Thesis: Christianity Buddhism and Islam

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¶ … Religions

Similarities and Differences Among Three Major Religions

Although conflict and even wars have been started because of religious differences, many of the world's religions are the same. In fact, many religions share views regarding humans' role on earth and morality. Regardless of these differences, however, each religion presents its own version of truth, and it is these conflicting versions that lead to conflict. By comparing and contrasting three major world religions -- Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism -- this concept of the similarities and differences of religions can be better understood.

Christianity is a religion associated with the teachings of Jesus, a Jewish preacher who was executed by the Romans and whose followers believe he has risen from the dead. Followers of Christianity believe that Jesus is both the Son of God and God himself, as a member of the trinity (Robinson, 2008, para. 2). Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection are all extremely important to the Christian religion, as they are the foundation for Christians' belief in the authority and teachings of Jesus, which form the basis of their morality. After Jesus' death, his disciples formed the early church, although varying amounts of Christianity emerged at this point (Robinson, 2008, para. 2). Although first persecuted by Romans, Christians won a major victory when Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire. This Roman adaptation, however, would lead to one of the most historic events in Christendom -- the split between the Protestant and Catholic churches. Today, the Roman Catholic Church makes up one sub-group of Christianity while many denominations make up the other sub-group, the Protestant group (Robinson, 2008).

Although Christianity is the religion of 33% of the world, about two million people, it is in a state of decline due to a rise in secular thought and the spread of other religions (Robinson, 2008, para. 12). Christianity was traditionally viewed as a religion of the West, and perhaps because of this, Christians are being exiled from the Middle East. This many also be in reaction to some of the important criticisms of Christianity, which often suggest that Christians are warlike or militant. This perception may have arisen from the religious wars that were waged around the 16th century, and the hefty bloodshed in their wake (Robinson 2008). Other criticisms of Christianity suggest that the religion is hypocritical or too strict.

Like Christianity, Islam has one God, and claims that the God of the Christians is the same of the God as the Muslims. Muslims do not, however, see the character of Jesus in such a valuable way as Christians do. Instead Jesus, like many others, was simply a good prophet, bringing the message of Allah to the people. Thus, questioning Jesus' divinity or ability to become resurrected does not hold the consequences for a Muslim that it would for a Christian. In fact, Muslims believe that Jesus entered heaven alive and was never crucified on the cross or a victim or any other death (Robinson, 2008-1). A Muslim is a person who "submits to the will God," as Islam means submission ("The Truth About Islam" 2003). Islam and Christianity, then, are similar in the fact that they both used prophets and messengers in order to establish their religion. Christians, or just those who have read much Christian theology, knows of John the Baptist, the locust-eating character who prophesied the coming of the savior -- a kind of prophet. Still, Islam does not recognize Muhammad as the Son of God nor any other kind of immortal being. Christianity and Islam also share many moral and theological beliefs. Both believe in confessing one's sins to God, although the Roman Catholic Church allows for an intercessor. In addition, both argue that heaven or hell is the ultimate destination for the soul after death (Robinson, 2008A). The so-called "golden rule" is perhaps one of the greatest ethical similarities between the religions, as both agree that a person should do for others what he or she would want done for himself. In addition, religious practices between the two are similar in some ways. Both attend religious services and both place an emphasis on prayer. Music is used by both religions in their services, and holy periods of the year are observed by followers.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Christianity Buddhism and Islam.  (2009, June 10).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/christianity-buddhism-islam/65227

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"Christianity Buddhism and Islam."  Essaytown.com.  June 10, 2009.  Accessed December 9, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/christianity-buddhism-islam/65227.