Portal:Religion

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Introduction

Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities and/or saints), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.

There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide. About 84% of the world's population is affiliated with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or some form of folk religion. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.

The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief. (Full article...)

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The Predication of Saint Paul, in Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Paul the Apostle (Latin: Paulus; Greek: Παῦλος, romanizedPaulos; Coptic: ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ;

c. 5c. 64/67), commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Hebrew name Saul of Tarsus (Hebrew: שאול התרסי‎, romanizedSha'ūl ha-Tarsī; Greek: Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, romanizedSaũlos Tarseús),[Acts 9:11] was an apostle (although not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and from the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several Christian communities in Asia Minor and Europe. (Full article...)

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an inscription in Mayan characters
A date inscription in the Maya Long Count on the east side of Stela C from Quirigua showing the date for the last Creation. It is read as 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ahau 8 Kumku and is usually correlated as 11 or 13 August, 3114 BC on the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. The date of 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ahau 3 Kʼankʼin is usually correlated as 21 or 23 December 2012.
The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur on or around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and festivities took place on 21 December 2012 to commemorate the event in the countries that were part of the Maya civilization (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzá in Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala. (Full article...)
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