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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

World Religions History

World Religions
Many of the world's major religions had their roots in ancient times. The Israelites in southwestern Asia were the first to practice Judaism. Today about 14 million Jewish people live in all parts of the world. Almost 6 million Jews live in North America, many of them in the United States.
Many people consider the country of Israel to be the homeland of the Jewish people.
More than 80 percent of Israel's 5 million people are Jewish.

The beginnings of Hinduism and Buddhism can be traced to the continent of Asia. Most of the world's 322 million Buddhists live in Asia, but Buddhists can be found in most parts of the world.

Almost 1 million people in North America alone follow the Buddhist religion.
The Hindu religion is followed mainly in Asia, where about 790 million Hindus live. Another 6 million Hindus live in other parts of the world.

The religion of Christianity has grown since the days of Jesus Christ and his early followers. Today almost 2 billion Christians live around the world. More than 700 million Christians live in North and South America. In the rest of the world, Christians include about 361 million Africans, 303 million Asians, and 555 million Europeans.

The religion of Islam (is»LAHM) is practiced by over 1 billion people. Followers of Islam are called Muslims. About half of all Muslims live in southern, central, and southeastern Asia. Many others live in Europe. In Africa, Muslims make up about half of the total population. About 6 million Muslims live in the United States.
Muslims believe that a man named Muhammad (moh»HA»muhd), born in A.D. 570, was the last in a series of messengers from God. Among the first messages that Muhammad gave people was that there is only one God, or Allah in Arabic. The
messages of Muhammad form the holy book of Islam, known as the Qur'an (kuh»RAN).

Muslims follow five basic acts of worship, known as the five pillars. The first pillar is belief in one God, and that Muhammad is the last of many messengers from God.
The second pillar is the Muslim practice of praying five times a day and visiting a mosque, or house of worship, on Fridays. The third pillar is the act of giving a fixed part of yearly savings to the needy. The fourth pillar is the Muslim practice of fasting, or not eating and drinking, in the daytime during Ramadan (RAH»muh»dahn), the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

The fifth pillar is the making of at least one pilgrimage, or religious visit to Mecca, a holy Islamic city in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims face toward the city of Mecca when they pray.

What five religions that began long ago are still followed today?


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