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  • Nov 27th 2012
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Best Religion of All Time

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    1
    Protestant Church in the Netherlands

    Protestant Church in the Netherlands

    The Protestant Church in the Netherlands (Dutch: Protestantse Kerk in Nederland, abbreviated PKN) is the largest Protestant Christian denomination in the Netherlands. With 2,000 congregations and a membership of some 1.8 million (or 10.8% of the Dutch population, 2009), it is the second largest church in the Netherlands after the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded 1 May 2004 as a merger of the Dutch Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The merger was the culmination of an organizational process begun in 1961. The Church incorporates both Reformed and Lutheran theological orientations. The doctrine of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands is expressed in its creeds. In addition to holding the Apostles', the Nicene and the Athanasian Creeds of the universal church, it also holds to the confessions of its predecessor bodies. From the Lutheran tradition are the unaltered Augsburg Confession and Luther's Catechism. From the Reformed, the Heidelberg and Genevan Catechisms along with the Belgic Confession with the Canons of Dordt. The Church also acknowledges the Theological Declaration of
    8.13
    8 votes
    2
    Atheism

    Atheism

    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists. The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Atheists tend to be skeptical of supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence for deities. Other rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is
    8.86
    7 votes
    3
    Freethought

    Freethought

    Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of logic, reason and empiricism and not authority, tradition, or other dogmas. The experience of freethought is known as "freethinking," and practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers." Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. A line from "Clifford's Credo" by the 19th Century British mathematician and philosopher William Kingdon Clifford perhaps best describes the premise of freethought: "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." The pansy is the long-established and enduring
    8.57
    7 votes
    4
    Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

    Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

    The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, is an Autonomous Oriental Orthodox church centred in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the churches of India's Saint Thomas Christian community, which traces its origins to the evangelical activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The church is locally headed by the autonomous Catholicos and its present primate is Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan. Historically, the Saint Thomas Christians were united in leadership and liturgy, and were part of the Church of the East centred in Persia. From the 16th century the Portuguese Jesuits attempted to forcefully bring the community fully into the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Resentment of these measures led the majority of the community to join the archdeacon, Thomas, in swearing never to submit to the Portuguese in the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653. The part of the church that followed Thomas is known as the Malankara Church. Following the arrival of the Bishop Gregorios Abdul Jaleel of Jerusalem, Archdeacon Thomas forged a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church and gradually adopted
    8.33
    6 votes
    5
    Nyingma

    Nyingma

    • Is Part Of: Tibetan Buddhism
    The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (the other three being the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug). "Nyingma" literally means "ancient," and is often referred to as Nga'gyur (Tibetan: སྔ་འགྱུར།, Wylie: snga 'gyur, ZYPY: Nga'gyur, school of the ancient translations) or the "old school" because it is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan, in the eighth century. The Tibetan script and grammar was actually created for this endeavour. In modern times the Nyingma lineage has been centered in Kham in eastern Tibet. The Nyingmapa, a Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, incorporate mysticism and local deities shared by the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, which has shamanic elements. The group particularly believes in hidden terma treasures. Traditionally, Nyingmapa practice was advanced orally among a loose network of lay practitioners. Monasteries with celibate monks and nuns, along with the practice of reincarnated spiritual leaders are later adaptations. The Nyingma tradition actually comprises several distinct lineages that all trace their origins to the Indian master Padmasambhava, who is lauded in the popular
    9.40
    5 votes
    6
    Kagyu

    Kagyu

    • Founding Figures: Tilopa
    • Is Part Of: Tibetan Buddhism
    The Kagyu, Kagyupa, or Kagyud (Tibetan: བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་པ, Wylie: bka' brgyud pa) school, also known as the "Oral Lineage" or Whispered Transmission school, is today regarded as one of six main schools (chos lugs) of Himalayan or Tibetan Buddhism, the other five being the Nyingma, Sakya, Jonang, Bon and Gelug. Along with the later two the Kagyu is classified as one of the Sarma or "New Transmission" schools since it primarily follows the Vajrayāna or Tantric teachings based on the so-called New Tantras, i.e., those translated during the second diffusion of the Buddha Dharma in Tibet. Along with the Nyingma and Sakya schools it is a Red Hat sect. Like all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the Kagyu consider their practices and teachings inclusive of the full range of Buddha's teachings (or three yāna), since they follow the fundamental teachings and vows of individual liberation and monastic discipline (Pratimoksha). Those teachings in turn accord with the Mulasarvastivada tradition of the Śrāvakayāna (sometimes called Nikāya Buddhism or "Hīnayāna" ); the Bodhisattva teachings, vows of universal liberation and philosophy of the Mahāyāna; and the profound means and samaya pledges of the Secret
    7.00
    7 votes
    7
    Church of Denmark

    Church of Denmark

    The Church of Denmark or Danish National Church (Danish: Den Danske Folkekirke or Folkekirken, literally meaning the "People's Church"), and formally known in English as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, is the state church and largest denomination in Denmark and Greenland. Since the Reformation in Denmark–Norway and Holstein, the church has been Evangelical Lutheran and Denmark's state church with the Danish monarch as its supreme authority. The 1848 Constitution of Denmark designated the church "the Danish people's church". The church is financially supported by the state, but membership is voluntary. The reigning monarch is the supreme authority, but not the head, of the Church, with the Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs, currently Manu Sareen, as the highest administrative authority of the Church. The Danish parliament, Folketinget, is the supreme legislative authority for the church. As of 1 April 2012 (2012 -04-01), 79.6% of the population of Denmark are members of the National Church. Church life is organized in 11 dioceses, each led by a bishop, including one for Greenland (the Faroe Islands were a twelfth diocese until 29 July 2007). The further subdivision
    7.83
    6 votes
    8
    Din-i-Ilahi

    Din-i-Ilahi

    • Founding Figures: Akbar
    The Dīn-i Ilāhī (Persian: دین الهی‎ "Divine Faith") was a syncretic religious doctrine propounded by the Mughal emperor Jalālu d-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar ("Akbar the Great") in year 1582 A.D., who ruled the Indian subcontinent from 1556 to 1605, intending to merge the best elements of the religions of his empire, and thereby reconcile the differences that divided his subjects. The elements were primarily drawn from Islam and Hinduism, but some others were also taken from Christianity, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. Akbar promoted tolerance of other faiths. In fact, not only did he tolerate them, he encouraged debate on philosophical and religious issues. This led to the creation of the Ibādat Khāna ("House of Worship") at Fatehpur Sikri in 1575. He had already repealed the Jizya, or tax on non-Muslims, in 1568. A religious experience while hunting in 1578, further increased his interest in the religious traditions of his empire. From the discussions he led at the Ibādat Khāna, Akbar concluded that no single religion could claim the monopoly of truth. This inspired him to create the Dīn-i Ilāhī in 1582. Various pious Muslims, among them the Qadi of Bengal and the seminal Sufi personality
    7.50
    6 votes
    9
    Seventh-day Adventist Church

    Seventh-day Adventist Church

    • Founding Figures: Joseph Bates
    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming (Advent) of Jesus Christ. The denomination grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century and was formally established in 1863. Among its founders was Ellen G. White, whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by the church today. Much of the theology of the Seventh-day Adventist Church corresponds to Protestant Christian teachings such as the Trinity and the infallibility of Scripture. Distinctive teachings include the unconscious state of the dead and the doctrine of an investigative judgment. The church is also known for its emphasis on diet and health, its holistic understanding of the person, its promotion of religious liberty, and its conservative principles and lifestyle. The world church is governed by a General Conference, with smaller regions administered by divisions, union conferences and local conferences. It currently has a worldwide baptized membership of about 16.3
    7.17
    6 votes
    10
    Anglo-Catholicism

    Anglo-Catholicism

    The terms Anglo-Catholic, Anglican Catholic and Catholic Anglican describe people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism which affirm the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches, rather than the churches' Protestant heritage. The term "Anglo-Catholic" was coined in the early 19th century; but, movements emphasising the Catholic nature of Anglicanism have existed throughout history. Particularly influential in the history of Anglo-Catholicism were the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century and, later, the leaders of the Oxford Movement, which began at the University of Oxford in 1833 and ushered in a period of Anglican history known as the "Catholic Revival". In addition, members of the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans in the Roman Catholic Church are also sometimes referred to as "Anglican Catholics". Following the passing of the Act of Supremacy and Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England continued to adhere to traditional Catholic teachings and did not initially make any alterations to doctrine. The Ten Articles were published in 1536 and constitute the first official Anglican articles of faith. The
    8.00
    5 votes
    11
    Tibetan Buddhism

    Tibetan Buddhism

    • Is Part Of: Buddhism
    Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India (particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Dharamsala, Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim). It is the state religion of Bhutan. It is also practiced in Mongolia and parts of Russia (Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva) and Northeast China. Texts recognized as scripture and commentary are contained in the Tibetan Buddhist canon, such that Tibetan is a spiritual language of these areas. A Tibetan diaspora has spread Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity. Among its prominent exponents is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The number of its adherents is estimated to be between ten and twenty million. Tibetan Buddhism comprises the teachings of the three vehicles of Buddhism: the Foundational Vehicle, Mahāyāna, and Vajrayāna. The Mahāyāna goal of spiritual development is to achieve the enlightenment of Buddhahood in order to most efficiently help all other sentient beings attain this state. The motivation in it is the bodhicitta mind of enlightenment — an
    8.00
    5 votes
    12
    Sunni Islam

    Sunni Islam

    • Founding Figures: Muhammad
    • Is Part Of: Islam
    • Places of worship (current): Abu Hanifa Mosque
    Sunni Islam ( /ˈsuːni/ or /ˈsʊni/) is the largest branch of Islam and are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhlu-s-Sunnati wa-l-Jamāʿah (Arabic: أهل السنة والجماعة‎), "people of the tradition of Muhammad and the consensus of the Ummah" or ʾAhlu-s-Sunnah (Arabic: أهل السنة‎). For short, in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis, Sunnites or simply Muslims. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as the orthodox version of the religion. The word "Sunni" comes from the term Sunnah (Arabic: سنة‎), which refers to the sayings and actions of Muhammad that are recorded in hadiths (collections of narrations regarding Muhammad). The primary hadiths Al-Kutub Al-Sittah (the six books), in conjunction with the Quran, form the basis of all jurisprudence methodologies within Sunni Islam. Laws are derived from the text of the Quran and the hadith, in addition to using methods of juristic reasoning (like qiyas) and consensus (ijma). There are a multitude of scholarly opinions in each field; however, these can be summarised as either derived from the four major schools of thought (Madh'hab) or from an expert scholar who exercises independent derivation of Islamic Law (ijtihad). Both are considered
    6.00
    7 votes
    13
    Church of Nigeria

    Church of Nigeria

    The Church of Nigeria is the Anglican church in Nigeria. It is the second-largest province in the Anglican Communion, as measured by baptized membership, after the Church of England. It gives its current membership as "over 18 million", out of a total Nigerian population of 140 million. Since 2002 the Church of Nigeria is organised in ecclesiastical provinces, currently in the number of 14. It has rapidly increased the number of its dioceses and bishops from 91 in 2002 to 161, as at May 2012. The administrative headquarters are located in Abuja. Its current primate is Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustine and Capuchine monks from Portugal. The first mission of the Church of England was, though, only established in 1842 in Badagry by Henry Townsend. In 1864 Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a Yoruba and former Slave, was elected Bishop of the Niger. Lagos became a diocese of its own in 1919. Leslie Gordon Vining became Bishop of Lagos in 1940 and in 1951 the first archbishop of the newly inaugurated Province of West Africa. Vining was the last Bishop of Lagos of European descent. On 24 February 1979, the sixteen dioceses of Nigeria were
    7.80
    5 votes
    14
    Restoration Movement

    Restoration Movement

    • Is Part Of: Restorationism
    The Restoration Movement (also known as the American Restoration Movement or the Stone-Campbell Movement, Campbellites, and Campbellism) is a Christian movement that began on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening (1790–1870) of the early 19th century. The movement sought to restore the church and "the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament." Members do not identify as Protestant but simply as Christian. The Restoration Movement developed from several independent efforts to return to apostolic Christianity, but two groups, which independently developed similar approaches to the Christian faith, were particularly important to the development of the movement. The first, led by Barton W. Stone, began at Cane Ridge, Kentucky and called themselves simply "Christians". The second began in western Pennsylvania and Virginia (now West Virginia) and was led by Thomas Campbell and his son, Alexander Campbell; they used the name "Disciples of Christ". Both groups sought to restore the whole Christian church on the pattern set forth in the New Testament, and both believed that creeds kept Christianity divided. In 1832 they
    7.60
    5 votes
    15
    Serbian Orthodox Church

    Serbian Orthodox Church

    The Serbian Orthodox Church (Serbian: Српска православна црква / Srpska pravoslavna crkva) is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches. It is the second oldest Slavic Orthodox Church in the world (after the Bulgarian Orthodox Church). The Serbian Orthodox Church is the dominant church in Serbia, Montenegro and Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with more than 84% of the population being adherents in all three. It is organized into metropolises and eparchies located primarily in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia, but also in surrounding countries, and all over the world. Since many Serbs have emigrated to foreign countries, there are now Serbian Orthodox communities worldwide. The Serbian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, member of the Orthodox communion. The Patriarch of Serbia serves as first among equals in his church; The current patriarch is His Holiness Irinej. The Church achieved autocephalous status in 1219 under the leadership of St. Sava, becoming independent Archeparchy of Žiča. Its status was elevated to that of a patriarchate in 14th century, and was known afterwards as the
    7.60
    5 votes
    16
    Shaktism

    Shaktism

    • Is Part Of: Hinduism
    Shaktism (Sanskrit: Śāktaṃ, शाक्तं; lit., 'doctrine of power' or 'doctrine of the Goddess') is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead. It is, along with Shaivism and Vaisnavism, one of the primary schools of devotional Hinduism. Shaktism regards Devī (lit., 'the Goddess') as the Supreme Brahman itself, the "one without a second", with all other forms of divinity, female or male, considered to be merely her diverse manifestations. In the details of its philosophy and practice, Shaktism resembles Shaivism. However, Shaktas (Sanskrit: Śākta, शाक्त), practitioners of Shaktism, focus most or all worship on Shakti, as the dynamic feminine aspect of the Supreme Divine. Shiva, the masculine aspect of divinity, is considered solely transcendent, and his worship is usually relegated to an auxiliary role. The roots of Shaktism penetrate deep into India's prehistory. From the Goddess's earliest known appearance in Indian paleolithic settlements more than 22,000 years ago, through the refinement of her cult in the Indus Valley Civilization, her partial eclipse during the Vedic period, and her subsequent
    7.60
    5 votes
    17
    Church of Christ, Scientist

    Church of Christ, Scientist

    • Founding Figures: Mary Baker Eddy
    The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1879 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, by Mary Baker Eddy. She was the author of the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Christian Science textbook and which, along with the Bible, serve as the permanent "impersonal pastor" of the church. The church was founded "to commemorate the word and works of [Christ Jesus]" and "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing". Sunday services are held throughout the year and weekly testimony meetings are held on Wednesday evenings, where following brief readings from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, those in attendance are invited to give testimonies of healing brought about through Christian Science prayer. Christian Science metaphysics teach that God is Spirit and cites the first chapter of Genesis as the true story of creation, where in the King James Bible, "man" is both "male and female", created "in the image and likeness" of God. The story of Adam and Eve is held to be an allegory. Healing on this basis is accomplished without material means and is the traditional bedrock of the church. In the early decades of the 20th century, churches
    8.75
    4 votes
    18
    Beneficent Congregational Church

    Beneficent Congregational Church

    Beneficent Congregational Church is a United Church of Christ congregation of Congregationalist heritage in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, founded in 1743 during the "First Great Awakening". The current church building features a prominent dome. The structure was built in 1810 and subsequently enlarged with a $30,000 donation from textile entrepreneur Henry J. Steere in honor of his father, Jonah Steere. Beneficent has active ministries working with the homeless in the city and around the world. Beneficent Congregational Church is open for Sunday services and the building is located at 300 Weybosset Street in Providence.
    6.50
    6 votes
    19
    Confucianism

    Confucianism

    • Founding Figures: Confucius
    • Is Part Of: Taoic religion
    Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ, or K'ung-fu-tzu, lit. "Master Kong", 551–479 BC). Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han Dynasty. Following the abandonment of Legalism in China after the Qin Dynasty, Confucianism became the official state ideology of China, until it was replaced by the "Three Principles of the People" ideology with the establishment of the Republic of China, and then Maoist Communism after the ROC was replaced by the People's Republic of China in Mainland China. The core of Confucianism is humanism, the belief that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavour especially including self-cultivation and self-creation. Confucianism focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, the most basic of which are ren, yi, and li. Ren is an obligation of altruism and humaneness for other individuals within a community, yi is the upholding of righteousness and the moral
    6.50
    6 votes
    20
    Church of North India

    Church of North India

    The Church of North India (CNI), the dominant Protestant denomination in northern India, is a united church established on 29 November 1970 by bringing together the main Protestant churches working in northern India. The merger, which had been in discussions since 1929, came eventually between the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (Anglican), the United Church of Northern India (Congregationalist and Presbyterian), the Baptist Churches of Northern India (British Baptists), the Church of the Brethren in India, which withdrew in 2006, the Methodist Church (British and Australia Conferences) and the Disciples of Christ denominations. CNI's jurisdiction covers all states of the Indian Union with the exception of the four states in the south (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and has approximately 1,250,000 members in 3,000 pastorates. Ecumenical discussions with a view to a unified church was initiated by the Australian Churches of Christ Mission, Australian Methodist Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church and United Church of Northern India during a round table meeting in Lucknow in 1929. A negotiation committee was set up in
    8.50
    4 votes
    21
    Church of the United Brethren in Christ

    Church of the United Brethren in Christ

    The Church of the United Brethren in Christ is an evangelical Christian denomination based in Huntington, Indiana. It is a Protestant denomination of episcopal structure, Arminian theology, with roots in the Mennonite and German Reformed communities of 18th century Pennsylvania, as well as close ties to Methodism. It was organized in 1800 by Martin Boehm and Philip William Otterbein and is the first American denomination that was not transplanted from Europe. In 1889, a controversy over membership in secret societies such as the Freemasons, the proper way to modify the church's constitution, and other issues split the United Brethren into majority liberal and minority conservative blocs, the latter of which was led by Bishop Milton Wright (father of the Wright Brothers). Both groups continued to use the name Church of the United Brethren in Christ. The majority faction, known as the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution), merged with the Evangelical Church in 1946 to form a new denomination known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB). This in turn merged in 1968 with The Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church (UMC). The Wright-led faction
    8.50
    4 votes
    22
    Vaishnavism

    Vaishnavism

    • Is Part Of: Hinduism
    Vaishnavism (Sanskrit: वैष्णव धर्म, IPA: [ʋəiˈʂɳəʋə ˈd̪ʱərmə]) is one of the major branches of Hinduism along with Shaivism, Smartism, and Shaktism. It is focused on the veneration of Vishnu. Vaishnavites, or the followers of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, lead a way of life promoting differentiated monotheism, which gives importance to Lord Vishnu and His ten incarnations. The oldest religious text in Vedic, Rigveda, describes Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Deity in Vishnu Sooktham (1.22.20): Rigveda mentions the Supreme Lord 93 times. Other shlokas are devoted to his faithful servants, mentioned in the scriptures as the limbs of Lord Vishnu. These minor deities include Indra, Surya, Rudra, Maruta, Vayu, Agni and Manyu. In general, the Vaishnava Agamas describe Lord Vishnu as the "supreme being and the foundation of all existence." This is explained in Katha Upanishad 2.2.13: nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam/ eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman, "the Supreme Being, the Personality of Godhead, is the chief living being amongst all living beings and grants the desires of all other eternal sentient beings" Its beliefs and practices, especially the concepts of Bhakti and Bhakti Yoga, are based
    8.50
    4 votes
    23
    Adventist

    Adventist

    • Is Part Of: Restorationism
    Adventism is a Christian movement which began in the 19th century, in the context of the Second Great Awakening revival in the United States. The name refers to belief in the imminent Second Coming (or "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. It was started by William Miller, whose followers became known as Millerites. Today, the largest church within the movement is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Adventist family of churches is regarded today as conservative Protestants. Although these churches hold much in common, their theology differs on whether the intermediate state is unconscious sleep or consciousness, whether the ultimate punishment of the wicked is annihilation or eternal torment, the nature of immortality, whether or not the wicked are resurrected after the millennium, and whether the sanctuary of Daniel 8 refers to the one in heaven or one on earth. The movement has encouraged the examination of the whole bible, leading them to observe the Sabbath. Adventism began as an inter-denominational movement. Its most vocal leader was William Miller. Between 50,000 and 100,000 people in the United States supported Miller's predictions of Christ's return. After the "Great
    8.25
    4 votes
    24
    Presbyterian Church in Taiwan

    Presbyterian Church in Taiwan

    The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-oân Ki-tok Tiúⁿ-ló Kàu-hoē; traditional Chinese: 台灣基督長老教會) was planted in Taiwan in the 19th century by Dr James Laidlaw Maxwell Snr of the Presbyterian Church of England and Dr George Leslie Mackay of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. In Taiwan, Presbyterians have historically been active in promoting the use of the local vernacular Taiwanese, both during the Japanese colonial period, as well as after the transfer of rulership to the Republic of China, during which the exclusive use of Mandarin was legally mandated. Also, the church has historically been an active proponent of human rights and democracy in Taiwan, a tradition which began during the Japanese colonial period and extended into the martial law period of the ROC. As such, the church has been somewhat associated with the Taiwan independence movement. The PCT has also been a consistent and conspicuous proponent of Aboriginal Rights: In terms of polity, the PCT has a general assembly, and only one synod (the Northern Synod); the presbyteries in the south of the island connect directly to the general assembly. The PCT is a member church of the World Council of
    6.17
    6 votes
    25
    Arianism

    Arianism

    Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius (ca. AD 250–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the persons of the Trinity ('God the Father', 'God the Son' (Jesus of Nazareth), and 'God the Holy Spirit') and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father. Deemed a heretic by the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, Arius was later exonerated in 335 at the regional First Synod of Tyre, and then, after his death, pronounced a heretic again at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381. The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337–361) and Valens (364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians. The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by—and is therefore distinct from—God the Father. This belief is grounded in the Gospel of John passage “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." (verse 14:28) Arianism is defined as those teachings attributed to Arius which are in opposition to currently mainstream Trinitarian Christological
    7.00
    5 votes
    26
    Imperial cult

    Imperial cult

    The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority of the Roman State. The framework for Imperial cult was formulated during the early Principate of Augustus, and was rapidly established throughout the Empire and its provinces, with marked local variations in its reception and expression. Augustus' reforms transformed Rome's Republican system of government to a de facto monarchy, couched in traditional Roman practices and Republican values. The princeps (later known as Emperor) was expected to balance the interests of the Roman military, senate and people, and to maintain peace, security and prosperity throughout an ethnically diverse empire. The official offer of cultus to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pious respect for traditional Republican deities and mores. A deceased Emperor held worthy of the honour could be voted a state divinity (divus, plural divi) by the Senate and elevated as such in an act of apotheosis. The granting of apotheosis served religious, political and moral judgment on Imperial
    7.00
    5 votes
    27
    Nippon Sei Ko Kai

    Nippon Sei Ko Kai

    The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Japanese: 日本聖公会, Nippon Seikōkai, "Japanese Holy Catholic Church"), abbreviated as NSKK, or the Anglican Church in Japan, is the religious body in the Province of Japan (日本管区, Nippon Kanku) of the Anglican Communion. In 1859 two missionaries of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America came to Japan, followed by missionaries from the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Canada. The former Episcopal Bishop of China and Japan, Channing Moore Williams, united these various Anglican missionary efforts in 1878 into the one national church, Nippon Seikokai, whose name he chose. The Synod was created in 1887, with the first Japanese bishops consecrated in 1923. The Most Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu is the current Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai and the Bishop of the Diocese of Hokkaidō.
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    Native American Church

    Native American Church

    Native American Church, a religious denomination which practices Peyotism or the Peyote Religion, originated in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and is the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans in the United States. Peyotism involves sacramental use of the entheogen peyote (Lophophora williamsii), a spineless cactus. Peyote was used in the territory of modern Mexico in pre-Columbian times to commune with the spirit world and also as a medicine. From the mid-15th century, the use of peyote spread to the Great Plains area of the United States primarily through the efforts of the Apache, Navajo, Plains Tribes, and various tribes in the western United States. Peyotism is now practiced in more than 50 Native American tribes and has probably around 250,000 adherents. Peyotist beliefs vary considerably from tribe to tribe, belief in peyote personified as a god called Mescalito by some practitioners, but often include belief in Jesus as a Native American culture hero, an intercessor for man or a spiritual guardian; belief in the Bible; and association of Jesus with peyote. Peyotists believe in a supreme God. The "Peyote Road" calls for Native American brotherly love (often
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    3 votes
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    Unitarianism

    Unitarianism

    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being. Thus, Unitarians contend that main-line Christianity does not adhere to strict monotheism as they do, maintaining that Jesus was a prophet, and in some sense the "son" of God, but not God himself. For most of its history, Unitarianism has been known for the rejection of several conventional Protestant doctrines besides the Trinity, including the soteriological doctrines of original sin and predestination, and, in more recent times, biblical inerrancy. In J. Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions it is classified among "the 'liberal' family of churches". The Unitarian movement, although not called "Unitarian" initially, began almost simultaneously in Poland-Lithuania and Transylvania in the mid-sixteenth century. Among the adherents were a significant number of Italians. In England the first Unitarian Church was established in 1774 on Essex Street, London, where today's British Unitarian headquarters are still located. The first official acceptance of the
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    4 votes
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    Neopaganism

    Neopaganism

    • Founding Figures: Many
    Contemporary Paganism, Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism, refers to a variety of contemporary religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe. Although they do share commonalities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse and no single set of beliefs, practices, or texts are shared by them all. Contemporary Paganism has been characterized as "a synthesis of historical inspiration and present-day creativity", in this manner drawing influences from pre-Christian, folkloric and ethnographic sources in order to fashion new religious movements. The extent to which contemporary Pagans use these sources differs; many follow a spirituality which they accept is entirely modern, whilst others attempt to reconstruct or revive indigenous, ethnic religions as found in historical and folkloric sources as accurately as possible. Neopagan movements emerged in Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries, influenced by the wider occult movement; these included Thelema, Wicca and Adonism. With the rise of the counterculture during the 1960s, Paganism continued to adapt and spread, particularly
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    5 votes
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    Buddhist philosophy

    Buddhist philosophy

    • Founding Figures: Gautama Buddha
    Buddhist philosophy is the elaboration and explanation of the delivered teachings of the Buddha as found in the Tripitaka and Agama. Its main concern is with explicating the dharmas constituting reality. A recurrent theme is the reification of concepts, and the subsequent return to the Buddhist middle way. Early Buddhism avoided speculative thought on metaphysics, phenomenology, ethics, and epistemology, but was based instead on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs (ayatana). Nevertheless, Buddhist scholars have addressed onto logical and metaphysical issues subsequently. Particular points of Buddhist philosophy have often been the subject of disputes between different schools of Buddhism. These elaborations and disputes gave rise to various schools in early Buddhism of Abhidhamma, and to the Mahayana traditions and schools of the prajnaparamita, Madhyamaka, buddha-nature and Yogacara. The historical Buddha lived during a time of spiritual and philosophical revival in Northern India when the established mythologies and cosmological explanations of the vedas came under rational scrutiny. As well as the Buddha's own teachings, new ethical and spiritual philosophies such as
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    3 votes
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    Church of God

    Church of God

    The Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) is a holiness Christian body with roots in Wesleyan pietism and also in the restorationist traditions. Founded in 1881 by Daniel Sidney Warner, the church claims 1,170,143 adherents. While having some characteristics of a denomination, the Church of God considers itself anti-denominational. One of its more distinctive features is that there is no formal membership, since the movement believes that true biblical salvation, which will result in a life free from sin, makes one a member. Similarly, there is no formal creed other than the Bible. Accordingly, there is much official room for diversity and theological dialogue, even though the movement's culture is strongly rooted in Wesleyan holiness theology. This church movement is not historically related to other Church of God bodies such as the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) or the Church of God (Charleston, Tennessee). Though these bodies are also holiness Christian in outlook, the Church of God (Anderson) does not share their Pentecostal practices. It is distinguished from these other churches by the location of its headquarters in Anderson, Indiana. It was started in 1881 by Daniel
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    4 votes
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    Cistercians

    Cistercians

    • Founding Figures: Saint Alberic
    • Is Part Of: Catholicism
    The Order of Cistercians ( /sɪˈstɜrʃⁱən/; OCist. Latin: Ordo Cisterciensis or, alternatively, OCSO for the Trappists (Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance)) is a Roman Catholic religious order of enclosed monks and nuns. They are sometimes also called the Bernardines or the White Monks, in reference to the colour of the habit, over which a black scapular is worn. The emphasis of Cistercian life is on manual labour and self-sufficiency, and many abbeys have traditionally supported themselves through activities such as agriculture and brewing ales. The term Cistercian (French Cistercien), derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. It was in this village that a group of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Molesme founded Cîteaux Abbey in 1098, with the goal of following more closely the Rule of Saint Benedict. The best known of them were Robert of Molesme, Alberic of Citeaux and the English monk Stephen Harding, who were the first three abbots. Bernard of Clairvaux entered the monastery in the early 1110s with 30 companions and helped the rapid proliferation of the order. By the end of the 12th century, the order had
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    5 votes
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    Hinduism

    Hinduism

    • Is Part Of: Dharmic religions
    • Places of worship (current): Banteay Srei
    Hinduism is the predominant religion of the Indian subcontinent, and one of its indigenous religions. Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Śrauta among numerous other traditions. It also includes historical groups, for example the Kapalikas. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs. Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India and, as such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major religion" in the world. One orthodox classification of Hindu texts is to divide into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, rituals and temple building among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas, Upanishads, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Bhagavad Gītā and Āgamas. Hinduism, with about one billion followers, is the world's third largest
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    5 votes
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    Shangqing School

    Shangqing School

    • Is Part Of: Taoism
    The Shangqing School (Chinese:上清) or Supreme Clarity is a Daoist movement that began during the aristocracy of the Western Jin dynasty. Shangqing can be translated as either 'Supreme Clarity' or 'Highest Clarity.' The first leader of the school was Wei Huacun (251-334), but Tao Hongjing(Chinese: 陶弘景), who structured the theory and practice and compiled the canon, is often considered to be its true founder. His prestige greatly contributed to the development of the school that took place near the end of the 5th century. The mountain near Nanjing where Tao Hongjing had his retreat, Maoshan (茅山), today remains the principal seat of the school. Shangqing practice values meditation techniques of visualization and breathing, as well as physical exercises, as opposed to the use of alchemy and talismans. The recitation of the sacred canon plays an equally important role. The practice was essentially individualistic, contrary to the collective practices in the Celestial Master school or in the Lingbao School. Recruiting from high social classes, during the Tang Dynasty, Shangqing was the dominant school of Daoism, and its influence is found in literature of the time period. The importance
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    5 votes
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    Chaldean Catholic Church

    Chaldean Catholic Church

    The Chaldean Catholic Church (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܟܠܕܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝܬܐ; ʿītha kaldetha qāthuliqetha), is an Eastern Syriac particular church of the Catholic Church, maintaining full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the rest of the Catholic Church. The Chaldean Catholic Church presently comprises an estimated 500,000 Chaldean Christians who are ethnic Babylonians. The ancient history of the Chaldean Church is the history of the Church of the East. It was originally named The Church of the East. Before the 1553 consecration of Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa, the term Chaldeans had only been officially used previously by the Council of Florence in 1445 as a new name for a group of Greek Nestorians of Cyprus who entered in Full Communion with the Catholic Church. After the massacres of Tamerlane around 1400 had devastated several bishoprics, the Church of the East, which had previously extended as far as China, was reduced to a handful of Mesopotamian Aramaic Language speaking ethnic Chaldean-Assyrian survivors who lived largely in the triangular area of Northern Mesopotamia between Amid (Diyarbakır), Salmas and Mosul. The See was moved to Alqosh, in the Mosul region and Patriarch Mar Shimun IV
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    6 votes
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    Cypriot Orthodox Church

    Cypriot Orthodox Church

    The Church of Cyprus (Greek: Ἐκκλησία τῆς Κύπρου, Ekklisía tîs Kýprou) is an autocephalous Greek Church within the communion of Orthodox Christianity. It is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, achieving independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431. The bishop of the ancient capital, Salamis (renamed Constantia by Emperor Constantius II), was constituted metropolitan by Emperor Zeno, with the title archbishop. The Apostle Paul, accompanied by Barnabas and Mark the Evangelist (Barnabas' kinsman), came to Cyprus in 45 AD to spread Christianity. Arriving at Salamis, they travelled across the island to Paphos, where Sergius Paulus was the first Roman official to convert to Christianity. In 50 AD St. Barnabas returned to Cyprus accompanied by St. Mark and set up his base in Salamis. He is considered to be the first Archbishop of Cyprus. Some Christians say Barnabas was stoned to death by the Jews on the outskirts of Salamis, where he was also buried. A few of the bishops who helped spread Christianity on the island were Lazarus, the Bishop of Kition, Herakleidios the Bishop of Tamasos, Avxivios the Bishop of Soloi, and Theodotos the Bishop
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    Neolog

    Neolog

    • Places of worship (current): Dohány Street Synagogue
    Neolog Judaism is a mild reform movement within Judaism, mainly in Hungarian-speaking regions of Europe, which began as a result of the Hungarian Jewish Congress, convened on December 14, 1868. The reforms were comparable to the more traditional wing of U.S. Conservative Judaism. At the time of its founding the Orthodox Jews in these regions were opposed to all modern innovations, so even these modest reforms had led to sharp organizational separation. Communities that aligned with neither the Orthodox nor the Neologs were known as the Status Quo. In the nineteenth century, the Neolog Jews were located mainly in the cities and larger towns. They arose in the environment of the latter period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a generally good period for upwardly mobile Jews, especially those of modernizing inclinations. In the Hungarian portion of the Empire, many Jews (nearly all Neologs and even some of the Orthodox) adopted the Hungarian language, rather than Yiddish, as their primary language and viewed themselves as "Hungarians of Jewish religion". In the era of Communist Hungary after World War II, the government forced Orthodox and Neolog organizations there into a single
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    4 votes
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    Gratitude

    Gratitude

    Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions, and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers such as Adam Smith. The systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000, possibly because psychology has traditionally been focused more on understanding distress rather than understanding positive emotions. However, with the advent of the positive psychology movement, gratitude has become a mainstream focus of psychological research. The study of gratitude within psychology has focused on the understanding of the short term experience of the emotion of gratitude (state gratitude), individual differences in how frequently people feel gratitude (trait gratitude), and the relationship between these two aspects. Gratitude is not the same as indebtedness. While both emotions occur following help, indebtedness occurs when a person perceives that they are under an obligation to make some repayment of compensation for the aid. The emotions lead to different actions;
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    International Society for Krishna Consciousness

    International Society for Krishna Consciousness

    • Places of worship (current): Bhaktivedanta Manor
    The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. It was founded in 1965 in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Its core beliefs are based on traditional Hindu scriptures, such as the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and the Bhagavad-gītā, both of which, according to the traditional Hindu view, date back more than 5,000 years. The distinctive appearance of the movement and its culture come from the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and Western converts since the early 1930s. ISKCON was formed to spread the practice of bhakti yoga, in which aspirant devotees (bhaktas) dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing the Supreme Lord, Krishna. ISKCON today is a worldwide confederation of more than 400 centers, including 60 farm communities, some aiming for self-sufficiency, 50 schools and 90 restaurants. In recent decades the movement's most rapid expansions in terms of numbers of membership have been within Eastern Europe (especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union) and India. ISKCON
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    3 votes
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    Modern Orthodox Judaism

    Modern Orthodox Judaism

    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    • Places of worship (current): Lincoln Square Synagogue
    Modern Orthodox Judaism (also Modern Orthodox or Modern Orthodoxy) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world. Modern Orthodoxy draws on several teachings and philosophies, and thus assumes various forms. In the United States, and generally in the Western world, "Centrist Orthodoxy" – underpinned by the philosophy of Torah Umadda ("Torah and [Scientific] Knowledge") – is prevalent. In Israel, Modern Orthodoxy is dominated by Religious Zionism; however, although not identical, these movements share many of the same values and many of the same adherents. Modern Orthodoxy comprises a fairly broad spectrum of movements each drawing on several distinct, though related, philosophies, which in some combination provide the basis for all variations of the movement today; these are discussed below. In general, Modern Orthodoxy's "overall approach.. is the belief that one can and should be a full member of modern society, accepting the risks to remaining observant, because the benefits outweigh those risks". Thus, Modern Orthodoxy holds that Jewish religious law is normative and binding,
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    4 votes
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    Siddha

    Siddha

    A Siddham in Tamil means "one who is accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who, according to Hindu belief, have transcended the ahamkara (ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies (composed mainly of dense Rajo-tama gunas) into a different kind of body dominated by sattva. This is usually accomplished only by persistent meditation. According to Jain belief Siddha are liberated souls who have destroyed all the karma bondings. Siddha do not have any kind of body, they are soul at its purest form. They reside in Siddha-shila which is situated at the top of the Universe. A siddha has also been defined to refer to one who has attained a siddhi. The siddhis as paranormal abilities are considered emergent abilities of an individual that is on the path to siddhahood, and do not define a siddha, who is established in the Pranav or Aum – the spiritual substrate of creation. The siddhi in its pure form means "the attainment of flawless identity with Reality (Brahman); perfection of Spirit." In the Hindu philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism (Hindu tantra), siddha also refers to a Siddha Guru who can by way of Shaktipat
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    4 votes
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    Protestant Methodists

    Protestant Methodists

    The Protestant Methodists were a small Methodist church based in Leeds. They left the Methodist conference in 1827 in protest at the installation of an organ in Brunswick Chapel in Leeds. This grew into a wider dispute around the style of government of the conference, though it continued to be known as the Leeds Organ Dispute. The Protestant Methodists constituted themselves as a separate body in 1828. In 1836, the group joined the Wesleyan Association, by which time they consisted of several thousand members.
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    3 votes
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    Sikhism

    Sikhism

    • Founding Figures: Guru Ram Das
    • Is Part Of: Dharmic religions
    • Places of worship (current): Valley Sikh Temple
    Sikhism ( /ˈsiːkɨzəm/ or /ˈsɪkɨzəm/; Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖੀ, sikkhī, IPA: [ˈsɪkːʰiː]) is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev which continued to progress with ten successive Sikh gurus (the last teaching being the holy scripture Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji). It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with approximately 30 million Sikhs. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally 'wisdom of the Gurū'). Punjab, India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population. Sikhs are expected to embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. The principal beliefs of Sikhi are faith in Waheguru—represented by the phrase ik ōaṅkār, meaning one God, along with a praxis in which the Sikh is enjoined to engage in social reform through the pursuit of justice for all human beings. Sikhi advocates the pursuit of salvation in a social context through the congregational practice of meditation on the name and message of God. The
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    3 votes
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    Theravada

    Theravada

    • Is Part Of: Buddhism
    Theravada, Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching," is the oldest surviving Buddhist branch. It is relatively conservative, and according to Dr. Rupert Gethin, it is generally closer to early Buddhism than the other existing Buddhist traditions. For many centuries, it has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (now about 70% of the population) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand). Theravada is also practiced by minorities in parts of southwest China (mainly by the Shan and Tai ethnic groups), Vietnam (by the Khmer Krom), Bangladesh (by the ethnic groups of Baruas, Chakma, Magh, and Tanchangya), Malaysia and Indonesia, while recently gaining popularity in Singapore and the Western world. Today, Theravada Buddhists, otherwise known as Theravadins, number over 150 million worldwide, and during the past few decades Theravada Buddhism has begun to take root in the West and in the Buddhist revival in India. According to its own accounts, the Theravāda school is fundamentally derived from the Vibhajjavāda (or "doctrine of analysis") grouping which was a division of the Sthavira ("Elders")
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    3 votes
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    Coptic Catholic Church

    Coptic Catholic Church

    The Coptic Catholic Church, also known as the Western Orthodox Church of Alexandria, is an Alexandrian Rite particular Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome. Historically, it represents a schism from the Coptic Orthodox Church, its adherents having left the Orthodox church to enter into communion with the Bishop of Rome. The current Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts is Antonios I Naguib, who replaced Stephanos II Ghattas in 2005. The offices of the Patriarchate are located in Cairo. The patriarchal Cathedral (Our Lady of Egypt) is in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo. At the Council of Florence on February 4, 1442, a Coptic Orthodox Church delegation signed the Cantate Domino document for the formal union with the Catholic Church. With little support in Egypt, the document had no effect. In the 1600s, missionaries, primarily the Franciscans, started to come to the Copts. In 1630, a Cairo mission of the Capuchin Order was founded. The Jesuits came in 1675. Again in 1713, the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria had submitted to Rome, but like in 1442 was the union of long duration. In 1741, Coptic Bishop Anba Athanasius of Jerusalem became a Catholic. In 1781, he was
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    5 votes
    47
    Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist

    • Is Part Of: Calvinism
    Reformed Baptists (sometimes known as Calvinistic Baptists) are Baptists that hold to a Calvinist soteriology. They can trace their history through the early modern Particular Baptists of England. The first Reformed Baptist church was formed in the 1630s. The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith was written along Reformed Baptist lines. Reformed Baptist churches in the UK go back to the 1630s. Notable early pastors include the author John Bunyan (1628–1688), the theologian John Gill (1697–1771), and the missionary William Carey (1761–1834). Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892), pastor to the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London, has been called "by far the most famous and influential preacher the Baptists had." The 1950s saw a renewed interest in Reformed theology among Baptists in the UK. Groups calling themselves "Reformed Baptist" were also differentiated from Strict Baptists and Particular Baptists, who shared a Calvinist doctrine, but differed on ecclesiastical polity. Peter Masters, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, created the London Reformed Baptist Seminary in 1975. In March 2009, noting the rise of Calvinism in the United States, Time
    6.20
    5 votes
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    Christian

    Christian

    A Christian ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. "Christian" derives from the Koine Greek word Christ, a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term Messiah. Central to the Christian faith is the gospel, the teaching that humans have hope for salvation through the message and work of Jesus, and particularly, his atoning death on the cross 1Co 15:3 and resurrection 1Co 15:4. Christians also believe Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. Most Christians believe in the doctrine of the Trinity ("tri-unity"), a description of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This includes the vast majority of churches in Christianity, although a minority are Non-trinitarians. The term "Christian" is also used adjectivally to describe anything associated with Christianity, or in a proverbial sense "all that is noble, and good, and Christ-like." It is also used as a label to identify people who associate with the cultural aspects of Christianity, irrespective of personal religious beliefs or
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    2 votes
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    Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church

    Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church

    The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Georgian: საქართველოს სამოციქულო ავტოკეფალური მართლმადიდებელი ეკლესია, sak’art’velos samots’ik’ulo avtokep’aluri mart’lmadidebeli eklesia) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church. It is Georgia's dominant religious institution, and a majority of Georgian people affirm their membership in the Church. It asserts apostolic foundation, and its historical roots can be traced to the conversion of the Kingdom of Iberia to Christianity in the 4th century AD. Christianity, as embodied by the Church, was the state religion of Georgia until 1921, when a constitutional change separated church and state. The Georgian Orthodox Church is in full communion with the other churches of Eastern Orthodoxy. Its autocephaly is recognized by other Orthodox bodies, including the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople since 1990. As in similar autocephalous Orthodox churches, the Church's highest governing body is the Holy Synod of bishops. It is headed by the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. The current Patriarch is Ilia II, who was elected in 1977. The Constitution of Georgia recognizes the special role of the Georgian Orthodox Church in the
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    2 votes
    50
    Islam

    Islam

    • Founding Figures: prophet Muhammed Messenger Of God (SAWS)
    • Is Part Of: Abrahamic religion
    • Places of worship (current): Great Mosque of Taza
    Islam (English  /ˈɪzlɑːm/; Arabic: الإسلام‎ al-ʾislām  IPA: [ʔɪsˈlæːm] ( listen)) is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎ Allāh) and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets. They maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from
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    Wicca

    Wicca

    • Founding Figures: Gerald Gardner
    • Is Part Of: Neopaganism
    Wicca (English pronunciation: /ˈwɪkə/) is a modern new-age religion that draws upon a diverse set of ancient pagan religious motifs for its theological structure and ritual practice. The religion usually incorporates the practice of witchcraft. Developed in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was later popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by Gerald Gardner. Gardner was a retired British civil servant, and an amateur anthropologist and historian who had a broad familiarity with pagan religions, esoteric societies and occultism in general. At the time Gardner called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft", and referred to its adherents as "the Wica". From the 1960s onward, the name of the religion was normalised to "Wicca". Wicca is traditionally and primarily a duotheistic religion centered upon the idea of gender polarity and the worship of a Moon Goddess and a Horned God. (This core theology was originally described by Gerald Gardner, the founder of the religion; and Doreen Valiente, who wrote much of the original liturgical materials.) The Goddess and the God may be regarded as the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. They are complementary opposites,
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    5 votes
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    Agnosticism

    Agnosticism

    Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable. Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that humanity does not currently possess the requisite knowledge and/or reason to provide sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist. Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word agnostic in 1869. However, earlier thinkers and written works have promoted agnostic points of view. They include Protagoras, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher, Sanjaya Belatthaputta, a 5th-century BCE Indian
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    3 votes
    53
    Baptist

    Baptist

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    • Places of worship (current): Baptist Chapel, Great Warford
    Baptists are Christians who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and that it must be done by immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity. Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ widely from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. Historians trace the earliest Baptist church back to 1609 in Amsterdam, with English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor. In accordance with his reading of the New Testament, he rejected baptism of infants and instituted baptism only of believing adults. Baptist practice spread to
    8.00
    3 votes
    54
    Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church

    Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church

    The Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (Portuguese: Igreja Católica Apostólica Brasileira; ICAB) is an independent Catholic church established in 1945 by Brazilian bishop Dom Carlos Duarte Costa, a former Roman Catholic Bishop of Botucatu. The ICAB has 58 dioceses and claims seven million members in 17 countries. Its past head was Patriarch Dom Luis Fernando Castillo Mendez, Worldwide Council of Catholic Apostolic Churches (WCCAC), a loose communion of churches in 14 countries. The present President of the Episcopal Council in Brazil is Dom Josivaldo Perriera. The ICAB accepts the Nicene, Athanasian, and Apostles' creeds and observes seven sacraments (baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, penance, unction, ordination, and matrimony). ICAB practices open communion for all Christians who acknowledge the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The church acknowledges divorce as a reality of life and permitted in Holy Scripture, and will marry divorced persons after the Ecclesiastical Process of Investigation and baptize the children of divorced or single parents. ICAB teaches that birth control is acceptable in certain circumstances (such as for disease prevention). It opposes
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    3 votes
    55
    Tao

    Tao

    Tao or Dao (/taʊ/, /daʊ/; Chinese: 道; pinyin:  Dào (help·info)) is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion (Wade–Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophy (Wade–Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) referred to in English with the single term Taoism. The concept of Tao was later adopted in Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general. Within these contexts Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe. In the foundational text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Laozi explains that Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe. Tao is thus "eternally nameless” (Dao De Jing-32. Laozi) and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations. In Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism, the object of spiritual practice is to 'become one with the tao' (Tao
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    3 votes
    56
    Anabaptist

    Anabaptist

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    Anabaptists (Greek ἀνά "again, twice" + βαπτίζω "baptize," thus "re-baptizers") are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, although some consider Anabaptism to be a distinct movement from Protestantism. The Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites, Old Order Mennonites and Conservative Mennonites are direct descendants of the movement. The name Anabaptist is derived from the Greek term anabaptista, or "one who baptizes over again." This name was given them by their enemies in reference to the practice of "re-baptizing" converts who "already had been baptized" (or sprinkled) as infants. Anabaptists required that baptismal candidates be able to make their own confessions of faith and so rejected baptism of infants. The early members of this movement abhorred the name "Anabaptist", claiming that since infant baptism was unscriptural and null and void, the baptizing of believers was not a "re-baptism" but in fact the first baptism for them. Balthasar Hübmaier wrote: I have never taught Anabaptism. ... But the right baptism of Christ, which is preceded by teaching and oral confession of faith, I teach, and say that infant baptism is a robbery of the right baptism
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    4 votes
    57
    Bulgarian Orthodox Church

    Bulgarian Orthodox Church

    The Bulgarian Orthodox Church - Bulgarian Patriarchate (Bulgarian: Българска православна църква - Българска патриаршия, Balgarska pravoslavna tsarkva - Balgarska patriarshiya) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church with some 6.5 million members in the Republic of Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2.0 million members in a number of European countries, the Americas and Australia. The recognition of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 927 AD makes the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the oldest autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church in the world, which was added to the Pentarchy of the original Patriarchates - those of Rome (i.e., the Roman Catholic Papacy), Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem - and the autocephalous Georgian Orthodox Church. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church considers itself an inseparable member of the one, holy, synodal and apostolic church and is organized as a self-governing body under the name of Patriarchate. It is divided into thirteen dioceses within the boundaries of the Republic of Bulgaria and has jurisdiction over additional two dioceses for Bulgarians in Western and Central Europe, the Americas, Canada and
    6.75
    4 votes
    58
    Maronite Church

    Maronite Church

    The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch (Classical Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܡܪܘܢܝܬܐ ܕܐܢܛܝܘܟܝܐ‎ ʿīṯo suryaiṯo māronaiṯo d'anṭiokia; Arabic: الكنيسة الأنطاكية السريانية المارونية‎ al-Kanīsa al-Intākīyya al-Seryānīyya al-Mārwnīyya; Latin: Ecclesia Maronitarum) is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maroun, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, Saint John Maron, was elected in the late 7th century. Although reduced in numbers today, Maronites remain one of the principal ethno-religious groups in Lebanon. The Maronite Church asserts that since its inception, it has always remained faithful to the Church of Rome and the Pope. Before the conquest by Arabian Muslims reached Lebanon, the Lebanese people, including those who would become Muslim and the majority who would remain Christian, spoke a dialect of Aramaic. Syriac (Christian Aramaic) still remains the liturgical language of the Maronite Church. The members of the Maronite Church are a part of the Syriac people; though they have, over time, developed a distinctive Maronite character, this has not obscured
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    2 votes
    59
    Oriental Orthodoxy

    Oriental Orthodoxy

    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon held in 451 AD in Chalcedon. Hence, these Oriental Orthodox Churches are also called Old Oriental Churches, Miaphysite Churches, or the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, known to Western Christianity and much of Eastern Orthodoxy as Monophysite Churches (although the Oriental Orthodox themselves reject this description as inaccurate, having rejected teachings of both Nestorius and Eutyches). These churches are in full communion with each other but not with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Slow dialogue towards restoring communion is in progress since mid-20th century. Despite the potentially confusing nomenclature (Oriental meaning Eastern), Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from those that are collectively referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Oriental Orthodox communion comprises six churches: Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Eritrean Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox
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    2 votes
    60
    Syriac Catholic Church

    Syriac Catholic Church

    The Syriac Catholic Church (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝܬܐ ʿīṯo suryaiṯo qaṯolīqaiṯo) is a Christian church in the Levant having practices and rites in common with the Syriac Orthodox Church. They are one of the Eastern Catholic Churches following the Antiochene rite, the Syriac tradition of Antioch, along with the Maronites and Syro-Malankara Christians. This is distinct from the Greek Byzantine rite of Antioch of the Melkites, both Orthodox and Catholic. Their head, the Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, lives in Beirut, Lebanon. They have a separate church organization from the Melkites, Maronites, and Chaldean Catholics, which are other communities of the Levant also in full communion with Rome. The Patriarch of Antioch of this church has the title of Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians. and resides in Beirut. The incumbent Patriarch is Ignatius Joseph III Yonan (2009–). The Syriac Catholic Church belongs to the See of Antioch (which, prior to his departure to Rome, Saint Peter had established) and extends it roots back to the origins of Christianity in the Orient. And in the Acts of the Apostles we are told that it is in Antioch where the followers of Jesus
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    2 votes
    61
    Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland

    Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland

    The Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland (ABC,ABCi and ABCI) is a Baptist Christian denomination based in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is a group of 121 autonomous Baptist churches in Ireland working and fellowshipping together in evangelism, training and caring ministries. The Association only acts on behalf of the churches for the work which the churches have agreed to do together. Baptist work was started in Ireland by the middle of the 17th century. By 1653, there were 10 churches (9 in the south and 1 in the north). The Irish Baptist Association was organized in 1862, and was replaced by the Baptist Union of Ireland in 1895. Irish Baptists initially had a close relationship with the English Baptists. But desire for independence caused the Irish Baptists to follow their own path which was evidenced in the stting up of the Union in 1895. Initially there were 15 churches. They supported Charles Spurgeon during the Downgrade Controversy that raged in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. The Union returned to its original name of the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland in 1999 highlighting that they are an association of churches of like mind which
    7.67
    3 votes
    62
    Church of Pakistan

    Church of Pakistan

    The Church of Pakistan is a united church in Pakistan, which is part of the Anglican Communion and a member church of the World Methodist Council. It was established in 1970 with a union of Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), United Methodists, and Lutherans. It is the only United Church in the South Asia which involves the Lutheran Church. Though united, it is mainly Anglican in theology and outlook, since from the beginning Anglicans formed the bulk of the 800,000 strong membership and most of the important sees. The Church has two theological seminaries : the Gujranwala Theological Seminary and the St Thomas' Theological College, Karachi. Despite the presence of this official body, Christians in Pakistan have been the victims of significant persecution because of their religion on a local level in the 20th century. Its most internationally famous clergyman, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, formerly diocesan bishop of Raiwind in West Punjab, was given sanctuary by Robert Runcie, the then-Archbishop of Canterbury when his life was imperilled; he then taught at Oxford and served as Bishop of Rochester, England. The churches in Pakistan show great leadership not only
    7.67
    3 votes
    63
    Evangelical United Brethren Church

    Evangelical United Brethren Church

    The Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) was an American Protestant church which was formed in 1946 by the merger of the Evangelical Church with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (not to be confused with the current Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Old Constitution)). The United Brethren and the Evangelical Association had considered merging since the early nineteenth century because of their common emphasis on holiness and evangelism and German heritage. The Evangelical United Brethren subsequently merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church. The EUB congregations in Canada joined into the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in Canada formed in 1925 by Presbyterians (70% came in), Methodists, and Congregationalists. In the Philippines, the EUB congregations joined the Philippine Methodist Church, Christian Church (Disciples), Presbyterian Church, Congregational Church, Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Cristo, Iglesia Evangelica Nacional and some segments of the Iglesia Evangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF) to formed the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. United Brethren In Christ
    7.67
    3 votes
    64
    Non-denominational Christianity

    Non-denominational Christianity

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    • Places of worship (current): Dove World Outreach Center
    "Non-denominational" institutions or churches are those not formally aligned with an established denomination, or that remain otherwise officially autonomous. This, however, does not preclude an identifiable standard among such congregations. Non-denominational congregations may establish a functional denomination by means of mutual recognition of or accountability to other congregations and leaders with commonly held doctrine, policy and worship without formalizing external direction or oversight in such matters. Some non-denominational churches explicitly reject the idea of a formalized denominational structure as a matter of principle, holding that each congregation is better off being autonomous. Non-denominational is generally used to refer to one of two forms of independence: political or theological. That is, the independence may come about because of a religious disagreement or political disagreement. This causes some confusion in understanding. Some churches say they are non-denominational because they have no central headquarters (though they may have affiliations with other congregations). Other churches say they are non-denominational because their belief structures are
    7.67
    3 votes
    65
    Uniting Church in Australia

    Uniting Church in Australia

    The Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) was formed on 22 June 1977 when many congregations of the Methodist Church of Australasia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia and the Congregational Union of Australia came together under the Basis of Union. The third largest Christian denomination in Australia (the Roman Catholic and the Anglican churches are larger) the Uniting Church has around 243,000 members in 2,500 congregations. According to the Australian Census in 2006 there are 1,135,427 people identifying some sort of association with the Uniting Church. The National Church Life Survey (NCLS) research indicates that approximately 10% of these people attend a church worship gathering frequently. The Uniting Church is governed by a number of non-hierarchical inter-related councils that each have responsibility for various functions or roles within the denomination. The meetings of councils include: The membership of each council is established by the Constitution. Each council includes both women and men, and lay (non-ordained) and ordained people. The offices of President of Assembly, Moderator of Synod (who chair these councils), and other such offices are open to all members of
    7.67
    3 votes
    66
    Church of South India

    Church of South India

    The Church of South India (commonly known as CSI) is the successor of the Church of England in India. It came into being by a union of Anglican and Protestant churches in South India. With a membership of over 5 million, it is India's second largest Christian church after the Catholic Church in India. CSI is one of four united churches in the Anglican Communion. The inspiration for the Church of South India was born from ecumenism and inspired by the words of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of John, 17.21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. That they all may be one is also the motto of the Church of South India. The CSI union happened on 27 September 1947 at St. George's Cathedral Chennai, only a month after India achieved its independence from the United Kingdom. It was formed from the union of the South India United Church (itself a union of churches from the Congregational, Presbyterian and Reformed traditions) and the southern provinces of the Anglican Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon and the Methodist Church of South India. In the 1990s, a
    10.00
    1 votes
    67
    Discordianism

    Discordianism

    • Founding Figures: Malaclypse the Younger
    Discordianism is a religion and parody religion based on the worship of Eris (also known as Discordia), the Greco-Roman goddess of chaos. It was founded circa 1958–1959 after the publication of its (first) holy book the Principia Discordia, written by Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst after a series of shared hallucinations at a bowling alley. The religion has been likened to Zen, based on similarities with absurdist interpretations of the Rinzai school, as well as Taoist philosophy. Discordianism is centered on the idea that both order and disorder are illusions imposed on the universe by the human nervous system, and that neither of these illusions of apparent order and disorder is any more accurate or objectively true than the other. There is some division as to whether it should be regarded as a parody religion, and if so to what degree. Discordians use subversive humor to spread their philosophy and to prevent their beliefs from becoming dogmatic. It is difficult to estimate the number of Discordians because they are not required to hold Discordianism as their only belief system, and because there is an encouragement to form schisms and cabals. The
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    1 votes
    68
    Guimarães

    Guimarães

    Guimarães (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɡimɐˈɾɐ̃jʃ]) is a northern Portuguese city located in the district of Braga, in the Ave Subregion (one of the more industrialized subregions of the country), with a population of 52 181 inhabitants, distributed throughout 20 parishes (freguesias in Portuguese), in an urban area of 23,5 km² with a population density of 2 223,9/km². It is the seat of a municipality with an area of 241,05 km² and 162 636 inhabitants (2008), divided in 69 parishes. The municipality is bordered to the north by the municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso, to the east by Fafe, to the south by Felgueiras, Vizela and Santo Tirso, to the west by Vila Nova de Famalicão and the northwest by Braga. It is an historical city that had an important role in the formation of Portugal and it was settled in the 9th century, at which time it was called Vimaranes. This denomination might have had its origin in the warrior Vímara Peres, when he chose this area as the main government seat for the County of Portugal which he conquered for the Kingdom of Galicia. Guimarães is one of the country's most important historical cities. Its historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it
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    1 votes
    69
    Moravians

    Moravians

    The Moravian Church (Latin: Unitas Fratrum, meaning "Unity of the Brethren") is a Protestant denomination. Its religious heritage began in 1457 in Kunvald, Bohemia, Czech Crown lands. It places a high premium on Christian unity, personal piety, missions, and music. The church's emblem is the Lamb of God (right) with the flag of victory, surrounded by the Latin inscription: Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur, or in English: "Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow Him". The movement that was to become the Moravian Church was started by Jan Hus (English: John Huss) in the late 14th century. Hus objected to some of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church and wanted to return the church in Bohemia and Moravia to what were the practices in these territories when it had been Eastern Orthodox: liturgy in the language of the people (i.e. Czech), having lay people receive communion in both kinds (bread and wine - that is, in Latin, communio sub utraque specie), married priests, and eliminating indulgences and the idea of Purgatory. Evidence of their roots in Eastern Orthodoxy can be seen today in their form of the Nicene Creed, which like Orthodox Churches, does not include the filioque
    10.00
    1 votes
    70
    Roman mythology

    Roman mythology

    Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. The Romans usually treated their traditional narratives as historical, even when these have miraculous or supernatural elements. The stories are often concerned with politics and morality, and how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism is an important theme. When the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual, augury, and institutions than with theology or cosmogony. The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, and by the later artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors. The Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks (see interpretatio graeca), and reinterpret
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    1 votes
    71
    Russian Orthodox Church

    Russian Orthodox Church

    • Places of worship (current): Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod
    The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC; Russian: Русская Православная Церковь, Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov’) headed by the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian: Московский Патриархат, Moskovskiy Patriarkhat), also known as the Orthodox Christian Church of Russia, is a body of Christians who constitute an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow, in communion with other Eastern Orthodox Churches. The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world. Including all the autocephalous churches under its supervision, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide — about half of the 300 million estimated adherents of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Among Christian churches, the Russian Orthodox Church is second only to the Roman Catholic Church in terms of numbers of followers. Within Russia the results of a 2007 VCIOM poll indicated that about 75% of the population considered themselves Orthodox Christians. Up to 65% of ethnic Russians and a similar percentage of Belarusians and Ukrainians identify themselves as "Orthodox". According to figures released on February 2, 2010, the Church has 160 dioceses including 30,142
    10.00
    1 votes
    72
    Scottish Episcopal Church

    Scottish Episcopal Church

    • Is Part Of: Anglicanism
    • Places of worship (current): St. Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow
    The Scottish Episcopal Church (Scottish Gaelic: Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba) is a Christian church in Scotland, consisting of seven dioceses. Since the 17th century, it has held an identity distinct from the (presbyterian) Church of Scotland. A continuation of Scotland's Jacobite-era Church of Scotland, the Episcopal Church of Scotland is now a member of the Anglican Communion, and recognises the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury as president of the Anglican Instruments of Communion, but without jurisdiction in Scotland. The current Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church is the Most Reverend David Chillingworth. The Scottish Episcopal Church was previously called the Episcopal Church in Scotland, reflecting its role as the Scottish province of the Anglican Communion. Although not incorporated until 1712, the Scottish Episcopal Church traces its origins beyond the Reformation and sees itself in continuity with the church established by St. Ninian, St. Columba, St. Kentigern and other Celtic saints. The established Church of Scotland claims the same continuity. The church is sometimes pejoratively referred to in Scotland as the "English Kirk", but this is misleading and can
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    4 votes
    73
    Armenian Apostolic Church

    Armenian Apostolic Church

    • Places of worship (current): Armenian Church, Singapore
    The Armenian Apostolic Church (Armenian: Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Եկեղեցի, Hayastaneayc’ Aṙak’elakan Ekeġec’i) is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church. The Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church traces its origins to the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century and is an early center of Christianity. It is sometimes referred to as the Gregorian Church, but the latter name is not preferred by the Church, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as the founders, and St. Gregory the Illuminator as merely the first official governor of the Church. Various legends tie the origin of the Armenian Church to the Apostles. Apostolic succession is an important concept for many churches, especially those in the east. The legend of the healing of Abgar V of Edessa by the facecloth of Jesus has been appropriated by the Armenian Church in claiming that Abgar was a prince of Armenia. The more common tradition claims that St. Thaddaeus, one of the Twelve Apostles, was sent
    8.50
    2 votes
    74
    Jainism

    Jainism

    • Is Part Of: Dharmic religions
    Jainism ( /ˈdʒeɪnɪzəm/; Sanskrit: जैनधर्म Jainadharma, Tamil: சமணம் Samaṇam, Bengali: জৈনধর্ম Jainadharma, Telugu: జైనమతం Jainamataṁ, Malayalam: ജൈനമതം Jainmat, Kannada: ಜೈನ ಧರ್ಮ Jaina dharma), is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shramana dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nirganthas" (those without attachments or aversions). Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist, although historians date the foundation of the organized or present form of Jainism to sometime between the 9th and the 6th century BCE. Like most ancient Indian religions, Jainism may have its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India. Other scholars suggested the shramana traditions were separate
    8.50
    2 votes
    75
    Shinto

    Shinto

    • Is Part Of: Taoic religion
    • Places of worship (current): Sanko Shrine
    Shinto (神道, Shintō) or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the people of Japan. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified "Shinto religion", but rather to disorganized folklore, history, and mythology. Shinto today is a term that applies to public shrines suited to various purposes such as war memorials, harvest festivals, romance, and historical monuments, as well as various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian Periods. The word Shinto ("Way of the Gods") was adopted from the written Chinese (神道, pinyin: shén dào), combining two kanji: "shin" (神), meaning "spirit" or kami; and "tō" (道), meaning a philosophical path or study (from the Chinese word dào). Kami are defined in English as "spirits",
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    2 votes
    76
    Theistic Satanism

    Theistic Satanism

    • Is Part Of: Satanism
    Theistic Satanism, sometimes referred to as Traditional Satanism, or Spiritual Satanism, is a form of Satanism with the primary belief that Satan is an actual deity or force to revere or worship. Other characteristics of Theistic Satanism may include a belief in magic, which is manipulated through ritual. Unlike LaVeyan Satanism founded by Anton LaVey in the 1960s, Theistic Satanism is theistic as opposed to atheistic, believing that Satan (Hebrew: הַשָׂטָן ha-Satan, ‘the accuser’) is a real being rather than a symbol of individualism. The history of Theistic Satanism, and assessments of its existence and prevalence in history, is obscured by it having been grounds for execution at some times in the past, and due to people having been accused of it who did not consider themselves to worship Satan, such as in the witch trials in Early Modern Europe. Most of Theistic Satanism exists in relatively new models and ideologies, and many claiming to not be involved with Christianity at all. The worship of Satan was a frequent charge against those charged in the witch trials in Early Modern Europe and other witch-hunts such as the Salem witch trials. Worship of Satan was claimed to take
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    2 votes
    77
    Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

    Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

    The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (Ukrainian: Українська автокефальна православна церква, Ukrayinska avtokefalna pravoslavna tserkva, UAPC) is one of the three major Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. It was reestablished for the third time in 1990, right before the fall of the Soviet Union. The UAPC in its contemporary form, has its origins in the Sobor of 1921 in Kiev, shortly after Ukraine's newly found independence. Close to ten percent of the Christian population claim to be members of the UAPC. The other Churches are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev Patriarchate (UPC-KP) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UPC (MP)). With the creation of a new nation, many Ukrainians felt the need for an indigenous autocephalous Orthodox Church free of Russian influence. Although there have been three different "resurrections" of the UAOC in Ukraine, each following a period of political, cultural and religious persecution, all UAOC bishops in the last two have had a direct line of succession to the first one. The Kievan Metropolia was a product of the baptism of the Kievan Rus in the time of Grand Prince Volodymyr the Great (988 CE). Missionaries were sent from
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    2 votes
    78
    Vajrayana

    Vajrayana

    • Is Part Of: Buddhism
    Vajrayana (Devanagari: वज्रयान; Oriya: ବଜ୍ରଯାନ, Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་ཐེག་པ་, rdo rje theg pa; Mongolian: Очирт хөлгөн, Ochirt Hölgön, Chinese: 密宗, mì zōng) is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle. Vajrayana is a complex and multifaceted system of Buddhist thought and practice which evolved over several centuries. According to Vajrayana scriptures Vajrayana refers to one of three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Theravada and Mahayana. Its main scriptures are called Tantras. A distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is its use of rituals known as are Upaya (or Skillful Means), used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations. Although the first tantric Buddhist texts appeared in India in the 3rd century and continued to appear until the 12th century, scholars such as Hirakawa Akira believe that the Vajrayana probably came into existence in the 6th or 7th century, while the term Vajrayana first came into evidence in the 8th century. Prior to the Vajrayana developed the Mantrayana, and after the Vajrayana the Sahajayana and Kalachakrayana developed. The period
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    Buddhism

    Buddhism

    • Founding Figures: Gautama Buddha
    • Is Part Of: Dharmic religions
    • Places of worship (current): Sinheungsa
    Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha (meaning "the awakened one" in Sanskrit and Pāli). The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end suffering (dukkha) through eliminating ignorance (avidyā) by way of understanding and seeing dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and eliminating craving (taṇhā), and thus attain the highest happiness, nirvāņa (nirvana). Two major branches of Buddhism are recognized: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"). Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana is found throughout East Asia and includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon, Tiantai (Tendai) and Shinnyo-en. In some classifications, Vajrayana—practiced mainly in Tibet and Mongolia, and adjacent parts of
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    Church of Christ

    Church of Christ

    Churches of Christ are autonomous Christian congregations associated with one another through common beliefs and practices. They seek to base doctrine and practice on the Bible alone, and seek to be New Testament congregations as originally established by the authority of Christ. Historically, Churches of Christ in the United States were recognized as a distinct movement by the U.S. Religious Census of 1906. Prior to that they had been reported in the religious census as part of the movement that had its roots in the several independent movements that occurred through the leadership of people such as Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, and Barton W. Stone, all of whom were first associated with the Presbyterian Church, based in Scots immigrant society. They were active in American frontier settlements and cities. Those leaders had declared their independence from the denominations, seeking a fresh start to restore the New Testament church, and abandoning creeds. The names "Church of Christ," "Christian Church" and "Disciples of Christ" were adopted by the movement because leaders believed these terms to be biblical. Branches developed within the church between those who
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    Glasite

    Glasite

    • Founding Figures: Robert Sandeman
    The Glasites or Glassites were a Christian sect founded in about 1730 in Scotland by John Glas. Glas' faith, as part of the First Great Awakening, was spread by his son-in-law Robert Sandeman into England and America, where the members were called Sandemanians. Glas dissented from the Westminster Confession only in his views as to the spiritual nature of the church and the functions of the civil magistrate. But Sandeman added a distinctive doctrine as to the nature of faith which is thus stated on his tombstone: In a series of letters to James Hervey, the author of Theron and Aspasio, Sandeman maintained that justifying faith is a simple assent to the divine testimony concerning Jesus, differing in no way in its character from belief in any ordinary testimony. In their practice the Glasite churches aimed at a strict conformity with the primitive type of Christianity as understood by them. Each congregation had a plurality of elders, pastors, or bishops, who were chosen according to what were believed to be the instructions of Paul, without regard to previous education or present occupation, and who enjoy a perfect equality in office. To have been married a second time disqualified
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    Methodism

    Methodism

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    • Places of worship (current): First Methodist Church of Batavia
    Methodism (from Greek: μέθοδος - methodos, "pursuit of knowledge") is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother Charles was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church. George Whitefield, another significant leader in the movement, was known for his unorthodox ministry of itinerant open-air preaching. The Methodist Church is known for its missionary work, and its establishment of hospitals, universities, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Jesus' command to spread the Good News and serve all people. Wesley, along with his brother, founded the Holy Club while they were at Oxford, where John was a fellow and later a lecturer at Lincoln College. The holy club met weekly and they systematically set about living a holy life. They were branded as "Methodist" by students at Oxford who derided the methodical way they ordered their lives. Wesley took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honour.
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    Protestant Reformation

    Protestant Reformation

    The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century schism within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. It was sparked by the 1517 posting of Luther's Ninety-Five Theses. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to ("protested") the doctrines, rituals, and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led to the creation of new national Protestant churches. The Reformation was precipitated by earlier events within Europe, such as the Black Death and the Western Schism, which eroded people's faith in the Catholic Church and the Papacy that governed it. This, as well as many other factors, such as the mid 15th-century invention of the printing press, and the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire, contributed to the creation of Protestantism. The Roman Catholic Church responded with a Counter-Reformation initiated by the Council of Trent—the most important ecumenical council since Nicaea II 800 years earlier (at the time, there had not been an ecumenical council since Lateran IV over 300 years earlier, a length only to be matched by the interval between Trent and Vatican I )—and spearheaded by the Society of Jesus.
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    Pure Land Buddhism

    Pure Land Buddhism

    • Is Part Of: Mahayana
    Pure Land Buddhism (simplified Chinese: 净土宗; traditional Chinese: 淨土宗; pinyin: Jìngtǔzōng; Japanese: 浄土仏教, Jōdo bukkyō; Korean: 정토종, jeongtojong; Vietnamese: Tịnh Độ Tông), also referred to as Amidism in English, is a broad branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism and currently one of the most popular traditions of Buddhism in East Asia. Pure Land is a branch of Buddhism focused on Amitābha Buddha. The term is used to describe both the Pure Land soteriology of Mahāyāna Buddhism, which may be better understood as Pure Land traditions, and the separate Pure Land sects that developed in Japan; in other countries and times, it formed part of the basis of Mahāyāna Buddhist traditions. Pure Land oriented practices and concepts are found within basic Mahāyāna Buddhist cosmology, and form an important component of the Mahāyāna Buddhist traditions in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Tibet. In Japan, however, Pure Land Buddhism also became an independent school in its own right as can be seen in the Jōdo-shū and Jōdo Shinshū schools. The Pure Land teachings were first developed in India, and were very popular in Kashmir and Central Asia, where they may have originated. Pure Land sutras were
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    Reformed churches

    Reformed churches

    • Is Part Of: Calvinism
    The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines, among others. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin. In the 16th century, the movement spread to most of Europe, aligning with national governments in most cases, though several of these national or specific language-based churches later expanded to worldwide denominations. There are now many different reformed churches: a 1999 survey found 746 Reformed denominations worldwide. The first Reformed churches were established in Europe after 1519 and were part of the Protestant Reformation. Reformed doctrine is expressed in various confessions. A few confessions are shared by many denominations. Different denominations use different confessions, usually based on historical reasons. The following is a chronological list of confession and theological doctrines of the Reformed churches: In contrast to the episcopal polity of the Anglican and many Lutheran and Methodist churches, Reformed churches have two main forms of governance: The Reformed Church in
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    The Fourth Way

    The Fourth Way

    • Founding Figures: G. I. Gurdjieff
    The Fourth Way refers to a concept used by G.I. Gurdjieff to describe an approach to self-development learned over years of travel in the East that combined what he saw as three established traditional "ways," or "schools" into a fourth way. These three ways were of the body, mind and emotions. The term "The Fourth Way" was further developed by P.D. Ouspensky in his lectures and writings. Posthumously, Ouspensky's students published a book entitled Fourth Way, based on his lectures. The "Fourth Way" is sometimes referred to as "The Work," "Work on oneself," or "The System." According to this system, the chief difference between the three traditional schools, or ways, and the fourth way is that "they are permanent forms which have survived throughout history mostly unchanged, and are based on religion. Where schools of yogis, monks or fakirs exist, they are barely distinguishable from religious schools. The fourth way differs in that it is not a permanent way. It has no specific forms or institutions and comes and goes controlled by some particular laws of its own." It always has some work of a specific import, and The Fourth Way mainly addresses the question of people's place in
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    Hare Krishna

    Hare Krishna

    The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra ("Great Mantra"), is a sixteen-word Vaishnava mantra which first appeared in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad, and which from the 15th century rose to importance in the Bhakti movement following the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, one's original consciousness and goal of life is pure love of God (Krishna). Since the 1960s, the mantra has been made well known outside of India by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as "the Hare Krishnas"). Gaudiya Vaisnava view: The Hare Krishna mantra is composed of Sanskrit names in the vocative case: Hare, Krishna, and Rama (in Anglicized spelling, the transliteration of the three vocatives is hare, kṛṣṇa and rāma, pronounced [ˈhɐreː, ˈkr̩ʂɳɐ, ˈraːmɐ]). It is an anustubh poetry stanza: "Hare" can be interpreted as either the vocative of Hari, another name of Vishnu meaning "he who removes illusion", or as the vocative of Harā, a name of Rādhā, Krishna's eternal consort or Shakti. According to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Harā refers to "the energy of
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    Objectivism

    Objectivism

    Objectivism is a philosophy created by Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982). Objectivism's central tenets are that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness (or rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans' metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally. Rand characterized Objectivism as "a philosophy for living on earth", grounded in reality, and aimed at defining human nature and the nature of the world in which we live. The name "Objectivism" derives from the idea that human knowledge and values are objective: they exist and are determined by the nature of reality, to be discovered by one's mind,
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    Strong agnosticism

    Strong agnosticism

    • Is Part Of: Agnosticism
    Strong agnosticism or positive agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any deities exist. It is a narrower view than weak agnosticism, which states that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is unknown but not necessarily unknowable. Strong agnosticism is usually justified on the epistemological grounds that humans can only experience the natural world and thus cannot know about anything which may exist outside it, including deities. One criticism is that this justification is only valid if deities are viewed as exclusively supernatural beings. The agnostic reply is, as the natural world can be explained by science, the defining feature of any deity must be supernatural. Since strong agnosticism concerns knowledge and not necessarily belief (depending on how "belief" and "knowledge" are defined), it may be reconciled with theism (as in fideism) or weak atheism (as in agnostic atheism). However, it cannot be reconciled with strong atheism, as strong atheism makes a positive assertion that God does not exist, without the possibility that God may exist and just be unknowable. The viewpoint has also been described in a semi-humorous
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    Bhakti

    Bhakti

    Bhakti (also spelled Bhakthi, Sanskrit: भक्ति) in Hinduism and Buddhism is religious devotion in the form of active involvement of a devotee in worship of the divine. Within monotheistic Hinduism, it is the love felt by the worshipper towards the personal God, a concept expressed in Hindu theology as Iṣṭa-devatā (also as Svayam Bhagavan in Gaudiya Vaishnavism). Bhakthi can be used of either tradition of Hindu monotheism, Shaivaism or Vaishnavism. While bhakti as designating a religious path is already a central concept in the Bhagavad Gita, it rises to importance in the medieval history of Hinduism, where the Bhakti movement saw a rapid growth of bhakti beginning in Southern India with the Vaisnava Alvars (6th-9th century CE) and Saiva Nayanars (5th-10th century CE), who spread bhakti poetry and devotion throughout India by the 12th-18th century CE. The Bhagavata Purana is text associated with the Bhakti movement which elaborates the concept of bhakti as found in the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhakti movement reached North India in the Delhi Sultanate and throughout the Mughal era contributed significantly to the characteristics of Hinduism as the religion of the general population under
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    91
    Catholicism

    Catholicism

    • Founding Figures: Paul of Tarsus
    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    • Places of worship (current): St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney
    Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole. For many the term usually refers to Christians and churches, western and eastern, in full communion with the Holy See, known alternatively as the Catholic Church or as the Roman Catholic Church. However, many others use the term to refer to other churches with historical continuity from the first millennium. In the sense of indicating historical continuity of faith and practice, the term "catholicism" is at times employed to mark a contrast to Protestantism, which tends to look solely to the Bible as interpreted on the principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation as its ultimate standard. It was thus used by the Oxford Movement. According to Richard McBrien, Catholicism is distinguished from other forms of Christianity in its particular understanding and commitment to tradition, the sacraments, the mediation between God, communion, and the See of Rome. According to Orthodox leaders like Bishop Kallistos Ware, the Orthodox Church has these things as well, though the primacy
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    Church of Sweden

    Church of Sweden

    • Founding Figures: Gustav I of Sweden
    • Is Part Of: Lutheranism
    The Church of Sweden (Swedish: Svenska kyrkan) is the largest Christian church in Sweden. The church professes the Lutheran faith and is a member of the Porvoo Communion. With 6,589,769 baptized members, it is the largest Lutheran church in the world, although combined, there are more Lutherans in the member churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (10 million). Until 2000 it held the position of state church. Approximately 2% of the church's members regularly attend Sunday services. The Church of Sweden, by law, is organized in the following manner: The Primate of the Church of Sweden is the Archbishop of Uppsala, currently Anders Wejryd. King Gustav I Vasa instigated the Church of Sweden in 1526 during his reign as King of Sweden. This act separated the church from the Roman Catholic Church and its canon law. In 1572, the Swedish Church Ordinance became the first Swedish church order following the Reformation. The Church of Sweden became Lutheran at the Uppsala Synod in 1593 when it adopted the Augsburg Confession to which most Lutherans adhere. At this synod, it was decided that the church would retain the three original Christian creeds: the Apostles', the Athanasian, and
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    Eastern Christianity

    Eastern Christianity

    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Horn of Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to describe all Christian traditions that did not develop in Western Europe. As such the term does not describe any single communion or common religious tradition and in fact some "Eastern" churches have more in common historically and theologically with "Western" Christianity than with one another. The terms "Eastern" and "Western" in this regard originated with divisions in the church mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latinate west and the political divide between the weak Western and strong Eastern Roman empires. Because the most powerful church in the East was what has become known as the Eastern Orthodox church, the term "Orthodox" is often used in a similarly loose fashion as "Eastern", although strictly speaking most churches consider themselves part of an Orthodox and Catholic communion. Eastern Christians do not have shared religious traditions but many of
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    Huguenot

    Huguenot

    The Huguenots (/ˈhjuːɡənɒt/ or /huːɡəˈnoʊ/; French: [yɡˈno], [yɡəˈno]) were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. French Protestants were inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s, and they were called Huguenots by the 1560s. By the end of the 17th century, roughly 200,000 Huguenots had fled France during a series of religious persecutions. They relocated to Protestant nations, such as England, Denmark, Switzerland, the Dutch Republic, the Electorate of Brandenburg, Electorate of the Palatinate (both in the Holy Roman Empire), and the Duchy of Prussia, and also to the Dutch Cape Colony in present-day South Africa and the English 13 colonies of North America. A term used originally in derision, Huguenot has indefinite origins. Various theories have been promoted. The nickname may have been a combined reference to the Swiss politician Besançon Hugues (died 1532) and the religiously conflicted nature of Swiss republicanism in his time, using a clever derogatory pun on the name Hugues by way of the Flemish word Huisgenoten (literally housemates), referring to the connotations of a somewhat related word in German Eidgenosse
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    Orthodox Church in America

    Orthodox Church in America

    The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church in North America. The OCA consists of more than 700 parishes, missions, communities, monasteries and institutions in the United States and Canada. In 2011, it had 84,900 members in the United States. The OCA began when eight Russian Orthodox monks established a mission in Alaska, then part of Russian America, in 1794. This became a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church after the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. By the late 19th century, the Russian Orthodox Church had grown in other areas of the United States due to the arrival of immigrants from areas of Europe and the Middle East. Many of these immigrants, regardless of nationality or ethnic background, were united under a single North American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow directed all Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia to govern themselves autonomously. Orthodox churches in America became a self-governing Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America in 1924 under the leadership of Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky). The Russian Orthodox Greek
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    Satanism

    Satanism

    • Founding Figures: Anton LaVey
    Satanism is a group of religions with diverse ideological and philosophical beliefs. Their shared features include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, or veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and in their view liberating, figures. Particularly after the European Enlightenment, some works, such as Paradise Lost, were taken up by Romantics and described as presenting the biblical Satan as an allegory representing a crisis of faith, individualism, free will, wisdom and enlightenment. Those works actually featuring Satan as a heroic character are fewer in number, but do exist; George Bernard Shaw, and Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth) included such characterizations in their works long before religious Satanists took up the pen. From then on, Satan and Satanism started to gain a new meaning outside of Christianity. Although the public practice of Satanism began in 1966 with the founding of the Church of Satan, some historical precedents exist: a group called the Ophite Cultus Satanas was founded in Ohio by Herbert Arthur Sloane in 1948. Inspired by Gnosticism and Gerald Gardner's Wicca, the coven venerated Satan as both a horned god and ophite
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    Anglican Mission in America

    Anglican Mission in America

    The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) or The Anglican Mission (AM), formerly Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), is a Christian missionary organization active in the United States and Canada which emphasizes church planting. It was established as a missionary outreach of the Anglican Church of the Province of Rwanda in 2000. It was affiliated to the Anglican Church in North America, since their inception on June 2009, initially as a full member, later changing his status to ministry partner, which was until December 2011. In 2012, the AMiA became a "Society of Mission and Apostolic Works". The AMiA is currently seeking for oversight from another Anglican Communion provice, after temporary affiliation with the Anglican Church of the Congo. The Anglican Mission is divided into three organizations: the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), the Anglican Coalition in Canada (ACiC) and the Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA). Its Mission Center is located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The AM is led by Bishop Chuck Murphy. The AM was formed in response to the perceived theological liberalism of the Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada
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    Bahá'í Faith

    Bahá'í Faith

    • Founding Figures: Bahá'u'lláh
    • Is Part Of: Monotheism
    • Places of worship (current): New Dheli Bahá'í Temple
    The Bahá'í Faith ( /bəˈhaɪ/) is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories. In the Bahá'í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others. For Baha'is, the most recent messengers are the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. In Bahá'í belief, each consecutive messenger prophesied of messengers to follow, and Bahá'u'lláh's life and teachings fulfilled the end-time promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale. The word "Bahá'í" is used either as an adjective to refer to the Bahá'í Faith or as a term for a follower of Bahá'u'lláh. The word is not a noun meaning the religion as a whole. It is derived from the Arabic Bahá, meaning
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    Fire

    Fire

    Fire has been an important part of all cultures and religions from pre-history to modern day and was vital to the development of civilization. It has been regarded in many different contexts throughout history, but especially as a metaphysical constant of the world. Fire is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was commonly associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness, and passion. In one Greek myth, Prometheus stole fire from the gods to protect the otherwise helpless humans, but was punished for this charity. Fire was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom sought to reduce the cosmos, or its creation, by a single substance. Heraclitus (c. 535 BCE – c. 475 BCE) considered fire to be the most fundamental of all elements. He believed fire gave rise to the other three elements: "All things are an interchange for fire, and fire for all things, just like goods for gold and gold for goods." He had a reputation for obscure philosophical principles and for speaking in riddles. He described how fire gave rise to the other elements as the: "upward-downward path", (ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω), a "hidden harmony"  or series of
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    Agnostic atheism

    Agnostic atheism

    • Is Part Of: Agnosticism
    Agnostic atheism, also called atheistic agnosticism, is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact. The agnostic atheist may be contrasted with the agnostic theist, who does believe that one or more deities exist but claims that the existence or nonexistence of such is unknown or cannot be known. Bertrand Russell uses the example of the celestial teapot. He argues that although it is impossible to know that the teapot does not exist, most people would not believe in it. Therefore, one's view with respect to the teapot would be an agnostic "ateapotist", because while they don't believe in the existence of the teapot, they don't claim to know for certain. One of the earliest definitions of agnostic atheism is that of Robert Flint, in his Croall Lecture of 1887–1888 (published in 1903 under the title Agnosticism). The atheist may however be, and not unfrequently is, an agnostic. There is an agnostic atheism or atheistic agnosticism, and
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    Calvinism

    Calvinism

    • Founding Figures: Heinrich Bullinger
    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    Calvinism (also called Reformed tradition, or the Reformed faith, and sometimes Reformed theology) is a type of Protestant theological system and an alternative approach to the Christian life. This Reformed tradition was developed by several theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli. This branch of Christianity bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin (also known as Jean Cauvin in Middle French), because of his noticeable influence and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates that happened throughout the 16th century. Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices from the Reformed churches, where Calvin was an early leader. Although not often, it may refer to the individual, biblical teachings that Calvin made himself. The system is often summarized in the Five Points of Calvinism and is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity, stressing the total contingency of man's salvation upon the absolute sovereignty of God. John Calvin's international influence on the eventual development of the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation began in 1534 when Calvin
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    Carmelites

    Carmelites

    The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites (sometimes simply Carmel by synecdoche; Latin: Ordo Fratrum Beatissimæ Virginis Mariæ de Monte Carmelo) is a Roman Catholic religious order founded, probably in the 12th century, on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain. Saint Bertold has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived and this is likely to be a later extrapolation by hagiographers. There is a very small body of Anglican Carmelites. The charism, or spiritual focus, of the Carmelite Order is contemplative prayer. The Order is considered by the Church to be under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and thus has a strong Marian devotion. As in most of the orders dating to medieval times, the First Order is the friars (who are active/contemplative), the Second Order is the nuns (who are cloistered) and the Third Order consists of laypeople who continue to live in the world, and can be married, but participate in the charism of the order by liturgical prayers, apostolates, and contemplative prayer. There are
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    Catharism

    Catharism

    Catharism (/ˈkæθərɪzəm/; from Greek: καθαρός, katharos, pure) was a name given to a Christian religious movement with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. The movement was extinguished in the early decades of the thirteenth century by the Albigensian Crusade, when the Cathars were persecuted and massacred and the Inquisition was set up to finish the job. Catharism had its roots in the Paulician movement in Armenia and the Bogomils of Bulgaria which took influences from the Paulicians. Though the term "Cathar" has been used for centuries to identify the movement, whether the movement identified itself with this name is debatable. In Cathar texts, the terms "Good Men" (Bons Hommes) or "Good Christians" are the common terms of self-identification. The Cathars' beliefs are thought to have come originally from Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire by way of trade routes. The name of Bulgarians (Bougres) was also applied to the Albigenses, and they maintained an association with the similar Christian movement of the Bogomils ("Friends of God") of
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    Maliki

    Maliki

    • Is Part Of: Sunni Islam
    The Mālikī (Arabic: مالكي‎) madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is one of the four schools, followed by approximately 35% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, in parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman and many middle eastern countries. In the past, it was also followed in parts of Europe under Islamic rule, particularly Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily. The Mālikī school derives from the work of Mālik ibn Anas, primarily the Muwaṭṭah and the Mudawwanah. The Muwaṭṭah is a collection of hadiths which are regarded as sound and find their place in al-Bukhārī with some commentary from Mālik regarding the ‘amal "practices" of the people of Medina and where the ‘amal is in compliance with or in variance with the hadiths reported. This is because Mālik (and what would later be the school after his name) regarded the ‘amal of Medina (the first three generations) to be a superior proof of the "living" sunnah than isolated, although sound, hadiths. The second main source, al-Mudawwanah al-Kubrā, is the collaborator work of Mālik's longtime student, Ibn Qāsim and his mujtahid student, Saḥnūn. The Mudawwanah
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    Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

    Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

    The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) is the main Presbyterian church in New Zealand. The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand was formed in October 1901 with the amalgamation of churches in Synod of Otago and Southland with those north of the Waitaki River. Presbyterians had by and large come to New Zealand as settlers from Scotland, Ireland and Australia. Dunedin and Waipu were Presbyterian settlements, but significant numbers were found in other parts of the country including Christchurch, Port Nicholson (Wellington), and Auckland. Ministers came with the first European settlers to Wellington, Otago and Waipu, but generally nascent congregations called ministers from Scotland. Missions to the Māori people focused on the Tuhoe people and led to the establishment of Māori Synod, now known as Te Aka Puaho. Ethnic diversity grew after World War II with the arrival of Dutch and European settlers and more recent Pacific Island and Asian migrants. In 1969 the majority of Congregational churches joined the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. The word "Aotearoa" was added to the title of the denomination in 1990, affirming the treaty partnership between the indigenous
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    Belarusian Greek Catholic Church

    Belarusian Greek Catholic Church

    The Belarusian Greek Catholic Church (Belarusian: Беларуская грэка-каталіцкая царква, BHKC), sometimes called, in reference to its Byzantine Rite, the Belarusian Byzantine Catholic Church, is the heir within Belarus of the Union of Brest. It is listed in the Annuario Pontificio as a sui iuris Church, an Eastern rite particular Church in full union with the Catholic Church. The Christians who, through the Union of Brest (1595–96), entered full communion with the See of Rome while keeping their Byzantine liturgy in the Church Slavonic language, were at first mainly Belarusian (Litvin). Even after further Ukrainians joined the Union around 1700, Belarusians still formed about half of the group. According to the historian Anatol Taras, by 1795, around 80% of Christians in Belarus were Greek Catholics, with 14% being Roman Catholics and 8% being Orthodox. The partition of Poland and the incorporation of the whole of Belarus into Russia led, according to the Russian Orthodox Church, many Belarusians (1,553 priests, 2,603 parishes and 1,483,111 people) to unite, by March 1795, with the Russian Orthodox Church. Another source seems to contradict this, since it gives the number of parishes
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    Church of Ireland

    Church of Ireland

    • Is Part Of: Anglican Communion
    The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church is organised on an all-Ireland basis and is the second largest religious denomination on the island after the Roman Catholic Church. Like other Anglican churches, it has retained elements of pre-Reformation practice, notably its Episcopal polity, while rejecting papal authority. Nevertheless, in theological and liturgical matters, it incorporates many reforms of the Reformation, in particular the English Reformation. In accommodating both influences, the church formally identifies as both Catholic and Reformed. Within the church, divisions exist between those members whose subculture is more Catholic-leaning and those members whose subculture is more Protestant-leaning. For particular historical and cultural reasons, the Church of Ireland is generally identified as a Protestant church. The Church of Ireland is the second largest and fastest growing Christian community in Ireland. When the church in England broke communion with the Roman Catholic Church, all but two of the bishops of the Church in Ireland followed the Church of England, although almost no other clergy or laity did so. The church
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    Conservative Judaism

    Conservative Judaism

    • Founding Figures: Solomon Schechter
    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    • Places of worship (current): Bridgetown Synagogue
    Conservative Judaism (also known as Masorti Judaism outside of the United States and Canada) is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s. Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism, developed in 1850s Germany as a reaction to the more liberal religious positions taken by Reform Judaism. The term conservative was meant to signify that Jews should attempt to conserve Jewish tradition, rather than reform or abandon it, and does not imply the movement's adherents are politically conservative. Because of this potential for confusion, a number of Conservative Rabbis have proposed renaming the movement, and outside of the United States and Canada, in many countries including Israel and the UK, it is today known as Masorti Judaism (Hebrew for "Traditional"). In the United States and Canada, the term Conservative, as applied, does not always indicate that a congregation is affliliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the movement's central institution and the one to which the term, without
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    Dharma character school

    Dharma character school

    • Founding Figures: Xuanzang
    • Is Part Of: Buddhism
    East Asian Yogācāra refers to the traditions in East Asia which represent the Indian Yogācāra system of thought. It is a school of Buddhism originating in China. In China, it is known as Wéishí-zōng (唯識宗, "Consciousness Only" school), or Fǎxiàng-zōng (法相宗, "Dharma Characteristics" school). In Japan, it is known as Hossō-shū (法相宗) or Yuishiki-shū (唯識宗). The term Fǎxiàng itself was first applied to this tradition by the Huayan teacher Fazang (Ch. 法藏), who used it to characterize Consciousness Only teachings as provisional, dealing with the phenomenal appearances of the dharmas, in contrast to Huayan, which deals with the underlying nature on which such phenomenal appearances were based. However, Chinese proponents preferred the title Wéishí (Ch. 唯識), meaning "Consciousness Only" (Skt. Vijñaptimātra). This school may also be called Wéishí Yújiāxíng Pài (唯識瑜伽行派 "Consciousness Only Yogācāra School") or Yǒu Zōng (有宗 "School of Existence"). Venerable Yin Shun also introduced a threefold classification for Buddhist teachings which designates this school as Xūwàng Wéishí Xì (虛妄唯識系 "False Imagination Mere Consciousness System"). Like the parent Yogacara school, the Faxiang school teaches
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    Eastern Orthodox Church

    Eastern Orthodox Church

    • Places of worship (current): San Teodoro
    The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian church in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents, primarily in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. It is the religious denomination of the majority of the populations of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Cyprus. It teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ and his Apostles almost 2,000 years ago. The Orthodox Church is composed of several self-governing ecclesial bodies, each geographically and nationally distinct but theologically unified. Each self-governing (or autocephalous) body, often but not always encompassing a nation, is shepherded by a Holy Synod whose duty, among other things, is to preserve and teach the apostolic and patristic traditions and related church practices. Like the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Assyrian Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy and some other churches, Orthodox bishops trace their lineage back to the apostles through the process of apostolic
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    Greek Orthodox Church

    Greek Orthodox Church

    • Places of worship (current): Saint Sophia
    The Greek Orthodox Church (Monotonic Greek: Ελληνορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, Polytonic: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἑκκλησία, IPA: [elinorˈθoðoksi ekliˈsia]) is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament. The church's current territory more or less covers areas in the Eastern Mediterranean that used to be a part of the Byzantine Empire. The Church's origins lie in the Ancient Christian church, and maintains many traditions practiced in the Ancient Church. Among these traditions are the use of incense, Liturgical Worship, Priesthood, making the sign of the cross, etc. The Church, unlike the Catholic church, has no Bishopric head, such as a Pope, and holds the belief that Christ is the head of the Church. The Church is governed by a committee of Bishops, however, and one central Bishop, called the Patriarch, who is first among equals. The Church has never suffered a major schism since its beginning before the appearance of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church is notable in its veneration of the Virgin Mary and the
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    Norse paganism

    Norse paganism

    Norse religion refers to the religious traditions of the Norsemen prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, specifically during the Viking Age. Norse religion is a subset of Germanic paganism , which was practiced in the lands inhabited by the Germanic tribes across most of Northern and Central Europe. Knowledge of Norse religion is mostly drawn from the results of archaeological field work, etymology and early written materials. Norse religion was a cultural phenomenon, and — like most pre-literate folk beliefs — the practitioners probably did not have a name for their religion until they came into contact with outsiders or competitors. Therefore, the only titles bestowed upon Norse religion are the ones which were used to describe the religion in a competitive manner, usually in a very antagonistic context. Some of these terms were hedendom (Scandinavian), Heidentum (German), Heathenry (English) or Pagan (Latin). A more romanticized name for Norse religion is the medieval Icelandic term Forn Siðr or "Old Custom". What is known about Norse paganism has been gathered from archaeological discoveries and from literature produced after the Christianization of Scandinavia. The
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    Philippine Independent Church

    Philippine Independent Church

    The Philippine Independent Church (officially Spanish: Iglesia Filipina Independiente, IFI, Ilocano: Siwawayawaya nga Simbaan ti Filipinas, Tagalog: Malayang Simbahan ng Pilipinas, Kinaray-a: Simbahan Hilway nga Pilipinhon; also known as the Philippine Independent Catholic Church) is a Christian denomination of the Catholic tradition in the form of a national church in the Philippines. Its separation from the Roman Catholic Church was proclaimed by members of the first labour unions federation in the country, the Union Obrera Democratica Filipina in 1902. Isabelo de los Reyes was one of the initiators of the separation, and suggested that Gregorio Aglipay be the head of the church. It is also known as the Aglipayan Church after its first Supreme Bishop, Gregorio Aglipay. The Catholic Church acted severely against promoters of the national church, with the Pope instructing the Archbishop of Manila to excommunicate those who initiated the schism. Since 1960 the church has been in full communion with the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (and through it with the entire Anglican Communion), and since 1965 with the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht. The current Obispo Máximo
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    Presbyterianism

    Presbyterianism

    • Is Part Of: Calvinism
    • Places of worship (current): Ebenezer Church
    Presbyterianism is a branch of Protestant Christianity that adheres to the Calvinist theological tradition and whose congregations are organized according to a Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ. Presbyterianism originated primarily in Scotland. Scotland ensured Presbyterian "church government" in the Acts of Union in 1708 which created the kingdom of Great Britain. In fact, most Presbyterians found in England can trace a Scottish connection, and the Presbyterian denomination was also taken to North America mostly by Scots and Scots-Irish immigrants. The Presbyterian denominations in Scotland hold to the theology of Calvin and his immediate successors, although there is a range of theological views within contemporary Presbyterianism. Modern Presbyterianism traces its institutional roots back to the Scottish Reformation. Local congregations are governed by Sessions made up of representatives of the congregation, a conciliar approach which is found at other levels of decision-making (Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly). Theoretically, there
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    Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptists, also known as Hard Shell Baptists, Anti-Mission Baptists, or Old School Baptists are conservative, Calvinist Baptists adhering to beliefs that formed out of the controversy among Baptists in the early 1800s over the appropriateness of mission boards, Bible tract societies, and temperance societies. The adjective "Primitive" in the name has the sense of "original." This controversy over whether churches or members should participate in mission boards, bible tract societies, and temperance societies led the Primitive Baptists to separate from other general Baptist groups that supported such organizations, and to make declarations of opposition to such organizations in articles like the Kehukee Association Declaration of 1827. Primitive Baptist churches arose in the mountainous regions of the southeastern United States, where they are found in their greatest numbers. African-American Primitive Baptist groups have been considered a unique category of Primitive Baptist with approximately 50,000 African Americans affiliated with African-American Primitive Baptist churches as of 2005. Approximately 64,000 people were affiliated (as of 1995) with Primitive Baptist
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    Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

    Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

    • Places of worship (current): St. Nicholas Cathedral
    The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Russian: Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей, Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov' Zagranitsey), also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, or ROCOR, is a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. ROCOR was formed as a jurisdiction of Eastern Orthodoxy as a response against the policy of Bolsheviks with respect to religion in the Soviet Union soon after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and separated from the Russian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1927 after an imprisoned metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) pledged the Church’s qualified loyalty to the Bolshevik state. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officially signed the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate on May 17, 2007 restoring the canonical link between the churches. Critics of the reunification argue that the issue of KGB infiltration of the Moscow Patriarchate church hierarchy has not been addressed by the Russian Orthodox Church. The Church has around 400 parishes worldwide, and an estimated membership of over 15,000 people. Of those, 138 parishes and 10 monasteries are in the United States, with 27,700 adherents and
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    Christadelphians

    Christadelphians

    The Christadelphians (a word created from the Greek for "Brethren in Christ"; cf. Colossians 1:2 — "brethren in Christ") are a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century. The name was coined by John Thomas, who was the group's founder. Christadelphians hold a view of Biblical Unitarianism. Although no official membership figures are published, the Columbia Encyclopedia gives an estimated figure of 50,000 Christadelphians, who are spread across approximately 120 countries; there are established churches (or ecclesias, as they are often called) in many of those countries, along with isolated members. Census statistics are available for some countries. Estimates for the main centres of Christadelphian population are as follows: United Kingdom (18,000), Australia (9,987), Malawi (7,000), United States (6,500), Mozambique (5,300), Canada (3,375), New Zealand (1,782), Kenya (1,700), India (1,300), Tanzania (1,000), and Philippines (1,000). This puts the figure at around 60,000. The Christadelphian religious group traces its origins to Dr John Thomas (1805–1871), who migrated to North America from England in 1832. Following a near shipwreck
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    Church of Norway

    Church of Norway

    The Church of Norway (Den norske kirke in Bokmål or Den norske kyrkja in Nynorsk) is the national church and the largest church in Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark–Norway in 1536–1537 broke ties with the Holy See. The Church professes the Lutheran Christian faith, with its foundation on the Bible, the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, Luther's Small Catechism and the Augsburg Confession. The Church is a member of the Porvoo Communion with 12 other churches, among them the Anglican Churches of Europe. It has also signed some other ecumenical texts, including the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Roman Catholic Church. Until 1969, the church's name was simply the State Church or sometimes just The Church. A constitutional amendment of 2009/2012 designates the church as "Norway's people's church" ("Norges Folkekirke"), which is also the name of the Danish state church, and the church remains a state-funded state church, but with increased autonomy in appointments of clergy. The constitutional head of the Church is the King of Norway, who is obliged to profess himself a Lutheran. The Church of Norway is subject to
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    Puritan

    Puritan

    The Puritans were a community of English Protestants active during the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism was created by Marian clergy exiles as an activist movement within the Church of England shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. England practiced strict laws controlling religion, which restricted the Puritans ability to practice religion according to their beliefs. Seeking the ability to practice Puritan beliefs without persecution, the community emigrated from England to the Netherlands. Afterwards, the Puritans also emigrated to the New England region of the United States. The Puritan belief system was also spread by evangelical clergy to Ireland and later Wales. The educational system also played a role in the spread of Puritanism, as certain colleges within the University of Cambridge supported the group’s viewpoints. Puritans took distinctive views on clerical dress. They also opposed the Episcopal system after the 1619 conclusions of the Synod of Dort were resisted by English bishops. In the 17th century the Puritans adopted Sabbatarian views and were influenced by millennialism. The 17th century featured a growth in the commercial world and growing
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    Roman Catholic Church

    Roman Catholic Church

    • Places of worship (current): Monastery of São Vicente de Fora
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with more than one billion members worldwide. It is among the oldest institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation. The Catholic hierarchy is led by the Pope and includes cardinals, patriarchs and diocesan bishops. The Church teaches that it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles and that the Pope is the sole successor to Saint Peter who has apostolic primacy. Catholic doctrine maintains that the Church is infallible when it dogmatically teaches a doctrine of faith or morals. There are a variety of doctrinal and theological emphases within the Catholic Church, including the Eastern Catholic Churches and religious communities such as the Jesuits, the Franciscans and the Dominicans. The Catholic Church is Trinitarian and defines its mission as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. Catholic worship is highly liturgical, focusing on the Mass or Divine Liturgy during which the sacrament of the Eucharist is celebrated.
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    Anglican Church of Australia

    Anglican Church of Australia

    • Is Part Of: Anglican Communion
    The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania (renamed in 1981). It is the second largest church in Australia, behind the Roman Catholic Church in Australia. When the First Fleet was sent to New South Wales in 1787, the Reverend Richard Johnson of the Church of England was licensed as chaplain to the Fleet and the settlement. In 1825 the Revd Thomas Scott was appointed Archdeacon of Australia under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Calcutta. The Revd William Grant Broughton, who succeeded Scott in 1829, was consecrated the first (and only) "Bishop of Australia" in 1836. In early Colonial times, Church of England clergy worked closely with the governors. Richard Johnson, a chaplain, was charged by the governor, Arthur Phillip, with improving "public morality" in the colony, but he was also heavily involved in health and education. The Reverend Samuel Marsden (1765–1838) had magisterial duties, and so was equated with the authorities by the convicts. He became known as the "flogging parson" for the severity of his punishments. Some of the Irish convicts had been
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    Animism

    Animism

    Animism (from Latin anima "soul, life") is a set of beliefs based on the existence of non-human "spiritual beings" or similar kinds of embodied principles. Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology. Examples of Animism can be found in forms of Shinto, Serer, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Pantheism, Paganism, and Neopaganism. Throughout European history, philosophers such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, among others, contemplated the possibility that souls exist in animals, plants, and people; however, the currently accepted definition of animism was only developed in the 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first". According to the anthropologist Tim Ingold, animism shares similarities to totemism but differs in its focus on individual spirit beings
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    Assemblies of God

    Assemblies of God

    The Assemblies of God (AG), officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination. With over 300,000 ministers and outstations in over 212 countries and territories serving approximately 57 to 60 million adherents worldwide, it is the sixth largest international Christian group of denominations. As an international fellowship, the member denominations are entirely independent and autonomous; however, they are united by shared beliefs and history. The Assemblies originated from the Pentecostal revival of the early 20th century. This revival led to the founding of the Assemblies of God in the United States in 1914. Through foreign missionary work and establishing relationships with other Pentecostal churches, the Assemblies of God expanded into a worldwide movement. It was not until 1988, however, that the world fellowship was formed. As a Pentecostal fellowship, the Assemblies of God believes in the Pentecostal distinctive of baptism with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The World Assemblies of God Fellowship
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    Celtic mythology

    Celtic mythology

    Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. Among Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity, and the loss of their Celtic languages. It is mostly through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either their political or linguistic identities (such as the Gaels, Picts, and Brythonic tribes of Great Britain and Ireland) left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies, put into written form during the Middle Ages. Though the Celtic world at its apex covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity; as a result, there was a great deal of variation in local practices of Celtic religion (although certain motifs, for example the god Lugh, appear to have diffused throughout the Celtic world). Inscriptions of more than
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    Church of Iceland

    Church of Iceland

    The National Church of Iceland (Icelandic: Þjóðkirkjan), formally called the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (Icelandic: Hin evangeliska lúterska kirkja), is the state church in Iceland. Like the established churches in the other Nordic countries, the National Church of Iceland professes the Lutheran branch of Christianity. Its head is the Bishop of Iceland. The current Bishop of Iceland is the Right Reverend Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, the first woman to hold this position. Christianity was present from the beginning of human habitation in Iceland, a fact that is unique to Iceland among the European nations. The first people setting foot on Icelandic soil were Celtic hermits, seeking refuge on these remote shores to worship Christ. Later, Norse settlers drove them out. Some of the settlers were Christians, although the majority were pagan, worshipping the old Norse gods. When Iceland was constituted as a republic in year 930, it was based on the pagan religion. In the late 10th century missionaries from the continent sought to spread Catholicism among the population. See article Christianisation of Iceland Ari Þorgilsson, in his historical work Íslendingabók, recounts that the
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    Community of Christ

    Community of Christ

    Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), is an American-based international church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of love, joy, peace, and hope". The church reports approximately 250,000 members in 50 nations. Community of Christ is part of the Latter Day Saint movement begun by Joseph Smith, Jr., and rooted in Restorationist traditions. Although in some respects the Community of Christ is congruent with mainline Protestant Christian attitudes, it is in many ways theologically distinct, continuing such features as prophetic revelation. Community of Christ follows a largely non-liturgical tradition based loosely on the Revised Common Lectionary. From its headquarters in Independence, Missouri, the church offers a special focus on evangelism, peace and justice ministries, spirituality and wholeness, youth ministries and outreach ministries. Church teachings emphasize that "all are called" as "persons of worth" to "share the peace of Christ." Community of Christ is led by a First Presidency, consisting of a President and two counselors. The
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    Cumberland Presbyterian Church

    Cumberland Presbyterian Church

    The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Christian denomination spawned by the Second Great Awakening. In 2007, it had an active membership of less than 50,000 and about 800 congregations, the majority of which are concentrated in the United States. The word Cumberland comes from the Cumberland River valley where the church was founded. The divisions which led to the formation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church can be traced back to the First Great Awakening. At that time, Presbyterians in North America split between the Old Side (mainly congregations of Scottish and Scots-Irish extraction) who favored a doctrinally-oriented church with a highly-educated ministry and a New Side (mainly of English extraction) who put greater emphasis on the revivalistic techniques championed by the Great Awakening. The formal split between Old Side and New Side only lasted from 1741 to 1758, but the two orientations remained present in the reunified church and would come to the fore again during the Second Great Awakening. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Presbyterians on the frontier suffered from a shortage of educated clergy willing to move to the frontier beyond the
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    Deism

    Deism

    Deism (/ˈdiː.ɪzəm/ or /ˈdeɪ.ɪzəm/) is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a creator, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge. Deism became more prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Enlightenment—especially in Britain, France, Germany and America—among intellectuals raised as Christians who believed in one God, but found fault with organized religion and could not believe in supernatural events such as miracles, the inerrancy of scriptures, or the Trinity. Deism is derived from deus, the Latin word for god. The earliest known usage in print of the English term deist is 1621, and deism is first found in a 1675 dictionary. Deistic ideas influenced several leaders of the American and French Revolutions. Two main forms of deism currently exist: classical deism and modern deism. Deism is a theological position concerning the relationship between "the Creator" and the natural world. Deistic viewpoints emerged during the scientific revolution of 17th century Europe and came to exert a powerful influence during the eighteenth century enlightenment.
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    Egyptian mythology

    Egyptian mythology

    Egyptian mythology is the collection of myths from ancient Egypt, which describe the actions of the Egyptian gods as a means of understanding the world. Myth appears frequently in Egyptian writings and art, particularly in short stories and in religious material such as hymns, ritual texts, funerary texts, and temple decoration. These sources rarely contain a complete account of a myth and often describe only brief fragments. Inspired by the cycles of nature, the Egyptians saw time in the present as a series of recurring patterns, whereas the earliest periods of time were linear. Myths are set in these earliest times, and myth sets the pattern for the cycles of the present. Present events repeat the events of myth, and in doing so renew maat, the fundamental order of the universe. Amongst the most important episodes from the mythic past are the creation myths, in which the gods form the universe out of primordial chaos; the stories of the reign of the sun god Ra upon the earth; and the Osiris myth, concerning the struggles of the gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus against the disruptive god Set. Events from the present that might be regarded as myths include Ra's daily journey through
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    Hanbali

    Hanbali

    • Is Part Of: Sunni Islam
    The Hanbali (Arabic: حنبلي‎) school (madhhab) is one the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855) but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of creed and Aqeedah. It is mainly prevalent in Saudi Arabia though it is heavily influenced by the Zahiri school. Currently it is being revived in western countries, with new books and classes being taught for English-speaking people. It is also the main madh'hab of the important Islamic pilgrimage sites of Mecca and Medina. Hanbal refuted and rejected the Jahmites' and the Mu'tazilites' views of God. For Hanbal, both the Jahmites and the Mu'tazilites erred in conceiving of God without eternal attributes. Hanbal believed that God has many attributes and names as mentioned in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions and that God is One. Hanbal asserted that God's Oneness was not understood by the Jahmites and the Mu'tazilites. Hanbal stated that the ahl al-sunnah wa-al-jama'ah, or Sunnis, believe that God is eternal with His power and light and that He speaks, knows,
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    Independent Baptist

    Independent Baptist

    Independent Baptist churches (some also called Independent Fundamental Baptist, or IFB) are Christian congregations generally holding to conservative Baptist beliefs. Like all Baptist congregations, they are characterized by being independent from the authority of denominations or similar bodies. The word "independent" indicates that they eschew the Baptist conventions or associations in which many other Baptist churches affiliate. The Independent Baptist tradition began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among local Baptist congregations concerned about the perceived advancement of modernism and liberalism into national Baptist denominations and conventions in the United States and England. Some local Baptist churches separated from their former denominations and conventions and reestablished themselves as independent churches, while the more conservative elements of other churches set about establishing new Independent Baptist churches instead of remaining within their former denominational churches. Members of Independent Baptist churches comprised three percent of the United States adult population according to a 2008 survey. According to the same survey, they represent
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    Methodist Church in Ireland

    Methodist Church in Ireland

    The Methodist Church in Ireland (Ulster-Scots: Methody Kirk in Airlann) is a Wesleyan Methodist church that operates across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on an all-Ireland basis, It is the fourth largest Christian denomination in both jurisdictions and on the island as a whole. For the year ending 31 December 2007, there were 108 Methodist ministers, 230 Local Preachers and over sixty employed lay people in active work in Ireland serving 232 congregations, which combine to form a total community of 53,668 people. The governing body of the Methodist Church in Ireland is the Annual Conference. The Methodist Church was founded by John Wesley and his younger brother Charles Wesley during the 18th century initially as a movement within the Church of England. John spent much of his time preaching in Ireland and is said to have visited forty-two times, spending six years of his life on the island. Wesleyan Theology remained close to the Anglican criteria of scripture, tradition and reason. It has been suggested that nobody who lived in the 18th century has influenced more people in the years since then John Wesley, and in the dissemination of that influence Irish
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    133
    Pentecostalism

    Pentecostalism

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of scripture and the necessity of accepting Christ as personal lord and savior. It is distinguished by belief in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience separate from conversion that enables a Christian to live a Holy Spirit filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing–two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism. Because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, and the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early
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    Restorationism

    Restorationism

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    Christian primitivism, the primitive Christian movement, or restorationism is the belief that Christianity should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a more pure and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies [in the church] by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model." The term "restorationism" is sometimes used more specifically as a synonym for the American Restoration Movement. The term is also used by more recent groups, describing their goal to re-establish Christianity in its original form, such as some anti-denominational Charismatic Restorationists, which arose in the 1970s in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In comparable terms, earlier primitivist movements, including the Hussites, Anabaptists, Landmarkists and the Puritans, have been described as examples of restorationism, as have many seventh-day Sabbatarians. Efforts to restore an earlier, purer form of Christianity are often a response to denominationalism. As Rubel Shelly put it, "[t]he motive behind all restoration movements is to tear down the walls of
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    135
    Rinzai school

    Rinzai school

    The Rinzai school (臨済宗; Japanese: Rinzai-shū, Chinese: 临济宗 línjì zōng) is (with Sōtō and Ōbaku), one of three sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism. Rinzai is the Japanese line of the Chinese Linji school, which was founded during the Tang Dynasty by Linji Yixuan (Japanese: Rinzai Gigen). Though there were several attempts to establish Rinzai lines in Japan, it first took root in a lasting way through the efforts of the monk Myōan Eisai. In 1168 Myōan Eisai traveled to China, whereafter he studied Tendai for twenty years. In 1187 he went to China again, and returned to establish a Linji lineage, which is known in Japan as Rinzai. Decades later, Nanpo Shōmyō (南浦紹明) (1235–1308) also studied Linji teachings in China before founding the Japanese Otokan lineage, the most influential and only surviving branch of Rinzai. The time during which Rinzai Zen was established in Japan also saw the rise of the samurai to power. Along with early imperial support, Rinzai came to enjoy the patronage of this newly ascendant warrior class. During the Muromachi period the Rinzai school was the most successful of the schools, since it was favoured by the Shogun. The school may be said to have truly
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    Santería

    Santería

    Santería, also known as Regla de Ocha, La Regla Lucumi or Lukumi, is a syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin influenced by Roman Catholic Christianity. Its liturgical language, a dialect of Yoruba, is also known as Lucumi. Santería is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba religion (which was brought to the New World by West Africans imported to the Caribbean to forcibly work the sugar plantations) with Roman Catholic and Native American traditions. These Africans carried with them various religious customs, including a trance for communicating with their ancestors and deities, animal sacrifice and sacred drumming and dance. In Cuba, this religious tradition evolved into what we now recognize as Santería. As mentioned, in order to preserve their authentic ancestral and traditional beliefs, the Lukumi people had no choice but to disguise their orishas as Catholic saints. When the Roman Catholic slave owners observed Africans celebrating a Saint's Day, they were generally unaware that the slaves were actually worshiping one of their sacred orishas. Due to this history, in Cuba today, the terms "saint" and "orisha" are sometimes used interchangeably. This
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    Shamanism

    Shamanism

    Shamanism ( /ˈʃɑːmən/ SHAH-mən or /ˈʃeɪmən/ SHAY-mən) is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the Spirit world. A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing. The term "shamanism" was first applied to the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighboring Tungusic and Samoyedic-speaking peoples. The word "shaman" originates from the Evenk language (Tungusic) of North Asia and was introduced to the west after the Russian forces conquered shaman Khanate of Kazan in 1552. Upon learning more about religious traditions across the world, western scholars also described similar magico-religious practices found within the indigenous religions of other parts of Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas as shamanism. Various historians have argued that shamanism also played a role in many of the pre-Christian religions of Europe, and that shamanic elements may have survived in popular culture right through to the Early
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    Syriac Orthodox Church

    Syriac Orthodox Church

    The Syriac Orthodox Church; (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܬܪܝܨܬ ܫܘܒܚܐ, ʿīto suryoyto trīṣaṯ šubḥo) is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St. Peter. It employs the oldest surviving liturgy in Christianity, the Liturgy of St. James the Apostle, and uses Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic spoken by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, as its official and liturgical language. The church is led by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. The Syriac Orthodox Church derives its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St. Peter. It is one of the two autocephalous which claim the title of the Patriarch of Antioch. The current head of the Syriac Orthodox Church is the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, who resides in Damascus, the capital of Syria. The Church has about 26 archdioceses and 11 patriarchal vicarates. Patriarch Zakka was enthroned head of the church on 14 September 1980, on the feast of the Cross. Syriac Orthodox faithful
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    Barelwi

    Barelwi

    • Is Part Of: Hanafi
    • Places of worship (current): Medina Mosque
    Barelvi (Hindi: बरेलवी, Urdu: بریلوی, /bəreːlviː/) is a term used for a movement of Sunni Islam originating in the Indian subcontinent.The name derives from the north Indian town of Bareilly where its founder Ahmed Raza Khan (1856–1921) shaped the movement by his writings. The followers of movement often prefer to be known by the title of Ahle Sunnat wal Jama'at. The movement is much influenced by Sufism and defends the traditional Sufi practices from the criticisms of Islamic movements like the Deobandi, Wahhabi and Ahl al-Hadith To its followers the movement is known as Ahle Sunnat wal Jama'at ("People of the traditions [of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad] and the community"), to lay exclusive claim to be the legitimate form of Sunni Islam, in opposition to the Deobandi, Ahl al-Hadith or Salafi and Nadwatul Ulama movements. The magazine India Today estimates that the vast majority of Muslims in India adhere to the Barelvi movement. The Heritage Foundation gives a similar assessment for the vast majority of Sunni Muslims in Pakistan. More than 35% of British mosques are Ahle Sunnat barelvis. Many of these mosques have been usurped by Saudi-funded radical organizations. The switchover
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    Confessing Church

    Confessing Church

    The Confessing Church (also translated Confessional Church) (German: Bekennende Kirche) was a Protestant schismatic church in Nazi Germany that arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to nazify the German Protestant church. The following numbers (as of January 1933 unless otherwise stated) are an aid in understanding the political and theological developments discussed in this article. After the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, the principle that the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled (cuius regio, eius religio) was observed throughout the Holy Roman Empire. § 24 of the Peace of Augsburg (ius emigrandi) guaranteed freedom of emigration with all belongings to members of a denomination other than the ruler's. Political stalemates among the government members of different denominations within a number of the republican Free Imperial Cities, such as, Augsburg, Frankfurt upon Main, and Regensburg, made their territories de facto bidenominational, but usually the two denominations did not share equal legal status. The Peace of Augsburg protected Catholicism and Lutheranism, but not Calvinism. Thus, in 1613, when John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg converted
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    141
    Drukpa

    Drukpa

    • Founding Figures: Lingchen Repa
    • Is Part Of: Kagyu
    The Drukpa Kargyu school (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་པ་བཀའ་བརྒྱུད), or simply Drukpa school, is claimed by some as a branch of the Kagyu school of the Tibetan Buddhism. However it is considered more of one of the Sarma or "new" schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Within the Drukpa Lineage, there are further sub-schools, most notably the eastern Kham tradition and middle Drukpa school which prospered in Ladakh and surrounding areas. In Bhutan the Drukpa Lineage is the dominant school and state religion. The Drukpa Lineage was founded in western Tibet by Drogon Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211), a student of Ling Repa who mastered the Tantric Buddhism practices of the mahamudra and six yogas of Naropa at an early age. As a terton, or finder of spiritual relics, he discovered the text of the Six Equal Tastes, previously hidden by Rechungpa, the student of Milarepa. Ejaculation is practiced in their tantra. While on a pilgrimage Tsangpa Gyare and his disciples witnessed a set of nine dragons roaring out of the earth and into the skies, as flowers rained down everywhere. From this incident they named their sect Drukpa. I Also important in the lineage were the root guru of Tsangpa Gyare, Ling Repa
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    Karma Kagyu

    Karma Kagyu

    • Founding Figures: Düsum Khyenpa
    • Is Part Of: Kagyu
    Karma Kagyu (Tibetan: ཀརྨ་བཀའ་བརྒྱུད, Wylie: karma bka'-brgyud), or Kamtsang Kagyu, is probably the largest and certainly the most widely practiced lineage within the Kagyu school, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The lineage has long-standing monasteries in Tibet, China, Russia, Mongolia, India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and current centers in at least 62 countries. The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu is the Gyalwa Karmapa, and the 2nd through the 10th Karmapas were the principal spiritual advisors to successive Emperors of China. The Karma Kagyu are sometimes called the "Black Hat" Lamas, in reference to the Black Crown worn by the Karmapa. The Karma Kagyu was founded by the first Karmapa, Jetsun Dusum Khyenpa. It is headed by the Gyalwa Karmapa, a reincarnate lama (tulku). Followers believe that the Karmapa's appearance as the first historical consciously reincarnate teacher was predicted by the Buddha in the Samadhiraja Sutra (lit: Discourse on the Kings of Meditative Concentration). The Karma Kagyu school belongs to the Vajrayana branch of Mahayana Buddhism. It is a Triyana (all three turnings of the Wheel of the dharma) school (e.g., monks and nuns keep the vows
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    New Age

    New Age

    The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics". It aims to create "a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas" that is inclusive and pluralistic. It holds to "a holistic worldview", emphasising that the Mind, Body and Spirit are interrelated and that there is a form of monism and unity throughout the universe. It attempts to create "a worldview that includes both science and spirituality" and embraces a number of forms of mainstream science as well as other forms of science that are considered fringe. The origins of the movement can be found in Medieval astrology and alchemy, such as the writings of Paracelsus, in Renaissance interests in Hermeticism, in 18th century mysticism, such as that of Emanuel Swedenborg, and in beliefs in animal magnetism espoused by Franz Mesmer. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, authors such as Godfrey Higgins and
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    144
    New Thought

    New Thought

    New Thought, sometimes known as Higher Thought, promotes the ideas that Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect. Although New Thought is neither monolithic nor doctrinaire, in general, modern day adherents of New Thought believe that "God" or "Infinite Intelligence" is "supreme, universal, and everlasting", that divinity dwells within each person, that all people are spiritual beings, that "the highest spiritual principle [is] loving one another unconditionally ... and teaching and healing one another", and that "our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living". The New Thought movement is a spiritually-focused or philosophical interpretation of New Thought beliefs. Started in the early 19th century, today the movement consists of a loosely allied group of religious denominations, secular membership organizations, authors, philosophers, and individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction,
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    Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster

    Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster

    The Free Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian denomination founded by the Rev. Ian Paisley in 1951. Most of its members live in Northern Ireland. The church has congregations in Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and Australia, with a sister denomination in North America that has congregations in Canada and the United States. The Free Presbyterian Church began on 17 March 1951 (St Patrick's Day) as the result of a conflict between some members of the local Lissara Presbyterian congregation in Crossgar, County Down, Northern Ireland, and the Down Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. At a meeting on 8 January 1951, the Down Presbytery banned the elders of the local congregation from using the church hall for a Gospel mission, but the date when the Lissara elders were informed of this is disputed. The Presbytery met with the Lissara Session ninety minutes before the mission was due to begin on 3 February with an "Opening Witness March." When two elders refused to accept the Presbytery decision, they were immediately suspended. As a result of this disagreement with the Presbytery, five of the seven session members, all the Sunday School teachers, and sixty members of the
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    Progressive Judaism

    Progressive Judaism

    Progressive Judaism (Hebrew: יהדות רפורמית‎) (Yiddish: רעפאָרם יידישקייַט), is an umbrella term used by strands of Judaism which affiliate to the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). They embrace pluralism, modernity, equality and social justice as core values and believe that such values are consistent with a committed Jewish life. The movement includes more than 1.7 million members spread across 42 countries. Progressive Judaism started its formal existence as a movement in 1926 when leading Liberal, Reform, and Progressive Jews in North America and Europe met in England to discuss common interests. At the urging of Lily Montagu, they decided to unite and form the WUPJ. Local movements retained their prior organizational structure and identity but now had a new umbrella organization which they used to support one another and coordinate efforts to support congregations in regions where Progressive Judaism was not yet well established. After World War II, the WUPJ also worked to rebuild the decimated progressive congregations of Europe. Zionists within the progressive movement are represented by Arzenu, a Brit Olamit (political party) within the World Zionist Organization. A
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    Protestantism

    Protestantism

    • Founding Figures: John Knox
    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    • Places of worship (current): Cathedral of Magdeburg
    Protestantism is one of the major groupings within Christianity. It has been defined as "any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth" and, more broadly, to mean Christianity outside "of a Catholic or Eastern church". It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regard to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology. The doctrines of the over 33,000 Protestant denominations vary, but most include justification by grace through faith alone, known as Sola Gratia and Sola Fide respectively, the priesthood of all believers, and the Bible as the supreme authority in matters of faith and morals, known as Sola Scriptura, Latin for "by scripture alone". In the 16th century, the followers of Martin Luther established the evangelical (Lutheran) churches of Germany and Scandinavia. Reformed churches in Hungary, Scotland, Switzerland and France were established by John Calvin and other
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    148
    Quanzhen School

    Quanzhen School

    • Is Part Of: Taoism
    The Quanzhen School of Taoism originated in Northern China. It was founded by the Taoist Wang Chongyang in the 12th century, during the rise of the Jin Dynasty. When the Mongols invaded the Song Dynasty in 1254, the Quanzhen Taoists were among those who exerted great effort in keeping the peace, thus saving thousands of lives, particularly those of Han Chinese descent. The meaning of Quanzhen can be translated literally to "All True" and for this reason, it is often called the "All Truth Religion" or the "Way of Completeness and Truth." In some texts, it is also referred to as the "Way of Complete Perfection." Kunyu mountain in Shandong provice Yantai city is the birthplace of Taoism(Quan Zhen Religion). With strong Taoist roots, the Quanzhen School specializes in the process of "alchemy within the body" or Neidan (internal alchemy), as opposed to Waidan (external alchemy which experiments with the ingestion of herbs and minerals, etc.). The Waidan tradition has been largely replaced by Neidan, as Waidan was a sometimes dangerous and lethal pursuit. Quanzhen focuses on internal cultivation of the person which is consistent with the pervading Taoist belief of Wu Wei, which is
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    149
    The Way International

    The Way International

    The Way International is a nontrinitarian non-denominational Christian ministry based in New Knoxville, Ohio, with home fellowships located in the United States and in over 30 other countries. It was founded by Victor Paul Wierwille in 1942 as a radio program, and became The Chimes Hour Youth Caravan in 1947, and The Way, Inc., in 1955. The ministry distributes works such as The Way Magazine through its publishing company, the American Christian Press, and has developed classes and other programs in several languages. It formed The Way Corps in 1970, a leadership training program, which continues today. The Way actively offers classes in biblical studies to its followers, highlighting The Way of Abundance and Power class series. The Way promotes itself as a Biblical research, teaching, and fellowship ministry, providing service and direction on how to understand the bible so people can apply it and manifest the more abundant life. The Way has received criticism for some of its internal policies, including a practice known as "Mark and Avoid" which instructs followers to avoid individuals whose practices cause division and offences to the doctrine (Romans 16:17), and for its belief
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    150
    Zen

    Zen

    • Founding Figures: Bodhidharma
    • Is Part Of: Taoic religion
    • Places of worship (current): Kinkaku-ji
    Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism and originated in China during the 6th century as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, to Korea and east to Japan. The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 Dzyen (Modern Mandarin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state". Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogācāra, the Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and Huayan . The Prajñāpāramitā literature and, to a lesser extent, Madhyamaka have also been influential. When Buddhism came to China from India, it was initially adapted to the Chinese culture and understanding. Buddhism was exposed to Confucianist and Taoist influences. Goddard quotes D.T. Suzuki, calling Chán a "natural evolution of Buddhism under Taoist conditions." Buddhism was first
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    Shi'a Islam

    Shi'a Islam

    • Is Part Of: Islam
    • Places of worship (current): Al Kadhimiya Mosque
    Shia Islam (Arabic: شيعة‎, Shīʿah) is the second largest denomination of Islam. Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī (شيعة علي), meaning "followers", "faction", or "party" of Muhammad's son-in-law Ali, whom the Shia believe to be Muhammad's successor. Like other branches of Islam, Shia Islam is based on the teachings of the Quran and the message of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In contrast to other types, the Shia believe that only God has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and sharia. Thus the Shias look to Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, whom they consider divinely appointed, as the rightful successor to Muhammad, and the first imam. The Shia extend this belief to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the People of the House"), and certain individuals among his descendants, known as imams, who have special spiritual and political authority over the community. Although there were many Shia branches throughout history, modern Shia Islam is divided into three main branches. The largest Shia sect in the early 21st century is the Ithna ashariyya, commonly referred to in English as
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    152
    Anglicanism

    Anglicanism

    • Places of worship (current): Westminster Abbey
    Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English Church. Adherents of Anglicanism are called Anglicans. The great majority of Anglicans are members of churches which are part of the international Anglican Communion. There are, however, a number of churches outside of the Anglican Communion which also consider themselves to be Anglican, most notably those referred to as Continuing Anglican churches. The faith of Anglicans is founded in the scriptures, the traditions of the apostolic church, the apostolic succession ("historic episcopate") and the early Church Fathers. Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity; having definitively declared its independence from the Roman pontiff at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, in what has been otherwise termed the British monachism. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid 16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary Reformed Protestantism and these
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    Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

    Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

    The Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which has sometimes abbreviated its name as the "B.A.O. Church" or the "BAOC," aspires to be the self-governing national church of an independent Belarus, but it has operated mostly in exile since its formation, and even some publications of the church acknowledge that it sometimes had to struggle for viability. It has been hampered by the hostility of successive Belarusian governments, a lack of canonical acceptance from the main national Orthodox churches and, in much of the diaspora, a relatively small number of people who identify with the Belarusian nationality. Advocates of an autocephalous church in Belarus trace its roots to the beginnings of Christianity in the Slavic lands, and say both Catholic and Russian Orthodox rulers unjustly suppressed it for centuries. The modern B.A.O. Church was started by believers who initially belonged to the Polish Orthodox Church, which was granted autocephaly by Constantinople following the First World War. On July 23, 1922, at the Sobor in Minsk, the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Metropolia was founded. The Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Belarus survived until 1938, when it
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    Church of the Nazarene

    Church of the Nazarene

    The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination that emerged from the 19th-century Holiness movement in North America. With its members colloquially referred to as Nazarenes, it is the largest Wesleyan-holiness denomination in the world. At the end of September 2011, the Church of the Nazarene had 2,136,122 members in 27,524 churches in 157 different "world areas". Most members of the Church of the Nazarene are found in the United States and Canada (663,901), Haiti (116,000), Bangladesh (65,000), and India (59,039). The denomination has the highest per capita population in the nations of Cape Verde, Samoa, Barbados, Haiti and Swaziland. Since its inception, the Church of the Nazarene has indicated that its mission is "to respond to the Great Commission of Christ to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19)". In December 2006, this was expressed more succinctly as "to make Christlike disciples in the nations". This frames the global mission of the denomination. In 2009 the General Assembly indicated in its revision of Article XI of the Manual the means for accomplishing its mission: "making disciples through evangelism, education, showing compassion,
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    155
    East Asian Buddhism

    East Asian Buddhism

    • Is Part Of: Buddhism
    East Asian Buddhism is a collective term for the schools of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in the East Asian region and follow the Chinese Buddhist canon. These include Chinese Buddhism, Korean Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism, and Vietnamese Buddhism. Although a minority of East Asian Buddhists identify solely with that religion, others simultaneously practice Taoism or the Chinese folk religion (in the case of ethnic Chinese); Shinto (for Japanese); or Korean shamanism (for Koreans). Most East Asian cultures also incline towards Confucianism, which is not usually considered by its adherents to be a religion. Certain syncretic religions have arisen in East Asia which claim to harmonize Buddhism with other religions; among them are I-Kuan Tao (Taiwan), Caodaism (Vietnam); Chondogyo (Korea), and Oomoto (Japan). Major "schools" of East Asian Buddhism include Pure Land Buddhism, Tientai, Huayen, and Chan Buddhism (Zen). These are distinguished primarily on the basis of which sutras are considered most definitive (in contrast with the situation in Tibetan Buddhism, where the focus is on commentarial literature). Vajrayana Buddhism also exists in East Asian forms, such as Japan's Shingon
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    Eastern religion

    Eastern religion

    Eastern religions refers to religions originating in the Eastern world —India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia —and thus having dissimilarities with Western religions. This includes the East Asian and Indian religious traditions, as well as animistic indigenous religions. This East-West religious distinction, just as with the East-West culture distinction, and the implications that arise from it, are broad and not precise. Furthermore, the geographical distinction has less meaning in the current context of global transculturation. While many Western observers attempt to distinguish between Eastern philosophies and religions, this is a distinction that does not exist in some Eastern traditions. Religions originating on the Indian subcontinent include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The theologies and philosophies of these religions have several concepts in common, such as dharma, karma, maya and samsara. Hinduism originated on the Indian subcontinent. It is considered by some to be the world's oldest extant religion. Hinduism contains a vast body of scripture, divided as revealed and remembered, expounding on dharma, or religious living. Hindus consider the Vedas and the
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    157
    Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland

    Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland

    The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland (Polish: Kościół Ewangelicko-Augsburski w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej), the largest Protestant body in Poland, is rooted in the Reformation. The first Lutheran sermons were held in 1518, and in 1523 the first Lutheran dean, Johann Heß, was called to the city of Breslau, whence Lutheranism was spread into the Polish lands. Today the Church has its primary adherents in the Polish part of Cieszyn Silesia. The church's six dioceses form a wide swath from north to south down the middle of Poland — from Warmia-Masuria and Gdańsk in the north, near the Baltic, to the region west and southwest of Kraków in the south, toward the Czech Republic border. Direct descendants of Reformation forebears live in the south, around Upper Silesia. The church has 189 congregations, 130 parishes, and 150 chapels, and is served by 169 pastors and other church workers. Many pastors serve multiple preaching points and are challenged by diverse demands as well as the need for innovation in a rapidly changing society. The congregations are self-governing, and each has its own parish council. Though numbers of church members are currently lower than they
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    Gnosticism

    Gnosticism

    • Founding Figures: Simon Magus
    Gnosticism includes a variety of religious movements, mostly Christian in nature, in the ancient Hellenistic society around the Mediterranean. Although origins are disputed, the period of activity for most of these movements flourished from approximately the time of the founding of Christianity until the 4th century when the writings and activities of groups deemed heretical or pagan were actively suppressed. The only information available on these movements for many centuries was the characterizations of those writing against them, and the few quotations preserved in such works. The late 19th century saw the publication of popular sympathetic studies making use of recently rediscovered source materials. In this period there was also revival of the Gnostic religious movement in France. The emergence of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945, greatly increased the amount of source material available. Its translation into English and other modern languages in 1977, resulted in a wide dissemination, and has as a result had observable influence on several modern figures, and upon modern Western culture in general. This article attempts to summarize those modern figures and movements that have
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    Kirant Mundhum

    Kirant Mundhum

    Kirat Mundhum (also Kirati Mundhum) is the religion of the Kirat people of Nepal. The practice is also known as Kirat Veda, Kirat Veda, Kirat-Ko Veda or Kirat Koved. According to some scholars, such as Tom Woodhatch, it is a blend of animism (e.g., ancestor worship (Sumnima/Paruhang)), Saivite Hinduism, and Tibetan Buddhism. It is practiced by about 3.6% of the Nepali population. Before it was recognized as a religion on the Nepali census, 36% of the Kirati population claimed to follow the Kirant religion, but when it was recognized this figure increased to 73.9%, a 157% increase in the Nepali Kiratis. The Limbu people have their own distinct religion, known as Yuma Samyo or Yamaism; they believe in the Supreme Almighty goddess Tagera Ningwaphuma. Mundhum or "Kiranti Veda"' (also known as Peylan) is the religious scripture and folk literature of the Kirat people of Nepal, central to Kirat Mundhum. Mundhum means "the power of great strength" in the Kirati language. The Mundhum covers many aspects of the Kirat culture, customs and traditions that existed before Vedic civilisation in South Asia. The Mundhum for each tribe consists of customs, habits, rituals, traditions, and myths
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    Mahayana

    Mahayana

    • Is Part Of: Buddhism
    Mahāyāna (Sanskrit: महायान mahāyāna, literally the "Great Vehicle") is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Mahāyāna Buddhism originated in India, and is associated with the oldest historical sect of Buddhism, the Mahāsāṃghika. The Mahāyāna tradition is the larger of the two major traditions of Buddhism existing today, the other being that of the Theravāda school. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" also refers to the path of seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, also called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle. In the course of its history, Mahāyāna Buddhism spread from India to various other Asian countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and Mongolia. Major traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism today include Zen/Chán, Pure Land, Tiantai, and Nichiren, as well as the Esoteric Buddhist traditions of Shingon, Tendai and Tibetan Buddhism. According to Jan Nattier, the term Mahāyāna ("Great Vehicle") was originally an honorary synonym for Bodhisattvayāna ("Bodhisattva Vehicle") — the vehicle of
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    Plymouth Brethren

    Plymouth Brethren

    The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, and not having an official clergy or liturgy, the title "The Brethren," is one that many of their number are comfortable with in that the Bible designates all believers as "brethren" . "Brethren assemblies" are commonly perceived as being divided into at least two branches, the "Open Brethren" and the "Exclusive Brethren". The origins of the Brethren are usually traced to Dublin where several groups of Christians met informally to celebrate the "Lord's supper" together in the Dublin in 1827–8. Of these the central figures were Anthony Norris Groves, a dentist studying theology at Trinity College, John Nelson Darby, then a curate in County Wicklow and John Gifford Bellett, a lawyer, who brought them together. "A circle was to be drawn just wide enough to include 'all the children of God,' and to exclude all who did not come under that category." They did not require ministers or even an order of service. Their guide was to be the Bible alone. An important early
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    Polish Orthodox Church

    Polish Orthodox Church

    The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, commonly known as the Polish Orthodox Church, (Polish: Polski Autokefaliczny Kościół Prawosławny), is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches in full communion. The church was established in 1924, to accommodate Orthodox Christians of Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian descent in the eastern part of the country, when Poland regained its independence after the First World War. The establishment of the church was undertaken after the Treaty of Riga left a large amount of territory previously under the control of the Russian Empire, as part of the Second Polish Republic. Eastern Orthodoxy was widespread in the Belarusian Western Belarus regions and the Ukrainian Volhynia. The loss of ecclesiastical link due to the persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union, left the regional clergy in a crisis moment, and in 1924, the Ecumenical Patriarchate took over establishing several autonomous churches on territories of the new states that were formerly wholly or partially part of the Russian Empire (Finland, the Baltic States, and Poland). During the interbellum, however, the Polish authorities imposed severe restrictions on
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    Polytheism

    Polytheism

    Polytheism is the woship or belief in multiple deities usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but can be henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity. Other polytheists can be kathenotheists, worshipping different deities at different times. Polytheism was the typical form of religion during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, up to the Axial Age and the gradual development of monotheism or pantheism, and atheism. It is well documented in historical religions of Classical antiquity, especially Greek polytheism and Roman polytheism, and after the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism in tribal religions such as Germanic paganism or Slavic mythology. It continues into the modern period in traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Chinese folk religion, Wicca, Druidry, Taoism, Asatru and Candomble. The term comes from the Greek poly ("many") and theoi ("gods") and was first invented by the Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria to argue with the
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    Reform Judaism

    Reform Judaism

    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    • Places of worship (current): Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue
    Reform Judaism is a phrase that refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, Reform Judaism maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and compatible with participation in the surrounding culture. Many branches of Reform Judaism hold that Jewish law should be interpreted as a set of general guidelines rather than as a list of restrictions whose literal observance is required of all Jews. Similar movements that are also occasionally called "Reform" include the Israeli Progressive Movement and its worldwide counterpart. Reform Judaism is one of the two North American denominations affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism. It is the largest denomination of American Jews today. With an estimated 1.1 million members, it also accounts for the largest number of Jews affiliated with Progressive Judaism worldwide. Official bodies of the Reform Movement in North America include the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. UK Reform and Liberal Judaism are
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    Religious Society of Friends

    Religious Society of Friends

    • Founding Figures: George Fox
    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    • Places of worship (current): Upper Dublin Friends Meeting House
    Quakers, or Friends, are members of the Religious Society of Friends, also called the Friends' Church. Quakers' central doctrine is the priesthood of all believers. In other ways, Quakers today are theologically diverse; most see themselves as Christians, and include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity; however from the end of the 20th century, there have emerged very small but vocal groups of Friends with nontheist, Christian atheist, or pluralist beliefs. The first Quakers lived in mid-17th century England, the movement arising from the Legatine-Arians and other dissenting Protestant groups. The Valiant Sixty, and others, broke away from the Church of England and set out to convert others to what they believed were the practices of the early Church, basing their message on the idea that Christ has come to teach his people himself: stressing Christ's direct relationship with a universal priesthood of which everyone is a part. These Quakers emphasized a personal, direct experience of Christ, acquired through both direct experience and through reading the Bible. Quakers today are organized into independent regional and
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    Thelema

    Thelema

    • Founding Figures: Aleister Crowley
    Thelema is a spiritual philosophy (referred to by some as a religion) that was developed by the early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley. He came to believe himself to be the prophet of a new age, the Æon of Horus, based upon a spiritual experience that he and his wife, Rose Edith, had in Egypt in 1904. By his account, a possibly non-corporeal or "praeterhuman" being that called itself Aiwass contacted him and dictated a text known as The Book of the Law or Liber AL vel Legis, which outlined the principles of Thelema. The Thelemic pantheon includes a number of deities, focusing primarily on a trinity of deities adapted from ancient Egyptian religion, who are the three speakers of The Book of the Law: Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The religion is founded upon the idea that the 20th century marked the beginning of the Aeon of Horus, in which a new ethical code would be followed; "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". This statement indicates that adherents, who are known as Thelemites, should seek out and follow their own true path in life, known as their True Will rather than their egoic desires. The philosophy also emphasizes the
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    Church in Wales

    Church in Wales

    The Church in Wales (Welsh: Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru) is the Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses. As with the primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Wales serves concurrently as one of the six diocesan bishops. The current archbishop is Barry Morgan, the Bishop of Llandaff. In contrast to the Church of England, the Church in Wales is not an established church. Disestablishment was effected in 1920, under the Welsh Church Act 1914. It was, however, on Disestablishment, allowed to keep all its church buildings including ancient pre-Reformation ones. As a member of the Anglican Communion the Church in Wales recognises the primacy of the Archbishop of Canterbury who does not, however, have any formal authority in the Church in Wales (except for residual roles — in ecclesiastical court to try the archbishop, as metropolitan, and the appointment of notaries). A handful of border parishes remained in the Church of England and so were exempt from disestablishment, It has proved possible for a cleric of the Church in Wales to come to occupy the See of Canterbury, and the current archbishop, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, is Welsh and originally held posts
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    Taoism

    Taoism

    • Founding Figures: Laozi
    • Is Part Of: Taoic religion
    Taoism (modernly: Daoism) is a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (modernly romanized as "Dao"). The term Tao means "way", "path" or "principle", and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes something that is both the source and the driving force behind everything that exists. It is ultimately ineffable: "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." The keystone work of literature in Taoism is the Tao Te Ching, a concise and ambiguous book containing teachings attributed to Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozi; Wade–Giles: Lao Tzu). Together with the writings of Zhuangzi, these texts build the philosophical foundation of Taoism. This philosophical Taoism, individualistic by nature, is not institutionalized. Institutionalized forms, however, evolved over time in the shape of a number of different schools, often integrating beliefs and practices that even pre-dated the keystone texts – as, for example, the theories of the School of Naturalists, which synthesized the concepts of yin-yang and the Five Elements. Taoist schools traditionally feature reverence for Laozi,
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    Methodist Church in Singapore

    Methodist Church in Singapore

    The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) is the church that Methodists in Singapore belong to. The Church has 44 churches island-wide with more than 39,000 members, making it one of the largest Protestant denominations in Singapore. Its current bishop and head of the Church is Bishop Dr Robert M. Solomon. The Methodist Church in Singapore started out as a missionary initiative by Rev James Thoburn of the South India Conference in India in 1885 . Rev William Fitzjames Oldham travelled to Singapore to plant the foundations of the mission. Notably, Oldham started the church's first English-language boys' school in 1886 (the Anglo-Chinese School, which is generally regarded today as one of the premier schools in Singapore). Two girls' schools (Methodist Girls' School and Fairfield Methodist Girls' School) were subsequently established in 1887 and 1888, respectively. The mission also developed a clinic and hostels for homeless children. From this Singapore base, the mission then spread to the Malay Peninsula and Sarawak in the 1890s. The Methodist Mission in Singapore and Malaya expanded over time, eventually growing to the administrative status of a conference in the Methodist Church.
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    Hawaiian religion

    Hawaiian religion

    Hawaiian religion encompasses the folk religious beliefs and practises of the Hawaiian people. It is unrelated to, though commonly confused with, the philosophy of Huna. Hawaiian religion originated amongst the Tahitians and other Pacific islanders who landed in Hawaiʻi between 500 and 1300 AD. Today, Hawaiian religious practices are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Hawaiian religion is polytheistic, believing in many deities, and is also animistic in that it is based on a belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as animals, the waves, and the sky. Hawaiian religion is polytheistic, with four deities most prominent: Kāne, Kū, Lono and Kanaloa. Other notable deities include Laka, Kihawahine, Haumea, Papahanaumoku, and, most famously, Pele. In addition, each family is considered to have one or more family guardians known as ʻaumakua. One breakdown of the Hawaiian pantheon consists of the following groups: Another breakdown consists of three major groups: One Hawaiian creation myth is embodied in the Kumulipo, an epic chant linking the aliʻi, or Hawaiian royalty, to the gods. The Kumulipo is divided into two sections: night, or pō, and
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    Jehovah's Witnesses

    Jehovah's Witnesses

    • Founding Figures: Joseph Franklin Rutherford
    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    • Places of worship (current): Brampton - Assembly Hall
    Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenialist restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The organization reports worldwide membership of over 7.65 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual Memorial attendance of over 19.3 million. They are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York, that establishes all doctrines. Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs are based on their interpretations of the Bible and they prefer to use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God's kingdom on earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humankind. The group emerged from the Bible Student movement—founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell with the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society—with significant organizational and doctrinal changes under the leadership of Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The name Jehovah's witnesses, based on Isaiah 43:10–12, was adopted in 1931 to distinguish
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    Judaism

    Judaism

    • Founding Figures: Abraham
    • Is Part Of: Abrahamic religion
    • Places of worship (current): Hurva Synagogue
    Judaism (from the Latin Iudaismus, derived from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, and ultimately from the Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, "Judah"; in Hebrew: יַהֲדוּת, Yahadut, the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos) is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. A monotheistic religion originating in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and explored in later texts such as the Talmud, Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God established with the Children of Israel. Rabbinic Judaism holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. This assertion was historically challenged by the Karaites, a movement that flourished in the medieval period, which retains several thousand followers today and maintains that only the Written Torah was revealed. In modern times, liberal movements such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, and the oldest to survive into the present day. The Hebrews / Israelites were already referred to as
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    Old Catholic Church

    Old Catholic Church

    The term Old Catholic Church originated with groups that split from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, most importantly that of Papal Infallibility. These churches are not in communion with the Holy See of Rome, but their Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches is in full communion with the Anglican Communion and a member of the World Council of Churches. The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of A. Döllinger, following the First Vatican Council. Four years later episcopal succession was established with the ordination of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. In line with the "Declaration of Utrecht" of 1889, they accept the first seven ecumenical councils and doctrine formulated before 1054, but reject communion with the pope and a number of other Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that since 1925 they have recognized Anglican ordinations, that they have full communion with the Church of England since 1932 and have taken part in the ordination of Anglican bishops. The
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    Ásatrú

    Ásatrú

    Ásatrú (from Icelandic for "Æsir faith", pronounced [auːsatruː], in Old Norse [aːsatruː]) is a form of Germanic neopaganism which developed in the United States from the 1970s. It focuses on historical Norse paganism of the Viking Age as described in the Eddas, but proponents also take a more inclusive approach, defining it as "Northern European Heathenry" not limited to a specific historical period. There are three national organizations of Nordic Paganism in the United States, Ásatrú Alliance, Ásatrú Folk Assembly and The Troth, besides numerous smaller or regional associations. Ásatrú is an Icelandic (and equivalently Old Norse) term consisting of two parts. The first is Ása-, genitive of Áss, denoting one of the group of Norse heathen gods called Æsir. The second part, trú, means "faith, word of honour; religious faith, belief" (archaic English troth "loyalty, honesty, good faith"). Thus, Ásatrú means "belief / faith in the Æsir / gods". The term is the Old Norse/Icelandic translation of Asetro, a neologism coined in the context of 19th century romantic nationalism, used by Edvard Grieg in his 1870 opera Olaf Trygvason. The use of the term Ásatrú for Germanic heathenism
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    Gelug

    Gelug

    • Founding Figures: Je Tsongkhapa
    • Is Part Of: Tibetan Buddhism
    The Gelug or Gelug-pa (or dGe Lugs Pa, dge-lugs-pa, or Dgelugspa), also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader. The first monastery he established was at Ganden, and to this day the Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the school, though its most influential figure is the Dalai Lama. Allying themselves with the Mongols as a powerful patron, the Gelug emerged as the pre-eminent Buddhist school in Tibet since the end of the 16th century. The Gelu-school was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419). A great admirer of the Kadampa (Bka'-gdams-pa) teachings, Tsongkhapa was a promoter of the Kadam School's emphasis on the mahāyāna principle of universal compassion as the fundamental spiritual orientation. He combined this with a strong emphasis on the cultivation of in-depth insight into the doctrine of emptiness as propounded by the Indian Madhyamaka masters Nāgārjuna (2nd century) and Candrakīrti (7th century). Tsongkhapa said that these two aspects of the spiritual path, compassion and insight into wisdom, must be rooted in a wholehearted wish for liberation impelled by a genuine sense of
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    Haredi Judaism

    Haredi Judaism

    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    Haredi (Hebrew: חֲרֵדִי‎‎ Ḥaredi, IPA: [χaʁeˈdi]), or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism (pl. Haredim), is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to by outsiders as ultra-Orthodox. Haredi Jews consider their belief system and religious practices to extend in an unbroken chain back to Moses and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, and they regard non-Orthodox, and to an extent Modern Orthodox, streams of Judaism to be deviations from authentic Judaism. Its historical rejection of Enlightenment values distinguishes it from Western European-derived Modern Orthodox Judaism. Critics of Haredi Judaism see it as a "reform" movement which has warped the values of traditional Judaism. Haredi Judaism is not an institutionally cohesive or homogeneous group, but comprises a diversity of spiritual and cultural orientations, generally divided into a broad range of Hasidic sects, Lithuanian-Yeshivish streams from Eastern Europe, and Oriental Sephardic Haredim. These groups often differ significantly from one another in their specific ideologies and lifestyles, as well as the degree of stringency in religious practice, rigidity of religious philosophy and isolation from the
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    Mormonism

    Mormonism

    • Founding Figures: Joseph Smith, Jr.
    • Is Part Of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    • Places of worship (current): Preston England Temple
    Mormonism is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr., in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself from traditional Protestantism. Mormonism today represents the new, non-Protestant faith taught by Smith in the 1840s. After Smith's death, most Mormons followed Brigham Young west, calling themselves the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Other branches of Mormonism include Mormon fundamentalism, which seeks to maintain practices and doctrines such as polygamy that were discontinued by the LDS Church, and various other small independent denominations. The term Mormon is derived from the Book of Mormon, one of the faith's religious texts. Based on the name of that book, early followers of founder Joseph Smith, Jr. were called Mormons, and their faith was called Mormonism. The term was initially considered pejorative, but is no longer considered so by Mormons (although other terms such as Latter-day Saint, or LDS, are generally preferred). Mormonism shares a common set of beliefs with the rest of the Latter Day
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    Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic

    Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic

    The Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic (Romanian: Biserica Română Unită cu Roma, Greco-Catolică) is an Eastern Catholic Church which is in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. It is ranked as a Major Archiepiscopal Church and uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Romanian language. Since 1994, the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church has been led by Cardinal Lucian Mureșan, Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia, who on December 16, 2005 became its first Major Archbishop when it was raised to the rank of a Major Archiepiscopal Church by Benedict XVI, and was created a cardinal on February 18, 2012. The Church has four other dioceses in Romania: (Oradea Mare, Eparchy of Cluj-Gherla, Eparchy of Lugoj and Eparchy of Maramureş), and one, directly subject to the Holy See, in the United States of America, Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George's in Canton. According to the information, valid for the end of 2005, given in the 2007 Annuario Pontificio, it then had 763,000 followers, 8 bishops, 1239 parishes, some 747 diocesan priests and 274 seminarians of its own rite. However, according to the 2002 Romanian state census, the number of followers in Romania was as low as
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    Romanian Orthodox Church

    Romanian Orthodox Church

    • Places of worship (current): Metropolitan Cathedral, Iaşi
    The Romanian Orthodox Church (Biserica Ortodoxă Română in Romanian) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch. Its jurisdiction covers the territory of Romania, with dioceses for Romanians living in nearby Moldova, Serbia and Hungary, as well as diaspora communities in Central and Western Europe, North America and Oceania. It is the only Eastern Orthodox church using a Romance language. The majority of people in Romania (18,817,975, or 86.8% of the population, according to the 2002 census data) belong to it, as well as some 720,000 Moldovans. The Romanian Orthodox Church is the second-largest in size behind the Russian Orthodox Church. Adherents of the Romanian Orthodox Church sometimes refer to it as Dreapta credinţă ("right/correct belief" or "true faith"; compare to Greek ὀρθὴ δόξα, "straight/correct belief"). In 1859, the Romanian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia formed the modern state of Romania. The hierarchy of the Orthodox churches tends to follow the structure of the state. Therefore, shortly
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    Dutch Reformed Church

    Dutch Reformed Church

    The Dutch Reformed Church (in Dutch: Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk or NHK) was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. Growing out of the Roman Catholic Church, it came into being the 1570s and lasted until 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. At the time of the merger, the Church had 2 million members organised in 1,350 congregations. A minority of members of the Church chose not to participate in the merger. These former members re-organized as the Restored Reformed Church. It was one of the many local churches reconstituted across Europe during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. While the Dutch Reformed Church was based in the Netherlands, other churches holding similar theological views were founded in France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, England, and Scotland. The theology and practice of the Dutch Reformed Church, and its sister churches in the countries named, were based on the teachings of John Calvin and the many other Reformers of his time. The Reformation was a time of religious violence and
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    United Methodist Free Churches

    United Methodist Free Churches

    United Methodist Free Churches was an English nonconformist community which merged into the United Methodist Church in 1907. The organisation was itself formed in 1857 by the amalgamation of the Wesleyan Association (which had in 1836 largely absorbed the Protestant Methodists of 1828) and the Wesleyan Reformers (dating from 1849, when a number of Wesleyan Methodist ministers were expelled on a charge of insubordination).
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    Aztec religion

    Aztec religion

    Aztec religion (Nahuatl: tlateōtoquiliztli [t͡ɬɑteoːtokilist͡ɬi] is the Mesoamerican religion of the Aztecs. Like other Mesoamerican religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals which were held according to patterns of the Aztec calendar. It had a large and ever increasing pantheon; the Aztecs would often adopt deities of other geographic regions or peoples into their own religious practice. Aztec cosmology divided the world into upper and nether worlds, each associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. Important in Aztec religion were the sun, moon and the planet Venus—all of which held different symbolic and religious meanings and were connected to deities and geographical places. Large parts of the Aztec pantheon were inherited from previous Mesoamerican civilizations and others, such as Tlaloc, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, were venerated by different names in most cultures throughout the history of Mesoamerica. For the Aztecs especially important deities were Tlaloc the god of rain, Huitzilopochtli the patron god of the Mexica tribe, Quetzalcoatl the culture hero and god of civilization and
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    Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

    Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria

    • Is Part Of: Coptic Orthodox Church
    The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the official name for the largest Christian church in Egypt and the Middle East. The Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, which has been a distinct church body since the Council of Chalcedon in CE 451, when it took a different position over Christological theology from that of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The precise differences in theology that caused the split with the Coptic Christians are still disputed, highly technical and mainly concerned with the nature of Christ. The foundational roots of the Church are based in Egypt but it has a worldwide following. The church was established by Saint Mark, an apostle and evangelist, in the middle of the 1st century (approximately AD 42). The head of the church and the See of Alexandria is the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark. As of 2012, about 10% of Egyptians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Egypt is identified in the Bible as the place of refuge that the Holy Family sought in its flight from Judea: "When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there
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    184
    Lingbao

    Lingbao

    • Is Part Of: Taoism
    The Lingbao School (Simplified Chinese: 灵宝派; Traditional Chinese: 靈寶派; pinyin: Líng Bǎo Pài), also known as the School of the Sacred Jewel or the School of Numinous Treasure, was an important Daoist school that emerged in China in between the Jin Dynasty and the Liu Song Dynasty in the early fifth century CE. It lasted for about two hundred years until it was absorbed into the Shangqing School during the Tang Dynasty. The Lingbao School is a synthesis of religious ideas based on Shangqing texts, the rituals of the Celestial Masters, and Buddhist practices. The Lingbao School borrowed many concepts from Buddhism, including the concept of reincarnation, and also some cosmological elements. Although reincarnation was an important concept in the Lingbao School, the earlier Daoist belief in attaining immortality remained. The school's pantheon is similar to Shangqing and Celestial Master Daoism, with one of its most important gods being the deified form of Laozi. Other gods also existed, some of whom were in charge of preparing spirits for reincarnation. Lingbao ritual was initially in individual practice, but later went through a transformation that put more emphasis on collective
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    185
    Paganism

    Paganism

    Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic") is a blanket term, typically used to refer to religious traditions which are polytheistic or indigenous. It is primarily used in a historical context, referring to Greco-Roman polytheism as well as the polytheistic traditions of Europe and North Africa before Christianization. In a wider sense, extended to contemporary religions, it includes most of the Eastern religions and the indigenous traditions of the Americas, Central Asia, Australia and Africa; as well as non-Abrahamic folk religion in general. More narrow definitions will not include any of the world religions and restrict the term to local or rural currents not organized as civil religions. Characteristic of Pagan traditions is the absence of proselytism and the presence of a living mythology, which informs religious practice. Ethnologists often avoid the term "pagan," with its uncertain and varied meanings, in referring to traditional or historic faiths, preferring more precise categories such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism. In the late 20th century, "Paganism", or "Neopaganism", became widely used in reference to adherents of various New
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    186
    Taoic religion

    Taoic religion

    In the study of comparative religion, the East Asian religions (also known as Far Eastern religions or Taoic religions) form a subset of the Eastern religions. This group includes Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism, and elements of Mahayana Buddhism; as well as new religious movements such as Cao Dai, Chen Tao, Hoa Hao, Chondogyo, Jeung San Do, and I-Kuan Tao. These traditions or religious philosophies focus on the East Asian concept of Tao 道 ("The Way"; pinyin dào, Korean do, Japanese tō or dō, Vietnamese đạo). The place of East Asian religions among major religious groups is comparable to the Abrahamic religions and Indian religions. Early Chinese philosophies defined Tao and advocated cultivating Te in that Tao. Some ancient schools have merged into traditions with different names or are no longer active, such as Mohism (and many others of the Hundred Schools of Thought), while some such as Taoism persist to the modern day. East Asian religion is usually polytheistic or nontheistic, but henotheistic, monotheistic, pantheistic, panentheistic and agnostic varieties exist, inside and outside of Asia. East Asian religions have many Western adherents, though their interpretations may
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    187
    Anglican Communion

    Anglican Communion

    • Places of worship (current): St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
    The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches (and a few other episcopal churches) in full communion with the Church of England (which is regarded as the mother church of the worldwide communion) and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal juridical authority as each national or regional church has full autonomy. The status of full communion means, ideally, that there is mutual agreement on essential doctrines and that full participation in the sacramental life of each church is available to all communicant Anglicans. With a membership currently estimated at over 85 million members worldwide, the Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Some of these churches are known as Anglican, such as the Anglican Church of Canada, due to their historical link to England (Ecclesia Anglicana means "English Church"). Some, for example the Church of Ireland, the Scottish and American Episcopal churches, and some other associated churches have a separate name. Each
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    3 votes
    188
    Hanafi

    Hanafi

    • Founding Figures: Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man
    • Is Part Of: Sunni Islam
    • Places of worship (current): Baitul Mukarram
    The Hanafi (Arabic: حنفي‎ Ḥanafī ) school is one of the four Madhhabs (schools of law) in jurisprudence (Fiqh) within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit (Hijri: أبو حنيفة النعمان بن ثابت) (767 - 699CE /80 - 148 AH), a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani. This is the most prominent among all Sunni Schools and it has the most adherents in the Muslim world. Among the four established Sunni schools of legal thought in Islam, the Hanafi school is one of the oldest and by far, the largest in parts of the world. It has a reputation for putting greater emphasis on the role of reason and being more liberal than the other three schools. The Hanafi school also has many followers among the four major Sunni schools. This is largely to its being adopted as the official madhab of The Abbasid Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire. As such, the influence of the Hanafi school is still widespread in the former lands of these empires. Today, the Hanafi school is predominant in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, China as well as in
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    3 votes
    189
    Ancient Greek religion

    Ancient Greek religion

    Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These different groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or "cults" in the plural, though most of them shared similarities. Also, the Greek religion extended out of Greece and out to other islands. Many Greek people recognized the major gods and goddesses: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Demeter, Hestia and Hera though philosophies such as Stoicism and some forms of Platonism used language that seems to posit a transcendent single deity. Different cities often worshipped the same deities, sometimes with epithets that distinguished them and specified their local nature. The religious practices of the Greeks extended beyond mainland Greece, to the islands and coasts of Ionia in Asia Minor, to Magna Graecia (Sicily and southern Italy), and to scattered Greek colonies in the Western Mediterranean, such as Massalia (Marseille). Greek religion was tempered by Etruscan cult and belief to form much of the later Ancient Roman religion. While
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    190
    Hasidic Judaism

    Hasidic Judaism

    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew: חסידות‎—Ḥasidut (IPA: [ħasiˈdut]) in Sephardi Hebrew, Chasidus (IPA: [χaˈsidus]) in Ashkenazi Hebrew and Yiddish, meaning "piety" (or "loving kindness"), is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith. It was founded in 18th-century Eastern Europe by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism. His example began the characteristic veneration of leadership in Hasidism as embodiments and intercessors of Divinity for the followers. Opposite to this, Hasidic teachings cherished the sincerity and concealed holiness of the unlettered common folk, and their equality with the scholarly elite. The emphasis on the Immanent Divine presence in everything gave new value to prayer and deeds of kindness, alongside Rabbinic supremacy of study, and replaced historical mystical (kabbalistic) and ethical (musar) asceticism and admonishment with optimism, encouragement, and daily fervour. This populist emotional revival accompanied the elite ideal of nullification to paradoxical Divine Panentheism,
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    191
    Nichiren Buddhism

    Nichiren Buddhism

    • Is Part Of: Buddhism in Japan
    Nichiren Buddhism (日蓮系諸宗派: Nichiren-kei sho shūha) is a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese Buddhist reformer Nichiren (1222–1282). Nichiren Buddhism is based on the Lotus Sutra, which teaches that all people have an innate Buddha nature and are therefore inherently capable of attaining enlightenment in their current form and present lifetime. Nichiren Buddhism is a comprehensive term covering several major schools and many sub-schools. Nichiren Buddhists believe that the spread of Nichiren's teachings and their effect on practitioners' lives will eventually bring about a peaceful, just, and prosperous society. From the age of 16 until 32, Nichiren studied in numerous temples in Japan, especially Mt. Hiei (Enryaku-ji) and Mt. Kōya, in his day the major centers of Buddhist study, in the Kyoto–Nara area. He eventually concluded that the highest teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha (563?–483?BC) were to be found in the Lotus Sutra. The mantra he expounded on 28 April 1253, known as the Daimoku or Odaimoku, Nam(u)-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō, expresses his devotion to that body of teachings. During his lifetime, Nichiren stridently maintained that the
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    192
    Shingon Buddhism

    Shingon Buddhism

    • Founding Figures: Kukai
    • Is Part Of: Buddhism in Japan
    Shingon Buddhism (真言宗, Shingon-shū) is one of the mainstream major schools of Japanese Buddhism and one of the few surviving Esoteric Buddhist lineages that started in the 3rd to 4th century CE that originally spread from India to China through traveling monks such as Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra. The esoteric teachings would later flourish in Japan under the auspices of a Buddhist monk named Kūkai (空海), who traveled to Tang Dynasty China to acquire and request transmission of the esoteric teachings. For that reason, it is often called Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, or Orthodox Esoteric Buddhism. The word "Shingon" is the Japanese reading of the Kanji for the Chinese word Zhēnyán (真言)", literally meaning "True Words", which in turn is the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word mantra (मन्त्र). Shingon Buddhist doctrine and teachings arose during the Heian period (794-1185) when a Buddhist monk named Kūkai traveled to China in 804 to study Esoteric Buddhist practices in the city of Xi'an (西安) (then called Chang-an), at Qinglong Temple (青龍寺, Blue Dragon Temple) under Master Huiguo, a favorite student of the legendary Amoghavajra and returned to Japan as his lineage and Dharma successor.
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    193
    Soka Gakkai International

    Soka Gakkai International

    • Founding Figures: Daisaku Ikeda
    Sōka Gakkai (創価学会, lit., "Value-Creation Society") and/or Sōka Gakkai International (SGI) is a lay Buddhist movement linking more than 12 million people around the world. Sōka gakkai members integrate their Buddhist practice into their daily lives, following the Lotus Sutra based teachings of Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest. It is a lay Buddhist movement within the school of Nichiren Buddhism and is being regarded as one of the largest Japanese new religions. Founded by educator Tsunesaburō Makiguchi in 1930, the organization was suppressed during World War II for its opposition to government-supported State Shintō, which should not be equated to Shintō. Makiguchi, Jōsei Toda, and other top Sōka Gakkai leaders were arrested and jailed in 1943 and charged as "thought criminals". In November 1944, Makiguchi died in prison of malnutrition at the age of 73. His companion Jōsei Toda was released in July 1945, and took responsibility for the organisation. In the following years he rebuilt the Sōka Gakkai membership from less than 3,000 families in 1951 to more than 750,000 before his death in 1958. The Sōka Gakkai International (SGI) currently consists of 84 constituent
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    2 votes
    194
    Zendik farm

    Zendik farm

    • Founding Figures: Wulf Zendik
    Zendik Farm (Zendik Arts) is an intentional community.They create and sell books, videos, music CDs, t-shirts and a magazine. The farm is currently located on 200 acres that border the Monongahela National Forest in the mountains of West Virginia. It was originally located in California and has moved several times, first to the outskirts of Austin, Texas and then, briefly, to central Florida. From Florida, they moved to the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina; then finally to Marlinton, West Virginia. The original leader of the community was Wulf Zendik (1920-1999). The community follows its own psychological and philosophic beliefs, originally created by Wulf Zendik. After Wulf's death, Arol Zendik became the leader. Wulf and Arol's daughter Fawn is also an important decision maker for the farm.
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    195
    Abrahamic religion

    Abrahamic religion

    • Founding Figures: Abraham
    Abrahamic religions (also Abrahamism) are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him. They are one of the major divisions in comparative religion, along with Indian religions (Dharmic), East Asian religions (Taoic) and Neopaganism. As of the early twenty-first century, it was estimated that 54% of the world's population (3.8 billion people) considered themselves adherents of the Abrahamic religions, about 30% of other religions, and 16% of no religion. The Abrahamic religions originated in the Middle East. The largest Abrahamic religions are, in chronological order of founding, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha'i Faith. Judaism regards itself as the religion of the descendants of Jacob, a grandson of Abraham. It has a strictly unitary view of God, and the central holy book for almost all branches is the Masoretic Text as elucidated in the oral Torah. Christianity began as a sect of Judaism in the Mediterranean Basin of the 1st century CE and evolved into a separate religion—the Christian Church—with distinctive beliefs and practices. Jesus is the central figure of Christianity,
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    196
    Muslim

    Muslim

    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the Qur'an—which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad—and, with lesser authority than the Qur'an, the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts, called hadith. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "one who submits to God". Muslims believe that God is eternal, transcendent, absolutely one (the doctrine of tawhid, or strict or simple monotheism), and incomparable; that he is self-sustaining, who begets not nor was begotten. Muslim beliefs regarding God are summed up in chapter 112 of the Qur'an, al-Ikhlas, "the chapter of purity". Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both unaltered and the final revelation from God—Final Testament. Most Muslims accept as a Muslim anyone who has publicly pronounced the Shahadah (declaration of
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    197
    Creationism

    Creationism

    Creationism is the religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being, most often referring to the Abrahamic God. As science developed from the 18th century onwards, various views developed which aimed to reconcile science with the Abrahamic creation narrative. At this time those holding that species had been created separately (such as Philip Gosse in 1847) were generally called "advocates of creation" but they were occasionally called "creationists" in private correspondence between Charles Darwin and his friends. As the creation–evolution controversy developed, the term "anti-evolutionists" became more common, then in 1929 in the United States the term "creationism" first became specifically associated with Christian fundamentalist disbelief in human evolution and belief in a young Earth, though its usage was contested by other groups, such as theistic evolutionists, who believed in various concepts of creation. Today, the American Scientific Affiliation recognizes that there are different opinions among creationists on the method of creation, while acknowledging unity on the Abrahamic belief that God "created the
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    198
    Eastern Rite Catholic Churches

    Eastern Rite Catholic Churches

    The Eastern Catholic Churches (historically known by the now non-complimentary term Uniate Churches, which is still in use in some areas, and also by the inaccurate term eastern-rite Churches) are autonomous, self-governing (in Latin, sui iuris) particular churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Together with the Latin Church, they compose the worldwide Catholic Church. They preserve many centuries-old eastern liturgical, devotional, and theological traditions, shared in most cases with the various other Eastern Christian churches with which they were once associated. A few have never been out of communion with the Pope, a claim made, for instance, by the Maronites. Although the churches with which most were formerly associated may be of traditions out of communion with each other (Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East), Eastern Catholic churches of whatever tradition are all in communion with one another and with the Latin or Western church. However, they vary in theological emphasis, forms of liturgical worship and popular piety, canonical discipline and terminology. They all recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within
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    199
    Methodist Episcopal Church

    Methodist Episcopal Church

    The Methodist Episcopal Church, sometimes referred to as the M.E. Church, was a development of the first expression of Methodism in the United States. It officially began at the Baltimore Christmas Conference in 1784, with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as the first bishops. Through a series of divisions and mergers, the M.E. Church became the major component of the present United Methodist Church. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, was an Anglican. Prior to the American Revolution, some people had concerns about Methodist evangelism in the colonies that took no heed of established Anglican parishes. For example, the Rev. Devereux Jarratt (1733–1801) was and remained an Anglican clergyman who founded Methodist societies in Virginia and North Carolina. However, after the 1784 establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he expressed shock that the Methodists "had rejected their old mother." It is possible that Jarratt and others considered the Methodist movement to be some sort of 18th-Century parachurch organization. However, as more and more migrants from England who saw themselves as Methodist, not Anglican, arrived in America, the establishment of a distinctly Methodist
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    200
    Palestinian Christian

    Palestinian Christian

    Palestinian Christians are Christians descended from the peoples of the geographical area of Palestine, the birthplace of Christianity. Within modern Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic (Eastern and Western rites), Protestant, and others. In both the local dialect of Palestinian Arabic and in classical or modern standard Arabic, Christians are called Nasrani (a derivative of the Arabic word for Nazareth, al-Nasira) or Masihi (a derivative of Arabic word Masih, meaning "Messiah"). In Hebrew, they are called Notzri (also spelt Notsri), which means "Nazarene". Christians comprise less than 4% of Palestinians living within the borders of former Mandate Palestine today. They are approximately 4% of the West Bank population, less than 1% in Gaza, and nearly 10% of Israel's Arab population. According to official British Mandate estimates, Mandate Palestine’s Christian population varied between 9.5% (1922) and 7.9% (1946) of the total population. Today, the majority of Palestinian Christians live outside of the former Mandate Palestine because
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    201
    Scientology

    Scientology

    • Founding Figures: L. Ron Hubbard
    Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey. Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects. Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations. Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain; and the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion. In other countries, notably Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status. A large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology have been established, the
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    202
    Shaivism

    Shaivism

    • Is Part Of: Hinduism
    Shaivism (Sanskrit: शैव पंथ, śaiva paṁtha), also known as Shaivam (lit. "associated with Shiva"), is one of the four most widely followed sects of Hinduism, which reveres the god Shiva as the Supreme Being. Followers of Shaivam, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Shaivites," believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Shaivism is widespread throughout India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Areas notable for the practice of Shaivism include parts of Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It is very difficult to determine the early history of Shaivism. The Śvetāśvatara Upanishad (400 - 200 BCE) is the earliest textual exposition of a systematic philosophy of Shaivism. As explained by Gavin Flood, the text proposes: ... a theology which elevates Rudra to the status of supreme being, the Lord (Sanskrit: Īśa) who is transcendent yet also has cosmological functions, as does Śiva in later traditions. During the Gupta Dynasty (c. 320 - 500 CE) Puranic religion developed and Shaivism spread rapidly, eventually throughout the subcontinent, spread by the singers and composers of the Puranic narratives. The
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    203
    Shafi`i

    Shafi`i

    • Is Part Of: Sunni Islam
    • Places of worship (current): Edinburgh Central Mosque
    The Shafi'i (Arabic: شافعي‎ Šāfiʿī ) madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. Named after Imām ash-Shafi'i, it is followed by Muslims worldwide in Southeast Asia, Somalia, Yemen, and parts of the Egypt and Indian subcontinent. The Shafi'i school of thought stipulates authority to four sources of jurisprudence, also known as the Usul al-fiqh. In hierarchical order, the usul al-fiqh consist of: the Quran, the Sunnah of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, ijmā' ("consensus"), and qiyas ("analogy"). The Shafi'i school also refers to the opinions of Muhammad's companions (primarily Al-Khulafa ar-Rashidun). The school, based on Shafi'i's books ar-Risala fi Usul al-Fiqh and Kitab al-Umm, which emphasizes proper istinbaat (derivation of laws) through the rigorous application of legal principles as opposed to speculation or conjecture. Shafi'i's treatise ar-Risala fi Usul al-Fiqh is not to be mistaken or confused with the al-Risala of Imam Malik. Imam Shafi'i approached the imperatives of the Islamic Shariah (Canon Law) distinctly in his own systematic methodology. Imam Shafi'i, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal almost entirely exclude the
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    Siddha Yoga

    Siddha Yoga

    Siddha Yoga is a spiritual path based on the Indian spiritual traditions of Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. The Siddha Yoga path was founded by Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa (1908–1982). The leader of Siddha Yoga is Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. The two main ashrams are: Gurudev Siddha Peeth in Ganeshpuri, India, and Shree Muktananda Ashram in upstate New York. The Siddha Yoga organization has ashrams and meditation centers in a number of countries, including India, the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Brazil and Japan. The Siddha Yoga Vision: "For everyone, everywhere, to realize the presence of divinity in themselves and creation, the cessation of all miseries and suffering, and the attainment of supreme bliss." The Siddha Yoga Mission: "To constantly impart the knowledge of the Self." (Shiva Sutras III.28) Three aphorisms express three essential teachings of Siddha Yoga: "Honor your Self. Worship your Self. Meditate on your Self. God dwells within you as you." --Swami Muktananda "See God in each other." --Swami Muktananda "The heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam." --Bhagawan Nityananda Swami Muktananda's spiritual teacher, Bhagawan
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    3 votes
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    African Methodist Episcopal Church

    African Methodist Episcopal Church

    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    • Places of worship (current): Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
    The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists. Allen was consecrated its first bishop in 1816. "God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family" Derived from Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne's original motto "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother", which served as the AME Church motto until the 2008 General Conference, when the current motto was officially adopted. The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society (FAS), which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and other free blacks established in Philadelphia in 1787. They left St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church because of discrimination. Although Allen and Jones were both accepted as preachers, they were limited to black congregations. In addition, the blacks were made to sit in a separate gallery built in the church when their portion of the congregation increased. These
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    206
    Antiochian Orthodox Church

    Antiochian Orthodox Church

    The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East and the Antiochian Orthodox Church (Greek: Πατριαρχεῖον Ἀντιοχείας, Patriarcheîon Antiocheías; Arabic: بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس‎, Baṭrīarkīyyat Anṭākiya wa-sā'ir al-mašriq li'l-Rūm al-Ūrthūduks), is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity. Headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, it considers itself the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter and Paul. It is one of several churches that lays claim to be the canonical incumbent of the ancient see of St. Peter and St. Paul in Antioch. The Oriental Orthodox Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch makes the same claim, as do the Syrian Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, all of them Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See. These three, however, mutually recognize each other as holding authentic patriarchates, being part of the same Catholic communion. The Roman Catholic Church also appointed titular Latin Rite patriarchs for many centuries, until the
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    207
    Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church

    Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church

    The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church. Its autocephaly was recognised by Pope Shenouda III after Eritrea gained its independence in 1993. Tewahdo (Te-wa-hido) (Ge'ez ተዋሕዶ tawāhidō) is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one". According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1917 edition) article on the Henoticon: the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and many others, all refused to accept the "two natures" doctrine decreed by the Byzantine Emperor Marcian's Council of Chalcedon in 451, thus separating them from the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. The Oriental Orthodox Churches, which today include the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Church of India, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, are referred to as "Non-Chalcedonian", and, sometimes by outsiders as "monophysite" (meaning "One Nature", in reference to Christ; a rough translation of the name Tewahido). However, these Churches themselves describe their Christology as miaphysite. Tewahdo (Te-wa-hido) is a major ethnoreligious group in Eritrea and the largest Christian group
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    208
    Hermeticism

    Hermeticism

    Hermeticism or the Western Hermetic Tradition is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. These beliefs have heavily influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered greatly important during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The term Hermetic is from medieval Latin hermeticus, which is derived from the name of the Greek god, Hermes. In English, it has been attested since the 17th century as the adjective Hermetic (as in "Hermetic writers" e.g. Franz Bardon). The synonymous Hermetical also occurs in the 17th century. Sir Thomas Browne in his Religio Medici of 1643 wrote "Now besides these particular and divided Spirits, there may be (for ought I know) a universal and common Spirit to the whole world. It was the opinion of Plato, and is yet of the Hermeticall Philosophers." (R.M. Part 1:32). In Greece, the use of words beginning with herm dates from at least 600 BCE. Hermetic refers to a pillar or post that was used in pre-classical Greece, "of square shape, surmounted by a head with a beard. The square, limbless Hermes was a step in advance of the unwrought stone." The
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    1 votes
    209
    Metropolitan Community Church

    Metropolitan Community Church

    • Places of worship (current): Metropolitan Community Church of Washington D.C.
    The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), also known as the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), is an international Protestant Christian denomination. There are 222 member congregations in 37 countries, and the Fellowship has a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families and communities. The Fellowship has Official Observer status with the World Council of Churches. The MCC has been denied membership in the US National Council of Churches, but many local MCC congregations are members of local ecumenical partnerships around the world and MCC currently belongs to several state-wide councils of churches in the United States. MCC bases its theology on the historic creeds of the Christian Church such as Apostles' and Nicene creed. Every church is required to celebrate the Eucharist at least once a week, and to practice open communion, meaning that recipients need not be a member of the MCC or any other church to receive the Eucharist. Beyond that MCC allows its member churches independence in doctrine, worship, and practice. Worship styles vary widely from church to church. MCC sees its mission being social as well as spiritual by
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    Christianity

    Christianity

    • Founding Figures: Paul of Tarsus
    • Is Part Of: Abrahamic religion
    • Places of worship (current): Brancacci Chapel
    Christianity (from the Ancient Greek: Χριστιανός Christianos and the Latin suffix -itas) is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings. It also considers the Hebrew Bible, which is known as the Old Testament, to be canonical. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians. The mainstream Christian belief is that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human and the saviour of humanity. Because of this, Christians commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah. Jesus' ministry, sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection, are often referred to as the Gospel message ("good news"). In short, the Gospel is news of God the Father's eternal victory over evil, and the promise of salvation and eternal life for all people, through divine grace. Worldwide the three largest groups of Christianity are the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the various denominations of Protestantism. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox patriarchates split from one another in the East–West Schism of 1054 AD, and Protestantism came into existence during the Protestant
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    Italo-Albanian Catholic Church

    Italo-Albanian Catholic Church

    The Italo-Albanian Catholic Church, also referred to as the Italo-Greek Catholic Church and other variants, is one of the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches which, together with the Latin Church, compose the Catholic Church. It is a particular Church that is autonomous (sui juris) and its members are concentrated in Southern Italy and Sicily and use the Byzantine Rite. Italo-Albanian Catholics are of three races: the original Greek-speaking inhabitants of the Greek colonies in Lower Italy and Sicily, Levantine colonies & Balkans Greeks & Albanians and those Italians who changed over to the Greek Rite since the Byzantine period. In the fifteenth century, the original Italo-Greeks were gradually being Latinized but through an influx of Albanians of the Byzantine Rite, the church began to once again flourish. As a result, it is referred to as Italo-Albanian Catholic Church or as the Italo-Albanian Greek Catholic Church. In these names, "Greek" refers to the Byzantine Rite and the "Italo-" and "Albanian" components refer to the nationalities and languages used in the liturgy, although Greek is the historical liturgical language. It is also referred to by the name Italo-Greek Catholic Church,
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    Methodist Episcopal Church, South

    Methodist Episcopal Church, South

    The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, or Methodist Episcopal Church South, was the so-called "Southern Methodist Church" resulting from the split over the issue of slavery in the Methodist Episcopal Church which had been brewing over several years until it came out into the open at a conference held in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1844. This body maintained its own polity until it reunited with the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Protestant Church to form the The Methodist Church in 1939, which in turn later (1968) merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form The United Methodist Church. Some more theologically conservative MECS congregations dissenting from the merger formed the Southern Methodist Church in 1940. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was appalled by American slavery. When the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) was founded in the United States in 1784, the denomination officially opposed slavery. In the early nineteenth century, the MEC stance on slavery was weakened by wealthy Southerners. Clergy in the north were expected not to own slaves and to help emancipate them, while in the south slaves were legal. Conflict arose in 1840 when the
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    Weak agnosticism

    Weak agnosticism

    • Is Part Of: Agnosticism
    Weak agnosticism is the assertion that, at present, there is not enough information to know whether any deities exist, or that no one has publicly and conclusively proven that such deities exist, but that such might become knowable, or that someone may come forward with a conclusive and irrefutable proof for the existence of such deities. It is in contrast to strong agnosticism, which is the belief that the existence of any gods is completely unknowable to humanity. Neither type of agnosticism is fully irreconcilable with theism (belief in a deity or deities) nor atheism (rejecting belief in all deities). Weak agnostics who also consider themselves theists are likely to acknowledge they have some doubt, though they are not necessarily having a crisis of faith. Weak agnosticism is compatible with weak atheism, as weak atheists also do not assert that it is false that any deities exist. Weak agnosticism is also referred to as empirical agnosticism and as negative agnosticism. According to Graham Oppy, weak agnosticism is "the view which is sustained by the thesis that it is permissible for reasonable persons to suspend judgement on the question of God's existence." One reason why
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    Presbyterian Church of Wales

    Presbyterian Church of Wales

    The Presbyterian Church of Wales (Welsh: Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru), also known as The Calvinistic Methodist Church (Yr Eglwys Fethodistaidd Galfinaidd), is a denomination of Protestant Christianity. It was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival and the preaching of Howell Harris in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in 1811. It formally formed itself into a separate body in 1823 with the drawing up of its Confession of faith and produced its own monthly periodical Y Cenhadwr. It is distinguished from the Methodism of John Wesley by the Calvinistic nature of its theology. For the history of the church, see Calvinistic Methodists. It is the only Presbyterian Church in the world to have originated in the Methodist revival rather than from the Calvinist Reformation. At present, the Presbyterian Church of Wales has around 30,000 members who worship in around 700 churches. Most of these churches are in Wales, but due to strong historical links between the Welsh and certain English cities, there are churches using both the English and the Welsh languages in London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool. The Church offices are located at the Tabernacle Church,
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    Albanian Orthodox Church

    Albanian Orthodox Church

    The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania (Albanian: Kisha Ortodokse Autoqefale e Shqipërisë) is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. It declared its autocephaly in 1922, and gained recognition from the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1937. The church suffered during the Second World War, and in the communist period that followed, especially after 1967 when Albania was declared an atheist state, and no public or private expression of religion was allowed. The church has, however, seen a revival since religious freedom was restored in 1991, with more than 250 churches rebuilt or restored, and more than 100 clergy being ordained. It has 909 parishes spread all around Albania, and around 500,000 faithful. The Holy Synod of Bishops was established in 1998, and is currently consisted of: Christianity first arrived in Albania with Saint Paul during the 1st century. Saint Paul wrote that he preached in the Roman province of Illyricum, and legend holds that he visited Durrës. However it was with Constantine the Great, who issued the Edict of Milan and legalized Christianity, that the Christian religion became official in the lands of modern Albania. When Albania
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    Evangelism

    Evangelism

    Evangelism is the preaching of the Christian Gospel or the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others with the object of conversion. Christians who specialize in evangelism are known as evangelists whether they are in their home communities or living as missionaries in the field. Some Christian traditions consider evangelists to be in a leadership position; they may be found preaching to large meetings or in governance roles. Christian groups who actively encourage evangelism are sometimes known as evangelistic or evangelist. The scriptures do not use the word evangelism, but evangelist is used in (the translations of) Acts 21:8, Ephesians 4:11, and 2 Timothy 4:5. The communication of Christian faith to new geographical areas and cultures is often referred to as evangelization, or specifically, world evangelization. The word evangelist comes from the Koine Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (transliterated as "euangelion") via Latinised "Evangelium", as used in the canonical titles of the four Gospels, authored by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (also known as the Four Evangelists). The Greek word εὐαγγέλιον originally meant a reward given to the messenger for
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    Nichiren Shoshu

    Nichiren Shoshu

    • Places of worship (current): Myosenji Temple
    Nichiren Shōshū (日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). Nichiren Shōshū claims Nichiren as its founder through his disciple Nikkō (1246–1333), the founder of the school's Head Temple Taiseki-ji. It has adherents throughout the world, with the largest concentrations in Indonesia and Japan and many more in Taiwan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Ghana, the Philippines, Europe, and North, Central, and South America. Nichiren Shōshū is a school of Mahayana Buddhism with its Head Temple, Taiseki-ji, located on the lower slopes of Mount Fuji in Japan. It has a substantial international membership. The denomination's name Nichiren Shōshū means "Orthodox Nichiren School". The denomination is sometimes referred to as "The Fuji School", deriving from Taiseki-ji's location. Taiseki-ji is visited regularly by Nichiren Shōshū believers from around the world who come to worship the Dai-Gohonzon. Nichiren Shōshū has over 700 local temples and temple-like facilities in Japan. Additionally, there are 22 overseas temples - six in the United States, nine in Taiwan, two in Indonesia - as
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    Jewish Renewal

    Jewish Renewal

    • Founding Figures: Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    Jewish Renewal (Hebrew: התחדשות יהודית‎) (Yiddish: ייִדיש רענעוואַל), is a recent movement in Judaism which endeavors to reinvigorate modern Judaism with mystical, Hasidic, musical and meditative practices. It is distinct from the Baal Teshuva movement of return to Orthodox Judaism. The term Jewish Renewal describes "a set of practices within Judaism that attempt to reinvigorate what it views as a moribund and uninspiring Judaism with mystical, Hasidic, musical and meditative practices drawn from a variety of traditional and untraditional, Jewish and other, sources. In this sense, Jewish renewal is an approach to Judaism that can be found within segments of any of the Jewish denominations." The term also refers to an emerging Jewish movement, the Jewish Renewal movement, which describes itself as "a worldwide, transdenominational movement grounded in Judaism’s prophetic and mystical traditions." The Jewish Renewal movement incorporates social views such as feminism, environmentalism and pacifism. About the movement, Jewish Renewal rabbi Rachel Barenblat writes: Jewish Renewal rabbi Barbara Thiede writes: The movement's most prominent leader is Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Other
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    Orthodox Judaism

    Orthodox Judaism

    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    • Places of worship (current): Old Synagogue
    Orthodox Judaism is the approach to religious Judaism which adheres to the interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin ("Oral Torah") and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and Acharonim. Orthodox Jews are also called "observant Jews"; Orthodoxy is known also as "Torah Judaism" or "traditional Judaism". Orthodox Judaism generally refers to Modern Orthodox Judaism and Haredi Judaism but can actually include a wide range of beliefs. As of 2001, approximately 13 percent of American Jews and 25 percent of Israeli Jews were Orthodox. Among American synagogue members, 27 percent attended Orthodox synagogues. Orthodoxy is not a single movement or school of thought. There is no single rabbinic body to which all rabbis are expected to belong, or any one organization representing member congregations. In the United States, there are numerous Orthodox congregational organizations, such as Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union, and the National Council of Young Israel; none of which can claim to represent a majority of all Orthodox congregations. The exact forms of
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    Polish National Catholic Church

    Polish National Catholic Church

    The Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) is a Christian church founded and based in the United States by Polish-Americans who were Roman Catholic. The PNCC is a breakaway Catholic Church in dialogue with the Catholic Church; it seeks full communion with the Holy See although it differs theologically in several important respects. The Polish National Catholic Church welcomes people of all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds. A sister church in Poland, likewise not in communion with the Catholic Church, is the Polish Catholic Church. In 2011 the Church had some 25,000 members in the United States. There are five dioceses: Buffalo-Pittsburgh, Central, Eastern, Western and Canada. The Mass of the Polish National Catholic Church uses one of three liturgies: the Contemporary Rite, the Traditional Rite, and the Rite of Prime Bishop Hodur. The Contemporary is the shortest of the Mass types and the most used in PNCC parishes. It is similar to the current Roman Rite Mass except some parts are from the other two Masses. The Traditional is longer and is still widely used. It is the older Mass used at the time when the PNCC formed. The Prime Bishop Hodur Mass is the longest and filled with
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    Rastafari movement

    Rastafari movement

    • Founding Figures: Joseph Hibbert
    The Rastafari movement, or Rasta is a spiritual movement. It arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black African descendants of slaves. Most of its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as Jesus incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Members of the Rastafari movement are known as Rastas, or Rastafari. The movement is sometimes referred to as "Rastafarianism", but this term is considered derogatory and offensive by some Rastas, who, being highly critical of "isms" (which they see as a typical part of "Babylon culture"), dislike being labelled as an "ism" themselves. The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the pre-regnal title of Haile Selassie I, composed of Amharic Ras (literally "Head", an Ethiopian title equivalent to Duke), and Haile Selassie's pre-regnal given name, Tafari. Rastafari are generally distinguished for asserting the doctrine that Haile Selassie I, the former and final Emperor of Ethiopia, is another incarnation of the Christian God, called Jah. Most see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, who is the second coming of Jesus
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    Reformed Church of France

    Reformed Church of France

    The Reformed Church of France (French: L’Église Réformée de France, ÉRF) is a denomination in France with Calvinist origins. It is the original and largest Protestant denomination in France. The church is a member of the Protestant Federation of France (Fédération protestante de France), the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches. The church has approximately 300,000 members, distributed in a somewhat unequal fashion throughout French metropolitan territory with the exception of Alsace-Moselle and the Pays de Montbéliard. The church consists of 400 parishes, organised in 50 presbyteries (consistoires) and eight administrative regions. Emerging from the Reformation in the 16th century, the reformed Churches were organised unofficially and, by force of circumstance, clandestinely. The first national synod of the Reformed Churches was held in 1559; their first formal confession of faith (The La Rochelle confession) was composed in 1571. Recognised and restricted by the Edict of Nantes in 1598, the last official synod met in 1659; subsequently, the churches were suppressed by the 1685 Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked Edict of Nantes. The revocation
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    Sakya

    Sakya

    • Is Part Of: Tibetan Buddhism
    The Sakya (Tibetan: ས་སྐྱ་, wylie: Sa skya, "pale earth") school is one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug. It is one of the Red Hat sects along with the Nyingma and Kagyu. The name Sakya ("pale earth") derives from the unique grey landscape of Ponpori Hills in southern Tibet near Shigatse, where Sakya Monastery, the first monastery of this tradition, and the seat of the Sakya School was built by Khon Konchog Gyalpo (1034–1102) in 1073. The Sakya tradition developed during the second period of translation of Buddhist scripture from Sanskrit into Tibetan in the late 11th century. It was founded by Drogmi, a famous scholar and translator who had studied at the Vikramashila University directly under Naropa, Ratnakarashanti, Vagishvakirti and other great panditas from India for twelve years. Konchog Gyalpo became Drogmi's disciple on the advice of his elder brother. The tradition was established by the "Five Venerable Supreme Masters" starting with the grandson of Khonchog Gyalpo, Kunga Nyingpo, who became known as Sachen, or "Great Sakyapa": Buton Rinchen Drub (1290–1364) was an important scholar and writer and one of Tibet's most
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    Sufism

    Sufism

    • Is Part Of: Sunni Islam
    Sufism or taṣawwuf (Arabic: تصوّف‎) is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a ṣūfī (صُوفِيّ). Sufis believe they are practicing Ihsan (perfection of worship) as revealed by Gabriel to Muhammad, "Worship and serve Allah as you are seeing Him and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you." Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as "a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God". Alternatively, in the words of the Darqawi Sufi teacher Ahmad ibn Ajiba, "a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one's inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits". Classical Sufis were characterised by their attachment to dhikr (a practice of repeating the names of God) and asceticism. Sufism gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE). Sufis have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, at first expressed through Arabic, then through Persian, Turkish and a dozen other languages.
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    Armenian Catholic Church

    Armenian Catholic Church

    The Armenian Catholic Church (Armenian: Հայ Կաթողիկէ Եկեղեցի Hay Kat’oġikē Ekeġec’i) is an Eastern Catholic Church sui juris in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. It is in full communion with and accepts the authority of the Pope in Rome as regulated by Eastern canon law. Since 1749, Armenian Catholic Church is headquartered at the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate complex in Bzoummar, Lebanon. After the Armenian Apostolic Church formally broke off communion from the Chalcedonian churches in the 5th century, some Armenian bishops and congregations made attempts to restore communion with the Catholic Church. During the Crusades, the church of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia entered into a union with the Catholic Church, an attempt that did not last. The union was later re-established during the Council of Florence in 1439, but did not have any real effects for centuries. In 1740, Abraham-Pierre I Ardzivian, who had earlier become a Catholic, was elected as the patriarch of Sis. Two years later Pope Benedict XIV formally established the Armenian Catholic Church. In 1749, the Armenian Catholic Church built a convent in Bzoummar, Lebanon. During the horrific Armenian genocide in
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    Ayyavazhi

    Ayyavazhi

    Ayyavazhi (Tamil:அய்யாவழி Malayalam: അയ്യാവഴി Ayyavali, [əjːaːvəɻi] ( listen) -"Path of the father") is a dharmic belief system that originated in South India . It is cited as an independent monistic religion by several newspapers, government reports and academic researchers. In Indian censuses, however, the majority of its followers declare themselves as Hindus. Therefore, Ayyavazhi is also considered a Hindu sect. Ayyavazhi is centered on the life and preachings of Ayya Vaikundar; its ideas and philosophy are based on the holy texts Akilattirattu Ammanai and Arul Nool. Accordingly, Vaikundar was the Purna avatar of Narayana. Ayyavazhi shares many ideas with Hinduism in its mythology and practice, but differs considerably in its concepts of good and evil and dharma. Ayyavazhi is classified as a dharmic belief because of its central focus on dharma. Ayyavazhi first came to public attention in the 19th century as a Hindu sect. Vaikundar's activities and the growing number of followers caused a reformation and revolution in 19th century Travancorean and Tamil society, surprising the feudal social system of South India. It also triggers a number of reform movements including those of
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    Catholic

    Catholic

    The word catholic (derived via Late Latin catholicus, from the Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos), meaning "universal") comes from the Greek phrase καθόλου (katholou), meaning "on the whole", "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words κατά meaning "about" and όλος meaning "whole". The word in English can mean either "including a wide variety of things; all-embracing" or "of the Roman Catholic faith" as "relating to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church." It was first used to describe the Christian Church in the early 2nd century to emphasize its universal scope. In the context of Christian ecclesiology, it has a rich history and several usages. In non-ecclesiastical use, it derives its English meaning directly from its root, and is currently used to mean the following: The term has been incorporated into the name of the largest Christian communion, the Catholic Church (also called the Roman Catholic Church). However, many other Christians use the term "Catholic" (sometimes with a lower-case letter "c") to refer more broadly to the whole Christian Church or to all believers in Jesus Christ regardless of denominational
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    Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church

    Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church

    The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a self-governing body of the Eastern Orthodox Church that territorially covers the countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The primate is Metropolitan Christopher of Prague and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, who was elected on May 2, 2006. The Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia presents both an ancient history as well as a very modern history. The present day church occupies the land of Moravia, where the brothers Ss. Cyril and Methodius began their mission to the Slavs, introducing the liturgical and canonical order of the Orthodox Church, translated into the Church Slavonic language. In doing this they developed the first Slavic alphabet. This mission was destroyed after Methodius died in 885, as Pope Stephen V of Rome forced all disciples of the brothers to leave the countryside which is now the Czech Republic. The Orthodox order survived in present day Slovakia due to its nearness and influence to Kievan Rus' until the union with Rome was instituted by the Viennese Court. After the legal restraints to Orthodoxy were removed with the end of World War I, many people left the Roman Catholic Church. Many looked to the
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    Ismaili

    Ismaili

    Ismāʿīlism (Arabic: الإسماعيلية‎ al-Ismāʿīliyya; Persian: اسماعیلیان‎Esmāʿiliyān; Urdu: إسماعیلی Ismāʿīlī) is the second largest branch of Shia Islam after the Twelvers (Ithnāʿashariyya). The Ismāʿīlī get their name from their acceptance of Ismāʿīl ibn Jaʿfar as the appointed spiritual successor (Imām) to Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq, wherein they differ from the Twelvers, who accept Mūsà al-Kāżim, younger brother of Ismāʿīl, as the true Imām. Tracing its earliest theology to the lifetime of Muhammad, Ismāʿīlism rose at one point to become the largest branch of Shī‘ism, climaxing as a political power with the Fatimid Empire in the tenth through twelfth centuries. Ismailis believe in the oneness of God, as well as the closing of divine revelation with Muhammad, whom they see as "the final Prophet and Messenger of God to all humanity". The Ismāʿīlī and the Twelvers both accept the same initial A'immah from the descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima Zahra and therefore share much of their early history. Both Shī‘ite groups see the family of Muḥammad (Ahl al-Bayt) as divinely chosen, infallible (ismah), and guided by God to lead the Islamic community (Ummah), a belief that
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    Lutheranism

    Lutheranism

    • Founding Figures: Martin Luther
    • Is Part Of: Protestantism
    • Places of worship (current): Ulm Cathedral
    Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Roman Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation. Beginning with the 95 Theses, Luther's writings were disseminated internationally, spreading the ideas of the Reformation beyond the ability of governmental and churchly authorities to control it. The split between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics began with the Edict of Worms in 1521, which officially excommunicated Luther and all of his followers. The divide centered over the doctrine of Justification. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone" which went against the Roman view of "faith formed by love", or "faith and works". Unlike the Reformed Churches, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology significantly differs from Reformed theology in Christology, the purpose of God's Law, divine grace, the concept of perseverance of
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    Roman Catholicism in the United States

    Roman Catholicism in the United States

    The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 77.7 million registered members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising 25 percent of the population. The United States has the third largest Catholic population in the world, after Brazil and Mexico. Catholicism arrived in what is now the United States during the earliest days of the European colonization of the Americas. The first Catholic missionaries were Spanish, having come with Christopher Columbus to the New World on his second voyage in 1493. Subsequently, Spanish missionaries established missions in what are now Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, California, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. French colonization came later, in the early 18th century, with the French establishing missions in the Louisiana Territory districts in New France: St. Louis, New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, the Alabamas, Natchez, Yazoo, Natchitoches, Arkansas, Illinois, and Michigan. The number of Catholics has grown during the country's history, at first slowly in the early 19th century through some
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    Spiritualism

    Spiritualism

    Spiritualism is a belief system or religion, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions (séances) are held by "mediums", who can then provide information about the afterlife. Spiritualism developed and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-language countries. By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe, mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes, while the corresponding movement in continental Europe and Latin America is known as Spiritism. The religion flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal organization, attaining cohesion through periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp meetings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums. Many prominent Spiritualists were women, and like most Spiritualists, supported causes such as the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage. By the late 1880s the credibility of the informal movement had weakened due to accusations of fraud
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    Anglican Episcopal Church

    Anglican Episcopal Church

    The Anglican Episcopal Church (AEC) is a Continuing Anglican church consisting of parishes in California, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, and Florida served by two bishops and 18 other clergy. The AEC was founded at St. George's Anglican Church in Ventura, California. The Anglican Episcopal Church is an Anglican jurisdiction that describes its faith as being based on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and the Authorized Version of the Bible. The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion are accepted as authoritative. This church body is not to be confused with the Anglican Episcopal Church of North America which was founded in 1972 by Bishop Walter Hollis Adams (1907 to 1991), with the Anglican Episcopal Church, Celtic Rite which was founded in 1993 by Bishop Robert Harold Hawn (1928 to 1999), or with the Anglican Episcopal Church International which was founded by Bishop Norman S. Dutton in 2008. The Anglican Episcopal Church's first bishop was the Rt. Rev. Reginald Hammond (1918 to 2004). Bishop Hammond was consecrated for the Anglican Episcopal Church on 20 April 2000 by the Rt. Rev. Robert J. Godfrey, a former presiding bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church. The co-consecrators were: the Rt. Rev.
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    Buddhism in Japan

    Buddhism in Japan

    Buddhism has been practiced in Japan since at least 552, though some Chinese sources place the first spreading of the religion earlier during the Kofun period (250 to 538). It has had a major influence on the culture and development of Japan over the centuries, and remains an important part of the culture. About 90 million people in Japan claim to be Buddhist practitioners and/or believers, which accounts for about 70% of the population. Due to syncretism in Japan, many Buddhists also profess adherence to Shinto – these are not exclusive, and there is substantial overlap. In modern times, Japan's most popular schools of Buddhism are Amidist (Pure Land), Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon Buddhism and Zen Buddhism. The root of the Japanese word for Buddhism, bukkyō (仏教) comes from 仏 (butsu, “buddha”) + 教 (kyō, “teaching”). The arrival of Buddhism in Japan is ultimately a consequence of the first contacts between China and Central Asia, whereby Buddhism was introduced into China. These contacts occurred with the opening of the Silk Road in the 2nd century BC, following the travels of Zhang Qian between 138 and 126 BC. These contacts culminated with the official introduction of Buddhism in
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    Christian Reformed Churches

    Christian Reformed Churches

    The Christian Reformed Churches (Dutch: Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken) are a Protestant church in the Netherlands with about 75,000 members. The original name of the church was Christian Reformed Church in the Netherlands (Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk in Nederland, CGKN). The church was formed in 1869 by the merger of two churches, both separated from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1834. Most of the CGKN merged into the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands in 1892; a small part remained independent, and carried this name until it was renamed in 1947 to Christian Reformed Churches.
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    Church of Bangladesh

    Church of Bangladesh

    The Church of Bangladesh is a church of the Anglican Communion in Bangladesh. It is a united church formed by the union of various Christian churches in the region, principally Anglican and Presbyterian. The Church of Bangladesh came into being as the outcome of the separation from Pakistan. This started as a movement which focused on language and took shape through the liberation war in 1971, which created an independent Bangladesh. The Synod of the Church of Pakistan on 30 April 1974-declared and endorsed a free and independent status for the Church of Bangladesh. The Church of Bangladesh brings together the Anglican and English Presbyterian Churches. Following the creation of the independent Church of Bangladesh, efforts were made to increase local leadership. The Rt. Rev. B. D. Mondal was consecrated as the first national bishop of Dhaka Diocese in 1975. He tried to follow the path of Bishop Blair, by encouraging the active participation of lay leaders from all sections of the church congregations. After the creation of the Synod, the Rt. Rev. B. D. Mondal became the first moderator of the Church of Bangladesh and the Rt. Rev. Michael S. Baroi the deputy moderator. At the time
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    Church of God

    Church of God

    The Church of God, with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. With over seven million members in over 170 countries, it is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the world. In the United States, it reports 1,076,254 members, making it the nation's 22nd largest Christian church. The movement's origins can be traced back to 1886 with a small meeting of Christians at the Barney Creek Meeting House on the Tennessee/North Carolina border, making it the oldest Pentecostal denomination in the United States. The Church of God's publishing house is Pathway Press. The precise legal name of this body is Church of God. In 1953, the Supreme Court of Tennessee determined that it alone was entitled to use the simple name Church of God, after a protracted court case involving donations that were intended for its orphanages that were being received by other groups using the same name. The group however uses Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) in order to distinguish it from other bodies who use the words Church of God in their titles. R. G. Spurling (1857–1935), a Missionary Baptist minister, and his father Richard Spurling (1810–91), an ordained
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    Episcopal Church in the United States of America

    Episcopal Church in the United States of America

    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    • Places of worship (current): Washington National Cathedral
    The Episcopal Church (also officially known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America) is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States, as well as in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe. The Episcopal Church is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States and many other territories where it has a presence (excluding Europe). The Episcopal Church describes itself as being "Protestant, yet Catholic." In 2010, the Episcopal Church had a baptized membership of 2,125,012 both inside and outside the United States. In the U.S., it had a baptized membership of 1,951,907, making it the nation's 14th largest denomination. The Church was organized shortly after the American Revolution when it was forced to separate from the Church of England, as Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. It became, in the words of the 1990 report of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Group on the Episcopate, "the first Anglican Province outside the British Isles." Now
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    Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

    Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

    • Founding Figures: Frumentius
    • Is Part Of: Oriental Orthodoxy
    The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን; Transliterated Amharic: Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan) is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa, Cyril VI. It should not be confused with the Ethiopian Catholic Church, which is a Chalcedonian church. One of the few pre-colonial Christian churches of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Church has a membership of between 40 and 45 million, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, and is thus the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. Tewahedo (Te-wa-hido) (Ge'ez ተዋሕዶ tawāhidō, modern pronunciation tewāhidō) is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one" or "unified". This word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one single unified Nature of Christ; i.e., a belief that a complete, natural union of the Divine and Human Natures into One is self-evident in order to accomplish the divine
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    Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic

    Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic

    The Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic (Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana) is one of the largest Protestant denominations in the Dominican Republic with approximately 10,000 members in 55 congregations. The Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic was founded in 1922 as an ecumenical project by three denominations from the United States: the Methodist Episcopal Church, the United Brethren (both now the United Methodist Church), and the Presbyterian Church (USA). In 1978, the Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic, together with Dominican Episcopal Church founded the Center for Theological Studies of Santo Domingo, a Protestant seminary. The Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic is a member of the World Methodist Council and the Latin American Council of Churches (Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias).
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    Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia

    Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca, or LELB) is a Lutheran Protestant church in Latvia. Latvia's Lutheran heritage dates back to the Reformation. Both the Nazi and communist regimes persecuted the church harshly before religious freedom returned to Latvia in 1988. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia sees itself as being in a continuous tradition of Christian life since the earliest recorded Christian missionary work in the area, in the 12th century. Latvia was highly influenced by the Reformation and the style of Lutheran church which emerged followed the more Protestant German-type Lutheranism, rather than the episcopal or Nordic-type Lutheranism that emerged in Sweden, Denmark, and even elsewhere in the Baltic region. However, following the establishment of the Republic of Latvia (1918) the church moved towards a more historical catholic polity, and accepted consecration of bishops by the Church of Sweden. Along with the Church of Sweden, the ELCL now claims full apostolic succession. Since the fall of communism, the church has experienced massive growth and expansion. A special Synod in April 1989, following the
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    General Board of Church and Society

    General Board of Church and Society

    The United Methodist Board of Church and Society is a general agency of the United Methodist Church. It is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church as set out the UMC Book of Discipline. The General Board has headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. There are five divisions within the GBCS: 1) Public Witness and Advocacy 2) Administration 3) Ministry of Resourcing Congregational Life 4)United Nations Ministry 5) Communications. The General Secretary of the Board is currently Jim Winkler. According to the 2004 Book of Discipline, the GBCS's purpose is thus stated: 1002. Purpose - The purpose of the board shall be to relate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the members of the Church and to the persons and structures of the communities and world in which they live. It shall seek to bring the whole of human life, activities, possessions, use of resources, and community and world relationships into conformity with the will of God. It shall show the members of the Church and the society that the reconciliation that God effected through Christ involves personal, social, and civic
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    Hindu

    Hindu

    Hindu ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a term used to refer to the adherents of Indian religions. Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. Hinduism includes the Agamic religion, involving Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktism, historical groups such as the Ganapatyas, Kaumaras, Sauras, Bhairavas, Kapalikas, Kalamukhas, Pashupatas, and the historical Vedic religion including the Śrautas. The term ‘Hindu’ came to include persons professing any Indian religion (i.e. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism or Sikhism) after India became an independent country With more than a billion adherents, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. The vast majority of Hindus, approximately 940 million, live in India. Other countries with large Hindu populations include Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji and the island of Bali. The Brihaspati Agama says: The usage of the word Hindu was popularized for Arabs and further west by the Arabic term al-Hind referring to the land of the people who live across river Indus and the Persian term Hindū referring to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustān emerged as a popular alternative name of
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    Karaite Judaism

    Karaite Judaism

    • Is Part Of: Judaism
    • Places of worship (current): Karaim Synagogue
    Karaite Judaism or Karaism ( /ˈkærə.aɪt/ or /ˈkærə.ɪzəm/; Hebrew: יהדות קראית , Modern Yahadut Qara'it Tiberian Qārāʾîm ; meaning "Readers of the Hebrew Scriptures") is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah (Jewish religious law) and theology. It is distinct from mainstream Rabbinic Judaism (also known as Rabbinism, and its practitioners sometimes as Rabbanites), which considers the Oral Torah, the legal decisions of the Sanhedrin as codified in the Talmud, and subsequent works to be authoritative interpretations of the Torah. Karaism is thought to have arisen in the 7th-9th centuries CE in Baghdad and possibly in Egypt. Karaites maintain that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah, without additional Oral Law or explanation. As a result, Karaite Jews do not accept as binding the written collections of the oral tradition in the Mishnah or Talmud. When interpreting the Tanakh, Karaites strive to adhere to the plain or most obvious meaning ("peshat") of the text; this is not necessarily the literal meaning, but rather the meaning that would
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    Navajo mythology

    Navajo mythology

    Diné Bahaneʼ (Navajo: "Story of the People"), the Navajo creation story, describes the prehistoric emergence of the Navajos, and centers on the area known as the Dinétah, the traditional homeland of the Navajo people. This story forms the basis for the traditional Navajo way of life. The basic outline of Diné Bahaneʼ begins with the Niłchʼi Diyin (Holy Wind) being created, the mists of lights which arose through the darkness to animate and bring purpose to the myriad Diyin Dineʼé (Holy People), supernatural and sacred in the different three lower worlds. All these things were spiritually created in the time before the earth existed and the physical aspect of humans did not exist yet, but the spiritual did. The First World was small and centered on an island floating in a the middle of four seas. The inhabitants of the first world were Diyin Dineʼé, Coyote, mist beings and various insect people. The supernatural beings First Woman and First Man came into existence here and met for the first time after seeing each other's fire. The various beings started fighting with one another and departed by flying out an opening in the east. They journeyed to the Second World, Niʼ Hodootłʼizh,
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    Premonstratensian

    Premonstratensian

    • Is Part Of: Catholicism
    The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines, or in Britain and Ireland as the White Canons (from the colour of their habit), are a Roman Catholic religious order of canons regular founded at Prémontré near Laon in 1120 by Saint Norbert, who later became Archbishop of Magdeburg. Premonstratensians are designated by O.Praem (Ordo Praemonstratensis) following their name. Saint Norbert had made various efforts to introduce a strict form of canonical life in various communities of canons in Germany; in 1120 he was working in the now-extinct Diocese of Laon, in the Picardy province of northeastern France. There, in a rural place called Prémontré, he and thirteen companions established a monastery to be the cradle of a new order. As they were canons regular, they followed the Rule of St. Augustine, but with supplementary statutes that made their life one of great austerity. Norbert was a friend of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and so was largely influenced by the Cistercian ideals as to both the manner of life and the government of his order. As the Premonstratensians are not monks but canons regular, their work often involves preaching and
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    Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

    Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

    The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) (Ukrainian: Українська Греко-Католицька Церква (УГКЦ), Ukrains'ka Hreko-Katolyts'ka Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church in full communion with the Holy See, and is directly subject to the Pope. The Primate of the Church holds the office of Archbishop-Major of Kiev-Halych and All Rus, though the hierarchs of the church have acclaimed their primate "Patriarch" and have requested Papal recognition of, and elevation to, this title. The Church is one of the successor Churches to the acceptance of Christianity by Grand Prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev, in 988. The Church has followed the spread of the Ukrainian diaspora, and now has some 40 hierarchs in over a dozen countries on four continents, including three other metropolitans in Poland, the United States, and Canada. The head of the church is Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, since March 2011 Within Ukraine itself, the UGCC is a minority faith of the religious population, being a distant second to the majority Eastern Orthodox faith. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the second largest religious organization in Ukraine in terms of number of
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    United Methodist Church

    United Methodist Church

    • Founding Figures: Charles Wesley
    • Is Part Of: Christianity
    The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a Methodist Christian denomination that is both mainline Protestant and Evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley within the Church of England. As such, the church's theological orientation is decidedly Wesleyan. It embraces both liturgical and evangelical elements. In the United States, it ranks as the largest mainline denomination, the second largest Protestant church after the Southern Baptist Convention, and the third largest Christian denomination. As of 2007, worldwide membership was about 12 million: 8.0 million in the United States and Canada, 3.5 million in Africa, Asia and Europe. It is a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, and other religious associations. The movement which would become The United Methodist Church began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England. A small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met on the Oxford University campus. They focused on Bible study, methodical study of scripture
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    Western mystery tradition

    Western mystery tradition

    Western esotericism or Wesotericism (also Western Hermetic Tradition, Western mysticism, Western Inner Tradition, Western occult tradition, and Western mystery tradition) is a broad spectrum of spiritual traditions found in Western society, or refers to the collection of the mystical, esoteric knowledge of the Western world. This often includes, but is not limited to, philosophy and meditation, herbalism and alchemy, astrology and divination, and various forms of ritual magic. The tradition has no one source or unifying text, nor does it hold any specific dogma, instead placing emphasis on spiritual "knowledge" or Gnosis and the rejection of blind faith. Although the protosciences were widespread in the ancient world, the rise of modern science was born from occult varieties of Western Esotericism reinterpreted in the "Age of Enlightenment" and is documented within the field known as the "History of Science". Various groups including Hermeticists, Neopagans, Thelemites, Theosophists and others still continue to practice modern variants of traditional Western esoteric philosophies. The roots of the Western mystery tradition are in occult movements of Late Antiquity,
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    Zoroastrianism

    Zoroastrianism

    • Founding Figures: Zoroaster
    Zoroastrianism /ˌzɒroʊˈæstriənɪzəm/, also called Mazdaism and Magianism, is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra in Avestan) and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in the eastern part of ancient Greater Iran (Persia). In Zoroastrianism, the creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. While Ahura Mazda is not immanent in the world, his creation is represented by the Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom the works of God are evident to humanity, and through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, of which a significant portion has been lost, and mostly only the liturgies of which have survived. The lost portions are known of only through references and brief quotations in the later works, primarily from the 9th to 11th centuries. In some form, it served as the national or state
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