There are many theories, on how mankind appeared on Earth. However, from the dawn of human civilization, it was divided onto two main groups: The one which believed in Religion and God, another one – more realistic, well-grounded with the fundamental studies that side with science and nature. Religion – is a vital component of humans’ cultural heritage. It is a phenomenon, which is inherent in human society throughout its history and encompasses almost the entire world's population, it turns out, however, to be an area that is still not completely understood by many people. One reason for this seemingly strange fact is that religion is usually judged by its external features, from the way it practiced by the followers in private and public life. Hence the mass of the various interpretations of religion.
Therefore, the question of what constitutes the essence of religion, which characteristics are defining it, and what - irrelevant, requires special consideration.
Religion has two aspects: external - as it appears to the outside observer, and the interior, which opens the believer who lives in accordance with the spiritual and moral principles of the religion. From the outside religion is primarily a worldview that includes a number of provisions (truth), without which (at least not one of them), it loses itself.
There are many religions out there in the world, the number is various, due to the fact that some religions are preached worldwide, however, at the same time there are religions that are less public. The list of most preached religions will be comprised of the following beliefs: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Cao Dai, Juche, Sikhism, Neopaganism, Wahhabi, Yazidi and many others. Furthermore, almost every single one of them can be subcategorized into different divisions. For example: Christianity in Catholicism, Protestantizm, Ortodoxism. All religions are so different, at the same time with so many similarities. To prove this fact it is possible by analyzing Christianity and Islam.
These religions are the largest in the world. The very first similarity, which lies down in the deep meaning of term religion - is belief in transcendent force. This belief gives the answer to the most important question in our life: Why am I here and what shall I do next?
First of all, Christianity appeared in c. 30 AD in Palestine. It was founded by Jesus, Peter and Paul. The major location of Christianity is mainly in Europe, North and South America. This religion encounters more than 2 billion adherents all over the world. Christianity is divided mainly onto Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant parts. The religion is based on the sacred text, in this case it is Bible. It consists of Old and New testaments. According to it there is only one creator and savior – God. Furthermore, the nature of God is Trinity – which basically means 1 substance and three different persons. Interesting fact is human nature: according to Bible the mankind has its “original sin”, that is inherited from Adam – he tended towards Evil. Thereby, the means of salvation, are correct belief, faith in good and God, good gests, sacraments; and the God’s role in salvation is in various forms of grace. If the person spent the life as a true Christian, with accordance with “Ten Commandments” – eternal heaven is granted in afterlife. If the person had a bad afterlife – he would be imposed to purgatory and eternal hell. Day of worship is on Sunday and the house of worship is church. Speaking of the central holidays are Easter and Christmas and the main symbols are usually cross, dove, anchor.
On the other hand the Islam – it was founded back in the 622 CE, on the Arabian Peninsula. The founder is Muhammad. It has spread all over the world, however, the major centers of Islam are in Middle East and Southeast Asia, with more than 1.3 billion adherents worldwide. Similarly to Christianity, it has subdivisions: Sunni and Shiite. The main written document of Islam is Koran, which teaches the adherents that there is only one creator God. The nature of God is Unity, only one person. According to Koran the human nature is considered to be equal in terms of good and evil. It is able for both, and similarly with Christianity Eternal hell and paradise is granted for the believers. The day of worship is Friday with the house of worship – mosque.
Both Christianity and Islam have their own beliefs. In the first case – the main beliefs are usually The Trinity, Jesus is the Savior of the world from sin, Because of God’s love to mankind he sacrificed his only son. Whilst the Islam have their own central beliefs: Belief in God’s books, belief in Angels, belief in the Day of Judgement. These beliefs are both similar and different at the same time. Both religions emphasize the fact that the God is the world’s savior. The belief in Angels is present in both religions but in Islam it is more evident.
The key factor of each religion is its spiritual practice. It is the way believers cultivate their spiritual development, with the goal of salvation. In Christianity spiritual disciplines are comprised of prayers, acts of mercy, celibacy. Whilst in Islam it is practiced within spiritual prayer salah. During this prayer Muslims concentrate on Allah.
The Christianity is practiced mainly in Churches nowadays and Islam in mosques. They are practiced in different ways. The most common way to practice Christianity is studying the Word of God and implementing it in your daily life. Also, accepting the fact that Jesus Christ sacrificed his life in order to save mankind from its sins. On the other hand – Islam is usually practiced by reading namaz 5 times a day. Islam is practiced according to the fundamentals.
Overall, the religion serves an important role in our lives. It inspires us to develop ourselves in different ways: spiritually, mentally and many others. Every single one of us finds answers to the questions that the life asks, and the most important ones are Why are we here and what is our mission?
Christianity - ReligionFacts. (n.d.). Religion, World Religions, Comparative Religion - Just the facts on the world's religions.. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/index.htm
Islam Guide: Some Basic Islamic Beliefs. (n.d.). Islam Guide: A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, Muslims, & the Quran. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-2.htm
prophets, a. o., & Islam., t. r. (n.d.). Islam vs Christianity. Discovering Islam. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://www.discoveringislam.org/islam_vs_christianity.htm