CULTS AND RELIGIONS
World Religious Beliefs
There are tens of thousands of religions in the world, but many have some of the same characteristics. Worshiping nature and ancestors, altering a religion for a specific culture, combining beliefs of different religions, and using a human liaison between the worshiper and God are all common characteristics of religions around the world.
Day One: Animism
Animism is the belief that everything has a soul or spirit, an anima in Latin, including animals, plants, rocks, mountains, rivers, and stars. Animists believe each anima is a powerful spirit that can help or hurt them and are to be worshipped or feared or in some way attended to...
Day Two: Ancestor Worship
Ancestor worship involves religious beliefs and practices consisting of prayers and offerings to the spirits of dead relatives. Ancestor worship is found in many cultures all across the world...
Day Three: Folk Religion
Folk religion is basically made up of certain ethnic or regional religious traditions that practice under the guise of an established religion, but is outside the boundaries of official doctrine and practices...
Day Four: Paganism
From a Christian viewpoint, pagans are generally characterized as those who are caught up in any religious ceremony, act, or practice that is not distinctly Christian. Correspondingly, Jews and Muslims also use the term pagans to describe those outside their religion...
Day Five: Occult
The dictionary defines occult as "hidden, secret and mysterious, particularly pertaining to the supernatural." Examples of occult practices are astrology, witchcraft (Wicca), the black arts, fortune telling, magic (both black and white), Ouija boards, Tarot cards, spiritism, parapsychology, and Satanism...
Day Six: Spiritualism
Spiritualism is a pseudo-religious system of shared concepts in which a key feature is the belief that a soul survives after the death of the physical body and these disembodied spirits are both willing and able to communicate with living persons...
Day Seven: Religious Syncretism
Syncretism, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is "the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief." This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion, and usually results in a new teaching or belief system...
Day Eight: Religious Pluralism
Religious pluralism generally refers to the belief in two or more religious worldviews as being equally valid or acceptable. More than mere tolerance, religious pluralism accepts multiple paths to God or gods as a possibility...
Day Nine: Shamanism
Shamanism is a counterfeit, anti-Christian worldview in which the intermediary between the natural and the supernatural is called a shaman. Shamanism is related to animism, the belief that spirits inhabit the physical world as well as the spiritual realm...
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