Paul Chehade - Summaries of World Religions.
The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice. In world cultures, there have traditionally been many different groupings of religious belief. I don't wish to turn you away from your religious beliefs or traditions. I see all religions as part of human history Paul Chehade.
Summaries of World Religions.
The Roman Catholic Church, with 980 million followers, is the largest Christian church in the world. It claims direct historical descent from the church founded by the apostle Peter. The Pope in Rome is the spiritual leader of all Roman Catholics. He administers church affairs through bishops and priests. Members accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible, as well as the church's interpretations of these. God's grace is conveyed through seven Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, or Communion, celebrated at Mass-the regular worship service. The other six Sacraments are: Baptism-cleansing a soul of the legacy of Adam and Eve's Original Sin; Confirmation-reaffirmation of one's Catholic faith; Penance-confession of sins and prayer; Holy Orders-ordination into priesthood; Matrimony-church-sanctioned marriage; Extreme Unction-anointing of the dying. Redemption through Jesus Christ is professed as the sole method of obtaining salvation, which is necessary to ensure a place in heaven after life on earth.
A religion with 648 million followers, Hinduism developed from indigenous religions of India in combination with Aryan religions brought to India around 1500 BC. It was codified in the Veda and the Upanishads-the sacred scriptures of Hinduism. Hinduism is a broad term used to describe a vast array of sects to which most Indians belong. Although many Hindus reject the caste system-a belief that people are born into a particular subgroup that determines their religious, social, and work-related duties-it is widely accepted. This system classifies society at large into four groups: Brahmins or priests; rulers and warriors; farmers and merchants; and peasants and laborers. The goals of Hinduism are the release from repeated reincarnation through the practice of yoga, adherence to Vedic scriptures, and devotion to a personal guru. Various deities are worshipped at shrines; the Divine Trinity-representing the cyclical nature of the universe-are: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.
Islam has 840 million followers around the world. It was founded by the prophet Mohammed, who received the holy scriptures of Islam, the Koran, from Allah (God) c. A.D. 610. Islam (Arabic for "submission to God") maintains that Mohammed is the last in a long line of holy prophets, preceded by Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. In addition to being devoted to the Koran, followers of Islam (Muslims) are devoted to the worship of Allah through the Five Pillars: the Statement: "There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his prophet;" Prayer, conducted five times a day while facing Mecca; the giving of alms; the keeping of the fast of Ramadan during the ninth month of the Muslim year; and the making of a pilgrimage at least once to Mecca, if possible. The two main divisions of Islam are the Sunni and the Shiite. The Wahabis are the most important Sunni sect, while the Shiite sects include the Assassins, the Druses, and the Fatimids, among countless others.
Stemming from the descendants of Judah in Judea, Judaism was founded c. 2000 B.C. by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It has 18 million followers in the U.S. Judaism espouses belief in a monotheistic God, creator of the universe, who leads His people, the Jews, by speaking through prophets. His word is revealed in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), especially in the part known as the Torah. According to rabbinic tradition, the Torah also contains a total of 613 biblical commandments, including the Ten Commandments, which are explicated in the Talmud. Jews believe that the human condition can be improved; that the letter and the spirit of the Torah must be followed; and that a Messiah will eventually bring the world to a state of paradise. Judaism promotes community among all people of Jewish faith, dedication to a synagogue or temple (the basic social unit of a group of Jews, led by a rabbi), and the importance of family life. Religious observance takes place both at home and in temple. Judaism is divided into three main groups who vary in their interpretation of those parts of the Torah that deal with personal, communal, international, and religious activities: the Orthodox community, which views the Torah as derived from God, and therefore absolutely binding; the Reform movement, which follows primarily its ethical content; and the Conservative Jews, who follow most of the observances set out in the Torah but allow for change in the face of modern life. A fourth group, Reconstructionist Jews, rejects the concept of the Jews as God's chosen people, yet maintains rituals as part of the Judaic cultural heritage.
V.- ORTHODOX EASTERN CHURCH:
With 250 million followers worldwide, the Orthodox Eastern Church is the second largest Christian community in the world. The followers of the Orthodox Church are in fact members of many different denominations, including the Church of Greece, the Church of Cyprus, and the Russian Orthodox Church. It began its split from the Roman Catholic Church in the fifth century. The break was finalized in 1054. The Orthodox agree doctrinally in accepting as ecumenical the first seven Ecumenical councils (Doctrine was established by seven ecumenical councils held between 325 and 787, and amended by other councils in the late Byzantine period.), and in rejecting the jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome (the Pope). Orthodox religion holds biblical Scripture and tradition-guided by the Holy Spirit as expressed in the consciousness of the entire Orthodox community-to be the source of Christian truth. It rejects doctrine developed by the Western churches. The word Orthodox became current at the time of the defeat (753) of iconoclasm in Constantinople. It also involves holding a sacramental doctrine of grace, and of veneration of the Virgin Mary-two points differentiating the Orthodox from Protestants. Relations between the Orthodox churches and Roman Catholicism have improved since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
- Church of Christ.
- Church of England.
- Episcopal Church.
- Lutheran Church.
- Methodist Church.
- Pentecostal churches.
- Presbyterian Church.
- Seventh Day Adventist Church.
- United Church of Christ.
VII.- OTHER CHRISTIAN - BASED COMMUNITIES:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).
- Jehovah's Witnesses.
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
- Unitarian Universalist Association.
VIII.- OTHER FAR - EASTERN RELIGIONS:
I don't wish to turn you away from your religious beliefs or traditions.
I see all religions as part of human history.
Honor and Truth
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Paul Chehade is dedicated to serve the less fortunate around the world, with no distinction of race, ethnic group religion or gender.www.paulchehade.com
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