“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”
Religion has brought the world’s countries together. No matter which country you are from, religion serves as a socialising agent. It contributes to the development of qualities such as love, empathy, respect, and harmony.
Religious instruction and belief are still vital to society’s moral system today. Religion not only teaches virtue, but it also teaches moral conduct.
Thousands of languages exist around the world, with Hinduism being the oldest religion. So, today, I’ll cover the beliefs of some of the world’s oldest religions that needs to be told:
- Hinduism: The world’s oldest religion dates back to circa 2300 B.C. in India and its neighbouring countries. Hinduism is the world’s third most popular religion, with 15-16 percent (1.35 billion) of the world’s population following it.
Belief: Hinduism is built on the notion of reincarnation, which holds that all living beings, from plants on the ground to gods in the sky, are caught in a cosmic cycle of birth and death. Is karma the law that governs our lives?
For Hindus, life is about achieving four goals known as Purusharthas. Dharma, kama, artha, and moksha are the four elements. These give Hindus the possibility to have a happy life by acting morally and ethically. Based on moral behaviour in a previous phase of existence, one is reborn to a higher level of existence.
- Christianity: With over 2 billion followers worldwide, Christianity is the world’s largest religion. Although the United States has the world’s largest Christian population, Christianity is also found in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, several African countries, many European countries, and many Caribbean islands.
Belief: The father (God himself), the son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit make up the divine Godhead. The life, death, and Christian beliefs about Jesus’ resurrection are at the heart of Christianity. God sent his son Jesus, the messiah, to save the world.
- Islam: With an estimated 1.8 billion followers, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion. This religion is thought to have started in what is now Saudi Arabia in the 7th century B.C. More than 90% of the population in seven countries is Muslim (Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan).
Belief: Muslims believe in a single, all-knowing God, whom they refer to as Allah in Arabic. Islam’s adherents strive to live lives that are completely devoted to Allah. They believe that nothing can happen unless Allah allows it, yet that humans have free will.
The Five Pillars of Islam summarise all religious commitments, which include belief in God and his Prophet, as well as obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The Shariah Law—foundational Islam’s concept, encompasses the entire manner of life decreed by God.
- Buddhism: Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, established Buddhism in the fifth century B.C. The eastern and southeastern parts of Asia are home to the majority of Buddhists.
Belief: Buddhists believe that human existence is filled with sorrow and that the only way to obtain enlightenment, or nirvana, is via meditation, spiritual and physical effort, and good behaviour.
The Four Noble Truths: Truth of suffering, Truth of the cause of suffering, Truth of the end of suffering, and Truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
- Jainism: Of the five major religions, Judaism is the smallest. It is believed that there are around 14 million Jews in the world. Around 41% of the Jewish population lives in Israel, and 41% in the United States, with the majority of the rest residing in Europe and North America.
Belief: Jainism is a self-help religion. There are no gods or spiritual creatures who will come to the aid of humans. The three guiding principles of Jainism, the ‘three jewels’, are right belief, right knowledge and right conduct. Nonviolence is the supreme principle of Jain existence (ahimsa).
The way to enlightenment, according to Jainism, is via nonviolence and minimising harm to living things (including plants and animals). Jains believe in reincarnation, just like Hindus and Buddhists. The karma of a person determines the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
When people are stressed, religion can be a source of consolation and strength. When this relationship causes stress or acts as a barrier to treatment, it can be less helpful—or even dangerous. Religion has the capacity to both benefit and impairs mental health and well-being, according to studies.