The Topic:
Religions of the World

Easier - Religion is belief in a supreme being or beings; belief in God or gods. Religion is a belief system that is practiced through faith, obedience, prayer, and worship.
 
Harder - People practice religion for many reasons. Some follow a religion because its part of their family or tribal heritage and culture. For others, religion provides a feeling of security because the divine power is believed to be watching over them. Some follow a religion because it promises salvation and happiness or a chance to improve themselves in another life after death. For other people, religion yields a sense of individual fulfillment and provides meaning to life. Finally, many people follow their religion to enjoy a sense of kinship with fellow believers.
 
For many people, religion is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, practices, and worship involving one supreme God or Deity. Other peoples' religions involve a number of different gods. Some people's religion has no specific God or gods to be worshiped. There are also people who practice their religious beliefs in their own personal way, largely independent of organized religion. But almost all people who follow some form of religion believe that a supreme being created the world and influences their lives.
 
There are thousands of religions. The eight major ones in our world are Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, and Taoism. Hinduism, Shinto, and Taoism developed over many, many centuries. Each of the others bases faith on the life or teachings of specific individuals: Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as Gautama Buddha, for Buddhism; Jesus Christ for Christianity; Confucius for Confucianism; Muhammad for Islam; and Abraham and Moses for Judaism.
 
Bow of the Head: Religions of the World (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/28505/
Learn about the five religions that have the largest number of followers in the world today.
 
Western Religions from Mr. Dowling Electric Passport
http://www.mrdowling.com/605westr.html
About half of the people of the world practice Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. They are found on every continent, but tend to be concentrated in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Western Asia and North Africa.
Related Website:
2) Religion at Historyforkids http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/religion/index.htm
 
World Religions at About.com
http://christianity.about.com/cs/worldreligions/
Warning! Don't enter here if you think genuine faith is something that only Christians possess. This site is about major world religions and their relationship to Christianity.
Another Links-Site for World Religions:
2) Religion from Chalkface.net
http://www.chalkface.net/pagecopy/subjectitems/religion01.htm
 
World Religions Index
http://wri.leaderu.com/
This page was designed for equipping Christians to understand other World faiths and religious philosophies. Here you can read personal stories and articles about many world religions, or check out tables that give a good overview of several faiths.
 
After visiting several of the websites to learn more about religions, complete one or more of the following projects:
 
Complete A Religion Timeline. Select one religion and create a timeline that highlights the important dates and events of its history. Compare your timeline to the content found at Important Dates in the History of Religion.
 
Complete A Religions Webquest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one of the following webQuest sites:
1) Early American Religions by M. Ueland
http://www.montana.edu/webquest/socialstudies/grades6to12/ueland/
2) Evolution v.Creation by D. Puth
http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/pages/webevolutiode.html
3) Growth of Islam by J. Houson (Grade 7)
http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/activity/islam/index.html
4) Place of God and Religion in Public Schools by M. Sacks (Grade 12)
http://www.richmond.edu/~ed344/webquests/prayer/mdsprayer.html
5) Where Did We Come From? by J. D'Altrui and C. Tapley (Grades 5-8)
http://www.richmond.edu/~ed344/webquests/creationstories/creation.htm
6) World Religions (Grades 7-8)
http://www.cr.k12.ia.us/taft/departments/weblinks/Beckyquest/religionwebquest.html
 
Compare and Contrast Religions. Choose two different religions. Then research each to learn of their likes and differences. Put together your findings into a finished presentation. That could be a print or published report, a multimedia presentation, or an oral presentation (speech).
 
Identify the Religions In Your Community. Examine the religious diversity of the neighborhood or community where you live. Find out how many different religions are represented. Think in terms of the history of the area. Map the migration patterns of people to show how and when different beliefs arrived. Identify patterns of change in the religious beliefs in the area over long time spans.
 
What Are the Issues of Religious Tolerance? It has often been said that discussion of religion is one of the most volatile topics. Many wars have been started and been fought partly due to religious differences. U.S. history is strongly linked to 'Freedom of Religion' and religious beliefs (See Religion and the American Revolution and Religion and the Founding of the American Republic. What are today's issues related to religious tolerance? Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and the Southern Poverty Law Center may be useful online resources. Create a poster centered on one or more of those issues.
 
Websites By Kids For Kids
Amish: The Gentle People (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5089/
This project site explores their religion, daily work, education, and a few recipes.
 
Buddhism (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/28038/
This site examines Buddhism and reincarnation.
 
Comparison of Modern and Ancient Pagan Religions (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/28111/
Here you can learn about paganism in both it's ancient and modern forms.
 
FEZTVE (1997 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/11719/
Visit FEZTVE to gain an understanding of five major world religions and their important festivals. You'll find information on Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
 
From Judaism to Christianity (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/C004351F/
Did you know that Christianity originated from Judaism? These two religions gradually developed over the ages forming the two separate and distinct religions that exist today.
 
Hutterite Culture in Canada by K. Dawe
http://www.k12.nf.ca/stellamaris/Grassroots/MultiCulture/hutterite.html
This is the site of a student's report about this group's migration and settlement.
 
Islam
http://cnug.clackesd.k12.or.us/wood/AM%20ISLAM/islam.htm
This student-created page has info on Muslim sciences, mosques, geography, and the development of Islam.
 
Major Religions of the World (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/J002592/
This site provides an overview of five major religions of the world - Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.
 
Origin eXpository ( ThinkQuest Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/C006238/
This project site explores myths from around the world and various belief systems.
 
Religion Online (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/26756/
This site teaches about religions and religious intolerance.
 
ReligionNet (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/16553/
Learn the background history and basic beliefs of Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, among others.
 
Tree of Faith: Exploration of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/29003/
This site examines the similarities and differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Included are basic beliefs, conflicts between the religions, effects on science and society, and their origin and history.
 
World of Religions (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/28131/
This site examines the three most popular religions in the world: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
 
More Websites on Religion
Buddhism in A Nutshell
http://tunglinkok.ca/passissue/9710/sources/teach.htm
This site provides an overview to the fundamentals of Buddhism.
Other Related Sites:
2) Buddha and Four Disciples
http://www.prs.k12.nj.us/~ewood/World_History/buddha/index.html
3) Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library
http://www.ciolek.com/WWWVL-Buddhism.html
4) Children's Guide to Buddha's Art of Healing http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/tibet/exhibit.htm
5) Law of Karma
http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/freenet/rootdir/menus/sigs/religion/buddhism/introduction/truths/
karma2.html
 
Beginnings at World Treasures of the Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/world/
This online exhibit explores the viewpoint of more than 50 cultures' accounts of the creation or the beginning of the universe.
 
Being A Sikh
http://www.sikhmuseum.org/bs.htm
This website explains what it's like to be a Sikh.
Related Website:
2) Introduction to Sikhism by S.G.S. Mansukhani
http://photon.bu.edu/~rajwi/sikhism/mansukh1.html
 
Christian Catacombs of Rome
http://www.catacombe.roma.it/
This site includes the outline, history, and importance of these catacombs where the Christians started burying their dead underground.
Related Websites on Christianity:
2) Bethlehem from DiscoverySchool http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/worldbook/atozgeography/b/057680.html
3) From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians at PBS Frontline
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/
 
Hindu Kids Universe
http://www.hindukids.org/
Here you can learn about Hinduism.
Another Hinduism Website:
2) Hinduism from the Social Studies School Service
http://socialstudies.com/c/@zA9ra3JErg2TI/Pages/article.html?article@PIN149A+af@do
nn
3) Hinduism for Schools http://www.btinternet.com/~vivekananda/schools1.htm
 
Hutterian Brethren in North America (Hutterites)
http://www.hutterites.org/
Here you can learn of this group's religion, history, and structure. See how they spend their leisure time, read about their education system, or learn about their music.
Related Websites:
2) Hutterite Colonies http://www.uwgb.edu/galta/mrr/hutterit/index0.htm
3) Hutterite Dress http://amid.wsu.edu/research/amt317/Hutteri.html
 
Indian Religions
http://www.4to40.com/discoverindia/religions/default.asp?article=discoverindia_religions_i
ndex
This website highlights the five top religions of India: Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, and Hinduism.
Related Website:
2) Religions in India http://www.indiana.edu/~isp/cd_rom/mod_02/rel_text.htm
 
Islam: Empire of Faith from PBS
http://www.pbs.org/empires/islam/
Learn about the rich history of Islam and faith, innovation, and culture, as well as profiles of important people.
Other Websites on Islam:
2) Basics of Islam http://www.ifgstl.org/html/basics/basicsnf.htm
3) Jaferia Islamic Center (Washington, D.C.) http://www.gcol.com/jafri/
4) Mosques http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sirrobhitch.suffolk/mosque/default.htm
 
Judaism 101
http://www.jewfaq.org/
The website is an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs.
Other Sites on Judaism:
2) Holidays (Jewish) http://www.osh.ramat-gan.k12.il/subjects/english/holiday.htm
3) Judaism and Jewish Resources http://shamash.org/trb/judaism.html
4) Lost Tribes of Israel from PBS NOVA Online http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/israel/
 
Quakers in Brief
http://www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk/~ubcg09q/dmr/intro.htm
This site provides an overview of the Quaker movement from 1650 to 1990.
Related Website:
2) George Fox http://www.ccel.org/f/fox/autobiography/autobiography.html
 
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly from PBS
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/
Here is the companion site to the weekly television series about religion and ethics in the news
 
Vatican: The Holy See
http://www.vatican.va/
This is the official site for the Vatican, The Holy See, and the Pope.
Related Websites:
2) Chester's Catholic Index (Links-site) http://www.sgroi.com/catholic/catholic.html
3) English Translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Chruch (Contains search utility)
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
4) Lives of Saints (Links-site) http://www.pitt.edu/~eflst4/saint_bios.html
5) Official Documents of the Catholic Church
http://www.mcgill.pvt.k12.al.us/jerryd/cm/docs.htm
6) New Advent http://www.newadvent.org/
 
Virtual Religion Index
http://religion.rutgers.edu/vri/index.html
This comprehensive directory is the place to start if you're doing research on any aspect of religion on the Internet.
 
World Religion from St. Michael's School, Newfoundland, Canada
http://www.k12.nf.ca/stmichaelsag/worldreligion.html
Here you can learn about the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
Similar Website:
2) World Religions from Andrew Lewis Middle School, Salem, Virginia http://www.salem.k12.va.us/shs/ss/worldreligion.html
 
Young Atheists
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2093/nofrajava.htm
Atheism is the lack of belief in god(s) or any other supernatural beings.
 
Websites For Teachers
Judaism Christianity Unit: Scripture as Literature (Grade 6) by H. Talkington
http://www.coreknowledge.org/CKproto2/resrcs/lessons/698Judaism.htm
The purpose of this unit is to integrate our study of Judaism and Christianity with the scripture references in the Core Knowledge Sequence appendix. Students will come to interpret scripture as literature, as well as see how central these writings are to Judeo-Christian beliefs.
 
People's Attorney from the Southern Poverty Law Center (Grades 4-6)
http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-57.html
Using a biography article and accompanying activities, teachers can introduce students not just to anti-Semitism but also to the concept of religious tolerance.
Other Related Lesson Plans from the SPLC:
2) City of Brotherly Love http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-9a.html
3) Firmly Set to Do His Bidding http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-59.html
 
Spread of Islam (Grades 5-7)
http://encarta.msn.com/alexandria/templates/lessonFull.asp?page=2884&lvstart=K&lvend
=12&majorsubject=Religion&minorsubject=&source=%2D99&keyword=&search=1
This lesson focuses on the spread of Islam and the connection between human migration and religious diffusion.
 
Theology/Religion/Catholic Education Resources
http://www.cloudnet.com/~edrbsass/edthe.htm
This links-page contains resources and lesson plans for religious education.
Other Lesson Links-Pages:
2) Jewish Holidays from Mr. Donn http://members.aol.com/Donnpages/2Holidays.html#HIGH
  
Religion
atheism
Buddhism
Judaism
Christianity
creation
disciple
compassion
Islam
anti-Semitism
religious intolerance
supernatural being
World religion
tolerance
Hinduism
Karma
Holocaust
Dharma
mythology
faith
heaven
nirvana
Buddha
incarnation
theologian
church
God
worship
temple
prayer
sacrifice
observance
morality
human ignorance
nonbeliever
Martin Luther
Pope
persecution
enlightenment
hope
value
belief
way of life
spiritual guide
holy
sacred
Deity
ethics and character
 
 
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/01.