What is Religion?
When it comes to religion, there cannot be one definition considering there are several religions and people hold different ideas of what is religion. However, there are some key words in its definition where the word beliefs are mentioned. Hence, one definition that has been regarded more appropriate is a belief in certain systems of beliefs that could be cultural and spiritual systems. More so, there is the definition of believing in a supernatural being or power that defines how people should live giving a certain meaning in life and reasons for existence. It can be simply put that a religion is a certain set of beliefs in a supernatural sacred being that man tries to associate with, to satisfy their spiritual needs (Larue 2003).
According to Cline (2011), having no clear definition does not mean religion is not there, rather, it has many traits that we must be aware of to understand what is religion. Some of these traits are belief in a supernatural being that is deemed sacred, defining what is sacred are not, rituals or acts that are done in honor of the supernatural being or to the sacred being or object considering that some tribes or cultures regard some of their possessions as sacred. In every religion, there are moral norms believed to be associated with the supernatural being, prayer is another of the traits meant to be a form of communication. More so, there is a view of how the person or individual is supposed to fit into the world and a way of one’s organization of life. This fits as better definitions since it incorporates all the characteristics of a religion.
Today there are many religions in the world with the major ones being Christianity, Islamic and Judaism (Types of Religion 2011). These religions are characterized by the above-mentioned elements. For each of these regions there is supernatural being and set of beliefs, which the followers believe in. Christianity is the biggest among them all and is found almost everywhere in the world. Christians believe in one triune God hence it is considered a monotheism religion. Christianity has borrowed from other religions such as Judaism considering that Jesus was a Jew and affirmed that He came to strengthen the Law of Moses. The triune God means God in three where there is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who is their Supreme Being. Christians always pray to communicate with God and some rituals done to glorify God are singing, eating the Holy Communion, attending church services and being baptized. The bible is the book containing the beliefs and rules of Christianity stating how Christians should live (Types of Religion 2011).
Judaism on the other hand was the religion before Christ was born in Israel where the Old Testament was their set of rules and beliefs. It believes in God of Abraham just as Christians but do not recognize that Jesus is God. These Jews did not believe that Jesus Christ was the prophesied savior of their tribe and still practice Judaism. It is mostly based of the Hebrew Bible that they refer to as Tanakh. They also engage in praying to communicate with their God and songs of praise as well as rituals such as praying and undergoing circumcision to signify a covenant with God (Types of Religion 2011).
Islam is the other religion that is second biggest after Christianity. It is a recent religion, which came after Christianity through Mohamed. He is considered their last prophet. Their Supreme Being is Allah whom they all strictly believe in. Islam also borrows some beliefs from Christianity and Judaism such as believing in one God. It has its rules and beliefs written in the Koran that specifies how they should live their lives through observing the rules. Some of these rules are their way of dressing, the way they pray as well as the number of times to pray in a day. The name Islamic means giving in to the will of God in Arabic, hence they are very strict with following their beliefs in Allah (Types of Religion 2011).
A man is created with a need of understanding his inner feeling hence seeks a spiritual satisfaction. Religion has served as the spiritual nourishment for most people and almost all cultures in the world have believed in some supernatural power or gods, which is considered their religion. The Supreme Being is worshiped with a belief that it is the source of life in many religions and by following the religious rules people believe that their lives are full.
Cline, Austin. What is Religion? atheism.about.com, 2011. Web. September 30, 2011.
Larue, Gerald, A. What Is “Religion”?—Well, It’s Hard to “Say Exactly”. teachingaboutreligion.org, March 19, 2003. Web. September 30, 2011.
typesofreligion.com. Types of Religion: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism & Judaism. typesofreligion.com, 2011. Web. September 30, 2011.