Major Religions of the Fertile Crescent
Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam
There are around 150,000 believers of Judaism called Jews. Judaism originated in Israel around 4,000 years ago. Abraham is considered as the father of the family of Jews as he is thought of as a symbol of trusting and obeying God. Jewish people have a holy place called a Temple. Jewish people pray in temples and worship them. The sacred text of Judaism is the Torah. The Torah consist of five books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Just as other religions Judaism has holy days or certain day they celebrated that mean something to their religion. Some holy days Jews celebrated are Passover, Rosh Hashannah, Sukkat, Yom Kippur, Purim, and many more. The basic belief of Judaism is the importance of actions over beliefs, and the importance of relationships in Judaism. The most known symbol for Judaism is the Star of David.
Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world and there ore over 1.3 billion followers of Christianity called Christians . Christianity originated in the city of Jerusalem in present-day Israel. The founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, was born. Jesus Christ is considered the founder of Christianity because he was crucified on the cross and died for our sin. The Holy place for Christians is called a church. On Sundays (or sabbath day) Christians worship God in a church. However not every Christian worships in the same church. The sacred text of Christianity is called the bible. The bible is made up of the New and Old Testament. Some holy days of Christianity are Christmas the Birthday of Jesus Christ, Easter, Thanksgiving, and many more. The basic belief of Christians is that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and if we praised God when we die we will go to Heaven and if not Hell. The most known symbol for Christianity is a cross.
There are over 1.5 billion Islam followers called Muslims. Islam originated in around 600 bc in Arabia. It is believed that the founder of Islam was Muhammad who was a religious, political, and military leader from Mecca who unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. He was believed to be a messenger for God. The holy place for Muslims are called mosques, this is where they worship. The sacred text for Muslims is called the Quran. Holy a days for Muslims are muharram, ashura, mawlid al-nabi, ramadan, eid, and more. The basic belief of Islam is the five pillars of Islam which are
1. Reciting the two-fold Creed (shahada) (profession of faith) – ‘There is no God but Allah’ and ‘Muhammad is his prophet’ (or ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of God’).
2. Prayer (salat) – At five set-times a day while facing towards the city of Mecca.
3. Alms-giving (sakat) (zakat – means ‘purification’, an act of worship) – Both obligatory and voluntary giving to the poor.
4. Fasting (saum) – Especially during the ‘holy’ month of Ramadan.
5. Pilgrimage (hajj) – At least once in a lifetime – to Mecca, Saudi Arabia if at all possible, known as The Hajj.
The most well know symbol for Islam is the star and crescent.