Religion - Introduction
Today this site will cover the main religions which we have in England and the rest of Britain today, which include Christianity particularly the "Church of England" together with the more fundamentalist Protestant sects, (like Puritans and Presbyterians) and the Roman Catholics plus the recently introduced Islamic faith by mainly Asian immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Africa. The faiths of Jews, Sikhs and Hindus will follow.
We will look at the fundamental beliefs of these Religions as well as the rules which sometimes result in customs which help to ignite mockery, suspicions, jealousies and hate. These will include rules on prayer, birth, marriage and death, the rules for men and women and rules for diet and dress. We cannot exclude the cultural habits which generally have been shaped by the rules of their religions. The whole of the Western World for example as been influenced by the Christian faiths whilst much of the East and Africa has been influenced by Islam
What is Religion and what does the word faith mean? We have from the Oxford Dictionary:
- Religion System of Faith and Worship. Human recognition of a superpower, more often than not a God, entitled to obedience.
- Faith Belief in a divine truth without proof.
- God The supreme being
Here lies the root of many religious led problems. "Faith is a belief without proof." It is much easier to conduct an argument if the parties involved can prove the point they are trying to make. With many religions this is impossible. For example you cannot be a Christian without believing that:
- Jesus was the son of God
- Jesus rose from the dead. That is after he had been crucified by the Romans (in present day Israel) his dead body disappeared and Jesus was seen alive again. This proving to Christians that he was very special, indeed the son of God
- At death only those who believe the above will go to a place called Heaven which is a paradise.
All very difficult to prove.
It might have been easier to look at religions coming from a position of somebody with no religion. This is almost impossible as there are very few countries in the world which have no religious history or religious schooling and hence a religious bias to the extent that the local religion is right and all other religions are not so right or even wrong. An easier route is to come from the position of the Atheist (A person who does not believe in God) but wants to learn. Many religious teachers over the past 1500 years have advised pupils to start with meditation coupled with an emptying of the mind followed by a slow refilling around words which describe PEACE and LOVE rather than WAR and HATE.
One of the worlds oldest religions has always advocated this approach (Hinduism) and Yoga is the physical discipline designed by Hindus to aid this process. Many famous people (including of course the Beatles) have tried this approach.