world-religions Here’s the thing…

It concerns me that the word “religion” is evermore becoming synonymous with only Judeo/Christian/Islamic theologies.  While scanning around the blogosphere, I did a Google search and I had to click through quite a few pages before I got even one mention of any other belief system! 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines religion thusly:

re·li·gion  \ri-ˈli-jən\ noun
 
– a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
– a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

So, then… ANY belief system to which one regularly and with conviction adheres is religion.  This includes, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha’I, Shamanism, Wicca, Rastafari, Sikism…Good grief, I could go on and on!  Better you click here for a fairly comprehensive list and additional resources of information, compliments of Wikipedia.

ANYway…

Don’t get me wrong…My mother is a Christian, as were our ancestors, and therefore she raised me as a Christian, complete with an education via church-run schools.  I respect the Judeo/Christian/Islamic theology immensely .  I just don’t agree with what comes across as the exclusion of all the other belief-systems when referring to religion, especially when Christianity and Islam together only comprise approximately 3 billion (just under half the world’s population of 6.7 billion)…and Hinduism & Buddhism (3rd & 4th, respectively) account for 1.1 billion.  This leaves 2.6 billion people’s beliefs out in the rain!

“The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

major-world-religions If we can’t bring ourselves to learn about and discuss a varied list of religions, how can we even expect to begin to understand the world we live in and our relationship to the billions of individuals that make up that world?  The Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance has a wonderful site to kick-start such a quest… and hopefully to help initiate more discussion in Blogland.

© 2008 D. Kessler

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