Religion has been one of the most debatable topics across the globe. Some people consider themselves highly religious, while others relate to atheism – the act of not believing in the existence of deities and God. The concept of religion is widely criticized, but those criticisms are mainly criticisms of the underlying ideas. Religion has always been one of the trickiest concepts – people who believe in it, believe everything about the religion they follow and those who don’t, they question everything!
There are more than 10,000 religions across the globe. We will see 10 such religions and their founder.
Founded by Swami Prabhupada, who was born as Abhay Charan De, this religion is equally important to Indians as well as foreigners. It was started as the “Hare Krishna Movement”, which is the common name for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. People from around the world have joined this movement and became a devotee of Lord Krishna. By the time, Swami Prabhupada passed away (14thNovember 1977), ISKCON had become an international expression and emotion for the devotees of Lord Krishna.
Moses De León was the founder of the Jewish tradition called Kabbalah. According to Kabbalah, God is infinite and not to be comprehended by humans. They view the Almighty and the world he has created, as non-discrete entities. They believe that there is a part of God inside each one of us.
Mormons are followers of Christianity. The religion was officially founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 when he published the Book of Mormon. They believe in the tales revolving around the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They believe in different levels of heaven – celestial, terrestrial, and telestial and only the celestial ones were to live in God’s presence. Followers of Mormonism don’t consume alcohol, tobacco, coffee, or tea.
Jehovah’s Witness was formed by Charles Taze Russell. This was previously called the Watch Tower Society. Even though they are Christians, the followers of Jehovah’s Witness do not use the traditional Bible, they instead use a translation, the New World Translation. The major difference between traditional Christianity and Jehovah’s Witness is that they do not believe Jesus Christ as equal to God, they consider him to be created by God.
This religious group was founded by Ann Lee or “Mother Ann” as her followers called her. Ann Lee was a textile worker in Manchester and she brought The Shaker Doctrine to the United States, which she later converted to the “Shaking Quakers”. They believed in the idea of God existing as male and female. Mother Ann was considered to be the female manifestation of Christ. They believed in celibacy and once a follower joins the society, they could only have children through adoption or conversion.
Modern political Zionism was founded by Theodore Herzl. His efforts were directed towards forming a Jewish state by promoting Jewish immigration to Palestine. Zionists speak Hebrew and they believe Israel to be the official birthplace of Jewish people. There are different types of Zionism – Labor Zionism, Liberal Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, Religious Zionism, and Green Zionism.
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was an American author. He wrote many science fiction books such as Dianetics, Battlefield Earth, and Final Blackout. He founded the Church of Scientology to offer an individual a complete understanding of their spiritual nature and their relationship to themselves and others. The goal of Scientology is to enlighten the followers to look beyond their mortal self and embrace their spiritual side.
Mary Baker Eddy, born as Mary Morse Baker was an American author who wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, established the foundation of the Church of Christ, Scientist in New England. Their religious books include the Bible and Science and Health. They believe that the illnesses we experience are just a manifestation of our minds and can be treated with spirituality and prayer. This church does not perform marriages or funerals.
Islam is the religion followed by Muslims all around the world. It was started by Prophet Muhammad in Mecca. Muslims believe that Muhammad was sent as a messenger of God. The Islamic calendar dates to 622 when Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina. The journey, known as Hijra, has now become one of the most important parts of the Islamic tradition. The holy book they refer to is called the Quran. Islam’s five pillars are – Shahada (declare your faith in God), Salat (pray five times a day), Zakat (donate to the needy), Sawm (fast during the holy month of Ramadan), and Hajj (if you are able, visit Mecca at least once in your lifetime).
There are ten Sikh Gurus and the first of them, Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism. It is one of the widely recognized religions. They believe in the concept of just one God. They preach equality across religions, irrespective of color, gender, age, etc. Sikhs believe in the existence of inner evils as anti-God and preached to suppress them. Sikhs always believe in feeding the unfortunate and hence the concept of Langar was formed. In most gurudwaras, Langar is observed weekly to provide free food.
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