1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://altreligion.about.com/od/alternativereligionsaz/

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Alternative Religions A-Z

Learn about the basic beliefs of a wide variety of alternative (i.e. non-mainstream) religions from across the globe.
  1. Frequently Asked Questions (3)
  2. Religions Organized by Similar Features (1)
  3. Tabbed Guides (2)
  4. User Responses (2)

Alternative Religion Quick Reference Chart
Quick reference to alternative religions, including estimated number of members, founders, dates of foundation, and belief type.

Non-Trinitarianism - Views of God that Reject the Trinity
Non-trinitarianism is a Christian belief in which God is indivisible, rather than being comprised of the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Non-trinitarians believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent God. They views of Jesus vary considerably, including, but not limited to, acknowledging him merely as a mortal and viewing him as a perfect but not divine creation of God.

Asatru
An introduction to Asatru, including basic beliefs.

Baha'i Faith
An introduction to the Baha'i Faith, including basic beliefs and practices.

Deism
Deism is not a specific religion but rather a particular perspective on the nature of God. Deists believe that a creator god does exist, but that after the motions of the universe were set in place he retreated, having no further interaction with the created universe or the beings within it.

Discordianism
Discordianism is a modern religion of chaos and irreverence. Some categorize it as a parody religion, although there are many adherents who draw some measure of meaning and philosophy from it's often deliberately ludicrous statements.

Eckankar
Eckankar means "Co-Worker with God." It is a 20th century, monotheistic religion that posits that every human soul is a fragment of God. Eckankar practices heighten awareness of the ECK, or divine spirit, understood as the light and sound of God. The ECK is a bridge between human souls and God, and awareness of it brings spiritual...

Gnosticism
Gnosticism encompasses a very wide range of beliefs and is better viewed as a collection of religions sharing some common themes rather than as one specific religion. There are two basic components to beliefs commonly labeled as Gnostic, although the importance of one over the other can vary immensely. The first is gnosis and the second is dualism.

Heaven's Gate
Heaven's Gate is most known for the mass suicide of 39 believers in 1997. What is far less known is that the Heaven's Gate community still exists and still teaches the messages of their now-dead founders.

Jedi Religion (Jediism)
An introduction to Jedi Religion or Jediism, including basic beliefs and practices.

Kabbalah
In introduction to Kabbalah, the multiple variations of this belief, and its connection with Judaism.

LaVeyan Satanism
An introduction to LaVeyan Satanism, including basic beliefs and practices.

Luciferians and How They Differ from Satanists
While Luciferians and Satanists both employ terms commonly associated with the Devil, they are not the same. Learn the similarities and differences between the two groups, as well as what they generally believe.

Native American Church (and Peyote Use)
The Native American Church is a fusion of traditional Native American beliefs and Christianity. Central to its practices is the use of the drug peyote, which comes from a particular cactus plant.

New Age Beliefs
Today's New Age movement has risen to prominence over approximately the last 40 years. However, the term itself has 19th century antecedents, most notably its use within Theosophy, which teaches many beliefs held in common with today's New Agers. The New Age is commonly understood to be the astrological Age of Aquarius.

Occultism - Western Occult Tradition
Rumor, conspiracy theories and Hollywood have created a very warped image of occult studies, leading many to use the word as synonymous with black magic and demon worship. In truth, the occult is something both much more general and much less inherently threatening. The word literally means hidden, and occultists in the most general sense...

Panentheism - What is Panentheism?
Panentheism is the belief that God is both transcendent and immanent. The world is a part of God but God extends beyond the created world. Panentheism is sometimes confused with pantheism.

Pantheism
Pantheism is a form of religion that believes that the universe and God are one and the same. Neither exists outside of the other. Therefore, all things are ultimately connected with one another.

Paths of the Western Occult Tradition
The following is a partial list of paths within the Western Occult Tradition . Many occultists follow practices involving aspects of multiple paths. This makes generalizing about the occult extremely difficult and is the reason I find it more helpful to describe individual occult paths. In addition, not all followers of these paths label the

The Peoples Temple
The Peoples Temple is one of the most well known suicide cults, killing over 900 people in Jonestown in 1978. But before it became a symbol of religion gone wrong, it was a charitable organization that provided for the poor and embraced the disenfranchised.

Raelian Movement
An introduction to the Raelian Movement, including basic beliefs and practices.

Rastafari
An introduction to Rastafari, including basic beliefs and practices.

Santeria
Santeria is an African Diaspora religion centered in Cuba. It recognizes a collection of deities known as orishas with whom human beings can interact. Santeria has gained notoriety for its practice of animal sacrifice, which provides blood to the orishas. Developed by slaves of Catholic masters, Santeria also commonly equates its orishas with...

Scientology
An introduction to Scientology, including basic beliefs and practices.

Shamanism
Shamans play a vital role in their communities, acting as intermediaries between the physical and spiritual worlds. They exist in animistic cultures, where objects in the physical world have spirit counterparts that can bring blessing or catastrophe upon the tribe. They are most commonly associated with Native American culture, although they...

Shinto - Traditional Religion of Japan
Shinto, roughly meaning "the way of the gods," is the traditional religion of Japan. It centers upon the relationship between practitioners and a multitude of supernatural entities called kami who are associated with all aspects of life.

An Introduction to Spiritualism
Spiritualism is a religion, as well as a philosophy and a science, revolving around the continued existence of the soul after death and the ability of humanity to communicate with and learn from these souls as they continue to learn, develop and evolve.

Tenrikyo
Tenrikyo is a monotheistic religion originating in Japan. Its central principle is striving for and embracing a state known as the Joyous Life, which is also the original and intended state of mankind. Founded in the 19th century, it is commonly considered a new religious movement.

Theistic Satanism
Theistic Satanism encompasses a variety of related beliefs honoring a figure addresses as Satan or associated with Satan. In contrast to LaVeyan Satanism, which is atheistic and considers Satan merely a symbol for what their faith encourages, theistic Satanists view Satan as an actual being. Theistic Satanism is largely a development of the...

Thelema
Thelema is a complicated set of magical, mystical and religious beliefs formed in the 20th century by Aleister Crowley. Thelemites might be anything from atheists to polytheists, viewing the involved beings as actual entities or primal archetypes. Today it is embraced by a variety of occult groups including the Ordo Templis Orientis (O.T.O.) and Argenteum Astrum (A:.A:.), the Order of the Silver Star.

UFO Religions

Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a non-trinitarian view of God emerging out of the Protestant Reformation. God is considered indivisible, as in the views of Muslims and Jews. As such, Jesus cannot be divine, although he can be a mortal prophet and exemplary role model.

Unitarian Universalism
The Unitarian Universalists, or UUs, are the product of two separate but similar movements, the Unitarians and the Universalists. While both previous groups commonly identified themselves as Christian, Unitarian Universalism considers itself a separate religion in which belief in a higher power is optional and teachings focus instead on the inherent worth of all human beings, religious tolerance…

Westboro Baptist Church
The Westboro Baptist church is a very small congregation based in Topeka, Kansas. Led by Fred Phelps, it has gained national notoriety for protesting at high profile tragedies such as massacre locations and the funerals of soldiers.

Vodou (Voodoo)
Vodou (Also spelt Vodoun, Voodoo, and several other variants) is a syncretic religion combining Roman Catholicism and native African religion, particularly the religion of the Dahomey region of Africa. It is primarily found in Haiti, New Orleans, and other locations within the Caribbean.

Wicca
An introduction to Wicca, including basic beliefs and practices.

Zoroastrianism
An introduction to Zoroastrianism, including basic beliefs and practices.

Multi-Faith Comparisons of Religions
A variety of quick comparisons between a variety of different religions, helping to illustrate both similarities and differences across different faiths.

LaVeyan Satanism, Theistic Satanism and Luciferianism
An overview on the types of Satanism and Luciferianism, including links to more information on these different forms.

The Students of the Seven Seals aka Koreshians
The Waco group most commonly known as "Branch Davidians" were, in fact, an offshoot of the Branch Davidians, professing radically different beliefs from the parent faith. In both its behavior and its ultimate demise in a 1993 fire, the Waco group was clearly an apocalyptic cult.

African Diaspora Religions
When African slaves were brought to the New World, they brought their religions with them. Different tribes practices different religions, and slaves were sent to many different locations in the New World. As such, a variety of New World religions developed based on various aspects of tribal African religions and Catholicism, the primary...

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.