Western Religion is composed of Abrahamic Religions with origin in the ancient Middle East including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Even though the Western Religion constitutes more than Abrahamic religions, mostly used is Christianity as the religion which the Westerners like to identify themselves with. Since their foundations, all the religions have grown from mere groupings of individuals with common interests to major movements with decisions that affect every human race in the universe. But they have never stopped to be associated with controversies and challenges in their way of operations as guided by their doctrines /principles.
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Major Concerns Facing Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
It is from Judaism that the two other religions (Christianity and Islam) developed their principles. By being the oldest practice with beliefs on an omnipresent and benevolent God who governs the whole world, they have been faced with obsolete threats…some argue that they need to review their beliefs to conform to the modern world, or else they will face extinction. It is also believed that their stringent rules on vetting the right person fit enough to convert to Judaism have made it almost impossible for them to spreads to other parts of the world significantly. They are therefore been characterized by a minority group all through (www.jewfaq.org.shabbat.htlm).
Based on the teachings of their belief in the chief prophet, Muhammad, they believe in full submission without question to the doctrines in the Holy Qu’ran. The major issue facing the Muslim community is that of terrorism they face a great obstacle to acting against the vice on how to take stern action on the culprits. All terrorists are Muslims but not all Muslims are terrorists. The Islamic religion has been blamed the world over for promoting terrorism by their Jihad war principle as well as their teachings on faith [if one dies defending his/her religion then he/she is automatically declared heaven bound].
The Muslim teachings on women are questionable. In all Muslim-dominated societies, women have been taken as men subordinates and have no right to express themselves in any way. Human rights advocates have been on record questioning these doctrines that pose to dehumanize women as if they are lesser humans…they argue that if their (Muslim’s) God is just then He should not look down upon any one group.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion with a central belief that Jesus is the begotten Son of God and most importantly the Savior of mankind. They believe that He, Jesus will eventually come (descend from heaven) and put everyone into judgment…Christians are faced with the challenge of when this will eventually happen. Questions have been raised (especially by new converts) on the periods that have been spent waiting for the Lord’s return. There have been controversies within the Christian Community among themselves on the Exact and true day of Worship. The roman Catholics have it on Sunday while the Protestants Worship on Saturday, they say it is according to each groups’ doctrines and interpretation of the bible…the Protestants fear the fact that there is a looming attempt by the Roman Catholic and other political powerhouses to declare the National Sunday Law, which will mark the beginning of a big religious struggle and consequently the “end” of the world (McGrath, 1993, 4-6).
Another challenge facing the Christian Community is the recently erupted cases in the Anglican Church of, to ordain or not ordain the gay Bishops… their superior organization accepted the move but the smaller branches are torn between the loyalty to the bible or the central power. The take of other Christian organizations is also of major interest.
Religious Clothing: A Judaism “Kippah” is a slightly rounded brimless skullcap (particularly worn by men at all times, whether praying, studying religious texts, or eating) to symbolize the faithful in the group. A “Tefillin”, referred to in English as Phylacteries, is worn by women as a sign of protection, these are two leather boxes, a squire in shape that contains verses of the bible. It is attached to the forehead and wound using leather traps around the left arm (Nathan Ausubel, 1964, 458).
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Pilgrimage Festival: – “Sukkoth” referred to in English as Tabernacles used to mark the Israelites 40 years of wandering in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. It is a seven-day celebration of the fruit harvest season that marks the end of the agricultural cycle.
Clothing Symbol: – Relatively short long -trousers that do not reach the ground…they believe that through this, they will receive blessings from Allah (their God). They also have a set of Holy Days by their Gregorian calendar such as Eid-al-Fitr on the 1st of “Shawwal” to mark the end of the last day of the fasting month of Ramadan and the Eid-al-Adha which is on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah is made to coincide with the pilgrimage of Mecca (Ghamidi, 2001).
Christmas day and Easter holy days are the days set aside by Christians to celebrate the life of Jesus. Christmas was when He was born while Good Friday marks his death followed by His Resurrection (Power over death) on Easter Monday. The Cross on the other hand is a globally recognized symbol of the love of God through His Son Jesus showed the world, by letting his Son, Jesus die on the cross to save mankind from sin.
We have therefore realized that all the Western Religions have got varied principles that guide their operations and that all of them have been docked with controversies that they have to deal with. No religion, therefore, is different from the other.
- Ghamidi (2001): “Customs and Behavioral Laws”
- McGrath, “Christianity: An Introduction”: (1993) p. 4-6
- Nathan Ausubel: “Tefillin: The Book of Jewish Knowledge,” Crown Publishers, NY, 1964, p458).
- Shabbat I.