What is Religion?
► Religion is an organized belief system.
► There are rules, standards, and expectations of
obedience to these rules.
► Leaders teach and ensure the teachings of the
religion are being followed.
► Some leaders are called ministers, Rabbis, priests,
bishops, prophets, monks, etc….
► Religion answers questions about the creation, the
purpose of life, and life after death.
FIVE WORLD RELIGIONS
There are 5 basic world religions which have served
as foundations for many other religions and church
groups throughout the world. They are:
The 3 Abrahamic Faiths of:
Abraham lived about
2000 years BC (before
the birth of Christ)
Abraham was a man of
great faith. His belief
system was based on the
monotheism. This means
that he believed in one
God who was also the
creator of all things.
Abraham prayed often
Sarah convinced Abraham that he should take
and was promised that he
one of her servants as a wife. Abraham took
would become the father
Hagar and Hagar had a son named Ishmael.
of many nations. He and
his wife Sarah were very
old and without children.
A few years later, Sarah also had a son. This
He did not know how this
was considered to be a miracle because of her
promise would come
age. They named him Isaac.
Hagar became jealous of Isaac and
felt that Abraham would favor him
over Ishmael. Sarah expressed her
worries and asked Abraham to send
Hagar and Ishmael away.
Abraham gave them an inheritance
and sent them away into the desert.
Through Ishmael’s lineage, the Arab
nations were born. The Prophet
Mohammad, is a descendant of these
people. It was through the Prophet
Mohammad that the nation of Islam,
also known as the Muslim Religion,
Abraham kept Isaac close and raised
him as a Hebrew. He taught him his
Isaac had a son named Jacob, who
had 12 sons known as the 12 tribes
of Israel. Moses was born and
organized the tribes and led them
out of Egypt to the land of Cannan.
Judaism begins. Through Judaism,
Jesus Christ is born. Some Jews
believed Jesus was the Messiah of
the world. Messiah means Savior.
Many Jews did not believe he was
the promised Messiah. Those who
followed Jesus’ teachings became
known as Christians.
The Beginning of the 3 Abrahamic Faiths
Hagar Abraham Sarah
Ishmael has many sons and Jacob has 12 sons. They become
eventually they become the the 12 Tribes of Israel. Moses frees
beginning of the Arab Nations. them from Egypt and organizes
religious teachings establishing
Judaism. Holy book is the Torah,
which are the first 5 books in the
Mohammad (600AD) is
visited by an angel and is
given information that is
Jesus is born and teaches (30AD) that
written into a Holy book
he is the Messiah (Savior of the world).
called the Quran, the
Those who become his followers are
Islamic Religion is
called Christians. Apostles organize the
What is Judaism?
Originated in Southwest Asia (also known as the Middle
East) about 3500 years ago (1500BC)
Monotheistic- belief in one God.
Organized into a religion by Moses.
Jewish law is very important to the people.
Holy Book – The Torah (first 5 books of the Old
Spiritual leaders are called Rabbis.
Followers of Judaism worship in Synagogues and Temples.
Jewish heritage and linage is of great worth to the people.
Non-practicing Jews still consider themselves to be Jewish.
Food Restrictions: No pork, Kosher foods (no mixing of
dairy and meats). No Shell fish.
About 12 million in the world.
What is Christianity?
Followers of Jesus Christ (33AD).
Jesus is the promised Messiah (Savior) spoken of in the
Jesus as the literal son of God.
Jesus dies and is resurrected on the 3rd day.
Monotheistic- Belief in one God. (The Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit are one in purpose.)
Christians worship in churches and chapels.
Holy Book is the Holy Bible.
Holidays: Christmas and Easter
No Food Restrictions
2 billion followers.
What is Islam?
Islam means Peace and Submission.
Began 1400 years ago in Mecca. (600AD)
Followers are called Muslims.
Monotheistic- belief in one God.
Mohammad the Prophet teaches and organizes Islam.
Jesus, Moses, and Abraham are also considered to be
prophets. Mohammad is believed to be the last prophet.
The Holy book is the Qur’an and the Sunnah
There are 5 Pillars of Faith: 1. pray 5x a day, 2. give
money to the poor, 3. fasting during Ramadan, 4. visit
Mecca, 5. Believe in God.
Second largest Religion in the World with 1.5 billion.
Food Restrictions: No pork
All 3 of these religions have many
branches and churches. Most of the
population on the earth are
followers of one of these 3 religions.
The oldest is Judaism, followed by
Christianity, and then Islam.
Christianity ranks number one in the
number of followers, Islam is 2nd,
Judaism is 13th.
Today, most religious sects (groups)
can be traced to the basic teachings
of each of these religions.
Hinduism is one of the worlds’ oldest
religions with over 900 million
followers. There is no known single
founder. It began in the Indus Valley
known as Pakistan today.
About 80% of all the people in India
are followers of Hinduism. It is a
Polytheistic Religion. This means the
belief in more than one god.
Hindus believe in an eternal soul called
Brahman who created all things and is
in all things. They also worship Ram,
Shiva, Lakshmi, and Hanuman.
Hindus believe that life is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth governed by
Karma. How you live life will determine what your next life will be like.
Cycle of life
based on Karma Life
This cycle is sometimes called “Reincarnation”
The Vedas are holy writings and the
Holy book of the Hindu people.
Hindus believe that the things
written in the Vedas were given to
scholars to write down by Brahman
so that the people will know how to
live their lives.
Hindus have many celebrations.
The most well known one is
Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
Also Holi, the return of Spring.
Buddhism focuses on the true
nature of life and learning the
deeper meaning of life. Buddhism
teaches that all life is
interconnected, so compassion is
natural and important.
Buddhism is about 2,500 years old.
There are 376 million followers
Siddhartha Gautama founded
Buddhists believe that they Buddhism as he was studying ways
should strive to become to improve the meaning of his life in
enlightened as well by the 6th century BC. Followers believe
following Buddha’s he became the “Buddha” after he
teachings. became enlightened with perfect
What is Buddhism?
There is no belief in a personal god.
It is not centered on a relationship with a god.
Change is always possible.
2 main types of Buddhism: 1. Theravada, 2. Mahayana;
there are many more.
Many festivals (eg. Vesak, O-Bon)
Worship both at home or in temples.
Morality, meditation, and wisdom
Holy writing called Tripitka and Diamond Sutra
Belief in reincarnation (birth, life, death, and rebirth)
All 5 world religions are
important to the majority of
the world’s population.
Understanding them gives
us greater understanding of
why people do what they