Collections of Articles Organized by Religion
By Catherine Beyer, About.com Guide
- Comparisons of Religions
- Baha'i Faith
- Native American
- New Age
- Raelian Movement
- Rastafari Movement
- Unitarian Universalism (UU)
Comparisons of Religions
A series of articles comparing multiple religions to one another for quick overviews.
- Comparing Alternative Religions: Founders, Numbers of Believers, Etc.
- Types of Beliefs
- Deities in Monotheistic Religions
- Which Religions believe in God?
- Axis Mundi in Alternative Religions
- Axis Mundi in Judeo-Christian Religions
- Fact, Fallacy or Hoax?
- Religion and Fiction
- Purifications Rituals in Religion
A 19th century religious movement that emerged out of Shia Islam and accepts the validity of multiple other religions. The faith is monotheistic and accepts that God periodically sends manifestations of himself to earth to instruct humanity. These manifestations include not only their own founder but also figures of other religions such as Zoroaster, Jesus, Mohammad, Moses and Krishna.
- Introduction to the Baha'i Faith
- Founders of the Baha'i Faith: Baha'u'llah, the Bab, Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi
- Nature of God as Absolute Reality
- Manifestations of God
- Badi Calendar, the Baha'i Calendar
- Naw-Ruz, the Baha'i New Year
- The 19-Day Fast in the Month of Ala
- Ridvan, Celebration of Baha'u'llah's Revelation and Journey
- Obligatory Prayers
- 10 Principles of the Baha'i Faith
- Baha'i Prohibitions
- Baha'i Persecution in Iran
- Baha'i and Babi Roots in Shi'a Islam
- Baha'i Symbols
Deists believe in a creator god but reject revealed religion and generally believe this god in no longer directly involved with events on earth.
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.
Modern religions can draw on some unlikely sources. Thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of people have found spiritual meaning in the ways of the Force outlined in Star Wars movies and books. It is highly decentralized, so any information offered about Jedi can only be expected to represent a segment of their population.
While some consider Luciferianism a branch of Satanism, the Luciferians generally see themselves as following their own unique faith, in which Lucifer is a being of mystery, illumination and knowledge.
- Who is Lucifer in different religions?
- Lucifer according to Luciferians
- How Luciferians Differ from Satanists
- Luciferian and Satanic Views of Christianity
- Luciferian Principles
Native Americans do not have a united faith. Different tribes can have vastly different beliefs and practices. In addition, many Native Americans have chosen to enter the Native American Church. Among other things, it allows them to legally use peyote. Unfortunately, native American beliefs have long been exploited and commercialized by outsiders.
- Native American Church
- Plastic Shamans - Commercialization of Native American Practices
- Sweat Lodges
The New Age movement comprises a wide variety of practices and beliefs. Many of these beliefs and practices have no overt ties to religion: you don't need to have faith in any deity or spirit to believe that crystals can have metaphysical qualities to them, for example. Most New Agers do not practice everything that falls under the New Age category, and many people who practice only a few of them do not consider themselves New Agers at all.
Based upon the founders encounters with aliens, the Raelian Movement teaches that there are no gods but instead that humanity was created by advanced beings whom we have mistakenly called gods in previous centuries.
- Introduction to the Raelian Movement
- Raelian Images
- Transmission of the Cellular Plan - Raelian Baptism
- The Elohim, Creators of Humanity
- Claude Vorhilon - the Prophet Rael
- Are the Raelians a Dangerous Cult?
- Order of Rael's Angels
- Sexuality in the Raelian Movement
The Rastafarian movement developed in Jamaica in the 1930s with strong roots in both the Judeo-Christian tradition and Return-to-Africa movements developing among black Jamaicans at the time. They accept Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974, to be the Messiah, an incarnation of Jah, or God.
- Introduction to Rastafari
- Is smoking ganja legal for Rastas?
- Ital Cooking
- Rastafari Texts
- Rastafari Book Recommendations and Reviews
Santeria is an African Diaspora religion that developed among the slave population in Cuba and emigrated outward from the Caribbean island.
- Introduction to Santeria
- The Orishas and their Stories
- Aganyu, Babalu-Aye, Chango and Eleggua
- The Ibeyi, Inle, Obatala
While rumors of Satanic practices have circulated for centuries, organized Satanism is very new and very unlike the Christian descriptions. Learn how atheists follow the teachings of Anton LaVey and use Satan as a symbol - rather than a living entity - for material fulfillment and success.
- Introduction to LaVeyan Satanism
- Introduction to Theistic Satanism
- Nine Satanic Statements
- 11 Satanic Rules of the Earth
- Nine Satanic Sins
- Is LaVeyan Satanism a Cult?
- How Can Satanists Have Rules if They Encourage Self-Indulgence?
- How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse?
- What is the Satanic Panic?
- Is Halloween Satanic?
- Who is Satan?
- Satanic Views of Life and Death
- Children in Satanism
- Satanic Infernal Names and Princes of Hell
- The Issue of "Human Sacrifice"
- Satanic Elitism
- Luciferian and Satanic Views of Christianity
Scientology emerged with the publication of the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard in 1949. This personal development movement offers techniques developed to assist practitioners in ridding themselves of limiting influences keeping their souls from reaching their full potential.
- Introduction to Scientology
- Beliefs and Practices Concerning Death
- What is Auditing?
- How Much Does Scientology Cost?
- What is Silent Birth?
- Why Scientology Is Against Psychiatric Treatment
- How Scientologists Raise Children
- Galactic Overlord Xenu
- Why Do Some Religions Keep Secrets?
- Celebrating L. Ron Hubbard's Birthday
- Celebrity Scientologists
- Is Scientology a Cult?
- Fair Game
- ARC Triangle
- Freezone Scientology - An Alternative to the Church of Scientology
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.
Vodou (also spelled Voodoo, Vodoun, Vodun and numerous other variances) is a syncretic, Caribbean religion mixing traditional African beliefs brought over by slaves and Catholic Christianity, which was the primary form of Christianity in the Caribbean during its formation. Similar terms are also used to refer to the original African religions which are still practiced today. This section focuses primarily on Caribbean Vodou.
- Introduction to Vodou
- Rada, Petro and Ghede Loa in Vodoun
- Did Haitians Ever Make a Pact with the Devil?
- Bois Caiman Ceremony
- Vilokan, the Spirit Realm
- Bondye, the Good God
- Lwa (Spirits) and their Veves (Symbols)
- Voodoo Dolls
- Gallery of Voodoo Doll Images
Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions still being practiced today. It emerged in what is modern-day Iran around the 10th century BCE, promoted by its prophet, Zoroaster, who preached monotheism to a polytheistic audience.
- Introduction to Zoroastrianism
- Zoroaster and the Origins of Zoroastrianism
- Ahura Mazda and the Twin Spirits
- Amesha Spentas, the Bounteous Immortals
- Zoroastrian Creed, a Daily Prayer and Declaration of Faith
- Funerals and Views of Death
- Purity and Fire in Zoroastrianism
- The Bareshnum – Purification Baths in Zoroastrianism
- The Kusti and the Tying Ritual
- Haft-Sin Table, Naw-Ruz Traditional Decoration
- Why Are Zoroastrian Figures Referred to by Multiple Names?
- Monotheism or Dualism?
- Faravahar - Winged Symbol of Zoroastrianism
- The Bareshnum – Purity Baths in Zoroastrianism
Unitarian Universalism (UU)
The Unitarian Universalists, or UUs, are the product of two separate but similar movements, the Unitarians and the Universalists. This officially occurred in 1961 through the formation of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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, rationality, advancing truth, and ethical living.
Other topics of interest that do not as of yet have their own section.