different characteristics of beliefs.

When talking about Africa, how can we ignore Egypt? The Egyptian pharaohs believed in a particular type of faith. Many kings considered themselves part of God

I have not explained here all the religions and what these religions mean separately, but you may get a lot of unknown information from this text.

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