World Religions Part 2

The major religions make up about 5.2 billion people, with secular taking up another 1.1 billion. How does the rest of the world worship? How have the major religions spread throughout the world and changed?

Day One: Shintoism
Shintoism is a purely Japanese religion, the origins of which are buried in the hazy mists of ancient Japanese history. It is one of the world's oldest religions...
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Day Two: Taoism/Daoism
Taoism has never been a unified religion, and some scholars place it in three categories: philosophical, religionist and Chinese folk religion. Because of this it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what Taoists believe...
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Day Three: Sufism
A movement within Islam, Sufism is the mystical side of Islam. Perhaps this is one reason traditional Muslims have distanced themselves from Sufists. Sufism focuses on giving love and devotion to God...
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Day Four: Jainism
Jainism began in the 6th century as a reformation movement within Hinduism. It is based on the teachings of its founder, Mahavira...
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Day Five: Hare Krishnas
The origin of the Hare Krishnas (International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON) dates back to the fifteenth century (1486), when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu first taught that Krishna was the supreme Lord above every other god...
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Day Six: Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is based on the teachings of Zoroaster, a 6th-century BC Iranian prophet and philosopher. Zoroastrianism is almost identical with Mazdaism (the worship of Ahura Mazda, the supreme deity exalted by Zoroaster)...
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Day Seven: Rastafarianism
The word "Rastafarianism" often calls to mind the stereotypical images of dreadlocks (long braids or natural locks of hair), ganja (marijuana), the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, and the reggae rhythms of Bob Marley...
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Day Eight: Rosicrucianism
The earliest authentically Rosicrucianism writings come from the 17th century. As the story goes, Rosenkreutz learned secrets about medicine and magic while on a trip to the Near East. Upon his return to Europe, he founded a secret fraternity whose members communicated in secret-coded writings...
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Day Nine: Unification Movement
The Unification Movement is led by a man named Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who started it in the 1940s. The movement immediately became controversial, as Moon believed that the Bible could not be understood without the aid of a book called Divine Teaching, which is a compilation of his personal teachings...
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Day Ten: Scientology
Scientology is a difficult religion to summarize. Scientology has gained popularity due to some Hollywood celebrities who have embraced it. Scientology was founded in 1953 by fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, just four years after he made the statement, "I'd like to start a religion—that's where the money is"...
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Day Eleven: Wicca
Wicca is a neo-pagan religion that has been growing in popularity and acceptance in the United States and Europe. There are many websites and books claiming to teach "real" Wicca, but the truth is, there is no consensus among Wiccans as to what the religion is all about...
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Image Credit: Sean; "Interfaith Banner"; Creative Commons

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Published 10-8-15