Abrahamic Religions By: Nicole LoCascio and Brie Salomon

There are three Abrahamic religions that began in the Middle East, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three are monotheistic religions that believe in one god. They are called Abrahamic religions because they all believe Abraham was their first prophet.

Judaism is the oldest of the three religions. It was founded over 3500 years ago in the Middle East. The main prophet is Moses. Judaism is similar to Christianity because they worship the ten commandments. Both also worship the same god, Yahweh. To Christians, the Old Testament is a version of the Torah. Islam and Judaism are similar because followers are not allowed to eat pork.

Jews worship the books, Torah and Talmud. Jews worship on Saturdays at a synagogue, or temple. Religious leaders are known as rabbis.

There are a few different sects of Judaism including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Orthodox Jews believe in the original Jewish law. Conservative Jews believe the God's laws change over time. Reform and Reconstructionist Jews believe that the laws are guidelines in which individuals can choose to follow.

One of the most important Jewish holiday is Hanukkah. This holiday is also known as the "festival of lights" that lasts eight days. During this time a candle on the menorah is lit every night. Another important celebration is called Coming of Age, or Bar Mitzvah. This occurs when the boys turn 13. Girls, however, celebrate their Bat Mitzvah at the age of 12 and one day. There is also the Jewish new year called Rosh Hashana that is celebrated in September or October. Ten days after the new year Yom Kippur occurs. At this time, individuals mourn their sins and pray for God's assistance in the new year.

Judaism was founded by Jesus over 2000 years in the Middle East. It has become the largest symbol in the world, represented by the cross. Christians do not believe in the prophet of Muhammad. Also, Jewish communities faced discrimination from Christians.

Christians base their beliefs off the Holy Bible, which they worship in a church. The leader of Christianity is known as the Pope.

There are multiple sects of Christianity. This includes Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox, Protestant, Methodist, Baptist, Russian, Maronite, Copt, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, and Assyrian.

There are many major holidays and celebrations in Christianity. The most important is the birth of Jesus, Christmas, and the Resurrection of Jesus, Easter. Then, Ash Wednesday which represents the beginning of Lent. Another celebration is First Communion. This is considered to be receiving Jesus's body for the first time. Also, Confirmation is when the Holy Spirit is fully within you.

The main prophet of Islam is Muhammad. He was born in Mecca, Arabia. Islam was founded in the Middle East during the 7th century. Muslims believe Judaism and Christianity are earlier forms of Islam. Similar to Judaism and Christianity, they also believe in heaven and hell.

The holy book of Islam is the Quran. They worship in a mosque, facing the ancient city of Mecca. Muslims follow the five pillar; shahadah, salat, sawm, zakat, and hajj. Religious leaders are called Imams.

The two major sects in Islam is Sunni and Shia. The Sunni and Shia have many doctrinal and political differences.

Some major holidays and celebrations include the month of Ramadan and Eid Al-fitr. During the month of Ramadan, individuals must fast during daylight hours. Then Eid Al-fitr marks the end of Ramadan. This is where many people join together for communal prayers.

Credits:

Created with images by Zachi Evenor - "Flag of Israel" • Emmanuel Dyan - "Synagogue of Ploiesti - Romania" • AJEL - "cross faith wooden cross"

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