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eligion has been the pillar of humanity and civilizations since the start of the civilized world or, as some may argue, even earlier. Religion has seen many changes throughout history. Once used as a rulebook for people to live their lives through, later in medieval times used as a political system to gain law and order. Today religion only brings out the best in people, and even if times have changed, the traditions within each and every religion have stayed exactly the same.

Here is a list of all the religions recorded in the history of this world, taking into consideration some religions that have been lost through time or are not practiced/followed any longer. These are ordered in alphabetical order as follows:

Adventism

Adventism is a Christian movement that began in the nineteenth century in the United States. It is founded on faith in the Second Coming, or “Advent,” of Jesus Christ. Adventists believe that Christ’s return is coming and that they must prepare themselves and others for this event.

Adventism is divided into numerous denominations, including Seventh-day Adventists, Advent Christian Church, and the Church of God (Seventh Day).

The greatest branch of Adventism, the Seventh-day Adventists, observe the Sabbath on Saturday rather than Sunday and place a major focus on health and fitness. They eat a vegetarian or plant-based diet, abstain from alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs, and encourage physical activity and other healthy living behaviors.

Ayyavazhi

Ayyavazhi is a spiritual system and religious movement that began in the mid-nineteenth century in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Because of its beginnings and the impact of Hindu literature such as the Bhagavad Gita and Puranas, it is frequently regarded a branch of Hinduism.

Ayyavazhi believes in the presence of a single ultimate reality known as “Parabrahmam,” as well as its manifestation in multiple forms. The major figure of the movement is thought to be Ayya Vaikundar, whom adherents regard as an incarnation of God.

Ayyavazhi stresses ethical and moral ideals, and members are required to live virtuous lives, which include vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. The religion also places great emphasis on pilgrimage, and its most important site is the Swamithoppe pathi, located in the town of Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu.

Ancient Egyptian Religion

The term “ancient Egyptian religion” refers to the religious beliefs and practices of the Egyptian people from prehistoric periods through the end of the Ptolemaic period (4th century BCE). The religion was distinguished by a complex system of beliefs and rituals that evolved over time, but it was centered on the worship of multiple gods and goddesses who were thought to have authority over various aspects of nature and human existence.

Some of the most important gods and goddesses in ancient Egyptian religion were:

Ra: The sun god and the universe’s creator.
Osiris: The afterlife god and lord of the underworld.
Isis is the fertility and motherhood goddess.
Horus: The sky god and patron of royalty.
Anubis: Mummification god and protector of the dead.
Thoth: The creator of writing and the deity of wisdom and knowledge.

The ancient Egyptian religion also contained a sophisticated system of rites and ceremonies, such as the construction of ornate temples, the performance of daily offerings and prayers, and the communication with the gods through the use of hieroglyphics and other symbols.

The ancient Egyptian religion evolved over time as many invaders and rulers imposed their own ideas and rituals. The ancient religion sank into oblivion with the entrance of Christianity and Islam in Egypt, but its impact can still be recognized in modern-day Egyptian culture and rituals.

Ancient Hittite Religion

The ancient Hittite religion was the indigenous religion of the Hittite civilization, which thrived in Anatolia, modern-day Turkey, from the 18th to the 12th centuries BCE. The Hittite religion was a polytheistic religion in which several gods and goddesses ruled over various areas of life such as nature, fertility, and war.

The Hittites worshipped their gods and goddesses in a region known as the heavens, and they frequently represented them in human form. Among the most important Hittite gods and goddesses were:

Teshub: The god of storms and thunder, frequently represented with a lightning bolt.

Arinna: The goddess of the sun, whose worship was focused on a temple in Arinna.

Hepat: The fertility and childbirth goddess, frequently shown holding an infant.

Tarhunt: The hunter and battle deity, frequently represented with a bow and arrow.

Kubaba: The Hittite deity of Hattusa, commonly represented as a sitting figure holding a mirror.

The Hittites also worshipped a variety of other deities, including gods of the underworld, mountain gods, and river and stream gods.

Animal sacrifices, divination, and the usage of oracles were among the religious practises undertaken by the Hittites. They also constructed several temples and shrines to commemorate their gods and goddesses, with elaborate carvings and artwork representing religious subjects.

The Hittites adopted several gods and goddesses from adjacent cultures, including the Hurrians, Assyrians, and Babylonians, in addition to their own deities. Within the Hittite culture, this resulted in a syncretism of religious beliefs and rituals.

Ancient Rome Religion (Before Christianity)

Ancient Roman religion was a polytheistic religion practiced by the people of Rome and its surrounding areas from the 8th century BCE until the empire’s Christianization in the 4th century CE. The religion was founded on the worship of a pantheon of gods and goddesses who were thought to rule over many areas of life, including as nature, fertility, and battle.

The Roman pantheon included dozens of gods and goddesses, many of whom were borrowed from Greek mythology and religion. Among the most important Roman deities were:

Jupiter: The deity of the sky, thunder, and lightning, as well as the monarch of the gods.

Mars: The war and agriculture god.

Venus is the goddess of beauty, love, and fertility.

Apollo is the Greek deity of prophecy, music, and medicine.

Saturn is the deity of agriculture and harvesting.

Neptune is the sea god.

The Romans thought that these gods and goddesses could be appeased by performing religious rites like as animal sacrifices, prayers, and food and drink offerings. These rites were frequently carried out by priests and priestesses who were in charge of the temples and shrines dedicated to the various deities.

The Roman state was also involved in religion, with the emperor and other officials functioning as religious leaders and supervising the execution of state-sponsored religious events. The annual sacrifice to the gods, held in the Temple of Jupiter on Capitoline Hill, was the most important of these events.

As the Roman Empire grew in size, it absorbed many distinct religious traditions from the cultures it conquered, resulting in a fusion of beliefs and practices. This syncretism was most visible in the devotion of the emperor, who was frequently deified after his death and worshipped alongside the conventional Roman deities.

Ancient Sumerian Religion

The Sumerian religion was practiced by the Sumerians, an ancient civilization that lived in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) from the fourth millennium BCE to the second millennium BCE. The Sumerian religion was a polytheistic religion in which gods and goddesses ruled over many parts of existence such as nature, fertility, and the human condition.

The Sumerian pantheon had dozens of gods and goddesses, each with their own distinct purpose and territory. Among the most important Sumerian deities were:

Anu is the sky god and the monarch of the gods.

Enlil was the wind and earth god.

Inanna is the goddess of fertility, love, and battle.

Enki is the wisdom, water, and creation deity.

Utu: The sun and justice god.

Ninhursag: The fertility, childbirth, and soil goddess.

The Sumerians believed that their gods and goddesses lived in a divine realm that could be reached by temples and ziggurats (huge stepped pyramids) built in their honor. These structures were frequently the focus of religious rituals and celebrations, which included food and drink offerings, animal sacrifices, and the reciting of prayers and hymns.

The Sumerians also believed in supernatural beings such as demons and monsters, and used divination and astrology to try to decipher the will of the gods. In addition to their religious beliefs, the Sumerians created a rich mythology that comprised creation stories, heroic narratives, and chronicles of the gods’ and goddesses’ lives and acts.

The Sumerian religion, like many other ancient religions, affected the religions of later civilizations in the region, especially the Babylonians and the Assyrians.

Aztec

The Aztec religion was the religious belief system of the Aztec civilization, which thrived from the 14th to the 16th centuries in central Mexico. It was a polytheistic religion in which gods and goddesses were associated with many aspects of nature and human life.

The Aztecs believed that the universe had been created and destroyed multiple times, with the current era being the fifth. They thought that human sacrifice was required to preserve the universe’s balance and assure the world’s continuing existence. As a result, human sacrifice was an important part of their religious rites.

Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun, was the most prominent deity in the Aztec pantheon, and he was said to require a steady supply of human hearts to sustain him. Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility, and Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god of culture and wisdom, were two other significant deities.

The Aztec religion also contained a sophisticated system of rites and ceremonies, such as festivals, dances, and offerings, to honor the gods and keep the universe in balance.

The Aztec religion was largely suppressed and replaced by Christianity during the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century.

Babism (Today known as Babi Movement)

Babism is a religious movement that began in the mid-nineteenth century in Persia (now Iran). It was founded by a businessman named Siyyid ‘Ali Muhammad Shirazi, also known as the Bab (Arabic for “gate”). The Bab claimed to be a divine messenger sent to prepare the way for the arrival of a greater prophet, whom he referred to as “Him whom God shall make manifest.”

Babism emphasized the unity of God and all religions, and its teachings were a synthesis of Islamic, Christian, and other spiritual traditions. The Bab preached that humanity was entering a new era of spiritual enlightenment and that this transformation would necessitate the establishment of a new social order.

The Islamic clerical hierarchy was strongly opposed to the movement, and the Bab was eventually executed by the Iranian government in 1850. Yet, his ideas spread, and after his death, many of his followers started to follow a new prophet, Mirza Husayn Ali, who claimed to be the fulfilment of the Bab’s predictions and is now known as Baha’u’llah.

Babism subsequently evolved into the Baha’i Faith, a worldwide faith with millions of adherents. Many of the same doctrines and beliefs are shared by the Baha’i Faith and Babism, such as the oneness of God, the unity of all religions, and the significance of social justice and equality.

Baha’i Faith

The Baha’i Faith is a monotheistic religion created in the mid-nineteenth century by Baha’u’llah, who Baha’is regard as the most recent in a series of prophets that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Baha’i Faith emphasises the spiritual unity of all humanity as well as God’s oneness.

The belief in the oneness of all religions, and the idea that all religions spring from the same divine source and contain fundamental spiritual truths, is central to the Baha’i Faith. Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah’s teachings are intended to unite all religions and to build an universal civilization based on unity, justice, and peace.

According to the Baha’i Faith, humanity is in the process of spiritual progress, and Baha’u’llah’s teachings are God’s most recent counsel for this new phase of human history. Individual spiritual development, service to others, and social justice are all emphasized in Baha’i beliefs.

Baha’i communities are diverse and welcoming, with members representing a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Around the world, Baha’i communities participate in a variety of activities, including as devotional gatherings, study groups, and social service projects.

The Baha’i Faith has evolved into a global religion, with millions of adherents in over 200 nations and territories worldwide.

Bhakti Movement

The Bhakti movement is a religious movement that arose in medieval India, mainly between the seventh and seventeenth centuries. The term “bhakti” comes from the Sanskrit word “bhaj” which meaning “to share” or “to participate”. The Bhakti movement emphasized devotional worship of a single personal God and attempted to democratize religion by making it available to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic or caste standing.

The Bhakti movement arose in response to the tight social hierarchy and exclusivity of India’s Brahminical religious traditions, which denied upper castes access to religious rites and knowledge. The Bhakti movement, on the other hand, urged everyone to engage in devotional acts like singing, dancing, and reciting God’s names.

Several saint-poets emerged throughout the movement, who created devotional songs known as bhajans or kirtans in Indian vernacular languages. These poets, who were typically from low castes and disenfranchised groups, preached a message of love and devotion to God while criticising the established priestly class’s authority.

The Bhakti movement had a huge impact on Indian society and culture, advocating the concept of social and spiritual equality and assisting in the removal of caste and gender boundaries. Much of the Bhakti movement’s ideals and practises continue to impact religious life in India today, particularly in Hinduism, Sikhism, and other religions’ devotional rituals.

British Israelism

British Israelism is a religious and political movement in the United Kingdom that maintains that the British people are direct ancestors of the ten lost tribes of Israel. According to this view, the British monarch is the true heir to David’s, the ancient king of Israel’s, kingdom.

Proponents of British Israelism use Bible prophecy and historical stories to argue that the Brits are the actual Israelites. They believe that the ten lost tribes’ migration to Europe and Britain was part of a divine plan to disseminate the true faith and build a new Israelite kingdom.

The movement gained traction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly in Britain and America, and was backed by notable personalities such as John Wilson, Edward Hine, and Herbert Armstrong. Scholars and historians, however, have universally dismissed the concept, claiming that there is no convincing evidence to support the notion that the British people are derived from the ancient Israelis.

British Israelism has been chastised for its nationalist and racial elements, with some supporters exploiting the movement to promote white supremacy and anti-Semitism. While the movement’s impact has waned in modern times, certain organizations and people continue to hold its views.

Buddhism Hinaiama

Together with Mahayana and Vajrayana, the Hinayana, also known as Theravada, is one of the three primary streams of Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the name “Hinayana” means “lesser vehicle,” and it is sometimes used in contrast to the “larger vehicle” of Mahayana Buddhism. Some Theravada Buddhists, however, consider this phrase derogatory and prefer to use the term Theravada.

Theravada Buddhism is the oldest branch of Buddhism still followed today, and it is largely practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. It is based on the Buddha’s earliest recorded teachings, known as the Pali Canon, and emphasizes meditation practice and the goal of enlightenment as an individual pursuit.

Theravada Buddhism emphasizes the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which are at the heart of Buddhist teachings. The Four Noble Truths assert that suffering exists, that it is caused by craving and attachment, that it may be conquered, and that the Eightfold Path leads to the end of suffering. Right perspective, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration comprise the Eightfold Way.

The ultimate objective of Theravada Buddhism is to achieve Nirvana, which is the state of ultimate escape from pain and rebirth. This is accomplished by following the Eightfold Way and cultivating mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion.

Buddhism Mahayana

Theravada Buddhism emphasizes the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which are at the heart of Buddhist teachings. The Four Noble Truths assert that suffering exists, that it is caused by craving and attachment, that it may be conquered, and that the Eightfold Path leads to the end of suffering. Right perspective, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration comprise the Eightfold Way.

The ultimate objective of Theravada Buddhism is to achieve Nirvana, which is the state of ultimate escape from pain and rebirth. This is accomplished by following the Eightfold Way and cultivating mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion.

In various aspects, Mahayana Buddhism varies from Theravada Buddhism. It emphasizes the role of compassion and the bodhisattva ideal more, and it covers a broader range of teachings and practices. There is also a larger focus in Mahayana Buddhism on the employment of skillful means, or upaya, to assist others in attaining enlightenment.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the ultimate objective is to attain Buddhahood, which is a state of total enlightenment and deliverance from suffering. Bodhisattvas are crucial to this objective because they seek to help all beings gain enlightenment before achieving it themselves. Mahayana Buddhism also contains a variety of devotional rituals, such as chanting and using mantras, which are thought to aid in the cultivation of compassion and knowledge.

Buddishm Vrajrayana

Buddhism Vajrayana Buddhism, also known as Tantric Buddhism or Esoteric Buddhism, is a branch of Buddhism that started in India and spread to Tibet and the Himalayan areas. It is distinguished by the employment of intricate ceremonies, visualization practices, and esoteric teachings to hasten the road to enlightenment.

The term “Vajrayana” is derived from the Sanskrit word “vajra,” which means “diamond” or “thunderbolt,” and relates to the indestructible character of reality as well as the teachings’ ability to cut through ignorance and delusion. The guru-disciple relationship is emphasized in Vajrayana as important for receiving the transmission of teachings and practices.

Vajrayana Buddhism combines Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, as well as indigenous Tibetan religious rituals. It encompasses a wide variety of activities, including deity yoga, mantra recitation, visualization, and ritual offerings. These practises are designed to transform ordinary experience into pure enlightenment experience, eventually leading to an understanding of the true nature of reality.

There are several schools or lineages within the Vajrayana tradition, each with their unique emphasis and practices. The Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug schools of Tibetan Buddhism are among the most well-known Vajrayana lineages.

New Buddhist Movement

The “New Buddhist Movement” is a modern Buddhist movement that emerged in the twentieth century and is still evolving today. This movement is distinguished by a focus on social involvement, inclusivity, and creativity, and it has been impacted by advances in psychology, science, and other domains.

One of the New Buddhist Movement’s defining characteristics is its emphasis on engaging with contemporary issues such as environmentalism, social justice, and human rights. Your participation demonstrates that Buddhist teachings can offer vital insights and help tackle these pressing issues.

Another component of the New Buddhist Movement is its emphasis on making Buddhism more accessible to a broader audience. This includes translating traditional Buddhist literature into modern languages, as well as developing new practices and rituals that are more relevant to modern living.

The growth of secular mindfulness practices, which have become popular in Western countries, has also inspired the New Buddhist Movement. Several Buddhist instructors have adapted and incorporated these practices into their teachings, making them more accessible to those who do not identify as Buddhist but are interested in mindfulness and meditation.

Chinese Religions

Chinese religions are a rich and diverse group of religious traditions that have evolved in China over thousands of years. They include indigenous faiths such as Taoism and Confucianism, as well as foreign religions imported and adapted to the Chinese culture, such as Buddhism and Christianity.

Taoism, commonly known as Daoism, is a Chinese indigenous religion that emphasizes nature’s harmony, simplicity, and the cultivation of inner tranquility and spiritual insight. Taoism is a philosophy that is founded on the teachings of the Tao Te Ching, literature credited to the ancient sage Lao Tzu, and incorporates activities like meditation, martial arts, and the use of herbs and other natural cures.

Another indigenous Chinese religion that emphasizes the cultivation of values such as compassion, respect, and filial piety, as well as social peace and order, is Confucianism. Confucianism is a religion that is founded on the teachings of the ancient philosopher Confucius and involves practices such as ancestor worship, the study of classical texts, and ritual performance.

In the first century AD, Buddhism was introduced to China from India and has since become a dominant religion in China. Chinese Buddhism has been inspired by indigenous Chinese beliefs and practices, and comprises a wide variety of schools and traditions, such as Chan (Zen) Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism.

European missionaries introduced Christianity to China in the 16th century, and it has since developed to become a substantial minority religion. Chinese Christianity has been inspired by both Western and indigenous Chinese traditions, and it comprises both Catholic and Protestant denominations.

Aside from these major religions, China has various indigenous and local religious traditions, such as folk religion, shamanism, and ancestor worship, that continue to play an important role in Chinese society and culture.

Christian Catholic

The largest religious denomination in the world is Christian Catholicism, often known as Roman Catholicism. Its beliefs and practices are directed by the teachings of the Catholic Church and are founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles, as recounted in the New Testament of the Bible.

The Catholic Church maintains that salvation is acquired via faith in Jesus Christ and that the sacraments, such as baptism and communion, are means of receiving God’s favor. Catholics value the Virgin Mary and the saints and honor them via prayer and devotion.

The Pope, who is considered the Bishop of Rome and the successor of Saint Peter, one of Jesus Christ’s followers, leads the Catholic Church. The Pope is recognized as the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church as well as Christ’s earthly representation.

Catholicism has a rich liturgical, artistic, and musical history, and its worship services are notable for their use of ritual, symbolism, and sacraments. Catholicism also values social justice and the importance of caring for the poor and marginalized, and its teachings on these themes have influenced a number of social and political movements throughout history.

There are approximately one billion Catholics in the world, and the Catholic Church has a strong presence in several nations, including Italy, Spain, France, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Christian Orthodox

Christian Orthodoxy, often known as Eastern Orthodoxy or Orthodox Christianity, is a branch of Christianity that arose in the early decades of the Christian era in the Eastern Roman Empire. Its beliefs and practices are directed by the teachings of the Orthodox Church and are founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible.

Orthodox Christianity is distinguished by its emphasis on tradition, liturgy, and sacraments, as well as its belief in the divine mystery of God and the involvement of the Holy Spirit in Church life. Orthodox Christians revere the saints and the Virgin Mary, whom they honor via prayer and devotion.

The Orthodox Church is made up of several autocephalous, or self-governing, churches, including the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Each of these churches is led by a patriarch or metropolitan bishop, who is regarded as the church’s spiritual authority.

Orthodox Christianity has a rich iconographic, musical, and architectural legacy, and its worship services are distinguished by the use of icons, incense, and liturgical chanting. The Orthodox Church also emphasizes asceticism or self-discipline, and many Orthodox Christians fast from certain meals and refrain from certain activities at various periods of the year.

The Orthodox Church has a substantial presence in many nations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with an estimated 260 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

Christian Protestant

Christian Protestantism, often known as Protestantism, is a prominent branch of Christianity that originated in the 16th century as a reaction against the Roman Catholic Church’s corruption and perceived excesses. Its beliefs and practises are directed by the teachings of the Protestant Church and are founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible.

Protestantism is distinguished by its focus on the Bible’s authority, the priesthood of all Christians, and the significance of faith and grace as means of salvation. Protestants, unlike the Catholic Church, do not recognise the Pope’s authority or the concept of apostolic succession.

Within Protestantism, there are numerous denominations, including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Pentecostals, among others. Each of these faiths has its unique set of beliefs and practises, but they all share a devotion to biblical teachings and Protestant theological ideas.

Protestantism has had a profound impact on world history, culture, and politics, and has been linked to numerous social and political revolutions throughout history, including as the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the emergence of democracy and individualism in the Western world.

Protestantism is the second-largest branch of Christianity after Catholicism, with an estimated 900 million adherents worldwide. Many countries around the world have a large Protestant presence, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, and Brazil, among others.

Christian Science

Christian Science is a religious movement formed in the nineteenth century in the United States by Mary Baker Eddy. It is founded on the idea that spiritual healing may cure illness and that the corporeal world is an illusion.

Christian Scientists believe that God is the only reality and that illness and suffering are caused by wrong thinking and a lack of faith in God. They believe that spiritual awareness and prayer can bring about bodily health and well-being.

Christian Science is further distinguished by its opposition to conventional medical techniques such as surgery and drugs. Christian Scientists, on the other hand, rely on prayer, spiritual treatment, and faith in God to heal bodily and mental diseases.

The Christian Science Church, commonly known as the Church of Christ, Scientist, has a global presence and publishes a number of religious periodicals, including the respected international news agency The Christian Science Monitor.

Yet, the employment of Christian Science healing procedures has been contentious, with incidents of people suffering or dying as a result of refusing medical treatment in favor of spiritual recovery. As a result, orthodox healthcare practitioners generally do not endorse using Christian Science as a substitute for medical treatment.

Confucianism

Confucianism is a philosophical and ethical framework that emerged in ancient China in the fifth century BCE. It is called for its creator, Confucius, a Chinese philosopher who lived during the Zhou Dynasty.

Confucianism stresses moral principles, societal order, and obedience to authority. Its teachings place a premium on nurturing characteristics such as compassion, fairness, loyalty, and respect for elders and authority figures. Confucianism also emphasizes the value of education and knowledge-seeking as a way of achieving social and personal improvement.

The concept of the “Five Relationships,” which are the relationships between ruler and subject, father and son, husband and wife, elder and younger, and friend and friend, is central to Confucian thought. According to Confucianism, these connections are critical to sustaining social harmony and stability, and they should be founded on respect, loyalty, and reciprocal obligations.

Confucianism also stresses the significance of ritual and ceremony in maintaining societal norms and values. Confucianism has had a significant impact on Chinese culture and society, influencing the development of many facets of Chinese civilization such as governance, education, and social traditions.

Confucianism is still an important philosophical and ethical framework in East Asia today.

Din-e Llahi (Divine Faith)

Din-e Ilahi, which means “Divine Faith” in Persian, was a syncretic religion founded in India in the late 16th century by Mughal Emperor Akbar.

In an effort to promote religious tolerance and understanding among his empire’s various populations, Akbar aspired to develop a new religion that blended parts of Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity.

Din-e Ilahi emphasized monotheism, the unification of all religions, and ethical behavior and social justice. In an endeavor to develop a new and inclusive faith, Akbar invited scholars and religious leaders from other faiths to participate in talks and debates on religion and spirituality.

Despite Akbar’s attempts, Din-e Ilahi never acquired widespread approval or supporters, and it died out after his reign. It is now regarded as a historical curiosity rather than a live religion.

Druze

The Druze are a religious group that developed in the Middle East in the 11th century, primarily in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. The Druze religion is monotheistic, with roots in Islam, but it also integrates parts of other religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism.

The Druze believe in God’s unity and the soul’s immortality. They also believe in reincarnation and strongly believe in the power of individual choice and free will. The Druze religion places a high value on secrecy and knowledge, and its teachings are only imparted to those who have been initiated into the faith.

The Druze are noted for their distinct culture and customs, which include a distinctive religious leadership system and a strong feeling of community togetherness. They have played a key role in the Middle East’s political and social history, and they have been prominent players in Lebanon and Syria’s politics.

Nowadays, the Druze population is estimated to number over 1 million individuals, with the majority of them residing in the Middle East’s Levant region. In Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, the Druze are acknowledged as a separate religious minority, and they continue to play an important role in the social and cultural life of these countries.

Eastern Christianity

Eastern Christianity refers to the numerous Christian traditions and churches that arose in the eastern Roman Empire and its surrounding regions, which included Greece, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Russia. Eastern Christianity is distinguished by its own liturgical traditions, doctrinal focuses, and cultural customs.

The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Eastern Catholic Churches are all separate Eastern Christian traditions. These churches have their own hierarchies, liturgical traditions, and theological emphasizes, but they all share a common heritage and a dedication to the early Christian Church’s apostolic legacy.

Eastern Christianity places a high value on tradition, especially liturgical and doctrinal traditions that have been passed down over the centuries. Eastern Christian theology likewise emphasizes the mystery of God, the centrality of the sacraments, and the function of the Holy Spirit in Church life.

Eastern Christianity has had a significant impact on the history and culture of the regions in which it has evolved. It was crucial in the development of Byzantine culture and affected the art, literature, and music of the countries where it flourished. Eastern Christianity is still a significant religious and cultural force in many parts of the world today.

Fourth Way

The Fourth Way is a spiritual development system founded in the early twentieth century by Russian philosopher and spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff. The Fourth Way draws on lessons from numerous religious and philosophical traditions and mixes components of Eastern and Western spirituality.

According to the Fourth Way, humans are capable of transcending conventional consciousness and gaining greater degrees of awareness and spiritual insight. In order to accomplish spiritual progress, it emphasizes the significance of self-awareness, self-discipline, and cultivating a heightened level of consciousness.

The Fourth Way, unlike many other spiritual traditions, does not promote seclusion from the world or the renunciation of material possessions. It highlights the need of leading an active and engaged life in the world while preserving a spiritual viewpoint and striving for inner development.

The Fourth Way is frequently referred to as a “heart path,” highlighting the significance of developing a deep love and compassion for all beings. It is also distinguished by its pragmatic approach to spiritual development, emphasizing the significance of daily spiritual practices and the application of spiritual truths in daily life.

The Fourth Way is still practised today by individuals and groups all over the world who are looking for a spiritual path that combines practicality with a genuine commitment to inner growth and self-transformation.

Gnosticism

Gnosticism is a theological and intellectual movement that flourished in the Mediterranean world from the first to the fourth centuries AD. Gnosticism is a complex and diverse set of ideas and behaviors influenced by sources such as Judaism, Christianity, and Greek philosophy.

Gnosticism’s basic tenet is that knowledge (gnosis) is the path to salvation and emancipation from the material world, which is viewed as a defective and imperfect creation of a lesser god or demiurge. The actual God, according to Gnostic beliefs, is a transcendent and unknowable deity far distant from the world of matter.

Gnostics believe that various spiritual activities, including as meditation, contemplation, and asceticism, might lead to gnosis. Gnosis seeks to awaken the divine spark within each person and reach spiritual enlightenment, allowing individuals to transcend the material world and achieve connection with the true God.

Gnosticism also emphasizes the feminine aspect in the divine, and certain Gnostic sects venerated Sophia, a female divinity who represents heavenly wisdom and the spiritual feminine. Gnosticism, on the other hand, is a diverse and complex movement with no single set of ideas or practices that define it.

Hinduism

Hinduism, the oldest alive religion, is a prominent world religion that began in the Indian subcontinent. It is a diverse and complicated religion with a rich history spanning thousands of years that includes a wide range of beliefs, practises, and traditions.

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion at its heart, which means that it acknowledges the existence of several gods and goddesses, each with their own distinct traits and powers. These deities are revered with diverse ceremonies and offerings and play an essential role in Hindus’ daily life.

Hinduism also places a premium on the concept of dharma, which refers to the cosmic order as well as the duties and righteousness that each human must fulfil in their lives. Karma, or the law of cause and effect, is also a significant concept in Hinduism, with the belief that a person’s deeds in this life impact their fate in the next.

Another fundamental part of Hinduism is the belief in reincarnation, which is the notion that the soul is reborn into a new body after death. Hinduism’s ultimate goal is moksha, or freedom from the cycle of birth and death, and union with the divine.

Hinduism also has a rich literary legacy, including ancient writings such as the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. Yoga, Tantra, and Vedanta are some of the intellectual and spiritual traditions that have emerged as a result of the religion.

Islamism- Sunni

Islamism is a political ideology that strives to make Islamic law, or sharia, the foundation of government and society. It is frequently associated with Islamic fundamentalism, a rigorous and literal interpretation of Islamic scripture.

Sunni Islam is the largest denomination within Islam, distinguished by its commitment to the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings and practices, as well as those of the first four caliphs who succeeded him. Sunnis believe that the caliphs were correctly advised and that the community picked them to lead after the Prophet’s death.

Within Sunni Islam, Islamism can take various forms, ranging from moderate political participation to violent extremism. Some Islamist organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, strive to achieve their goals by democratic methods, whereas others, such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, want to achieve their goals through bloodshed and terrorism.

Islamism has been a significant factor in molding politics and society in many Muslim-majority nations, and it has been a source of contention and debate both inside and outside the Muslim world.

Islamism- Shia

Islamism in Shia Islam is a political philosophy that seeks to build an Islamic state based on Shia Islamic principles and the execution of Sharia law. Shia Islam is the second-largest denomination within Islam, and it differs from Sunni Islam in its belief in the importance of imams, who are divinely chosen and have a specific responsibility in directing the community.

Shia Islamism can take many forms, from nonviolent political activism to military conflict and terrorism. Some Shia Islamist parties, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, aim to achieve their goals through democratic methods, while others, like the Houthis in Yemen, employ violence and insurgency to achieve their goals.

Shia Islamism has shaped the political environment in several nations with large Shia populations, including Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Bahrain. It has also sparked debate and controversy, both inside the Muslim community and among non-Muslims.

Islamism- Alevi

Alevism is a separate religious tradition within Islam that differs greatly from both Sunni and Shia Islam, making Islamism in Alevism a difficult topic. Alevism is a hybrid religion that combines elements of Islam and pre-Islamic Turkish beliefs and traditions.

In general, unlike Sunni and Shia Islam, Alevism does not have a strong tradition of political engagement or Islamism. Certain Alevi people and organizations, on the other hand, have been affected by Islamist views and agitated for the application of Islamic law throughout society.

Some Alevi Islamists may be motivated by Turkish nationalism and advocate for a more conservative and traditionalist view of Turkish society. Nonetheless, it is vital to emphasize that Alevism is a varied and complicated theological tradition, and the Alevi community has no single or united view on Islamism.

Islamism- Sufism

Islamism in Sufism is a complicated and sometimes contentious subject. Sufism is an Islamic mystical and spiritual tradition that emphasizes the inner, esoteric components of the faith and seeks a direct personal connection with the divine.

While Sufism is frequently considered as incompatible with Islamist ideology, certain Sufi thinkers and organizations have embraced Islamist ideals and attempted to promote Sufis’ more politically engaged role in society. Some Sufi Islamists have called for political activism and social change based on Sufi spiritual and ethical principles, while others have advocated for the implementation of Islamic law in society.

Simultaneously, some Sufi thinkers and movements have rejected Islamist principles and attempted to disassociate themselves from political controversies linked with Islamist movements. These Sufi groups may highlight the personal and spiritual parts of the tradition and may be critical of Islamic politics’ overemphasis on exterior forms and structures.

Generally, the link between Sufism and Islamism is complicated, and it varies greatly depending on the Sufi organization or thinker in the issue.

Islamism- Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya is an Islamic group created in the late nineteenth century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed to be a prophet and the foretold messiah in Islamic scripture. Many Muslim-majority countries have persecuted and discriminated against the Ahmadiyya movement, which is typically regarded as heretical or non-Muslim.

In terms of Islamism, the Ahmadiyya movement generally advocates for a peaceful and non-violent approach to political change, and does not promote a political agenda or seek to establish an Islamic state. Instead, the Ahmadiyya movement emphasizes the importance of individual spiritual growth and the pursuit of moral and ethical values.

Islamist organisations in several Muslim-majority nations have targeted the Ahmadiyya community as a challenge to their ideal of a homogeneous Islamic society. Ahmadiyya Muslims have faced violence, prejudice, and persecution, including attacks on mosques and communities. As a result, the Ahmadiyya movement has frequently been a loud champion for religious freedom and tolerance, as well as a bridge-builder across various religious communities.

Jainism

Jainism is a traditional Indian religion that values nonviolence, asceticism, and compassion for all living beings. Jains believe that all living beings have an everlasting soul or jiva that is subject to the cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation (samsara) until it reaches liberation (moksha) via spiritual cleansing.

The concepts of ahimsa (nonviolence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy), and aparigraha underpin Jainism’s teachings (non-attachment). Jains are vegetarians or vegans, and many practice fasting and other forms of asceticism as spiritual disciplines.

Jainism has had a profound impact on Indian culture, especially in the fields of art, literature, and philosophy. Jains have also made significant contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and building. Jainism is now a minority religion in India, but it retains a thriving group of adherents who practice its teachings and promote its values of nonviolence and compassion.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination that was created in the United States in the late nineteenth century. The religion is well-known for its door-to-door evangelism and opposition to some mainstream Christian beliefs.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in one God, whom they call Jehovah, and in the Bible’s authority as God’s inspired word. They also believe that salvation is only possible via trust in Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, which they think will be established on Earth soon.

The theology of the Trinity, the concept of hell as a place of eternal punishment, and the celebration of birthdays and festivals, which they think have pagan origins, are all rejected by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are also recognized for their high ethical standards, which include abstaining from premarital sex, using alcohol and drugs, and participating in politics or military service. Followers of the religion are expected to follow a stringent code of conduct, and those who break it may face discipline or even ex-communication.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are frequently criticized for their beliefs and methods, including door-to-door evangelism and their opposition to blood transfusions, which some detractors claim can be life-saving medical treatments.

Jewish Renewal

Jewish Renewal is a Judaism movement that aims to reinvigorate and renew traditional Jewish traditions and spirituality. It arose in the 1960s and 1970s as a reaction to mainstream Judaism’s perceived spiritual emptiness and a desire to make Jewish practice more meaningful and relevant to contemporary living.

Jewish Renewal is influenced by a variety of Jewish sources, including Kabbalah, Hasidic teachings, and Jewish mysticism, as well as other spiritual traditions such as Buddhism and Sufism. It emphasizes the value of individual spiritual experiences and aspires to make Jewish practice more participatory and egalitarian.

Jewish Renewal also attempts to address issues of social justice and to promote environmental sustainability. It is frequently connected with progressive political beliefs and has been involved in a variety of social justice movements.

Meditation, chant, dancing, and other kinds of embodied prayer are among the practices associated with Jewish Renewal. Jewish Renewal communities may also try new forms of liturgy and worship, as well as aspects from other spiritual traditions.

Generally, Jewish Renewal is a broad and dynamic movement within Judaism that attempts to engage with classic Jewish sources in a relevant and meaningful way for current life.

Judaism- Conservative

Conservative Judaism is a Jewish sect that strives to conserve Jewish heritage while also allowing for some flexibility and adaptation to modern times. It arose in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a reaction to the problems of modernity and assimilation.

Conservative Judaism emphasizes the authority of Jewish law and tradition while also admitting the necessity to modify and interpret these traditions in light of current conditions. It is more liberal than Orthodox Judaism but more conservative than Reform Judaism.

Conservative Jews observe traditional Jewish rituals such as keeping kosher, observing the Shabbat, and praying three times a day, but may make certain adjustments based on their specific circumstances. Conservative Judaism also allows for more female participation in Jewish ritual and leadership roles than Orthodox Judaism.

Conservative Judaism lays a heavy emphasis on Jewish education, with a focus on teaching traditional Jewish texts and promoting continued study throughout one’s life. It also emphasizes the significance of social justice and tikkun olam (world repair), and may be involved in many social justice causes and activities.

Conservative Judaism attempts to strike a balance between the preservation of traditional Jewish rituals and the need to adapt and change in response to changing circumstances, as well as to encourage a more participatory and inclusive style of Jewish to practice.

Judaism- Humanistic

Humanistic Judaism is a non-theistic, secular religious movement that emphasizes human reason and ethics as the foundation of Jewish life and practice. It was developed in the 1960s by Rabbi Sherwin Wine in the United States, and it tries to provide a meaningful and relevant form of Jewish practice for persons who do not believe in God or traditional religious views.

Humanistic Judaism emphasizes human dignity and the value of human life, and strives to promote social justice, human rights, and ethical behavior. Although it draws on traditional Jewish literature and traditions, it interprets them in a humanistic and secular manner.

Humanistic Jewish communities may preserve Jewish customs and celebrate Jewish holidays, but they may also adapt or reinterpret these activities to reflect their own values and views. Humanistic Judaism also emphasizes Jewish education, with an emphasis on educating Jewish history, culture, and ethics.

Humanistic Judaism, in general, strives to provide a meaningful and relevant form of Jewish practice for persons who do not believe in God or traditional religious beliefs, while also emphasizing the significance of human dignity, ethics, and social justice.

Judaism- Karaite

Karaite Judaism is a Jewish movement that stresses the Hebrew Bible as the sole source of Jewish law and practice, rejecting the Talmud and other rabbinic writings as authoritative. The movement began in the Middle East during the early medieval period and has had a limited but steady presence throughout Jewish history.

Several traditional Jewish customs, such as keeping kosher and keeping the Sabbath, are observed by Karaite Jews. However, they may interpret these practices differ from other Jewish groups. They may, for example, use different criteria for identifying which foods are kosher, or they may observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset rather than according to the traditional calendar.

Individual interpretation of the Torah and the application of reason in comprehending Jewish law and practice are important in Karaite Judaism. They reject the idea of an oral tradition that supplements and interprets the written Torah in favor of relying only on the text itself.

The majority of Karaite Jews now dwell in Israel and the United States, with smaller populations in Europe and other places. Over the ages, the movement has experienced problems such as persecution and assimilation, yet it has survived as a unique and independent branch of Judaism.

Judaism- Orthodox

Orthodox Judaism is a type of Judaism that emphasizes the authority of Jewish law and custom while also attempting to preserve these traditions as they have been passed down through generations. It is the most traditional and conservative branch of Judaism, and members may observe Jewish law to varied degrees of strictness.

Orthodox Jews follow traditional Jewish rituals such as kosher, Shabbat observance, and three daily prayers. They also emphasize Torah study, with a concentration on traditional Jewish writings like the Talmud and other rabbinic literature.

Orthodox Judaism emphasizes the significance of the Jewish community and family, and it frequently has a hierarchical structure, with rabbis and other leaders offering leadership and support to followers. Within the community, men and women may have distinct roles and responsibilities, with men often taking on more formal leadership roles in religious practice and women taking on a more supportive role.

Orthodox Judaism, like other branches of Judaism, lays a significant focus on Jewish continuity and the preservation of Jewish tradition and may be more resistant to modernizing or changing Jewish practice.

Generally, Orthodox Judaism tries to preserve Jewish customs and law as they have been passed down through generations, with a heavy focus on the role of the Jewish community and family in supporting and upholding these traditions.

Judaism- Progressive

Progressive Judaism, often known as Reform Judaism, is a modern, liberal Jewish sect that emphasizes the progression of Jewish tradition and practice to fit the requirements of modern society. It began in Germany in the early nineteenth century and has since spread to other regions of the world.

Progressive Jews may observe traditional Jewish rituals such as kosher and Sabbath observance, but they may also adapt or reinterpret these practices to reflect their own values and beliefs. They may, for example, follow the Sabbath more loosely or adopt more inclusive traditions such as ordaining women as rabbis or accepting same-sex weddings.

Progressive Judaism also emphasizes social justice and ethical behavior, attempting to adapt Jewish principles and teachings to current concerns such as poverty, injustice, and environmental sustainability. They also place a high value on education and participation in Jewish culture and history.

Progressive Judaism is structured and decentralized, with each congregation or community having a considerable degree of autonomy in defining its own practices and beliefs. Rabbis and other leaders may provide advice and assistance, but the community as a whole may have a larger role in establishing the congregation’s direction and values.

Judaism- Reformist

Reform Judaism is a branch of Judaism that originated in 19th-century Germany with the goal of modernizing and adapting Jewish tradition to the modern world. It is also referred to as Progressive Judaism.

Reform Jews believe that Judaism is an ever-changing religion that must adapt to changing circumstances. They value individual autonomy and interpretation of Jewish law and practice while rejecting Orthodox Judaism’s devotion to traditional Jewish law. They also reject divine revelation, viewing Jewish law and practice as the outcome of human interpretation and evolution.

Reform Traditional Jewish traditions and rituals have undergone a variety of alterations. They have, for example, adopted more egalitarian practices, such as letting women to fully participate in religious ceremonies and legalizing same-sex marriage. In addition, they have brought more modern music and liturgy into their services, and they may employ a vernacular language rather than Hebrew.

Reform Judaism emphasizes social justice and ethical behavior, and it strives to apply Jewish ideals to current challenges such as civil rights, environmentalism, and social welfare. They also place a premium on education and participation in Jewish history and culture.

Generally, Reform Judaism strives to adapt and modernize Jewish tradition and practice in order to make it more accessible and relevant to modern Jews while emphasizing the significance of ethical behavior and social justice.

Judaism- Reconstructionist

Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern, liberal Jewish sect that emphasizes the continual evolution of Jewish tradition as well as the relevance of the Jewish community in defining Jewish practice and belief. Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan founded it in the United States in the twentieth century.

Reconstructionist Jews think that Judaism is more of a civilization than a religion, and that it should adapt to the changing requirements of modern society. They also believe that Jewish practice and belief should be guided by logic rather than tradition or divine revelation.

Reconstructionist Jews emphasize the importance of the Jewish community in creating Jewish practices and beliefs. They think that the community should determine the congregation’s direction and that the community should be involved in decision-making procedures. They also highlight the importance of ethical behavior and social justice, as well as attempt to adapt Jewish ideals to current challenges such as civil rights, environmental activism, and social welfare.

Reconstructionist Judaism has altered traditional Jewish customs and rituals, such as the adoption of egalitarian practices and the use of more modern liturgy and music. They also emphasize the significance of education and participation in Jewish culture and history.

Generally, Reconstructionist Judaism aims to adapt and evolve Jewish tradition and practice to fit the requirements of modern society while emphasizing the role of the Jewish community in influencing Jewish practice and belief.

Kabbalah

Kabbalah is a branch of Jewish mysticism that aims to comprehend God’s and the universe’s nature. It began in the 12th century in Provence, France, and has since spread throughout the world.

In Hebrew, the word “Kabbalah” means “to receive,” and it refers to the belief that this knowledge is obtained through direct revelation or intuition rather than formal learning or scholarship. Kabbalistic teachings emphasize the interconnectedness of all things and strive to unearth the hidden meaning underlying Jewish tradition’s symbols and scriptures.

Kabbalah is a complicated philosophical system with numerous schools of study and practice. Some Kabbalists concentrate on the study of Jewish literature and the understanding of mystical symbolism, whereas others emphasize meditation and contemplation as a way of reaching higher levels of consciousness.

Kabbalah has grown in popularity outside of conventional Jewish circles in recent years, with many non-Jewish people interested in learning about its teachings and practices. It is crucial to remember, however, that Kabbalah is a deeply embedded element of Jewish tradition, and its teachings and practices should be understood within that framework.

Mandaean Sabians

Mandaeans and Sabians are two separate religious communities with Middle Eastern roots.

Mandaeans adhere to Mandaeism, a monotheistic Gnostic religion that arose in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) in the first century AD. Mandaeans view John the Baptist to be a prophet and the actual messiah, rather than Jesus. They adhere to a dualistic cosmology, which holds that the world is divided into light and dark, with the ultimate objective of returning to the realm of light. Mandaeans believe that regular baptism is a measure of purification and spiritual rejuvenation. There are currently between 60,000 and 70,000 Mandaeans worldwide.

Sabeans, also known as Sabians, are adherents of Sabianism, a pre-Islamic monotheistic religion practised in the Middle East. The religion is founded on the veneration of celestial bodies, notably the sun and moon, as symbols of divine power and direction. Sabians believe in a one God who created and governs the cosmos through a network of intermediary entities known as angels. They also believe in an afterlife and the eventual resurrected of the dead. Nowadays, it is estimated that only a few thousand Sabians survive, predominantly in Iraq and Iran. Over the ages, some Sabians have converted to Islam or other religions.

Meivahzi (“Mehvahkhshi” or “Mehvakhshani”)

This community is also known as the “Mehdi Shahi” or “Kashani” community.

The Mehvahkhshi are a religious society that mixes aspects of Islam, Sufism, and Shi’a mysticism. They believe that Mehdi Shah, their founder, was a divinely inspired leader who had direct contact with God.

Mehvahkhshi beliefs and traditions are closely guarded, and nothing is known about them outside of the community. According to some stories, they lay a significant focus on austerity, meditation, and attaining mystical experiences. They also believe in the return of the Hidden Imam, a pivotal figure in Shi’a Islam.

It should be noted that the Mehvahkhshi community is not commonly acknowledged as an official or mainstream religion in Iran, and is considered a minority sect.

Raelism

Raelism is a new religious movement formed by Claude Vorilhon, who later changed his name to Rael, in the 1970s. The movement is founded on the notion that extraterrestrial entities known as the Elohim created humans. Raelians believe that the Elohim visited Earth in the past and were misidentified as gods by early humanity.

Realism holds that the Elohim are still active in the world today and are responsible for many of the scientific and technological advances that have occurred over the last several decades. The movement advocates for peace, sexual emancipation, and the utilization of cutting-edge technology to better the human condition.

Raelism has sparked debate due to its belief in human cloning and the promotion of sexual freedom. The movement has also been chastised for suspected cult-like practices and a lack of transparency regarding its funding and leadership structure.

Raelism has garnered some fame and support, with several thousand adherents worldwide. The movement has also founded a number of organizations and initiatives, notably Clonaid, which claims to have successfully cloned a human being. However, this claim is generally questioned by the scientific world.

Scientology

Scientology is a religious movement founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s. The movement is centered on the notion that humans are basically spiritual beings known as thetans who have had many past lives and are always evolving spiritually.

Individuals can gain spiritual enlightenment and liberation from unpleasant emotions and experiences by going through a process known as auditing, according to Scientology philosophy. A qualified Scientologist counselor (known as an auditor) guides the subject through a series of inquiries designed to uncover and resolve undesirable experiences and emotions that are thought to be impeding spiritual advancement.

Scientology also emphasizes the value of technology and science in spiritual development, and the organization has created a number of self-help techniques and instruments to assist individuals in reaching their goals.

Scientology has faced controversy and criticism, particularly for its secrecy, aggressive methods against critics and ex-members, and claimed abuses like as forced labor, harassment, and financial exploitation. In addition, the movement has encountered legal difficulties in different nations regarding its tax status and other matters.

Notwithstanding the controversy, Scientology has a sizable global presence, with thousands of followers and dozens of churches and centers worldwide.

Shabakism

Shabakism is a religious syncretic movement that began in the 18th century in the Shabak community, an ethnic and religious minority group in Iraq. The Shabak are thought to be the offspring of a combination of Kurdish and Arab tribes who adopted a distinct blend of Islamic and pre-Islamic beliefs and behaviors.

Shabakism is a religious tradition that combines aspects of Sufi Islam, Yazidi religion, and other local religious traditions. Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, a 12th-century Sufi saint who is credited with founding the Yazidi faith, is the movement’s key religious figure.

Shabakism is distinguished by a vast pantheon of deities and spirits that includes the Creator, Angels, and the Seven Great Beings. The movement also contains a variety of distinctive customs, such as the reverence of Sheikh Adi’s tomb in Lalish, Iraq, and the use of the Kitab al-Majmu, a sacred book.

Shabakism had endured persecution and prejudice in Iraq, particularly during Saddam Hussein’s administration, when the movement was banned, and many Shabaks were forced to evacuate their homes. Shabakism is still a small and obscure religious sect today, with an estimated 200,000 adherents predominantly in Iraq and Syria.

Shinto

Shinto is a Japanese religion that has been practiced for over a thousand years. The term “Shinto” translates as “the way of the gods.” Shinto has no single founder, no holy scripture, and no central religious authority. Rather, it is a collection of ancient Japanese beliefs and practices that have been passed down through centuries.

The kami, or spirits or deities believed to inhabit all things in nature, including mountains, rivers, trees, animals, and even people, are at the center of Shinto. According to Shinto, the kami can be both helpful and malicious, and it is critical to preserve a peaceful connection with them through rituals and offerings.

Purity and cleanliness are also important in Shinto, and many Shinto ceremonies involve purification with water or other purifying agents. Shinto shrines and temples can be found across Japan, and many Japanese people participate in Shinto rituals and festivals such as the New Year’s and Cherry Blossom festivals.

Shinto has had a significant impact on Japanese culture and history, and its influence can be observed in many elements of Japanese society, including as art, literature, and traditional traditions. While Shinto is predominantly followed in Japan, it has expanded around the world, particularly through the Japanese diaspora.

Shikism

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that began in the 15th century in India’s Punjab area. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first of the ten Sikh gurus, established it. The word “Sikh” means “disciple” in Punjabi.

Sikhism holds that there is only one God, known as Waheguru, and that all humans, regardless of caste, race, or gender, are equal in God’s eyes. The religion emphasizes the significance of leading a true, honest, and virtuous life, and it urges its adherents to engage in selfless service and compassion.

Sikhs adhere to the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus as well as the religion’s holy scripture, known as the Guru Granth Sahib. The faith also emphasizes community, and most Sikh communities have a gurdwara, or Sikh temple, where worship services and other religious activities are held.

Sikhs are easily identified by their distinctive appearance, which includes uncut hair, a turban, and a steel wristband. These religious symbols are supposed to represent the Sikh dedication to upholding religious ideals and leading a life of integrity and service to others.

There are now approximately 25 million Sikhs worldwide, with the vast majority residing in India. Sikhism has spread around the world, including North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Spiritualism

Spiritualism is a religious system centered on the premise that spirits of the dead exist and can communicate with the living via mediums. Spiritualism arose in the mid-nineteenth century, particularly in the United States and Europe, and was influenced by beliefs from Christianity, the occult, and other spiritual traditions.

Spiritualism is fundamentally founded on the belief in an afterlife and the ability of the living to interact with the dead. Seances and other forms of mediumship, in which a medium is supposed to connect with the spirits of the deceased, are popular among spiritualists. Spiritualists believe in the existence of spirit guides, or benevolent spirits who guide and protect the living.

Spiritualism has had an impact on a wide range of religious and philosophical movements, including the New Age movement and various types of alternative spirituality. While some components of spiritualism have been questioned and discredited as fake, many people find solace and significance in its belief system and rituals.

Taoism

Taoism, also known as Daoism, is a philosophical and religious movement that originated in China in the fourth century BCE. It is founded on the teachings of Lao Tzu, a philosopher who composed the Tao Te Ching, Taoism’s primary text.

The concept of the Tao, which translates as “the Way” or “the Road,” is central to Taoism. The Tao is a hazy and enigmatic idea, but it is widely accepted to be the ultimate reality and the basis of all existence. Taoism believes that the Tao cannot be fully comprehended or represented in words, and that the genuine path to wisdom and enlightenment rests in embracing its mystery and flowing with it.

Taoism emphasizes the value of living in harmony with nature and the world, and its adherents are encouraged to embrace simplicity, spontaneity, and humility. Meditation, tai chi, and other kinds of physical and spiritual training aimed at increasing health, longevity, and inner harmony are examples of Taoist practises.

Taoism has had a significant impact on Chinese culture and has spread around the world, particularly through the Chinese diaspora. It impacted other philosophical and religious traditions, including as Zen Buddhism and Confucianism, and it continues to be an inspiration and guide for many people today.

United Church

The Methodist Church, the Congregational Union of Canada, and a major element of the Presbyterian Church in Canada merged to become the United Church of Canada in 1925. With over 3 million members, it is Canada’s largest Protestant denomination.

The United Church of Christ is a liberal and progressive Christian church that emphasizes social justice and inclusivity. It embraces people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and has been an outspoken supporter of Indigenous peoples’, refugees’, and other marginalized groups’ rights.

The General Council of the United Church is in charge of creating policy and managing the denomination’s activity. It is split into Conferences, which are regional groups that govern local churches and missions. The United Church includes a wide range of theological ideas and practices, and it encourages its members to continue learning and exploring their faith.

In the United Church, worship services often contain hymns, prayers, and Bible readings, as well as a sermon or reflection on a spiritual or social justice issue. The denomination also emphasizes community outreach and service, with many congregations participating in local and global missions and social justice activities.

Yazdanism

Yazdanism, also known as Yarsanism or Ahl-e Haqq, is a syncretic religious tradition that began in 14th-century western Iran. It is based on the belief in one God and the worship of spiritual beings known as the “Seven Great Spirits,” and contains elements of Islam, Zoroastrianism, and other ancient Iranian religions.

Yazdanism is distinguished by its mystical and esoteric teachings, which place a premium on inner spiritual experience and direct communication with God. The tradition also emphasizes social justice and equality while rejecting hierarchical systems and religious dogma.

Yazdanism has a rich oral transmission and mystic poetry heritage, and its teachings are frequently represented through song and dance. Yazdanism is distinguished by its distinctive dress and headdress, which includes white robes and towering conical caps.

Yazdanism is currently practiced predominantly by Kurdish people in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, although it has also spread to other parts of the world via the Kurdish diaspora. In many regions of the Middle East, the practice has faced persecution and discrimination, but it has also seen a resurgence in recent years as a symbol of Kurdish identity and resistance.

Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is a religion that originated in Iran in the sixth century BCE. It is founded on the teachings of the prophet Zarathustra (also known as Zoroaster), who is thought to have received divine revelations from Ahura Mazda, Zoroastrianism’s supreme divinity.

The belief in the eternal conflict between good and evil, symbolized by Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, is central to Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrians believe in the afterlife, and the soul’s trip to the afterlife is judged by a divine being named Mithra based on the person’s actions in life.

The use of fire in Zoroastrian worship is regarded a sacred emblem of purity and heavenly force. Zoroastrians generally congregate in fire temples to pray and perform rituals.

Zoroastrianism influenced many other religions and cultures, particularly in the Middle East and Central Asia. It has also had an impact on the evolution of other philosophical and religious traditions, including as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Zoroastrianism is now largely practiced in India and Iran, while there are Zoroastrians in other regions of the world.

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