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Portal:Religion

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Introduction

Symbols of various religions of the world.
Tree classification of religions around the world based on geography and doctrine.

Religion may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.

There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.

The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief.

Selected article

Seat of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel, governing body of the Bahá'ís
The Bahá'í Faith is a religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th century Persia. Bahá'ís number around 6 million in more than 200 countries around the world.

According to Bahá'í teachings, religious history is seen as an evolving educational process for mankind, through God's messengers, which are termed Manifestations of God. Bahá'u'lláh is seen as the most recent, pivotal, but not final of these individuals. He claimed to be the expected redeemer and teacher prophesied in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions, and that his mission was to establish a firm basis for unity throughout the world, and inaugurate an age of peace and justice, which Bahá'ís expect will inevitably arise.

"Bahá'í" (/baˈhaːʔiː/) can be an adjective referring to the Bahá'í Faith, or the term for a follower of Bahá'u'lláh (Bahá'í is not a noun meaning the religion as a whole). The term comes from the Arabic word Bahá’ (بهاء), meaning "glory" or "splendor".

Selected image

Dante And Virgil In Hell (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Credit: William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Dante And Virgil In Hell, which according to many religious beliefs, is a place or a state of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous dead are punished.

Selected religious figure or deity

Zeus
Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Ζεύς Zeús, genitive: Διός Díos), is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky and thunder, in Greek mythology. His symbols are the thunderbolt, bull, eagle and the oak.

The son of Cronus and Rhea, he was the youngest of his siblings. He was married to Hera in most traditions, although at the oracle of Dodona his consort was Dione: according to the Iliad, he is the father of Aphrodite by Dione. Accordingly, he is known for his erotic escapades, including one pederastic relationship, with Ganymede. His trysts resulted in many famous offspring, including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen, Minos, and the Muses (by Mnemosyne); by Hera he is usually said to have sired Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.

Did you know...

  • ...that Krishna (pictured) literally means "black" or "dark one" in Sanskrit?
  • ...that in Shinto, the family is seen as the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved? Their main celebrations relate to birth and marriage.
  • ...that Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed religions, and was the state religion of three great Iranian empires?

News

Latest religion/spirituality Wikinews
  • July 22: Israeli Knesset passes 'Jewish nation-state' bill
  • July 21: Indian Supreme Court: unconstitutional to bar women of certain age group from entering Sabarimala temple
  • July 1: India: Kerala police registers case against bishop for allegedly raping nun more than a dozen times
  • June 29: Dutch senate votes in favour of face veil ban
  • June 11: India: Jodhpur police arrests man for 'sacrifice' of four-year-old daughter for Allah

On this day...

October 16:

Selected quote

Aum red.svg
The syllable gu means shadows

The syllable ru, he who disperses them,
Because of the power to disperse darkness
the guru is thus named.

Upanishads, Advayataraka Upanishad, 14—18, verse 5
More quotes...

Selected scripture

Illuminated Guru Granth folio with nisan (Mool Mantar) of Guru Gobind Singh. Collection of Takht Sri Harimandir Sahib, Patna.
The Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ, gurū grantha sāhiba) – Granth is Punjabi for book; Sahib is Hindi meaning master, from Arabic, meaning companion, friend, owner, or master – is the holy scripture of the Sikh and Ravidasi faiths.

In the Sikh view it is considered to be more than just a holy book. The Sikhs treat this Granth (holy book) as a living Guru. The holy text spans 1430 pages and contains the actual words spoken by the Sikh Gurus and various other Saints from other religions including Hinduism, Islam, the Kabirpanthi religion and the Ravidasi religion.

The Adi Granth is often used to refer to the Guru Granth Sahib. The Adi Granth only forms the portion of the Granth which Guru Arjan compiled in 1604. This term is often used interchangeably so it is important to note the context within which it is used. The Granth was made a guru by the last of the living Sikh Masters, Guru Gobind Singh in 1708.

The holy text comprises over 5000 Shabhads or hymns which are poetically constructed; and set to classical form of music rendition Ragas; can be set to predetermined musical Talas (rhythmic beats) and have a definite message for the whole of humanity.

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