The two subjects one should never bring up if one does not want to start an argument are politics and religion. Well today, we will talk about the latter. Religion is and will always be a sensitive topic to discuss, and there’s no denying this will never change. However practitioners of religion can be categorized in four different groups.
The first group are the ignorant believers; this group consists of followers who believe that their religion is the one true religion and takes it upon themselves to prosecute others who practice a different religion. These are the people responsible for wars and innocent lives being taken away because of their beliefs. The second group consist of religious followers who care deeply about their religion, yet are open and accept other religions and try to live in peace and harmony. The third group is people who were born in their religion, nonetheless challenge the beliefs and notions of the preaching of their respected religion. The fourth and final group consists of the non-believers; they do not associate themselves with a religion and are considered atheist. Some of these people oppose all religions and others respect and accept religions for what they are.
The point of all this is to demonstrate to the readers that religion is not the problem, practitioners who take it upon themselves to use religion as a means to hate and indict others are the problem with society. Religion was the root to many wars throughout history, and still today there are senseless clashes going on because of people’s beliefs. In retrospect, all religions have fundamentals of respecting others and to live an enlightened life, though ignorant believers can’t seem to comprehend what they are doing is going against what they believe. This article shows different religions around the world which many did not know even existed. Some might seem bizarre and odd to readers, while others can be seen as interesting and maybe something one might want take part and discover more about. Here are 13 religions you didn’t know existed.
12 Builders of the Adytum
Zoroastrianism is considered one of the oldest Religions in the world founded by the Iranian prophet Zoroaster in 5th century BCE. Researchers and scholars actually found out that Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world at one point. It was the official religion of the Achaemenid Empire from 600 BCE to 650 CE, and this empire was regarded as the largest empire in history. However, because of the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century, the Zoroastrianism religion was suppressed. It was estimated that there is around 2.6 million Zoroastrians living today, mostly located in India and Iran.
8 LaVeyan Satanism
The practice of Satanism garners a lot of criticism, and contrary to popular belief, LaVeyan Satanism does not worship the devil or any deities. The principle of LaVeyan Satanism is worshiping your own self, as the core philosophies are based on views of individualism and egoism. The religion is atheistic, it rejects Gods or any supernatural beings. Practitioners view Satan as an archetype who represents pride, liberty and enlightenment. The practice of magic is part of LaVeyan Satanism; there are two distinct forms, greater and lesser magic. Greater magic focuses on one’s emotional energy for specific purpose (the three major psycho emotive themes are compassion, destruction and sex). Lesser magic on the other hand is the practice to bend an individual or situation to one’s will by the means of applied psychology and glamour.
Baha’i emphasizes the spiritual unity of all mankind. Their belief is monotheistic, which is the belief in the existence of one God. The Baha’i religion follows three core principles; the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity. According to teachings, the purpose of humans is to learn to know and love God through methods of prayer, reflection, and being a service to humanity. The religion was founded in 19th century Persia, and it has since spread from its roots and is predominantly situated Iran. Baha’i followers have been estimated to be in over 200 countries around the world.
5 Falun Gong
Falun Gong was founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992. The religion consists of meditation and qigong exercises. Key elements of Buddhism and Taoism are incorporated in its teachings. Falun Gong has a moral philosophy centered on the tenet's truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. Practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to better their health and ultimately reach spiritual enlightenment. Meditation and qigong exercises are of foremost importance in Falun Gong.
Candomble has a strong following in Brazil and in many South American countries. It has 2 million followers to date and is still growing in popularity. Unlike other religions, Candomble does not have Holy Scriptures, as all of the religion's cultural material and tradition is transmitted verbally from one generation to another. Practitioners believe in a supreme creator called Oludumare, and each follower is believed to be protected by a deity who in turn serves Oludumare.
1 First Church of Cannabis
Many do not believe this is an actual church; however, by law it is a religious institution. When Indiana passed a “religious freedom” law designed to legalize LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) discrimination, the government accidentally made this church 100% legal. Cannataerians believe in harmony and follow a set of guidelines they live by called “deity dozens”. These guidelines are straightforward and range from “don’t be an a$$hole, treat everyone as an equal” to “don’t be a troll on the internet”. Services are held every Wednesday at 7:00, and also include a lot of pot smoking.
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