Religious discrimination might seem like a problem we’ve solved, but in countries across the world, including the US people are still persecuted and abused because of their religious beliefs. One way to fight religious discrimination is by fighting ignorance by learning about religious traditions outside your own. Here are 11 facts about religions practiced across the globe.
- Wicca might seem like an ancient religion, but it actually wasn’t formed until the 1900s.
- Converting to Islam is not ceremonial but private, the individual has to fully believe, recite a declaration of belief, and take a cleansing shower.
- Buddhists don’t believe they reach Nirvana through death but through enlightenment; that can sometimes take multiple reincarnations.
- In Catholicism there are patron saints for nearly everything including danger from water, protection against Whooping Cough, and protection against Witchcraft.
- While it’s common in the US for Hanukkah to mean eight nights of presents (at least for the kids) gift giving for the holiday is only common in North America and Israel.
- The three main gods worshiped by Hindus are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva but there are many more lesser gods that are also acknowledged.
- Mormons aren’t allowed to drink tea, coffee, or alcohol though they are allowed to drink soda.
- Some faiths require believers to refuse medical treatment; Jehovah Witnesses aren’t allowed to receive blood transfusions and Christian Scientists often refuse all traditional medical treatment.
- Other religious denominations refuse modern technology, Amish individuals do without electricity or telephones.
- Although the US has a separation of church and state, some countries are controlled by one religion, though a true modern theocracy is rare (Vatican City is an example).
- Christianity is currently the world’s largest religion with Islam the second and Hinduism the third.