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Worship Around The World: Photo Essay

Updated on June 2, 2015

With more than 80% of the people in the world identifying as religious in some form or another, worship is a part of every day life for many of us. Here we showcase the beauty of our diversity.

Buddhism

One of the world's largest religions, more than 300 million people practice Buddhism worldwide. There are differing theories regarding whether Buddhism is a religion, a philosophy or both. There are many elements of Buddhism that are similar to other religions, but there are some elements which set it apart from them as well. The biggest would be the lack of a Creator in nearly all Buddhist philosophies. The statues used by Buddhists don't represent a god; they represent Siddhartha Gotama, the Buddha. Buddhists don't pray to the Buddha, but they do engage in devitional meditation.

Here are some images of Buddhists around the world.

Christianity

Christianity is the world's largest religion, with more than 2.4 billion Christians worldwide. As it's name suggests, Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God and the savior of humanity. Christians believe salvation and redemption are achieved only through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord. Christians worship God the Creator.

Here are some images of Christians around the world.

Hinduism

Hinduism is one of the largest religions on Planet Earth. It exists mainly in India, but there are more than 900 million people practicing Hinduism worldwide. Hinduism is somewhat unique among religions, as there is no one founder, one set of scriptures and no single agreed-upon set of teachings or philosophies. More than a religion, Hinduism is a way of life. Hinduism may encompass the worship many gods and many people who practice Hinduism are vegetarians.

Here are some images of Hindus around the world.

Judaism

One of the world's oldest religions, Judaism claims a history going back 3,000 years. There are more than 14 million people practicing Judaism worldwide. Like Christianity, Judaism is a monotheistic religion, meaning Jews believe in and worship one deity. There are multiple branches of Judaism, ranging from orthodox to more lax branches. The Jews believe they are God's chosen people.

Here are some images of Jews from around the world.

Islam

Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam in a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Followers of Islam are called Muslims. They worship one god, the Creator Allah. "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God." The founder of Islam is the prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe Muhammad was the last prophet of God. Islam is the world's 2nd largest religion, with 1.6 billion followers worldwide.

Here are some images of Muslims around the world.

Tribal Religion & Worship

Tribal religions and ritual ways of worship can vary greatly depending on where the tribe is located and other things, but most include a belief in a Creator or supreme being, spiritual interaction or connection, respect for and connection with ancestors, harmony with nature and shamanism, including natural medicine practices.

Here are some images of tribal worship practices around the world.

Paganism

Paganism is a broad category with many different religions and philosophies in it. Pagans may worship many gods or one God or no gods. Usually Pagan beliefs include harmony with nature and attunement with the higher self. Often pegged as "New Age," Paganism actually pre-dates Christianity. It is an ecclectic collection of spiritual philosophies, with no one set path or way to be.

Here are some images of Pagan rituals from around the world.

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