Western Religions

These web pages began as an assignment in my seventh grade social studies class. We studied the three main western religions and visited a synagogue, a church, and a mosque.  We learned that it is important to understand the main religions in the world today in order to understand different cultures and why people act the way they do.  I hope that students from all three religions will find these pages useful in understanding their neighbors.

There are five main religions are: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam are the three main western religions, and Buddhism and Hinduism are known as the eastern religions.

The three western religions are similar in many ways. They are Semitic, which means are descendants of Shem, and are monotheistic, or believe in only one G-d, the G-d of Abraham. They believe history is recorded in the Old Testament and that G-d created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. They believe the world will one day end on the Judgment Day, when G-d will judge the living and the dead and destroy all evil. All three religions have roots in the City of Jerusalem and you can find Jewish synagogues, Christian churches and Islamic mosques there today.

Buddhism and Hinduism are popular religions of the Indo-Europeans and are based on the belief of many gods, or polytheism. They donít believe in a beginning of the universe and they donít believe in an end. Those religions are not a part of this website at this time.

The three main western religions are always mentioned in order of their existence with Judaism first, followed by Christianity, and then Islam.  Judaism was the easiest to research and to present information.  Christianity has many denominations and customs so even though there was a lot of information available it was hard to decide on what to put on the page.  Islam was the most difficult to research and to find information because they have less customs and holidays.

One of my assignments in this unit was to create a brochure showing the similarities and the differences between the three religions.  Click here to download a copy of that brochure.




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