Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, they tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle.
Christianity is the second largest religion in the world with more than 1570 million followers. Christianity is a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament. Most Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human, and the savior of humanity prophesied in the Old Testament. Consequentially, Christians refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah. Christianity was not founded by Jesus (although many people think so), it was founded by Mary Magdalene. Christianity is the largest religion in Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Central African Republic, Denmark, Flanders, France, Holy Rome, Kitara Empire, Kongo, Monaco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Poland-Lithuania, Portugal, Roman Empire, Russia, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and Zimbabwe.
Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله Allāh) and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets. They maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially misinterpreted or altered over time, but consider the Arabic Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment. Muhammad was the founder of Islam, which he founded in the 7th century AD. Islam is the largest religion in Arabia, Kenopia, Lyrobia, Morocco, Persia and the Songhai Empire. Islam is the fourth largest religion in the world with more than 750 million followers.
Judaism is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. Judaism is a monotheistic religion, with its main inspiration being based on or found in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) which has been explored in later texts, such as the Talmud. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism has no universally accepted founder, however Moses seems to be the most accepted of them. No nation in the world has Judaism as its largest religion, but the territory of Israel, which is currently occupied by Egypt, has the largest Judaist population in the world.
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. Three core principles establish a basis for Bahá'í teachings and doctrine: the unity of God, that there is only one God who is the source of all creation; the unity of religion, that all major religions have the same spiritual source and come from the same God; and the unity of humanity, that all humans have been created equal, and that diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. According to the Bahá'í teachings the human purpose is to learn to know and love God through such methods as prayer, reflection, and being of service to humanity. Baha'ism was founded in 19th century Persia by Bahá'u'lláh. There are around 5 million Bahá'ís in the world.
Buddhism is the largest religion in the world with more than 1715 million adherents. Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha, meaning "the awakened one". The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering (dukkha) through the elimination of ignorance (avidyā) by way of understanding and the seeing of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and the elimination of desire (taṇhā), and thus the attainment of the cessation of all suffering, known as the sublime state of nirvāņa. Two major branches of Buddhism are generally recognized: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"). Buddhism is the largest religion in China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Tibet.
Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with around 1425 million followers. Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Smartism, Shaktism among numerous other traditions. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a categorisation of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs. Hinduism consists of many diverse traditions and has no single founder. Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India. As such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major religion" in the world. Since Vedic times, a process of Sanskritization has been taking place, in which "people from many strata of society throughout the subcontinent tended to adapt their religious and social life to Brahmanic norms". Hinduism is the largest religion in India, Khmer Empire and Nusantara.
Jainism, traditionally known as Jaina dharma, is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings and emphasises spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life. Practitioners believe that non-violence and self-control are the means by which they can obtain liberation. Currently, Jainism is divided into two major sects-- Digambara and Śvētāmbara. The word Jainism is derived from a Sanskrit verb Ji which means to conquer. It refers to a battle with the passions and bodily pleasures that the jaina ascetics undertake. Those who win this battle are termed as Jina (conqueror). The term Jaina is thus used to refer to laymen and ascetics of this tradition alike. Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Jains traditionally trace their history through a succession of twenty-four propagators of their faith known as tirthankara with Ādinātha as the first tirthankara and Mahāvīra as the last. For long periods of time Jainism was the state religion of Indian kingdoms and widely adopted in the Indian subcontinent. The religion has been in decline since the 8th century CE due to the growth of, and oppression by, the followers of Hinduism and Islam. There are around 5 million followers of Jainism in the world.
Sikhism, or known in Punjabi as Sikhi, is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak and continued to progress through the ten successive Sikh gurus (the last guru being the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib). It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with approximately 30 million adherents. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally 'wisdom of the Gurū'). Punjab, India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population. Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs (students or disciples). Sikhs are expected to embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī"—a saint-soldier. Which means to love God, meditate on God, keep God in the heart, feel God's nearness and also be strong, courageous and ready to fight to protect weak people from cruel unjust attackers. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. The principal beliefs of Sikhism are faith in Waheguru—represented by the phrase ik ōaṅkār, meaning one God, who prevails in everything, along with a praxis in which the Sikh is enjoined to engage in social reform through the pursuit of justice for all human beings. Sikhism teaches that God is Akal Purakh (eternal) and advocates the pursuit of salvation in a social context through the congregational practice of meditation on the name and message of God. The followers of Sikhism are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus, or enlightened leaders, as well as the holy scripture entitled the Gurū Granth Sāhib, which, along with the writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus, includes selected works of many devotees from diverse socio-economic and religious backgrounds. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, conferred the leadership of the Sikh community to the Gurū Granth Sāhib and the corporate body of the Khālsā Panth (the Granth and the Panth). Sikhism's traditions and teachings are associated with the history, society and culture of Punjab. Most Sikhs live in Punjab, India, although there is a significant Sikh diaspora. There are around 30 million Sikhs in the world.
Chinese folk religion or Shenism are labels used to describe the collection of ethnic religious traditions which have historically comprised the predominant belief system in China and among Han Chinese ethnic groups up to the present day. Shenism describes Chinese mythology and includes the worship of shens (神, shén; "deities", "spirits", "awarenesses", "consciousnesses", "archetypes") which can be nature deities, Taizu or clan deities, city deities, national deities, cultural heroes and demigods, dragons and ancestors. More than 300 million people follow one of the forms of Shenism.
Taoism (modernly: Daoism) is a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (modernly romanized as "Dao"). The term Tao means "way", "path" or "principle", and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes something that is both the source and the driving force behind everything that exists. It is ultimately ineffable: "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The keystone work of literature in Taoism is the Tao Te Ching, a compact and ambiguous book containing teachings attributed to Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade–Giles: Lao Tzu). Together with the writings of Zhuangzi, these texts build the philosophical foundation of Taoism. This philosophical Taoism, individualistic by nature, is not institutionalized. Institutionalized forms, however, evolved over time in the shape of a number of different schools, often integrating beliefs and practices that even pre-dated the keystone texts – as, for example, the theories of the School of Naturalists, which synthesized the concepts of yin and yang and the Five Elements. Taoist schools traditionally feature reverence for Laozi, immortals or ancestors, along with a variety of divination and exorcism rituals, and practices for achieving ecstasy, longevity or immortality.
Confucianism is an ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ, or K'ung-fu-tzu, lit. "Master Kong", 551–479 BCE). Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han Dynasty. Following the official abandonment of Legalism in China after the Qin Dynasty, Confucianism became the official state ideology of the Han. Nonetheless, since the Han period onward, most Chinese emperors used a mix of Legalism and Confucianism as their ruling doctrine, often with the latter embellishing the former. In other words, Confucian values were used to sugarcoat the harsh Legalist ideas that underlie the Imperial system. The disintegration of the Han in the second century CE opened the way for the spiritual and otherworldly doctrines of Buddhism and Daoism to dominate intellectual life at that time.
Shinto (神道 Shintō), also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the people of Japan. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified "Shinto religion", but rather to disorganized folklore, history, and mythology. Shinto today is a term that applies to public shrines suited to various purposes such as war memorials, harvest festivals, romance, and historical monuments, as well as various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian Periods. The total number of adherents vary from as low as 4 million to as high as 60 million.
Aztec religion is the Mesoamerican religion of the Aztecs. Like other Mesoamerican religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals which were held according to patterns of the Aztec calendar, however these have been abolished. It had a large and ever increasing pantheon; the Aztecs would often adopt deities of other geographic regions or peoples into their own religious practice. Aztec cosmology divided the world into upper and nether worlds, each associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. Important in Aztec religion were the sun, moon and the planet Venus—all of which held different symbolic and religious meanings and were connected to deities and geographical places. Large parts of the Aztec pantheon were inherited from previous Mesoamerican civilizations and others, such as Tlaloc, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, were venerated by different names in most cultures throughout the history of Mesoamerica. For the Aztecs especially important deities were Tlaloc the god of rain, Huitzilopochtli the patron god of the Mexica tribe, Quetzalcoatl the culture hero and god of civilization and order, and Tezcatlipoca the god of destiny and fortune, connected with war and sorcery. Each of these gods have their own temples within the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan—Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were both worshipped at the Templo Mayor. A common Aztec religious practice was the recreation of the divine: Mythological events would be ritually recreated and living persons would impersonate specific deities and be revered as a god—and often ritually sacrificed. The Aztec religion is the state religion and largest religion in the Aztec Empire. Around 140 million people follow the religion.
The Maya religion is the Mesoamerican religion of the Maya. Like other Mesoamerican religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals which were held according to patterns of the Aztec calendar, however these have been abolished. Among the most important gods are Itzamna (the creator god), Chaac (the rain god), Ek Chuah (god of war), Kinich Ahau (the sky god) and Ixchel (godess of medicine). The Maya religion is the largest religion int the Maya Kingdom.
The Inca religion is the native religion of the Inca people. In the past human sacrifice was practised, but this has been abolished. According to the foundation myth, the gods send Manco Capac, son of Inti to the Earth where he founded Cuzco. Manco Capac was later worshipped as a god himself. Among the Inca gods are Viracocha (creator god), Apu (god of mountains, Inti (leader and sun god), Mama Pacha (fertility godess) and Mama Killa (moon godess). The Inca religion is the state religion and largest religion in the Inca Empire. It has more than 100 million adherents.
Native American beliefs
Native American beliefs are the spiritual practices of Native Americans in the United States. These religions are extremely diverse. Some are unique to an individual Native American tribe, while others are practiced by a wide range of tribes. Around 100 million people follow this collection of beliefs. The religion is mainly practised in the Native American Federation.
Vodun or Vudun or Voodoo is an indigenous organized religion of coastal West Africa in the Songhai Empire. Vodoo is practised by the Ewe people, the Kabye people, the Mina people, the Fon people and the Yoruba among others. It is distinct from the various traditional animistic religions in the interiors of these same countries and is the main origin for religions of similar name found among the African Diaspora in the New World such as Haitian Vodou, the Vudu of Puerto Rico, Candomblé Jejé in Brazil (which uses the term Vodum), Winti in Surinam (which is also syncretized with native American aspects), Louisiana Voodoo and Santería in the Caribbean. Around 50-100 million people follow this religion in some form.
Kemetism (also Kemeticism, both from Egyptian kmt or Kemet, the native name of Ancient Egypt; another name is Neterism or Netjerism, from ntr (Coptic noute) "deity", "godhead") is Egyptian Neopaganism, the contemporary revival of Ancient Egyptian religion (which also spread throughout Europe in the Late Antiquity) emerging from the 1970s onwards. Followers call themselves Kemetic(s). The religion has an organised presence in the United States, France and mainly Egypt. Around 20 million people follow it, it is the state religion (but not largest) religion in Egypt.
Polynesian religions are the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia, a grouping of Central and South Pacific Ocean island archipelagos in the Polynesian triangle together with the scattered cultures known as the Polynesian outliers. Polynesians speak languages that descend from a language reconstructed as Proto-Polynesian that was probably spoken in the Tonga - Samoa area around 1000 BC. It is subdivided into different groupings, such as Hawaiian, Maori and Samoan. Around 25 million follow the religion, mainly in Oceania.
Zoroastrianism, also called Mazdaism and Magianism, is an ancient Persian religion and a religious philosophy. It was once the state religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires. Estimates of the current number of Zoroastrians worldwide vary between 10 and 20 million, mainly located in Persia. In the eastern part of ancient Persia more than a thousand years BCE, a religious philosopher called Zoroaster simplified the pantheon of early Iranian gods into two opposing forces: Ahura Mazda (Illuminating Wisdom) and Angra Mainyu (Destructive Spirit) which were in conflict. Zoroaster's ideas led to a formal religion bearing his name by about the 6th century BCE and have influenced other later religions including Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity and Islam.
Main article:The Force
The Force is an entity in the Multiverse, which is everywhere and supposedly holds reality together. Many people in the universe follow this belief. The Force as a belief has existed for hundreds of millions of years. It is bellieved that the Chrelytians were the first to learn to worship and how to manipulite The Force.
Irreligion (adjective form: nonreligious or irreligious) is the absence of religion, an indifference towards religion, a rejection of religion, or hostility towards religion. When characterized as the rejection of religious belief, it includes atheism, religious dissidence and secular humanism. When characterized as hostility towards religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as indifference to religion, it includes apatheism. When characterized as the absence of religious belief, it may also include agnosticism, ignosticism, nontheism, religious skepticism and freethought. Irreligion may even include forms of theism depending on the religious context it is defined against, as in 18th-century Europe where the epitome of irreligion was deism. More than 1 billion people currently report to be irreligious.