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18 World Most Powerful Religions That Shapes Human Beliefs! Are You Following Any of This?



Religion is a derivative of the Latin word religio, which means “a bond” or “sanctity”, which was further derived from Religare, another Latin word meaning “to tie”. In a vast world with an array of uncertainty and doubts, human beings keep their thoughts and beliefs centered on a specific set of sacred practices, morals, and ideology, which is coined as religion.


It is a subjective lifestyle people choose to live in relation to what they consider otherworldly or reverent. The world comprises a diverse range of religions followed by distinct groups of people. Let’s discuss a bit more about the religions of the world.


Christianity:

The 1st century CE, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, marked the beginning of Christianity, a monotheistic religion. Having over two billion followers, Christianity is the largest of the religions in the world.


The teachings of Jesus spread through the Jewish communities by apostles like Paul, after his death and spread farther across the Roman Empire. The spread of Christianity, however slow, reached a wide range of people and was chosen more than most religions of the world.


The reasons for the growth in its following had a lot to do with what Christianity preached and how it appealed to a majority of the community. With the growing beliefs and range, it got subdivided into three limbs- Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.


To preserve the essence and the teachings of Christianity from its earliest beliefs, the Holy Bible was written, consisting of the Old Testament and the New Testament, which is considered sacred.


Over the past 2,000 years, Christianity has continued to impact the world and the ways people live and it continues to do so. It has led philosophy, art, science, and literature into people’s lives and has also had a great impact on the education of the world.


Islam:

The start of the 7th century marked the creation of Islam. Of the major religions in the world, Islam was the youngest. Prophet Muhammad was the founding figure of the second largest religion of the world at present.


Muhammad began spreading the word of God, which was revealed to him by the archangel Gabriel, as believed by his followers in Mecca, modern-day Saudi Arabia. The origin of the word Islam took root from the Arabic word “ ‘aslama ”, which means ‘submit(to God)’. Muslims regarded the rise of Islam as a way to connect to the original faith of the prophets. Islam is a monotheistic religion.


The teachings of Allah given to Prophet Muhammad were preserved in The Qur’an. Islam infused the society with the message of equality and brotherhood. Moreover, Islam contributed to the development of public libraries, surgical tools, and the discovery of algebra and optics.


Judaism:

Judaism is the oldest religion in the world that is monotheistic in nature. It originated nearly 4,000 years back, with Abraham being its founder, in Jerusalem. The symbol used by the Jews to represent their religion is the six pointed star, known as The Star of David, referring to the ancient ‘shield’ of the king of Israel.


It is believed that Abraham, a Hebrew man, was a part of the special covenant created by God and he and his bloodline were made sacred people and given land. The Hebrew Bible, also known as Tanakh, is a collection of biblical texts, also subdivided into three parts-Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. The most significant document of Judaism, however, is the Torah. At present, Judaism is the 10th largest religion of the world.


Hinduism:

Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, with its origin dating back to over 5,000 years. It started in the Indus Valley as a development of beliefs brought around by the Aryans. Hence, there is no specific founder but a collection of beliefs and practices in reference to the Vedas. It originated from the Brahmin class and spread to become more popular.


The people that helped in making Hinduism the most popular religion of the Indian subcontinent were The Gupta Emperors. However, the cast distinction prevented the growth of Hinduism to a larger extent. It was also considered to be inherited by birth which made it nearly impossible for outsiders to adopt this religion.


Hinduism has two primary symbols associated with it, the om and the swastika, which represents good luck. Hinduism is diverse in its traditions. Thus, it represents a range of religious practices such as henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, pantheism, pandeism, panentheism, monism, agnosticism, atheism, and nontheism. The most prominent texts of Hinduism are written in Bhagavad Gita. Hinduism, at present, is the third largest religion of the world.


Buddhism:

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, sometimes between the fifth and the sixth century BCE. It originated after the death of Gautama Buddha, when his followers started spreading his preaching through religious movements. It was believed that Gautama Buddha, after having found enlightenment, spread the teachings about spirituality for the rest of his life. Buddhism first spread in the North-eastern India.


Buddhism is one of the largest religions of the world and has been in existence for the past 2,500 years. Buddhism believes in human suffering and the attainment of enlightenment or nirvana through spiritualism and meditation. The Buddhist show reverence to Buddha, however they do not believe him to be God, neither do they believe in any other God.


The sacred texts of Buddhism, which are the teachings of Buddha, are inclusively known as the Tripitakas. Throughout the Buddhism religion, eight symbols are used as a representation of their religion- the dharma wheel, a white parasol, a lotus flower, an endless knot, a conch shell, a victory banner, a pair of golden fish, and a treasure vase. Most monks and nuns that are a part of Buddhism, make lifelong commitment to stay celibate.


Sikhism:

The fifth largest of the religions of the world, Sikhism, was founded on 13th April 1699 in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the one who formed this religion. Guru Nanak preached about love for all.


The religion took place when people realized that the faith taught something other religions did not. Sikhs believed in the will of God and existence of Waheguru even before the universe existed. Sikhs have the five Ks meant to represent their religion as well as a triangular saffron flag. The five Ks consist of Kesh(uncut hair), Kara(a steel bracelet), Kanga(a wooden comb), Kaccha(a cotton underwear), and Kirpan(steel sword).


Furthermore, Sikh religion focuses on three beliefs: reverence upon the Creator, honest living, and service to humanity. The most sacred place to the Sikhs is the Golden Temple and their holy book is called the Granth Sahib.


Also Read: Is 666 Number of Beast? Know the Secret Meaning in the Final Book of Bible: The Book of Revelation


Baha’i Faith:

In 1844, the roots of the Baha’i religion emerged from the Babi faith. It was founded by Mirza Husayn ‘Ali Nuri in Iran. He proclaimed the emergence of a new messenger who would change the beliefs of the old era and bring forth new customs in a new era.


The Baha’i Faith focuses their belief in equality for all, while rejecting racism and nationalism. The five-pointed star, al