All religions can be divided into
• primal religions (pre-Christian religions of Europe and some other parts of the world and modern tribal religions);
• universal religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.).
Religions always include
• religious practice.
People who share the same beliefs are members of
• religious communities.
When they come together to worship they are called
Religious communities observe their
• practise/attend worship;
• make/offer prayers or pray;
• listen to sermons read by preachers;
• sing hymns (psalms);
• seek blessing, healing, salvation, etc.;
• make confessions;
• offer sacrifice to God or a god.
Church services are led by
• priests/ministers, the clergy/clergymen (Christianity);
• imams (Islam);
• rabbis (Judaism).
Among other people who devote themselves to God are
• nuns (they live in convents);
• monks (they live in monasteries).
Some religions exist in diverse forms, for example, Christianity splits into
• Roman Catholic Church (headed by the Pope);
• Orthodox Church (headed by the patriarch of Constantinople as the first among equals — other patriarchs);
• the Protestant movement made up of
— the Lutherans;
— the Methodists;
— the Anglicans;
— the Baptists, etc
Traditional places of worship are
• churches, cathedrals, chapels (Christianity);
• mosques (Islam);
• synagogues (Judaism);
• pagodas or temples (Buddhism).
Places of worship may be decorated with
• stained glass windows;
• candles and chandeliers [Jsenda'liaz];
In Christian places of worship the following elements are essential:
• an altar,
• choir stalls,
• a pulpit,
• an iconostasis (pi. iconostases),
• a crucifixion,
In Christianity and Islam the major festivals are:
• Christianity: Advent and Christmas
• Christianity: Lent and Easter
• Islam: Ramadan
Most religions have a tradition of pilgrimage — journeying to some holy place as a religious duty:
• to Bethlehem;
• to Jerusalem;
• to Mecca;
• to Mount Senai.
• practise secularism (a system of social organization which keeps out all forms of religion);
• consider themselves to be atheists or non-believers;
• think that the physical world is self-contained and can be perfectly well understood with the help of sciences.