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Three Religions of the Middle East Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Where is the holy land? Why is this area called the holy land?
Christianity, Judaism and Islam § All belong to the same monotheistic tradition, a belief in only one god, the God of Abraham § All originated in the Middle East and look to the city of Jerusalem as a holy site. § In 1990, 90% of the people in the Middle East practiced Islam, 5% Christianity and 2% Judaism.
Judaism § Oldest of the three religions § First practiced by a small group of people in Mesopotamia called the Hebrews § According to Jewish belief, the Hebrews descended from Abraham § Jews believe that God made a covenant with them that they would be God’s chosen people as long as they worshipped him and followed God’s laws
The best known of these laws are the Ten Commandments TEN COMMANDMENTS I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. V. Honour thy father and thy mother. VI. Thou shalt not kill. VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery. VIII. Thou shalt not steal. IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. X. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Exile § Israel became an important and prosperous state until the kingdom split in two. Afterwards, the Jewish people would be moved and dispersed many times. Eventually, the Jewish people spread to countries around the world. § Jews have been viewed with suspicion and hatred because they have followed their religion and customs.
More than 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe during WWII in the 1940’s
Israel § The Jews believe that God will deliver a messiah, or savior, to them and provide them with a homeland, or country, of their own. § In 1947, a Jewish state was created in Palestine and immediately surrounding Arab states invaded. This was the beginning of hostilities that continue today.
PLO § Caught in the middle of the turmoil are the Palestinians § In 1949 the Palestinians who had lost their homes with the creation of Israel were moved to refugee camps until they could be resettled. § Today Palestinians are still living in these camps § In the 1960’s the Palestinian Liberation Organization was formed to regain the land
Yasser Arafat § Supporters referred to him as a freedom fighter § Opponents referred to him as a terrorist § Died November 11, 2004
Wailing Wall § Modern Jews come to pray at the holiest site in Jerusalem, the Western, or Wailing, Wall. § It is the only remaining piece of the destroyed temple that housed the ark of the covenant, the home of God
Christianity § The world’s largest religion § Began as a movement within Judaism § Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the messiah that the Jews were waiting for § Holy Book – Bible – contains the history and traditions of Judaism in the Old Testament and the life and teachings of Jesus in the New Testament
Jesus § Around 30 AD Jesus began preaching, encouraging people to turn to God and lead moral lives § Religious and government leaders considered Jesus a threat to their power § They arrested and crucified him § Crucified – put to death by nailing hands and feet to cross
Resurrection § Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead proving life after death for those who believe § Those who followed Jesus broke away from other Jews and began worshipping God in a new way focusing on the teachings of Jesus
Roman Empire § Disciples (followers of Jesus) spread his teachings § Until 300 AD Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire § Then emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the state, thus spreading throughout the world
Rome – head of Roman Catholic Church - Pope § Pope John Paul II (pictured) § 1920 -2005 § Pope Benedict XVI § 2005 -present
Islam § The world’s second largest religion § Islam means “to submit” to the will of God in Arabic § Followers are called Muslims
Muhammad § Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet § Born in Mecca in 570 AD § He had a vision in which the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that he was to be the messenger of God § For 23 years, Gabriel continued to send revelations to Muhammad and he spread the message
Teachings § Taught acceptance of all Hebrew prophets including Jesus § Did not believe Jesus was Son of God § Believe Hebrews did not follow God’s law, therefore breaking their covenant with God § God made Mecca the center of Islam and the holiest city
Five Pillars § The new religion united the people of the Arabian Peninsula more than ever before § Requires certain religious duties called the Five Pillars § Faith – There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah § Prayer – Five times a day facing Mecca § Almsgiving– support the less fortunate § Fasting – during holy month of Ramadan § Pilgrimage – at least once in life must travel to Mecca
Caliph § Rulers of the Muslim community after Muhammad died were known as caliphs. § His duty was to spread God’s word. § In carrying this out, they created an empire, which was a theocracy. § Theocracy – government ruled by a religious leader § Today much of the Middle East has religious leaders.
Sunni and Shiite § Sunni – share belief that the first four caliphs- Mohammad’s successorsrightfully took their place as leaders of Muslims § Shiite – believe that only the heirs of the fourth caliph, Ali, are the legitimate successors of Mohammad
God § § § Christianity- Holy Trinity, Yahweh Islam- Allah Judaism- Yahweh, Elohim
Holy Book § Christianity- Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) § Islam- Qur’an (Koran) § Judaism- Old Testament
Key Beliefs § Christianity- belief that Jesus is son of God, died for sins, resurrection § Judaism- 10 Commandments, covenant with God, belief in God § Islam- 5 Pillars of Islam (prayer 5 times a day, almsgiving, pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting during Ramadan, faith)
Common Practices and Rituals § § § Christianity- Baptism, communion Islam- 5 Pillars of Islam Judaism- Kosher food, Jewish law
Where does each religion worship? § § § Christianity- church, chapel, cathedral Islam- mosque Judaism- synagogue
Major Sects § § § Christianity- Protestant, Catholic Islam- Shi’ite, Sunni Judaism-Reform, Orthodox