Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Religious Tolerance logo


Part 2 of 3:

Introduction to the religions of the world:

Introductory thoughts (Cont'd).
Animated map showing religions over time.
Other inclusive religious web sites.

horizontal rule

This topic is a continuation of the previous essay

horizontal rule

Introductory thoughts (Continued):

bullet About Christianity:

bullet There are many  definitions for this term as well. Again, we use an inclusive definition:
"We accept as Christian any individual or group who devoutly, sincerely, thoughtfully, seriously, and prayerfully regards themselves to be Christian. That is, they honestly believe that they follow Yeshua of Nazareth's (a.k.a. Jesus Christ's) teachings as they understand them to be."
This generates a lot of angry Emails from some visitors to this site who are insistent on excluding groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. the Mormons or LDS church), and some other denominations as sub-Christian, quasi-Christian, non-Christian, or anti-Christian. 
bullet We treat Christianity in much greater detail than other religions, simply because about 70% of North Americans identify themselves with that religion. Christians outnumber the next largest organized religions, Judaism and Islam, by about 75 to 1 in the U.S. and Canada. We are not in any way implying that Christianity is superior or inferior to other religions. It is simply much more popular in our primary catchment area. However, the percentage of adults who identify themselves as Christians is dropping about 1 percentage points per year; 10 points per decade. The percentage of NOTAs (those NOT Affiliated with any organized religion), is growing , largely due to youths and young adults abandoning the church in which they grew up.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link

horizontal rule

More introductory thoughts (Continued):

bullet Destructive, doomsday cults are fortunately few in number, and are listed elsewhere.


Finally, we have what some people regard as America's real religion. They sum it up in two behaviors: ignore thy neighbor and worship the dollar. Alton C. Thompson has written an essay on this topic, in which he views the United States as a third-world country.


What doesn't make sense about religion: Religions and the sciences differ greatly in their teachings. There are certain topics where science and religion overlap. Examples are the origin of the universe, cosmology, how animal species came to exist, the age of the earth, many topics associated with human sexuality, etc.

Sciences are largely based on observations, facts. and data. Religions are largely based on the beliefs of the founder(s) as later recorded by the authors of various holy books and still later interpreted by theologians. Thus scientists tend to converge on a consensus, while many religions continue to diverge in their teachings; their beliefs often fragment so that individual traditions, sects or denominations within a religion will follow different beliefs.

And so, for example, the vast majority of paleontologists, geologists and biologists accept the theory of evolution, whereas many religions in the world have their own creation stories. Another example is that much of the religiously-based violence in the Middle East is not among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Rather, it is between the Sunni and Shi'ite branches of Islam -- two groups that separated shortly after the death of Muhammad because they could not agree on how to select his successor.

Religions of the world -- and individual denominations or traditions within these religions -- teach very different beliefs about the existence of God, Gods, the Goddess, Goddesses, pantheons of Gods and Goddesses, etc. They have very different views on the nature of deity, humanity, and the rest of the universe.

But almost all their members share one belief: that they, alone, have the fullness of truth, and that every other religion in the world is wrong. Even within a single religion, many denominations, traditions and faith groups teach mutually exclusive beliefs, including the belief that they are right and all of the other faith groups within their religion are wrong -- at least to some degree.

These beliefs were expressed very clearly in the "Pardon My Planet" comic strip for 2013-APR-26 where a woman on a park bench said to a friend:

"I can honestly say that I have finally found solace in the fact that many of the world's faiths and religions can at least agree on one thing -- and its that one thing I am attracted to -- that what I believe is right and everyone else is wrong."

Susan Humphreys has donated an essay that touches on this attitude. It is called: "About hubris: extreme pride or arrogance -- particularly as it applies to religious belief."

The stakes are high. Ultimately, if humans cannot learn how to coexist in peace with people from other religions, and from other faith groups within their religion, religiously-based wars will be inevitable in our future. With the spread of nuclear weapons around the world, World War III would likely be the last world war, because it is probable that no humans would be still alive to fight World War IV. On a positive note, cockroaches can survive very high levels of radiation; given two billion years or so, they would probably survive and evolve into an intelligent species resembling today's humans.

horizontal rule

A superb animated religious map by Business Insider:

It shows the spread of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism over time:


horizontal rule

Other Inclusive religious web sites:

There are probably tens of millions of religious web sites on the Internet. During 2015-DEC, a Google search for "God" returned almost 1.5 billion hits! Most describe and promote only a single tradition or faith group within a single religion.

However, there are a handfull of web sites that, like this one, cover a broad range of faith groups. Consider:

  • publishes a wealth of information about topics as varied as lists of famous Christians, the religious affiliations of the U.S. founding fathers,

  • A BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) TV religious series called "Around the world in 80 faiths" can be viewed on You Tube. Peter Jones, an Anglican priest from Suffolk in the UK travels to six continents and experiences the widest possible range of religious beliefs and practices. See:

  • discusses topics from all religions re: inspiration, spirituality, faith, news etc.

  • is a free social network dedicated to the entire Christian world.

  • provides balanced views of religion and spirituality.

horizontal rule

This topic is continued in the next essay

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home page World Religions > here

or Home page > Religious information > Basic data >  here

Video used:

  1. "Animated map shows how religion spread around the world," Business Insider, 2015-JUL-14, at:

Copyright © 1996 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2015-DEC-11
Hyperlinks last checked: 2015-NOV-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the "Basic religious data" menu, or to the "Truth in religion" menu, or choose:

To search this website:

Click on one of the links ^^ above at the < < left, or use this search bar:

search tips advanced search
search engine by freefind
Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.


Sponsored links: