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Understanding What Most Major Religions Have in Common

June 23, 2020 | Comment

Today, people participate in almost countless religions. Some of these faiths are ancient with lots of rules, whereas others are new and still being developed. Regardless of their doctrines and origins, most religions share the following characteristics.

Prayers and Meditations

While some religions are not oriented towards one central deity, most involve their participants praying or meditating to achieve a spiritual goal. Prayers take the form of asking for help, giving thanks or requesting forgiveness. Depending on the religion, prayers take place with other believers, in private or both. Some religions require believers to recite pre-written prayers, whereas others encourage them to make up their own. Meditation can be a part of prayer, but it can also be its own practice in which participants focus on clearing their minds.

Rituals

In addition to prayers, most religions have rituals that connect the community. For example, in Christian communities, baptism or christening is an important ritual in which new members of the faith are sprinkled with water to represent their new birth as Christians. Other rituals that many religions use include reading from sacred texts, singing hymns and taking pilgrimages to holy places. Some ceremonies involve participants consuming substances such as kratom online to help with their spiritual experiences.

Almsgiving

Most religions call on their followers to help people in need, a practice known as almsgiving. Some faiths stipulate that all believers must give alms to the poor. For example, almsgiving is one of the five pillars of Islam, or one of its main requirements of believers. Others have looser guidelines on how frequently followers need to help others, but this practice remains a key part of most faith traditions.

While religions vary greatly in terms of their specific beliefs and practices, almost every religion requests that its believers pray or meditate, attend rituals and give money or other donations to people who are struggling financially.

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