World Religions and Belief Systems: A Synthesis

Religion is a worldwide phenomenon that has played an essential part in all human culture. It has been a prevailing agency in society as it performs many vital social functions.We can identify some common characteristics found in most religions, such as the following:
1. Religions promise an inner peace and harmony. They enable people to discover meaning of life and overcome the challenges posed by disease, evil, and injustices.
2. Religions recognize sufferings, difficulties, and hardships in life and give meaning to them. Compassion for those suffering from tribulations are part of religious advocacies.
3. Religions typically offer a future hope through the coming of a new age or a better existence in the afterlife. Many religions hope for the coming of a special or gifted person (for instance, the Jewish Messiah, the Second Coming of Jesus in Christianity, one final incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, or one last manifestation of the Buddha).
4. Most of the world belief systems and all of the world religions talk about belief in some sort of supernatural (kami, tao, spirits, gods, God) or some other ultimate reality beyond. For instance, Hindus acknowledge numerous gods but one Ultimate Reality, the Brahman, while Christians believe in the Father, the Creator of all things.
5. Religions make a distinction between the sacred and profane matters. In Islam, Mecca is different from other place … continue reading


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