The behavior and practices of people on the planet Earth reflects mixed impression of their religion. To understand if they are religious, I have to study their characters and understand their beliefs. According to Fisher (2011), religion can be defined as the character or response to dimensions of life which are regarded to be sacred and have the ability to determine human destiny.
To determine their religions, I have to know their understanding on various aspects of life. This includes what they believe about their existence, their purpose and nature. It will also involve understanding rituals and morals according to people’s specific religion.
Each of the religions I encountered had unique and justified understanding of existence, purpose and origin of the universe. The purpose of human being on the planet Earth is tied to religion. The cause or origin of the universe can be explained through various religious teachings. These teachings can provide a good understanding of why people are religious.
Various religious groups on the Earth have unique beliefs while others share similar beliefs. Christians, who present one of the most widespread religions, believe that there is only one God who created the universe and all things in it within six days. God then rested on the seventh day.
The Christians believe that they should serve only God and pray his son Jesus Christ. Jesus was sent by God to the Earth to be crucified. This saved them from their sins. They also believe in life after death. When Jesus comes back, people who are born again, will resurrect and reunite with their fellow believers. According to their teachings, sinners will burn in eternal fire.
Islamic religion originated from Middle East and has spread to other countries around the world. Muslims have their rituals and believes too. Muslims believe in one God and teachings of prophet Mohamed (Fisher, 2011). They have a number of rituals which are important to their religion. The rituals are regarded as the five key pillars of Islam. In the first pillar, all Muslims are required to fast during the month of Ramadan every year.
In this month, Muslims do not eat, drink or have sex during daylight. The second one is a journey to pilgrimage to Mecca every year. One is required to do this at least once in a lifetime. The third pillar is confessions of faith. Believers pray every day facing Mecca to represent the forth pillar of Islam. In final pillar, Muslims are required to pay alms’ tax. Only rich people pay them and then it is distributed to the needy ones (Denny, 1987).
Hindus, have codes which guide them through. According to Hindu teachings, there is life after death. The lives are determined by Karma. Karma means that you do good things you are rewarded with good things in the next life. If you do bad things, equally bad things will happen to you. The Hindus must do good things in life so that they are blessed in their next lives (Mcdowell, 2002).
Religion has a number of functions. In my view, religion offers explanations for existence of the universe and human beings. The other function of religion is to comfort people on the Earth. When Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan, they feel comfort of fulfilling God’s will and their religious needs. Religion gives people hope of life after death.
All the religious people, Christians, Muslims and Hindus believe that there is life after death. The other function of religion is to offer rules and regulations. Some Islamic rules are very strict. No Muslim believer would want to violate because of their consequences.
Denny, F. (1987). The Realization of the Goal of Islam in Faithful and Observant Communal Life: The Five Pillars of Islam. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from http://www.muslimgateway.com/library/rituals/
Fisher, M. P. (Ed.). (2011). Living Religions. New York: Pearson Education Inc.
McDowell, J. (2002). Handbook of Today’s Religions. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from http://www.greatcom.org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/03chap01/default.htm