Religions of the Middle East - Helena High School

Religions of the Middle East Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share common traits they are all monotheistic monotheism: belief in one, all-powerful God they believe in prophets prophet: holy person who reveals the word of God

Abraham: prophet important to all 3 religions Judaism: Origins and Development According to Jewish scripture: God visited Abraham and made a covenant with him covenant: sacred agreement Abraham promised that he and his descendents would follow Gods teachings and God promised to love them

Abrahams descendents known as Israelites or Hebrews they were the ancestors of the Jewish people Judaism: Origins and Development According to the Torah, Abraham and his family moved to Canaan, later called the Land of Israel Torah: Judaisms holy book, consists of the first books of the Hebrew Bible

5 Judaism: Origins and Development Abrahams descendants formed the 12 tribes of Israel These tribes traveled to Egypt to escape famine and were enslaved for 400 years

Judaism: Origins and Development On the return from Egypt, Moses, a prophet received the 10 Commandments 10 Commandments: laws that formed the basis of Judaism Israelites settled again in Canaan Canaan = promised land

By 1000 BCE, Kingdom of Israel established Judaism: Origins and Development In 930 BCE the Kingdom of Israel separated into 2 kingdoms: Israel and Judah Jerusalem is in what was the Kingdom of Judah Both were later invaded and conquered

When Judah was conquered, the people, now known as Jews, were forced into exile This was the start of the Jewish Diaspora Jewish Diaspora: the spread of the Jewish people outside their homeland, beginning about 586 BCE Judaism: Origins and Development Rabbis kept the Jewish religion alive by preserving Jewish teachings and discussing how to apply the teachings to

their lives Rabbi: Jewish religious leaders; teacher The Divided Kingdom Judaism: Beliefs Main teachings are in the Torah Torah contains the 10 Commandments plus other teachings handed down by God to Moses

1st Commandment: You shall have no other gods but me = monotheism most other religions at the time were polytheistic Another Commandment requires Jews to set aside a holy day each week = sabbath Other Commandments lay down moral values Honor your father and mother Do not kill, steal, commit adultery Judaism: Beliefs

Jews worship in their holy buildings called synagogues Important holy days include: Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year Hanukkah Yom Kippur Spread and Influence of Judaism The Diaspora threatened the survival of the Jews as a

people they were cut off from their roots in Israel and had to find ways to maintain their traditions The Jewish migration from Israel helped spread the ideas of Judaism Jews settled all over the world Judaism was not adopted widely among other cultures but Jews built a strong community that helped them preserve their culture and traditions

Spread and Influence of Judaism The teachings of Judaism have had great impact on the world influenced Christianity and Islam Today there are approximately 14 million Jews in the world

42% live in Israel 40% live in the US Christianity: Origins and Development Jerusalem, part of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, was the birthplace of Christianity Christianity: Origins and Development

The first Christians were Jews and maintained many Jewish beliefs they worshipped 1 God they valued caring for the needy they recognized Abraham as a prophet they believed the Jewish Bible was holy Christianity: Origins and Development

Christianity soon developed its own doctrine and a much larger following doctrine: a belief or set of beliefs taught by a religion, political party, or other group The origins of Christianity are in the life and teachings of Jesus Christianity: Origins and Development

Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God Jesus was born in Judea around 6 BCE He was a Jewish teacher At around age 30, Jesus left home and traveled around Judea teaching the Word of God Jesus taught that God was merciful and loving and that people should love God and their neighbors

Christianity: Origins and Development The Christian Bible says that Jesus healed the sick and performed many miracles He gained many followers including 12 apostles apostle: disciple of Jesus, designated to spread his message Judea

Christianity: Origins and Development People began calling Jesus the Messiah, chosen by God to save humankind Messiah: anointed one he later became known as Christ, the Greek word for Messiah

Christianity: Origins and Development The Romans who ruled Judea saw Jesus as a troublemaker they feared he might start a rebellion among the Jews they arrested him and sentenced him to death Christianity: Origins and Development The New Testament of the Christian Bible teaches that

around 30 CE Jesus was put to death by crucifixion According to the New Testament, Jesus was placed in a tomb and 3 days later he rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples (Resurrection) Christianity: Origins and Development For Christians, the Resurrection proved that Jesus was a holy savior

they said that anyone who believed in him as the Messiah would enter the Kingdom of God Christianity: Origins and Development Christians were often persecuted by Romans but Christianity spread through the Roman empire Christianity eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire

Christianity: Origins and Development The Christian faith eventually divided into Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant branches Christianity as a whole continued to expand Today there are approximately 2.2 billion followers worldwide

The Beliefs of Christianity The Christian holy book is the Bible There are 2 parts to the Bible 1) Old Testament: Christians recognize as the word of God 2) New Testament: records the life and teachings of Jesus and his earliest followers

The Beliefs of Christianity Many different interpretations, denominations, of the Christian doctrine but there are some key ideas Trinity: God consists of 3 beings in one - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Resurrection Salvation: God can save people from sin and grant them everlasting life after death

The Beliefs of Christianity Christians practice their faith by trying to follow Christs moral teachings and by observing certain customs, rituals, and holidays Spread of Christianity By the 1st century C.E., Christianity had spread to many

parts of the Roman empire in later centuries it gained followers in Persia (Iran), China, and India Christian missionaries carried it to Africa and the Americas Spread of Christianity Today, Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in the

world The spread of Christianity was not always peaceful conversion was sometimes done through force Christians and Muslims clashed over religious beliefs Influence of Christianity Christianity has influenced codes of law in many countries Christian charity has helped millions of poor and suffering

people Christian beliefs have influenced politics and government Many rulers have depended on the support of Christian churches to gain and hold power Islam: Origins and Development Islam emerged in the 600s C.E. - after Judaism and Christianity

it grew rapidly and became one of the worlds major religions Islam was taught by Muhammad born around 570 C.E. in Mecca, in present day Saudi Arabia Mecca was an important trade center and pilgrimage site Islam: Origins and Development Muhammad was a successful merchant but became more

drawn to spiritual matters According to Islamic teachings, in about 610 C.E. he was meditating in a cave when an angel appeared before him and revealed the word of God, or Allah. The angel told him he had been chosen as Allahs prophet Islam: Origins and Development

In 613 C.E., Muhammad began to preach in Mecca he called on Arabs to worship the one, true God in Arabic, Islam means to submit Muhammads followers became known as Muslims = those who submit to God Local leaders saw Islam as a threat to their power and began to persecute Muslims

Islam: Origins and Development In 622, Muhammad and his followers left Mecca and travelled to Medina His teachings continued to gain a following and by 630 Muslims retook Mecca and established Islam as the dominant faith of Arabia Islam: Origins and Development

Muhammad died in 632 Muslim leaders continued to expand the religion By 750, Islam was the main religion of Middle East and North Africa it spread to Spain, Central Asia, and India Spread of Islam

Beliefs of Islam Muslims recognize Jewish and Christian prophets including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Beliefs of Islam Beliefs Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet who revealed the complete

message of God The Quran, the Muslim holy book, contains the word of God as revealed to Muhammad Muslims follow the Sunnah Sunnah: practices, customs, and traditions of Muhammad; example for how Muslims should live Beliefs of Islam

Five Pillars of Islam = the required acts of worship for Muslims 1st Pillar: the profession of faith; emphasizes the duty of Muslims to worship one God only 2nd Pillar: daily prayer; Muslims are expected to pray 5 times/day facing Mecca 3rd Pillar: charity: Muslims are supposed to give 2.5% of their wealth, after family expenses and obligations

4th Pillar: fasting; abstain from food/drink during daylight hours in the month Spread and Influence of Islam Islam was a missionary religion missionary religion: religion that seeks to convert people Muslims sometimes waged holy war - clashes with followers of other religions

Spread and Influence of Islam They also respected other faiths and often lived alongside them peacefully Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world over 1 billion followers Spread and Influence of Islam In Muslim lands, Islam is more than a religion - its a way of

life impacts culture, society, and politics Shariah Law, based on Quran and Sunnah, provides guidance on all aspects of life including clothing, food, education, finance and forms the basis of legal codes in many Muslim countries Spread and Influence of Islam

Islamic Countries: claim to follow Shariah Law in a very strict way: Iran, Saudi Arabia, ISIS Islamicate Countries: follow the religion of Islam but use Western laws: Egypt, Turkey, many American Muslims Fatwa: a judgement, decision, or law passed by a Muslim expert in religious law Hinduism: Origins and Development

No clear starting point or founder Started in 2000 B.C.E. in India by combining traditions of ancient civilizations and Aryans Aryans: nomadic people who entered India in 1000 B.C.E. Hinduism: Origins and Development Hinduism traces its early roots to the Vedas

Vedas: a collection of religious hymns, poems, and prayers; considered holy even today Hinduism is very complex It combines many different beliefs, gods, forms of worship

Hinduism: Origins and Development Vedic religion called for division of society into 4 classes: 1. Top: Brahmins (Priests) 2. Kshatriyas: rulers and warriors 3. Vaishyas: herders and merchants 4. Shudras: servants, farmers, laborers

Hinduism: Origins and Development These divisions became the caste system Caste system: hereditary social class in Hindu society After 1000 B.C.E. Hindus started to look for a more personal faith that didnt require complicated rituals and priests

Hinduism: Beliefs Very complicated belief system no uniform ideas or practices Basic common elements 1. Polytheism 2. Reincarnation: time moves in a circle; birth, life, and death repeat themselves

3. Dharma: law, duty, and obligation; your dharma reflects your Hinduism: Beliefs Common elements 4. Karma: belief that the good and evil done in a past life will determine a persons next life

Ultimate goal for a Hindu: escape reincarnation and attain moksha , or release Hinduism: Spread and Influence Did not spread far beyond India Through trade and migration Hindu beliefs spread throughout SE Asia

900 million followers of Hinduism most in SE Asia Buddhism: Origins and Development Started from teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha

Buddha = enlightened one Lived from 563-483 B.C.E.; from a royal family He was trying to achieve higher consciousness through meditation and giving up worldly pleasures Buddhism: Origins and Development After several years he hadnt found the release

he was seeking so he started to meditate After many nights he reached a new level of consciousness By the next morning he had attained nirvana nirvana: an ideal state of happiness, attained through enlightenment Buddhism: Beliefs Basic beliefs of Buddhism = Four Noble Truths

1. Suffering is inevitable; recognize this and try to help those who are suffering 2. Desire causes suffering 3. Removing desire removes suffering 4. To remove desire, follow the Eightfold Path a. Eightfold Path = a set of guidelines

Buddhism: Spread and Influence Buddhism spread slowly in India until 200s B.C.E. when Emperor Ashoka helped spread Buddhism through missionaries and traders Spread throughout Southeast and Central Asia Today: 4th largest religion with 350 million followers Confucianism: Origins and Development Based on teachings of Confucius

Born in China around 550 B.C.E. during a time of turmoil As he grew he focused on learning classics of Chinese literature and philosophy Confucianism: Origins and Development He believed that a revival of Chinese culture would help restore order

He became a great teacher but really wanted to influence government This never happened during his lifetime His ideas became more popular after his death Confucianism: Beliefs He honored traditional Chinese beliefs including

worship of gods and spirits He said his teachings came from heaven His main focus was on human society and life on earth Confucianism: Beliefs Main belief: live a virtuous life and treat others how you want to be treated Believed it was very important to respect and obey those with higher social

status most important relationship is between a parent and child Stressed respect for all people, regardless of social status

Believed in universal education Confucianism: Spread and Influence His teachings were collected in a book after he died; this helped spread ideas throughout China Chinese rulers adopted Confucianism as a state religion It remains an important part of Chinese culture

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