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Religious Life of Planet Earth

Genesis L. Watkins-Sharp

Strayer University

J. Hewitt, PH.D
World Religions-REL 212
July 29, 2012

Religious Life of Planet Earth

      As an alien trying to determine the religious status of planet Earth, I would have to base the criteria of the determination on my location. Due to different cultural and spiritual beliefs, the area I am in may meet different criteria, than a religious group on the other side of the world. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances and often contains a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Currently there are twenty two major religions on Earth according to an analysis done by David B. Barrett’s religious statistics organization.
Each of these religions has a specific set of beliefs and practices. Only sixteen percent of the world claims to be nonreligious while Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are proclaimed by sixty-eight percent of the population. I will focus my report on these three religions and how they meet the criteria to be considered religious. The criteria to determine if Earth is a religious planet will be that the followers believe and follow the set beliefs and practices of their religious preference. To determine this involves understanding what each religion believes.
      These beliefs must be in regards to the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe as noted in the definition of religion. The way that followers observe rituals and live their lives are additional determining factors. Christianity started as an institution, according to Mary Pat Fisher (Fisher, 2011), and now is the most common religion. Statistics show that thirty-three percent of Earth’s population study Christianity. Christians meet the criteria by believing that there is one God and he created the world and its inhabitants in seven...

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