Religious Tolerance Made Easy
December 8, 2012
Religious intolerance has been a problem concerning peace in this world for a long time. Throughout history there have been wars and other altercations between countries because of religious intolerance. People following a certain religion just cannot seem to accept that other people follow and practice other religions. I used to be one of those people. I was born and raised in a Southern Baptist household and have been taught the beliefs and practices of Christianity my entire life. Throughout my life I have looked down upon people who practice different religions and wondered how on earth they could possibly follow any other religion besides Christianity. I still felt this way towards other religions until I started taking my Religions of the East class. When I started learning about other religions practiced mainly in Asia and India, I started seeing a lot of similarities between those religions and Christianity. I started to wonder why I and other people had looked down on people who practiced these religions, if the other religions were so similar to the one I practice. I started thinking about the history of religious intolerance as well as the religious intolerance that is going on in the world today and wondered why there is and was so much pointless violence for slight differences in different religions. There are so many similarities I am planning to discuss such as similarities between the Buddha (not to mention the possibility he is a Saint himself) and Jesus Christ, the trinities of Hinduism and Christianity, the belief of heaven by Confucianism and Taoism like Christianity, the promotion of peace by all religions, and so many more. I just wish other people around the world would see all of these similarities and realize that all of this violence concerning religious intolerance is pointless and peace would prevail.
The first religion I that I learned had a lot of similarities with Christianity was Hinduism. After doing research it seemed to me that Hinduism was the most similar to Christianity out of all of the eastern traditions. A lot of Christianity is even thought to have originated in India. (Knapp) One of the main similarities that the two religions have is the belief in one supreme God who created the earth. The Christians believe in God while the Hindus believe in the Brahman. They are both pretty much the same idea just in two different religions. Even the story of creation has some similarities to it. For example, in both Christian and Hindu scripture the universe was formed in seven days or steps. Both said that in the beginning there was only darkness. Animals and humans were both created in pairs in both scriptures and the woman was created from the man. Another main piece in both Christianity and Hinduism is the goal. The goal in both religions is to reach Heaven if you are a Christian and Nirvana if you are a Hindu. Both Heaven and Nirvana are thought to be paradise for your soul and are reached after you have fulfilled your life for the religion. Both religions also believe in an endless or eternal soul that never dies and lives on forever. If you have practiced the religion and lived by the scripture, your soul is what goes to Heaven or Nirvana, depending on if you are a Christian or a Hindu. Christianity and Hinduism also set the guidelines of their religions and how to reach Heaven or Nirvana in scriptures which the followers of the religions read and follow. Both religions also talk about a major figure in the religion that is a reincarnated version of God or a god. In Christianity Jesus Christ is a reincarnated version of God and in Hinduism Krishna is a reincarnated form of the Hindu god Vishnu. They also both believe in a trinity of some sort. In Christianity there is the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost while in Hinduism there is Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. There are more minor similarities such as the...
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