Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are some of the most historical religions in the world. The first three descended from what is known as the “Abrahamic religions” for the reason that their roots trace back to Abraham, from the Hebrew Bible. The roots of Buddhism can be traced back to an Indian prince Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni Buddha), who sought enlightenment. Today there are 14 million followers of Judaism, 2 billion of Christianity, 1.3 billion of Islam, and 360 million of Buddhism, practicing these religions worldwide (“The Big Religion Chart”). All these religions had a beginning with a rich history, let’s explore the roots of how they obtained to these numbers today.
It is believed, Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion, originating at least 3,000 years ago (1300 BCE), began with the covenant established between God and Abraham (The Big Religion Chart). Abraham is the founding father of the family of the Jews. A long time before Christ was born, the Jews were persecuted and then enslaved by the Egyptian people. Moses was the next leader, leading his people out of captivity in Egypt, and gave the Jews the Torah the laws of God and the ten commandments. The Torah served as the grounds for social, ethical, religious law and their belief, it was their duty to adhere to it. Judaism originated in Judea, an area of land on the eastern Mediterranean Sea, now modern day Palestine and Israel. God considered Palestine, as the Jews Promised Land, but with it being a desirable location, the Jews were often exiled from one place to another, where their land had been ruled by a series of foreign powers for most of its history. The 1st Jewish temple was destroyed, around 600 BCE and the J...
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...oming disturbed by the suffering his indulgent lifestyle masked. He abandoned his family and future career as king to seek liberation, to seek contentment beyond suffering and understand the riddle of life” (Gross)
Other pertinent dates are from 270 to 230 B.C.E., when Emperor Ashoka, ruled the subcontinent of India and beyond into Sri Lanka. He converted to Buddhism after winning a bloody war and saw what carnage and suffering it caused. Renouncing hunting and warfare, he began promoting religions but, he himself chooses Buddhism. He was seen as an Emperor with genuine concerns for the well-being of his subjects.
It seems that all these religions developed from war or conflicts during the time of their development. It is conflict that cause people to seek more guidance on what to do, so many people seek out religion to fill the void that completes their wellbeing.
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