It is really important to have an awareness and respect for other people’s religions, beliefs and traditions in the same way you would expect others to have an awareness and respect for your own beliefs.
Some people do not believe in a god or gods, this can be known as Atheism, the word Atheism comes from the Greek words a (which means ‘without’) and theos (meaning ‘god’)
Some people decide it’s just not possible to truly know if god exists, this can be known as Agnostic, the word Agnostic comes from the Greek for ‘not knowable’
There are thought to be hundreds if not thousands of different religions in the world. I thought it would be a good idea to start by looking at the six main religions and what the main practices, scriptures and festivals were.
You might at this point be thinking what are Scriptures?
Scriptures are the Holy Books of a religion. Many Scriptures were originally oral (spoken) but later written down. This helps to preserve them and keep the teachings consistent.
|Religion||Main Practices||Scriptures||Main Festivals|
|Buddhism||Living by the 5 precepts and the Noble Eightfold Path.|
Meditation, mandalas and mantras help people to achieve enlightenment
|Tipitaka||Buddhist New Year
|Christianity||Prayer, Church attendance, Holy Communion (Eucharist)||Bible(Old and New Testament)||Lent
|Hinduism||Living according to their role in life (dharma)Worship of a god (Puja)Meditation and Yoga||Vedas(including Upanishads)Bhagavad Gita||Janmashtami(Krashna’s birthday)
(Rama’s victory over evil)
(festival of light)
|Islam||Living by the Five Pillars, including prayer 5 time a day, eating Halal food, no alcohol, no pork.||Qur’an||Ramadan(month of fasting)
Eid ul Fitr
(end of Ramadan)
Eid ul Adha
(Festival of Sacrifice)
|Judaism||Following the commandments of the Torah, including eating Kosher food and praying 3 times day, and observing the Shabbat||Tanakh(Hebrew Bible, including the Torah)||Rosh Hashana(new year)
(day of atonement)
|Sikhism||The five K’s (symbols worn by members of the Khalsa)Importance of doing good deeds and keeping god in mind at all times, selfless service to others and equality||Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam Granth||Gurpurbs(anniversaries of birthday or martyrdom of Gurus)
(birthday of the Khalsa)