The Religion Portal
Religion is a range of social-cultural systems, including designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements—although there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacredness, faith, and a supernatural being or beings.
Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities or saints), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, matrimonial and funerary services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance or public service. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred texts, symbols and holy places, that primarily aim to give life meaning. Religions may contain symbolic tales that may attempt to explain the origin of life, the universe, and other phenomena; some followers believe these to be true stories. Traditionally, both faith and reason have been considered sources of religious beliefs.
There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, though nearly all of them have regionally based, relatively small followings. Four religions—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—account for over 77% of the world's population, and 92% of the world either follows one of those four religions or identifies as nonreligious, meaning that the remaining 9,000+ faiths account for only 8% of the population combined. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics, although many in the demographic still have various religious beliefs. A portion of the population, mostly located in Africa and Asia, are members of new religious movements. Scholars have indicated that global religiosity may be increasing due to religious countries having generally higher birth rates.
The study of religion comprises a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for its origins and workings, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief. (Full article...)
Taoism (/ˈtaʊɪzəm/ (listen) or /ˈdaʊɪzəm/ (listen); Wade-Giles) or Daoism (/ˈdaʊɪzəm/; Pinyin) refers to a set of Chinese traditions and religions which emphasize living in harmony with the Dao (Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào; lit. 'Way', 'Path'). The Dao is generally defined as the source of everything and the ultimate principle underlying reality. The Daodejing and the Zhuangzi are widely considered key Daoist texts. (Full article...)
Did you know (auto-generated)
- ... that the nonconformist minister Ichabod Chauncey was banished from England under the Religion Act 1592 and spent two years in exile in Holland where he published a defence of his actions?
- ... that students and adults of three different religions visited the Armenian church in Kuzguncuk, Istanbul, as part of a social activity organized by the local women residents of these religions?
- ... that Myth and Religion of the North by Gabriel Turville-Petre has been described as the best work on Norse mythology in English?
- ... that conventional religion is positively correlated with authoritarianism?
- ... that the investigations of Scandinavian place names by Magnus Olsen were instrumental in restoring confidence in Icelandic literature as a useful source for information on Old Norse religion?
- ... that some stone circles such as Stonehenge were perhaps great graveyards of honoured spiritual leaders in prehistoric religion?
Shroud of Turin, by Giuseppe Enrie (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)
Counting of the Omer, by Baruch Zvi Ring (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Omer calendar at
Ambrosian Iliad, unknown author (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Achilles sacrificing to Zeus for Patroclus' safe return at
sun dance gathering, by Henry Chaufty (edited by Durova) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Cheyenne
Death of Joseph Smith, by G.W. Fasel and Charles G. Crehen (edited by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Martyrdom of Joseph and Hiram Smith at
Buddhism in Cambodia, by JJ Harrison (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Young monks in Cambodia at
Unicorn, by Domenichino (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)A Virgin with a
B'nai B'rith membership certificate, by Louis Kurz (edited by Durova and Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)
Ramayana, by Sahibdin (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Battle at Lanka,
Joseph Priestley, by Dent William (edited by Durova) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)A Word of Comfort caricature at
Quran, unknown author (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Folio from a
Psalm 23, unknown author (edited by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)
Calydonian Boar, by Giulio Romano and François Louis Lonsing (edited by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Meleager et Atalanta at
megalith, by Ludwig Borutta (edited by Durova) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Nias
Útgarða-Loki, by Louis Huard (edited by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Giant Skrymir and Thor at
Loki, by Louis Huard (edited by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)The Punishment of
Lathmar Holi, by Narender9 (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Devotees during
Book of Revelation, by Joseph Martin Kronheim (edited by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Revelation 22:17 at
Mandala, unknown author (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)
Suttungr, by Louis Huard (restored by Adam Cuerden) (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Giant Suttung and the Dwarfs at
Ark of the Covenant, by Benjamin West (from Wikipedia:Featured pictures/Culture, entertainment, and lifestyle/Religion and mythology)Joshua passing the River Jordan with the
Top 10 WikiProject Religion Popular articles of the month
Thomas Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV; July 3, 1962) is an American actor and producer. One of the world's highest-paid actors, he has received various accolades, including an Honorary Palme d'Or and three Golden Globe Awards, in addition to nominations for four Academy Awards. His films have grossed over $4 billion in North America and over $11.5 billion worldwide, making him one of the highest-grossing box-office stars of all time. (Full article...)
Easter, also called Pascha (Aramaic, Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus Christ, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. (Full article...)
The Waco siege, also known as the Waco massacre, was the siege by U.S. federal government and Texas state law enforcement officials of a compound belonging to the religious cult known as the Branch Davidians between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, were headquartered at Mount Carmel Center ranch in the community of Axtell, Texas, 13 miles (21 kilometers) northeast of Waco. Suspecting the group of stockpiling illegal weapons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) obtained a search warrant for the compound and arrest warrants for Koresh and several of the group's members. (Full article...)
Dalai Lama (UK: /ˈdælaɪ ˈlɑːmə/, US: /ˈdɑːlaɪ/; Tibetan: ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མ་, Wylie: Tā la'i bla ma [táːlɛː láma]) is a title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest and most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives in exile as a refugee in India. The Dalai Lama is also considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. (Full article...)
Jesus (c. 4 BC – AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other names and titles), was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, the world's largest religion. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (the Christ) prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. (Full article...)
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence—perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information—demonstrated by machines, as opposed to intelligence displayed by humans or by other animals. Example tasks in which this is done include speech recognition, computer vision, translation between (natural) languages, as well as other mappings of inputs. (Full article...)
Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach (/ˈpɛsɑːx, ˈpeɪ-/); Biblical Hebrew: חַג הַפֶּסַח, romanized: Ḥag haPesaḥ) is a major Jewish holiday, one of the three pilgrimage festivals, that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. Pesach starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan which is considered the first month of the Hebrew year. The Hebrew calendar is adjusted to align with the solar calendar in such a way that 15 Nisan always coincides with Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. The Hebrew day starts and ends at sunset, so the holiday starts at sunset the day before. For example, in 2023, 15 Nisan coincides with Thursday April 6. Therefore, Pesach starts at sundown Wednesday April 5. The word Pesach or Passover can also refer to the Korban Pesach, the paschal lamb that was offered when the Temple in Jerusalem stood; to the Passover Seder, the ritual meal on Passover night; or to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. One of the biblically ordained Three Pilgrimage Festivals, Passover is traditionally celebrated in the Land of Israel for seven days and for eight days among many Jews in the Diaspora, based on the concept of yom tov sheni shel galuyot. In the Bible, the seven-day holiday is known as Chag HaMatzot, the feast of unleavened bread (matzah). (Full article...)
Gabriele Amorth S.S.P. (1 May 1925 – 16 September 2016) was an Italian Catholic priest of the Paulines and an exorcist for the Diocese of Rome. Amorth, along with five other priests, founded the International Association of Exorcists. His work in demonology and exorcism gained him international recognition. Over the course of his career, Father Amorth claimed to have performed tens of thousands of exorcisms and became one of the most prominent and controversial figures in the Catholic Church in the modern era. (Full article...)
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both his comedic and dramatic roles, he is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, and is regarded as an American cultural icon. Hanks' films have grossed more than $4.9 billion in North America and more than $9.96 billion worldwide, making him the fourth-highest-grossing actor in North America. He has received numerous honors including the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2002, the Kennedy Center Honor in 2014, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor both in 2016, as well as the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2020. (Full article...)
Albert Einstein (/ˈaɪnstaɪn/ EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛʁt ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist. Best known for developing the theory of relativity, he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics, and thus to modern physics. His mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which arises from relativity theory, has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. Einsteinium, one of the synthetic elements in the periodic table, was named in his honor. (Full article...)
The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:
Free media repository
Free textbooks and manuals
Free knowledge base
Collection of quotations
Free learning tools
Dictionary and thesaurus