World Religions Highlights of Religions around the world

Day 1: I'm starting my journey in Mecca. This is Islam's holiest city. It's a desert valley in Saudi Arabia. The only people allowed in Mecca are Muslims, which made it hard to get in and see it. Luckily I was able to go in with a temporary pass. Mecca is really pretty especially at night when the Grand Mosque lights up. The Grand Mosque is a worship site in Mecca for Muslims. In the Grand Mosque is something called a Kaaba. The Kaaba is the building at in the middle of the Grand Mosque. It's about 43' tall and made of stone. That building is what Muslims are trying to get to

Day 2: On my second day I learned more about the culture and their beliefs. They believe Muhammad is the last and most important prophet, and they think he is the messenger of God, whose called Allah. They believe in complete and total submission for the will of Allah. They follow 5 rules known as the 5 Pillars of Faith. The first is called Shabada, which means testimony. The second is called Salat, which mean prayer. They typically pray 5 times a day. The third is Zakat which is giving to charity or the poor. The fourth is Sawn which is fasting like on one of there holidays known as Ramadan. Ramadan is where Muslims don't eat all day and have a big feast at night with lots of people. Fifth is Bajj which is that Muslims have to visit Mecca at least once in their life--probably why its so important in the culture.

The Grand Mosque in Mecca and Muslims praying at the Kaaba.

Day 3: The next place I went to visit was Jerusalem. This is was the starting place for both Christianity and Judaism-- Judaism was in Israel also. It's a small city west of the dead sea. This city has been a place of pilgrimage and some worship for Jews, Christians, and even Muslims. There are important religious sites in Jerusalem. For Christians there's the Church of Holy Sepulchre. The Western Wall which is scared to Jews. Finally the Dome of the Rock significant to the Muslims. I went to see the Church of Holy Sepulchre and it was awesome. The architectural design and the points at the top building pointing toward heaven were beautiful. While at the church I learned, Christians believe Jesus is the lord and savior. They believe he will rise again, which is known as the raipur, to judge the living and the dead. They read the stories of Jesus and his disciples in the bible.

The Gothic style, in the Church of Holy Sepulchre, represent the building pointing to heaven and God.

Day 4: Next I went to the Wailing Wall to learn more about Judaism. They do believe in Jesus, but they do not believe he is the lord and savior. This was the first religion to teach monotheism, which is the belief in one God. They established the criteria for the coming of the messiah. The read the Torah which is their holy book, and the Star of David is their symbol. They celebrate a Holiday known as Hanukkah. It's celebrated for eight days and nights. It celebrated the victory of the Israelite's over the Greek-Syrian ruler.

This is the Wailing Wall and Jewish people are praying at the sacred site.

Day 5: On my last day in Jerusalem I went to visit the Dome of the Rock to see if I could learn a little more about Islam. The Dome of the Rock is sacred to Muslims and Jews. Interestingly enough the Wailing Wall is in front of the Dome of the Rock. I learned that the holy text for Muslims is the Qur'an and a lot of Muslims have complete devotion to Allah. The Dome of the Rock is a dome usually gold that forms over a mospue.

The Waling Wall is very close to the Dome of the Rock

Day 6: I finally made it to my last country, India. Hinduism started in India and Buddhism evolved from Hinduism in India. Today I visited the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple. A known sacred site for Hinduism. The Hindi's believe that the truth is eternal and that an individual soul is immortal. They do not have one sacred book but several scriptures. Hinduism was started around 1500 B.C. They go to some Temple to worship. In Hinduism they have many Gods and Goddess's.

These are pictures I took of the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple

Day 7: I spent my final day in India I went to Nepal to see the Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. Buddhism used the practice of meditation to achieve enlightenment. They believe in reincarnation which is you keep coming back to Earth until you achieve the goal of Enlightenment. They typically meditate in temple or just at home. Buddhist monks wear orange robes and are bald. Buddhism is the 4th largest religion in the world

This is the Lumbini in Nepal India.


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