POPULAR BELIEF SYSTEMS
In this project I will summarize a total of nine belief systems for you. Each belief system its own kind and each belief system different in their own ways.
Animism is a very traditional religion that originated in Africa. There are no religious figures or deity's associated with this religion, following that statement there are also no written holy texts about Animism. Animism's beliefs are simple and easy to follow. Basically EVERYTHING living and non-living has a spirit, you are to be respectful of the spirits of all things. The worshipers ancestors served as a link between the present world and the spirit world. You can call on them for help and you can make offerings and sacrifices to them to make them happy. Animism affected culture by having GREAT respect for nature. FUN FACTS: Did you know that this religion is often practiced in traditional African tribal communities? And did you know that Animism is the oldest written religion?
Shintoism originated in Japan. There are no religious figures associated with Shintoism as there is also no holy text for Shintoism. The main beliefs of Shintoism include the belief that spirits or "Kami" exists in all things, including their "God like" Emperor. Their impact on culture was that they had a GREAT respect for the natural world and especially their past Emperor. FUN FACTS: Shintoism has no true founder according to history. Did you know that Shintoism has an average of 3-4 million people followers?
Hinduism is a religion that originated in India. There are several Gods and Goddesses that are associated with the Hindu religion, Hindu's have a God for nearly everything. The main trinity of Hinduism; the three MAIN Gods are Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver), and Shiva (The Destroyer/Transformer). Other popular Gods and Goddesses involving Hinduism include Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity), Parvati (Known as: The Divine Mother), Ganesh (God of intelligence and the remover of obstacles), Murugan (God of War), Durga (A fiercer form of Parvati), Kali (Goddess of time and death), Rama (The 7th incarnation of Vishnu), Krishna (The 8th incarnation of Vishnu), Hanuman (Ape-like god who is known for assisting Rama), and lastly Surya (God of the sun). The Holy Book of Hinduism is known as the "Vedas". Hindu's belief that in life a person must have good Dharma (the overall values and rules of Hinduism) in order to receive good Karma (The behavior of a Hindu: Thoughts, actions, etc.). The more good Karma you have the higher up you'll rank in the Caste System (The social order of separate classes of people) when you are reborn in the process of reincarnation, that means one's soul is reborn into another form until perfection is reached and that person is ranked with Brahman. Their affects on culture included trying to lead a good life (as in your thoughts and actions) in order to keep moving towards perfection. FUN FACTS: Did you know that Hindus call their religion "Sanatama Dharma" which means "eternal religion" or "eternal truth"? Also Hinduism is the 3rd largest religion in the world.
Buddhism originated India, but it did not stay there. Buddhism was not entirely accepted in India due to Hinduism so Buddhism traveled to China (and South East Asia, which later spread to Korea and Japan). There is no holy text associated with Buddhism, just the story behind it. The story of Buddhism originated with an Indian prince who lived the perfect life. His parents built giant walls around him to hide him from the horrors of the world, one day the prince left his home and entered the real world and found nothing but suffering. He wanted to end suffering and he went on his own spiritual journey until the answer was revealed to him (this is where their beliefs come in), Buddha's believe that EVERYONE suffers. Suffering is caused by having desires. If you are to end your suffering you must end your desires. To end your desires you must follow the Eight Fold Path. Once the Indian prince realized this he changed his name to Buddha or "The Enlightened One", this is the beginning of Buddhism. Buddha is the main "religious figure" for Buddhism so to speak. Buddhism mainly affected culture by their idea to accept what life brings to you. FUN FACTS: Buddhists go to temple, not at a special time or day, but when they can. And did you know they tend to go on full moon days?
Taoism is not really a religion, it's more of a social philosophy, a social philosophy that originated in China. The main book (not exactly a holy book) for Taoism is known as the Tao-Te Ching. Taoism follows "The Way of Nature", they accept the things you cannot change and the followers of this religion are taught to respect all that nature brings and to follow the fundamental laws of nature so they don't disrupt the Tao. Taoism's impact on culture was their ideas that you don't challenge the natural process and to accept things as they come. FUN FACTS: Taoism has a spiritual leader known as a Sage. Taoism has about 20 million followers.
Just like Taoism, Confucianism is not a religion. It is a social philosophy, and just like Taoism, Confucianism originated from China. The main text of Confucianism is known as the Analects. Confucianism was created by a very wise man by the name of Confucius, though he was not a god he was the main person associated with Confucianism. Confucius thought of life's ideas for people to follow such as one should know his position in society, he should fulfill his role in life and be happy with it. Also that education is very important and that government officials should be good role models for the people. Lastly everyone should lead a good moral lifestyle. There are 5 main relationships when it comes to Confucianism: 1.) Father over Son, 2.) Older Brother over Younger Brother, 3.) Husband over Wife, 4.) Ruler over Subjects, 5.) Friends = Friends. Confucianism's impact on culture was their idea of having a GREAT deal of respect for your parents, elders, and your country (known as: Filial Piety). FUN FACTS: Did you know Confucius' birthday is September 28 (also the same day as teachers day)? Confucius' real name is Kong Qiu.
Judaism originated in the Middle East. The main religious figure for Judaism is Jesus Christ (NOT the messiah, just the son of God). The Holy Book for this religion is known as the Torah (the 1st five books of the Old Testament). The main beliefs of Judaism is that their is only one God, they are monotheistic. They had an agreement with God that they will ONLY obey him. For leading a good moral life (being kind to one another, give love and justice to one another) in return God will send a Messiah to save them from all of their sins. Judaism's impact on culture to try an follow God's laws also known as the 10 Commandments, so that the Messiah will come. FUN FACTS: Judaism was founded by a man by the name Abraham. Did you know that Judaism has 14 million followers?
Christianity (just like Judaism) is monotheistic. And just like Judaism it originated in the Middle East. The main person involving Christianity is Jesus Christ, the son of God and their Holy text is known as the Bible (Old and New Testament). Christian's believe that Jesus is the almighty savior, they believe that Jesus will come to this world and he will forgive them for their sins and permit them life in heaven. Christianity's impact on culture was that their simple rules won many people over to the religion. FUN FACTS: Did you know that Christianity is the world largest practiced religion? Also Christianity has about 2 billion followers.
Islam is a religion (just like Christianity and Judaism) that is monotheistic, and it originated in the Middle East (In the city of Mecca). The main religious figure in Islam is Mohammed. Mohammed is the Messiah who spread word of Allah (God). The Holy book for this religion is called the Qur'an. Muslims believe in the Five Pillars of Faith. 1.) Say every day, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet". 2.) Pray 5 times a day facing Mecca (Speaking of Mecca there's a little jingle about their expansion: Out of Mecca, east to India, west across North Africa, and into Spain), 3.) Give regularly to charity. 4.) Go without food or drink (Fast) from sunrise to sunset during the holy month Ramadan. 5.) Try to make a journey to Mecca at least once in your life. Islam's impact on culture was their religious laws. Their laws are so important that they often become the political laws of the nation. FUN FACTS: Did you know that Mohammed was a trade merchant from Arabia? And also there is about 1.3 billion followers of the Islam faith.