Christianity and World Religion
Judaism was first defined in the 14th Century but was introduced by Moses the Lawgiver who received the Ten commandments from God after leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt during the Exodus. The Hebrews followed Moses for forty years in the desert before being led by Joshua into the land of Canaan. The first five books of the Bible are called The Torah and introduces the commandments of God to the Hebrew people. Modern Jews are divided in their worship because some are conservative orthodox Jews while some are liberal. Many Israelis are secular in their religious views.
Jerusalem is the ancient capitol of Israel from the time of the Israelites and King David who founded his dynasty.
Religion and Christianity are completely separate and distinct. Christianity is one among many world religions. Many people who embrace Christianity are said to have got religion. It would be more appropriate to say he or she found God, received the Holy Spirit, became a follower of Jesus Christ, accepted the Lord as their personal savior, or any other appropriate term that means that a person became a Christian.
There are many world religions. Every culture has a different means of worship to celebrate their belief in a higher power. Some of these world religions are listed in the order of the approximate number of followers. They are Christianity, Islam, Secular/Atheist/Agnostic, Hinduism, Traditional Chinese Religion, Buddhism, primal-indigenous, African Traditional & Diasporic, Sikhism, Juche, Spiritism, Judaism, Baha', Jainism, Shinto, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Neo-Paganism, Unitarian-Universalism, Rastafarianism, and Scientology (World's Major Religions New York: Prentice Hall, 1993; pg. 271).
Every world religion is unique to the culture and society of its followers. The beliefs and practices are equally distinct from one another.
Gautama Buddha was a 6th-century B.C. teacher whose doctrines strongly opposed the formalized, mechanical rituals of the Brahman sect in Hinduism; Buddha’s teachings offered escape from endless reincarnation, a method of spiritual attainment through correct views and actions. Buddhism is widely practiced today in Asia and Indonesia. Buddhists believe that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through understanding that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject.
Taoism is a religious philosophy introduced in the sixth century by Lao-tzu that offers a simple lifestyle that does not interfere with nature. This religion is popular in Chinese culture.
Shivaism is the most popular of the four sects that make up Hinduism. Shivaism is the worship of the God Shiva whom worshipers believe is the Supreme Being of the Universe.
Islam is a monotheistic faith whose followers are called Muslims. Followers believe the prophet Muhammad who introduced the Koran in the 7th Century CE. Believers follow Allah who they believe is the Supreme Being. Islam originated in the Middle East.
Birth of Christianity
Christianity as a religion was born out of Judaism two-thousand years ago when Jewish carpenter was born to a Jewish girl chosen by God for her pure spirit. According to the Bible Mary, a descendant of Kings was betrothed to Joseph who was also a descendant of Kings. According to Matthew 1:18-25 the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she became pregnant. Mary and Joseph did not have normal married relations until after Jesus was born. Even before Jesus was born the words, God With Us, were connected to him. The birth of Jesus Christ is associated with a prophey made by the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 9:6 (New International Version) 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
According to Scripture, Jesus Christ was a controversial figure even in his own time. He performed great miracles healing the sick and even raised the dead, but was scorned by the religious leaders in Jerusalem because he was poor and they believed he was a heretic who claimed to be God in the flesh. These leaders never accepted Jesus Christ and when the opportunity arose they made him a prisoner, beat him unmercifully, and eventually gained permission from the Roman Governor of Judea from AD 26-36 to execute him. Jesus was poor and when he died one of his followers named Joseph of Aramithea was given permission to remove his body and bury him. Jesus was buried on the personal tomb of Joseph of Aramithea. Because of the public outcry and at the request of the chief priest of the Sanhedrin, Pilate ordered soldiers to stand guard at the tomb of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:62-65) to keep the disciples from stealing the body. On the third morning after his death, Jesus rose from the dead. The large stone that had been placed in front of the tomb rolled away, and the Roman soldiers witnessed the event! Many people since the earliest days have tried to claim that the disciples stole Jesus body, or that Jesus was merely a man and not God. The truth is that every person makes the choice...to believe or not to believe! Christianity is founded on faith. The question rings out today as it was of the people by Pilate on that fateful day, "What will you do with Jesus, the Christ?"
Catholic Holy Sites
Catholics and Protestants
Today Catholics and Christian Protestants are all followers of Jesus Christ. Within Protestant groups there are many denominations and groups who debate doctrinal issues such as formulas for baptism and issues about the Godhead. However, all agree that Jesus was God in the flesh. The world recognizes many gods, but some Christian believers and followers of Judaism believe in only one God. Catholics and most Christians believe in a triune God.
To Learn more about monotheism and get more information about Jesus Christ read the book of Acts but especially chapters 1-2 which details the beginning of the Church Age.
World's Major Religions list published in the New York Public Library Student's Desk Reference(World's Major Religions New York: Prentice Hall, 1993; pg. 271) Adherents.com
Joseph of Aramithea http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/joseph-of-arimathea-faq.htm Retrieved March 27, 2009
Religion Facts, Chinese Religion http://www.religionfacts.com/chinese_religion/index.htm Retrieved April 30, 2013
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