Major World Religions

Major World Religions

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founded by Abraham ~2000 BC; Moses gave Jews the Torah ~1250 BC

holy writings include the Torah and oral traditions

believe in laws of God, words of prophets; actions more important than beliefs

Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform

many believers located in Israel and the United States

founded by Jesus Christ, who was crucified ~AD 30 in Jerusalem

main sacred text is the Bible

leader taught love of God and neighbor, and concern for justice

Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, various Protestant groups, variety of others

spread to most of the world through missionaries

founded by Muhammed (b. AD 570) at Mecca in Saudi Arabia

sacred text is the Koran

Five Pillars: professing faith, prayer, charity, fasting for Ramadan, pilgrimage to Mecca

Sunnis and Shiites

main religion of Middle East; present in Asia & North Africa

no known founder; dates back to prehistoric times

most ancient writings are the four Vedas

reincarnation and karma

no single belief system unites this group; one can believe in one god, many gods, or none

practiced by over 80% of India's population

founded by Siddhartha Gautama ~ 4th or 5th century BC

sacred texts include: ripitaka, the Mahayana Sutras, Tantra, and Zen texts

4 noble truths: all beings suffer, desire causes suffering, desire can be overcome, the Middle way

Theravada (Way of the Elders) and Mahayana (Greater Vehicle)

main religion in many Asian countries