Noteworthy News and Analysis from Around the World

In-Depth Coverage of Issues Concerning the Global Sikh Community Including Self-Determination, Democracy, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Antiracism, Religion, and South Asian Geopolitics

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Religion - An Overview of World Religions

Christianity Jesus Christ Bible - Old and New Testaments 2.1 Billion Christmas (birth of Jesus Christ)
- With human forms Eastern Orthodox/Catholic (Maronite)
Western Orthodox/Roman Catholic (Dominican, Jesuit)
English-Speaking Protestant (Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Jehovah's Witness, Adventist, United, Salvation Army, Pentecostal)
Non-English-Speaking Protestant (Mennonite, Amish, Anglican, Presbyterian)
Latter-Day Saints
Islam Mohammed Koran 1.3 Billion Id - - Sunni (Sufi, Ahmadiyyah, Shari'a law, consensus-based Caliphs, pray five times a day)
Shi'a (meaning group or faction, hereditary Imams are infallibile, pray three times a day, allows temporary marriage, allows taqiya - hiding beliefs for self-protection, Baha'i)
Hinduism None (Evolved) Vedas, Upanishads 900 Million Divali (new year)
Holi (Spring)
- One (Brahman) with limitless human forms Vaishnavite (Kabir, Swami Narayan)
Shaivite (Tantrism, Osho Rajneesh)
Shakta (Durga, Kali)
Buddhism Siddharth Gautam (560-480 B.C.E.) - 376 Million - - - Theravada
Sikhism Guru Nanak (1469-1539) and nine successor gurus Guru Granth 23 Million Vaisakhi (harvest, founding of the Khalsa order)
Gurpurabs (birth/death observances for the ten Gurus)
- One, Abstract, Formless, Unborn, Undying, Creator Amrit-dhari (initiated, orthodox)
Kes-dhari (uninitiated, orthodox)
Sahaj-dhari (unorthodox)
Nirankari (founder Sahaj-dhari Dayal Singh b. 1783, anti-idolatry, vegetarian, throw dead into river, rejoice death, no-fee ceremonies, human guru)
Sant Nirankari
Namdhari (founder Balak Singh b. 1797, human guru, vegetarian, revere Dasam Granth, fire ceremonies, anti-pilgrimage, anti-Maharaja Ranjit Singh)
Nanaksar (founder Nand Singh b. 1869, vegetarian, celibate, ascetic, avatar, Nanak appears in visions)
Akhand Kirtani Jatha (founder Randhir Singh b. 1878, overnight kirtan, vegetarian, cook in iron, no scriptural interpretation, turban for women, distinct maryada)
3HO (founder Harbhajan Singh Puri 1971/L.A., kundalini yoga, white attire)
Nirmala (celibate, study Hindu scriptures, saffron attire)
Udasi (founder Sri Chand b. 1494, celibate)
Judaism Abraham (1800 B.C.E.) Bible - Old Testament; including the most important component, the Torah (the Laws of Moses) 14 Million Hanukkah (festival of lights; liberation of Temple of Jerusalem)
Shabbat/Sabbath (weekly from Friday evening to Saturday evening)
Rosh Hashanah (new year; ten day celebration concludes with Yom Kippur (day of atonement))
Passover (celebrates the return of the Israelites from Egypt to their homeland)
- - Samaritan
Kabbalah (mystic)
Bene Israel
Jainism 24 Tirthankaras; the last was Vardhaman Mahavir (6th century B.C.E.) - 4.2 Million Pajjusana (year-end)
Divali (adaptation)
Ahimsa (nonviolence toward all living things) - -
Zoroastrianism Zarathushtra (1500-1000 B.C.E.) - 2.6 Million - - - -