Middle East Religions By: MIA CHEJLAVA

Judaism- Judaism is the oldest surviving monotheistic religion, arising in the eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium B.C.E. Abraham is traditionally considered to be the first Jew to have made a covenant with God. Jews believe in one god and his prophets, with special respect for Moses as the prophet to whom God gave the law also known as the Ten Commandments which Christians live by as well. Jews who originated from Germany and Eastern Europe are known as Askenazi Jews, whom actually fled to Palestine due to discrimination of their religion in the 19th-20th Century. Sephardic Jews trace their ancestry to the liberian Peninsula, and Mizrahi Jews trace their origin to North Africa and Asia. The day of rest begins at sundown on Friday and lasts till sundown the next day. And they particularly worship in a temple, reading from the Torah and the Talmud. Judaisms' holidays such as Yom Kippur and Passover have certain dietary and food regulations put out because of the religions beliefs.

This Torah commonly used in the Jewish tradition is the central learning point of customs and teachings.

Christianity- Christianity started as an offshoot of Judaism in the first century C.E. Until the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 324 C.E., early Christian communities were often persecuted. It was then that the Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire, and its capital relocated from Rome to Constantinople. Christians believe that God is revealed through three dimensions: the Father, the Son(Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Christians believe in an afterlife where those who have lived a good life will reside in heaven with God, those who live an unrepentant life of sin will be punished in hell. Christians mainly worship in churches with the Holy Bible as their written guide, and priests as their physical leaders during masses and special events mainly held in Churches like the one below. One of the most popular holidays celebrated that originated from Christianity is Christmas, the birth of their savior Jesus Christ. And Easter, the rising of Jesus from the dead.

This is the inside of most present day Churches but some still differ and have a more older special feel to it.

Islam- Islam arose in the early seventh century C.E. in the settled dessert community of Mecca. It developed from the Judeo-Christian tradition and the cultural values of the nomadic Bedouin tribes of Arabia. Islam has more than sect. Some of the other sects include the Sunnis, Shiis, Ismailis, Alevis/Alawites, and Druze. Muslims believe that their God, known as Allah, sent their most praised prophet Muhammad to proclaim his will sometime during the seventh century C.E. Their Holy book that they follow is called the Quran, where it tells them to worship one god, and tells them how to properly treat others. But they have another book they follow that was written after Muhammad died known as the Hadith. The place of worship for muslims are called Mosques. Practicing Muslims live on 5 main bases which they call pillars of the religion. They are Shahadah- orally declaring their faith, Salat- praying five times a day, Sawm- fasting in the daylight hours during the month of Ramadan, Zakat- giving a share of their income to charity, and Hajj- making the pilgramage to the holy city Mecca at least one in their lifetime if they can afford it. Major Muslim festivals include ld al-Fitr, and ld al-Adha.

This mosque pictured above is a very popular one for Muslims to visit in their holy city Mecca


Created with images by Lawrie Cate - "Torah" • dominique Bernardini - "church" • Arian Zwegers - "Istanbul, Blue Mosque"

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