Exploring World Religions by: Ethan Ross

I had an opportunity to go on mission trip with my church from Frisco, Texas to visit other religions places of worship not to intrude and try to convert non-Christians but to understand the differences between religions and see how they act at their worship places and how they worship.


We first visited the Temple, Le temple de Meenakshi. The Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar. There are tons of Hindu temples standing today from hundreds of years ago.

We met this man named Akbar Ajit. He was very nice and caring. He asked us where we came from and why we were here. He was smiling and was very happy to talk to us. When we ran into him we were at The Jagannath Temple of Puri. The Jagannath Temple of Puri is a sacred Vaishnava temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath and located on the eastern coast of India


For our first stop we visited the Byodo-in Temple. It is a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, built in late Heian period. It is jointly a temple of the Jodo-shu and Tendai-shu sects. This was a great opportunity to learn about Buddhism. The building, with its Buddhist images constructed nearly 1,000 years ago, is presented there today and is listed as a World Heritage Site.

While visiting the Byodo-in temple we met a young Buddhist monk named Chinshu. His name means calm prefecture or calm place. He explained his beliefs and about the Buddhist religion. We were very intrigued to listen to the young man and to hear how mature he was. He better explained the four noble truths to us and now we know more about Buddhism and their origin.


This man is someone who we met when we went to Iran. Salah ("Muslim prayer", صلاة or gen: ṣalāt; pl. صلوات ṣalawāt), called in some languages by the Persian-derived term namāz (Persian: نَماز‎‎) is one of the Five Pillars in the faith of Islam and an obligatory religious duty for every Muslim. All of the five pillars are Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day. Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy. Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan. Finally, Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca.

We took this picture as a large group of Muslims were praying since they have to follow all of the five pillars which include praying five times a day. This is called Salat. They have to do the proper way to pray which is represented in the picture we took above.


On the trip we took to visit the center of Judaism religion we went to Jerusalem. The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the "Western Wall". At the Wailing wall (or western wall) Jews come here and put their prayers within the cracks of the wall and it has very important religious significance. We talked to the jewish people and they were very kind to us and we learned more about the Jewish culture that we had not previously known before.

The Jews and the Muslims have been fighting over the rights to this piece of land. The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Dome of The Rock and it is very important religiously because there once used to be a temple there and then got torn down by the Romans. The Jews want to rebuild the temple while the Muslims just want to keep their Mosque there.


For the last and final place my youth group visited was Australia. We went to the Hillsong Church in Australia. In the Christian faith, we believe that Jesus Christ came to Earth was 100% god and 100% man. He came and sacrificed himself to save our sins. He got crucified on a cross and on the third day of his death he rose from the dead. We went to one of Hillsong's service and it was truly amazing.


Created with images by Pexels - "adventure exploration landscape" • dalbera - "Le temple de Meenakshi (Madurai, Inde)" • jpeter2 - "human india hindu" • jimg944 - "DSC21812, Byodoin Temple, Uji City, Japan" • sasint - "พระ umbrella eat" • rudolf_langer - "prayer islam iran" • Greg Walters - "MOSQUE PRAYER" • 777jew - "wailing wall western wall judaism" • judithscharnowski - "jerusalem israel middle east" • Jiaren Lau - "Hillsong United Concert" • WerbeFabrik - "fir conifer angel"

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