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LIST of WORLD RELIGIONS

World Religions should be examined by their place in history, dominance and truth.  I find it interesting that many college texts and bookstore texts – nearly all from secular sources since the mid-1900s place the Jewish and Christian religions in the back.  The Encyclopedia of World Religions (1988) was said to have been organized both ‘geographically and historically’ and follows that secular pattern.  It first speaks of mythology, ‘uncivilized peoples,’ tribalism in Africa and mysticism  in India.   However, the Jewish religion came first in history and geographically in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ of Asia from which college texts agree civilization began.

The purpose of this article is only to provide basic information on the religion listed.  Other articles will further examine and reveal history and teachings of many of the following listed.

PART I: List of Major Religions

[adherents estimated 2017; adjusted slightly for listed member who do not practice]

1 Christianity 2 billion Trending maybe .5% yr. to Nonreligious
2 Islam 1.7 billion Trending slightly upward
3 Nonreligious 1.2 billion Includes agnostic and atheist; growing significantly
4 Hindu 900 million Mainly India (about 80% of population)
5 Buddhism 340 million about 16% of Chinese; origin Nepal
6 Chinese Folk 300 million Includes various traditional
7 Tribal/Primal 200 million Includes African traditional
8 Sikhism 20 million 15th century by a ‘Guru’ in south Asia
9 Juche 18 million Forced ideology of North Koran
10 Judaism 14 million Population cut in half 3 times
11 Baha’i 7 million Teachings of Baha’u’llah (late 1800s)
12 Jainism 4 million India; believe in reincarnation
13 Shinto 5 million Japan (4%); ‘way of the gods’
14 Cao Dai 4 million Vietnam; different manifestations of God
15 Zoroastrianism 2.5 million Iran, Persian; prophet Zoroaster c.620BC
16 Tenrikyo 2 million Japan; prophetess Miki – Oyasama (1838)
17 Unitarian-Universalism 800,000 3rd Principle: ‘acceptance’ – ‘diverse and inclusive’ beliefs, seeking ‘higher Power’
18 Wiccan 600,000 Pagan Witchcraft; mid-1900s
19 Scientology 200,000 Goal ‘spiritual enlightenment’
20 Jedi Knights 200,000 UK, Australia & Canada census list Jedi
Sources include Adherents.com, CIA Factbook, Operation World, etc.
 PART II: some basic information on a few religions; article written 2016:

JUDAISM (the Jewish religion)        founded: by God  5777 years ago

Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion (belief in one God).    Jews believe in God (Yahweh, Yehovah; also call Adonai – Lord, Master) the Creator of heaven and earth and man (Adam), and that God commands us to worship no other gods.  Their laws come from the Torah; also called the Hebrew Scriptures.  They have the Hebrew Bible or TaNaKh – an acronym for Torah (5 books of Moses), Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (writings).   They believe in the Messiah (although they do not believe He has already come).  They believe in the resurrection of the dead.  There chief prophet is Moses.  Although, the religion begins with Adam and his linage, the Jewish name comes primarily from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, grandson of Abraham.

HINDUISM        founded by the Aryans  between 1400 BC to 1100 BC

 

 

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BUDDHISM            founded by Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) about c.440 BC

The Spread of Buddhism

CHRISTIANITY          founded: by Christ Jesus; c. 5 BC

Jesus Christ (Yeshua ha Messiah or Yehoshua hamashiach – the Anointed Savior; God our Salvation) was born of the virgin Mary about 5 BC in Bethlehem.  At about the age 30, Jesus made disciples who spread forth His teachings.   According to the Bible, ‘the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch (Acts 11:26).’  They were also called followers of ‘the Way,’ of which Paul stated ‘I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets (Acts 24:14).’  As Jews, Christians also believe in the resurrection and judgment to come.  Christians believe in the Hebrew Scriptures which they call the Old Testament and also the New Testament which contains four gospels of Jesus Christ and writings from disciples would saw Him.  Early Christian codexes included other books in their appendix.  The BIBLE: History and Accuracy

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ISLAM (Muslims)        founded: by Muhammad c. 610 AD

Muslims believe that the Quran (Koran – ‘reading’) was revealed to Muhammad by God through the angel Gabriel.   The Quran states belief in the Injil (Gospels of Jesus Christ); yet, they state that the gospels were and are distorted and that Jesus is not the Son of God, but only a prophet.   The Quran speaks of Adam, Noah, Moses and of course Abraham.  Muslims also believe in the resurrection and a judgment to come.  However, they do not look to Jesus Christ as the Messiah; yet, some look to the 12th Imam or Mahdi in that manner.   The five pillars of Islam: creed, daily prayers, alms giving, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca if able.

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