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Part 1 of 3:

Introduction to the religions of the world:

Our logo, again. Religious symbols.
Quotations. Introductory thoughts.

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Our web site logo (repeated from the menu):

Religious tolerance web site logo 1

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Symbols of some of the major religions of the world with intra-faith versions:

symbols-of-world-religions 2

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Approximate religious membership as a percentage of the world population:

approximat membership by religion

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Five quotations that we have personally found particularly meaningful:

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Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic said:

"The truth was a mirror in the hands of God.

It fell, and broke into pieces.

Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth."

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Senator Cory Booker (1969 - ), a Baptist, the former Mayor of Newark, NJ, and more recently a Democratic Senator in Congress said:

"Don't speak to me about your religion;  first show it to me in how you treat other people.

Don't tell me how much you love your God;  show me in how much you love all God's children. 

Don't preach to me your passion for your faith;  teach me through your compassion for your neighbors. 

In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have  to tell or sell as I am in how you choose to live and give."

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Anon:

"A man told his grandson: 'A terrible fight is going on inside me -- a fight between two wolves. One is evil, and represents hate, anger, arrogance, intolerance, and superiority. The other is good, and represents joy, peace, love, tolerance, understanding, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, and compassion. This same fight is going on inside you, inside every other person too.'
 
The grandson then asked: 'Which wolf will win?'

The old man replied simply:  'The one you feed'."

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Anon:

"Your actions are so loud, I can hardly hear what your saying."

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Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 CE), but probably not actually said by him:

"Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."

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Introductory thoughts:

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What is religion? There are many definitions for the term "religion" in common usage. On this web site, we define it very broadly, in order to include the greatest number of belief systems:

"Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life."

Thus we include here all of the great monotheistic religions, Eastern religions; Neopagan religions; a wide range of other faith groups, spiritual paths, & ethical systems; and beliefs about the existence of God(s) and Goddess(es). We recognize that most people define "religion" in a much narrower manner.
 

bullet What is our web site's "unhidden agenda?" Many religions, many subdivisions within religions, and many secular philosophies have a holy book or tradition that promotes an ethic of reciprocity, like the Golden Rule. This promotes harmony and caring. But many also have passages and sections that are often interpreted as promoting hating and even the extermination of "the other" -- those people different from themselves.

We feel that if the human race is going to survive into the next century without destroying itself in a religiously triggered nuclear war, then we are going to have to learn how to get along with other faith groups much better than we have in the past -- both with people within our religion and with those of other religions, and none. The best way to promote this is to spread accurate information about other religions, so that people can understand not only what others believe, but why they believe it. That is our main goal. Another goal is to help believers become aware of any evil teachings and practices advocated by their faith group in the hope that they will work from within to correct them.

These goals differentiate us from at least 99.9% of the other religious web sites on the Internet. Their main goal is to promote the teachings of their webmaster's or sponsoring agency's faith group.

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This topic is continued in the next essay

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How you probably got here:

Home pageWorld Religions > here

or Home page > Religious information > Basic data > World Religions > here

Image used:

  1. Image in the public domain.
  2. Religious Symbols EPS Photo. Copyright © Beaniebeagle. Downloaded from Dreamstime.com -

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

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