The Similarities and Differences of Various Religions
Religion is a systematized collection of beliefs observed by particular groups of individuals. According to the Religious Torence website, there are close to 20 different religions in the world, each with its followers (religioustolerance.org). Religious beliefs compare to the world of sports where there are different games, such as hockey, basketball, and volleyball, yet they are all sports. Similarly, various religious faiths are different but have some similar characteristics that qualify them as “religions.” The following is a summary of some of the similarities and differences between religious faiths.
One of the major similarity that identifies different faiths as religion is the belief in acertain way of life. All religions are guided by a code of mortality and specific rules of good and bad. Religious beliefs are passed on from one generation to another as children inherit beliefs of their parents. Although different religions offer an explanation as to why they believe in what they do, most people tend to believe in the teachings without critiquing. Although some religions allow their children to decide whether to follow their parents’ faiths, it is a common practice that children adopt the conviction of their parent.
Fundamentally, religions are made of a set of teachings though the exact teachings may differ. However, teachings of various religions address similar issues, such as the origin of life, the universe, and life after death. Additionally, many religions use historical events, narratives, and symbols to justify their teachings. Although specific teachings may vary across religions, the fundamental aim of all religions is similar. They aim at achieving peaceful coexistence among their believers through establishing control measures among their congregation. For instance, most religions promote the virtue of sharing and union amongst members of the society. For example, Christians believe in helping less fortunate individuals, such as the orphan, Islam believes in doing charity work, while Hindu and Buddhist believe that doing well to others attracts good deeds from others.
While religions may be fundamentally similar, there are specific aspects that make one religion different from the other. For instance, different religions differ in their belief of the existence of deities. Some, such as Christians and Muslims, believe in one deity, that is, God and Allah respectively. On the other hand, Hindu’s believe in existences of million gods, each with its role, while other religions, such as Atheists do not believe in theexistence of deities. Additionally, different religions differ in their belief in life and death. For instance, some believe that life ends at death, others believe that the soul will live even after death, while others believe that people reincarnate back to the normal life after the first death.
Aside from the beliefs, religions also vary in their respective ways and days of worship. For instance, different faiths observe specific days and places for worship. For example, Sunday is the worship day for Christians, while Muslim and Judaism devote Friday and Saturday as the worship days respectively. Christians worship in churches, Muslims worship in mosques, and the Hindu worship in temples.
In conclusion, all religious faiths are fundamentally similar, believing in specific sets of teaching. However, specific regulations vary across all the religions. Despite the differences in beliefs and practices of various religions, religious teachings ensure the moral existence of human beings. Thus, religion plays a role in creating law and order in the society
Religious Torence.”Numbers of Adherents of Major Religions, Their Geographical Distribution, Date Founded, and Sacred Texts.”Religions of the World: Numbers of Adherents; Growth Rates. (n.dat ).Web. 4 May 2015. http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm