Catholicism and Islam
Mankind has questioned his existence from the beginning of time. What is the purpose of life? Where did the stars originate? What is death? What does it all mean? In order to answer these questions man has turned to what we call “religion.”
The meaning of the term religion depends on the person offering the answer. It is extremely difficult to define. For some people religion means going to a synagogue, church or other structure on a given day of the week or other schedule and participate in some prescribed ritual. For other people it means a belief system possibly handed down for centuries. Yet other people look at religion as a way of life, a framework for the way they live and the way they conduct themselves towards others. To others, it is simply a belief in God or another higher power.
As for the history of religion, all would agree it has been one of the most important factors in man’s history. It has been the history of wars waged, discoveries of new worlds, greed, scandal, love, sacrifice, pride and governments. The history of man is the history of religion.
In general, there are five major religions in practice today. Each began many hundreds of years ago. Of course, some are many centuries older than others. The five main religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in order of their establishment or recognition. Hinduism and Buddhism are considered to be Eastern religions because of where they originated. In contrast, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are considered Western religions. The Western religions believe in one God, a term called monotheism. Of course, all of these have moved and expanded outside their area with which they were originally identified through migration of people, adoption of different beliefs, and various forms of colonization or imperialism. Just as the ideas and practices of people changes through the years,...