9 Belief Systems


Animism started in traditional communities of Africa and it is still practiced today. Animist's believe that one's ancestors serve as important links between the present and spiritual worlds. There is no religious text in this belief system. Animist's worship the spirits of nature and they also worship their ancestors. This belief of a great respect for nature has an impacted and affected their culture greatly.

Interesting Facts on Animism

Animism has many variations of definitions. Here is one of them, Animism is simply referred to the belief in souls and the term often refers to the belief that non-human entities have souls.(http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Animism.html)

The word "Animism" comes from the Latin word anima. The Latin word Anima means soul or breath. (http://www.omf.org/omf/uk/asia/religions/animism)


Shintoism started in Japan. Shintoism's creator is unknown. Shintoism does not have a Holy Book. The Shinto's believe that the spirits of "Kami" exist in all things. They also believe that their Emperor is "God like". The impacts and affects that Shintoism had on their culture is that they had a great respect for the natural world especially their emperor from the past.

Interesting Facts on Shintoism

Shintoism means the way of gods, it is also an ancient religion of Japan.

Kami is Amaterasu, which is the sun goddess and she is the ancestor to the emperors of Japan. (http://www.uri.org/kids/other_shin.htm)


Hinduism started in India and it stayed in India. There is no related people. They have a Holy Text that is called the Vedas. The Hindu's believe in reincarnation (one's soul is reborn into another form until perfection is reached). Their impact on culture is that they try to lead a good life in order to keep moving towards perfection.

Interesting Facts on Hinduism

Hinduism is the world's third largest and oldest religion.

The Hindu's goal is the salvation of life.(http://hinduismfacts.org/)


Buddhism was located in India, but it didn't stay in India. Buddhism migrated to Southeast Asia and China, then went on to Korea and Japan. Siddhartha Gautama created Buddhism. There is no Holy Text for Buddhism. Buddhist's believe that you can end your suffering by ending your desires. Their impact on culture is that they learn to accept what life brings to them.

Interesting Facts on Buddhism

Siddhartha, who was the creator of Buddhism, was Buddha. If you look at the second picture above, that is an example of what Siddhartha (Buddha) looked like.

Buddhist have a special day called Wesak, Vesak or Buddha day. Every month of May when it reaches the night of the full moon Buddhist's share the birth and death of the "Enlightened One". (http://library.thinkquest.org/J002592/Buddhism2.htm)


Taoism was located in China. Taoism isn't really a religion, it is a social philosophy. Taoism has a Holy Text called Tao Te Ching. They believe that they should follow "the way" of nature, which means to accept the things that you cannot change. Their impact on culture is that they do not challenge the natural process and they accept things as they come.

Interesting Facts on Taoism

There are 2o million followers of Taoism around the world but most of the followers live in China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

In the first picture above, it shows a good example of the Taoism symbol. It is called the Ying Yang. (http://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/index.htm)


Confucianism was located in China. It's Holy Text is called the Analects. Confucianists believed that all people need to accept their role in society. Their impact on their culture is that they have a great deal of respect for their parents, their elders, and their country. (Filial Piety)

Interesting Facts on Confucianism

Confucianism is not a religion, it is a social philosophy like Taoism.

In Confucianism their is no teachings about afterlife.(http://www.patheos.com/Library/Confucianism.html)


Judaism was located in the Middle East. Their Holy Text was called the Torah, which was one of the first five books of the Old Testament. Jews believed in monotheism, which is the belief in one god. They also believe that God will send a Messiah (savior) to them someday. Their impact on their culture is that they try to follow God's laws (The 10 Commandments) so the Messiah will come.

Interesting Facts on Judaism

The Kiddush blessing is said over wine to usher in the Sabbath or a holiday.

In their Holy Text (Torah) there are five books inside of it.(http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Religion/Judaism-325.html)


Christianity was located in the Middle East. It's Holy Text was called the Bible, which was the Old/New Testament. Christians believe in monotheism. The Christians also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he is the Messiah. The Christians impact on their culture is that the simple rules of their religion won many converts to Christianity.

Interesting Facts on Christianity

About 50 bibles are sold every minute. It is also the worlds most selling book.

The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.(http://didyouknow.org/fastfacts/religion/)


Islam was located in the Middle East like Christianity and Judaism. Its Holy Text is called the Qur'an (Koran). Islamic people believe in monotheism. The also believe that if they follow Allah in all things above everything else, Mohammed in the Messiah who spreads the word of God. Their impact on their culture is that the religious laws of Islam are so important that they often become the political laws of the nation.

Interesting Facts on Islam

"Peace through the submission to God" is was "Islam" means.

"Anyone or anything that submits itself to the will of God" is what "Muslim" means.(http://www.islamondemand.com/30_facts.html)

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