World Religions

There are 22 Major Religions throughout the world, with the main Religions having a connection or thier roots with Israel

This section will start with Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus with a brief description on each religion.

Muslims
The teachings of Islam are comprised of both faith and duty (din). One branch of Muslim learning, "Tawhid", defines all that a man should believe, while the other branch, "Shari'a," prescribes everything that he should do.

There is no priesthood and no sacraments. Except among the Sufis, Muslims receive instruction only from those who consider themselves adequately learned in theology or law. The basis for Islamic doctrine is found in the Qur'an (Koran). It is the scripture of Islam, written by Muhammad and his disciples as dictated by the Angel Gabriel. It alone is infallible and without error.

The Qur'an is comprised of 114 surahs, or chapters, arranged from longest to shortest. For Muslims, the Qur'an is the word of God, and he carrier of the revelation of Muhammad, the last and most perfect of God's messengers to mankind. In addition to the Qur'an, other documents are also referred to by followers of Islam.

A number of additional sayings of Muhammad were complied in the Hadith ("tradition"). The Torat (of Moses), Suhuf (books of the prophets), Zabur (psalms of David), and the Injil (gospel of Jesus) are also studied and considered to be revelations, although they are believed to have been corrupted through time.


Sikhs
No consensus exists on the origins of this religion. Historians and specialists in Eastern religions generally believe that Sikhism is a syncretistic religion, originally related to the Bhakti movement within Hinduism and the Sufi branch of Islam, to which many independent beliefs and practices were added.

Some Sikhs believe that their religion is a re-purification of Hinduism; they view Sikhism as part of the Hindu religious tradition. Many Sikhs disagree; they believe that their religion is a direct revelation from God - a religion that was not derived from either Hinduism or Islam.

Sikhism does contain many unique postulates and principles that are quite different from both Hinduism and Islam.


Hindus
Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. It consists of "thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE."

Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 837 million followers - 13% of the world's population. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. According to the "Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches," there are about 1.1 million Hindus in the U.S.

The "American Religious Identification Survey" is believed to be more accurate. They estimated smaller number: 766,000 Hindus in 2001. Still, this is a very significant increase from 227,000 in 1990. Statistics Canada estimates that there are about 157,015 Hindus in Canada.

Hinduism is generally regarded as the world's oldest organized religion. Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic religions. They recognize a single deity, and view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God. Henotheistic and polytheistic religions have traditionally been among the world's most religiously tolerant faiths. However, until recently, a Hindu nationalistic political party controlled the government of India.

The linkage of religion, the national government, and nationalism led to a degeneration of the separation of church and state in India. This, in turn, has decreased the level of religious tolerance in that country. The escalation of anti-Christian violence was one manifestation of this linkage. With the recent change in government, the level of violence will diminish.

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