The Different Types of Religion

Published: 04th May 2010
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Religion is a huge aspect in people's lives. For many people (2.1 billion), the top religion in the world is Christianity. However, there are other religions that all have millions of people in them. The top five different types of religion are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Judaism has diminished in size and is number six with only fourteen million people. It used to be much larger and have a larger reach.





Christianity is a monotheistic religion that started out a separate sect of Judaism. It was believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God and had come down to suffer for the people. At first, this religion was heavily persecuted by the Romans and other Jewish sects, but since then, it has grown and flourished. It has a reported 2.1 million followers of all the different sects. However, churches have reported losing members.





Islam is a monotheistic religion that started in the 7th century based on the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. It originated in Arabia and since then has spread around the world as the second largest religion with 1.5 billion members. Its holy book is the Qur'an. Their God is known as Allah. In Islam, they believe that all the previous high individuals in religion-Abraham, Moses, and Jesus-were all Prophets and that Muhammad was the last Prophet.





Hinduism is a religion primarily found in India. Of its nearly 1 billion members, over 800 million are found in Southern India. Unlike other religions that can trace their roots back to a single founder-Muhammad for Islam, Abraham for Judaism-Hinduism brings together numerous different traditions and therefore, has no one founder. More importantly, the concept of God is skewed because there are elements of monothesism, polythesism and panism among other things included in their teachings.





Buddhism is a religion of 376 million named after Siddhartha Gautama's new name, Buddha, in which he went around Northern India offering insight on suffering known as dukkha. His primary teachings were that individuals should try to achieve nirvana which was the extinction of the desire for any physical acts. Therefore, when someone achieved nirvana, they were released from the constant rebirth and suffering. However, to achieve this required great spiritual focus.





Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and the fifth largest with 23 million followers. Its teachings are that there needs to be a belief in waheguru-the Universal God. Their main point is the pursuit of salvation through discipline and personal meditation. Their principle leaders are known as gurus; however, they have not had one since Gobind Singh ascended on October 7, 1708.





There are so many religions in the world, but the above five make up 75.5% of the world population. However, other big religions are Judaism, Bahaism and Confucianism. Each religion has grown as the times have changed, but the principle teachings have typically stayed the same. The fundamental problem with lists of this nature, though, is that they are only organized religions and don't include the unorganized religions of Africa and China that might have millions of members.





For more information on religion, specifically on the Christian religion, visit the Naples Church Website.




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