Religion

Hinduism

Hindus believe their position in this present life was determined by their actions in a previous life. If a person’s behavior before was evil, they might justifiably experience tremendous hardships in this life.

A Hindu's goal is to become free from the law of karma...to be free from continuous reincarnations.

Buddhism

Buddhists do not worship any gods or God. Most Buddhists believe a person has countless rebirths, which inevitably include suffering. The goal of a Buddhist is to purify one's heart and to let go of all yearnings toward sensual desires.
Through practiced meditation a person may reach Nirvana -- "the blowing out" of the flame of desire.

Islam

Muslims believe there is the one almighty God, named Allah. Allah is viewed as the creator of the universe and the source of all good and all evil.

Though a Muslim honours several prophets, Muhammad is considered the last prophet.

To be a Muslim, one must follow five religious duties:

  • Repeat a creed about Allah and Muhammad
  • Recite certain prayers in Arabic five times a day
  • Give to the needy
  • One month each year, fast from food, drink, sex and smoking from sunrise to sunset
  • Pilgrimage once in one's lifetime to worship at a shrine in Mecca

At death a Muslim hopes to enter Paradise. If not, they will be eternally punished in hell.

Christianity

Christians believe in one eternal God who is creator of all that is. He is viewed as a loving God who offers everyone a personal relationship with himself now in this life. Jesus claimed to be God in human form. He performed miracles, forgave people of their sin and said that anyone who believed in him would have eternal life.

Followers of Jesus regard the Bible as God's written message to humankind. They believe that Jesus Christ, out of love for us, paid for the sin for all of humanity by dying on a cross. Three days later, he rose from the dead as he promised, proving his deity.

Church and state

Before the advent of Christianity, separate religious and political orders were not clearly defined in most civilizations. People worshipped the gods of the particular state in which they lived.

Religion and politics, although distinct in their scope, are not separate realms, since each person is called to fulfill his or her religious duties in tandem with the social, economic and political duties that fall to each citizen.

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