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The C-U-L-T: Freedom of Faith

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Click HERE to Find out your Religion, or read on to decide yourself!

    Choosing a religous faith is one of the most important decisions a person can make. For this reason, it is best to be educated and introduced as to what all of ones options are.
 
    Many times people know they are Christian, but do not know their Creed, or what church they belong to. Other times, people want to find faith but do not know where to start. Sometimes, people know there is more to the afterlife than death, but do not believe in the Christian beliefs and want to know what their other religous options are.
 
     This page is designed not to educate you on various religions, but to give a basic introductions the most of the major religions, and hopefully, give you some direction.
 
First and foremost, it is important to know that a church is not a religous organization or a building. A church is made of, and only as strong as, it's members and their core beliefs and values. When searching for the right church or faith for you, it is best to find people with like minds and similar beliefs to what you think you have.
 
If you would like a further explination of one of the faiths listed below, simply click on the name of the faith and a new window will open to that page in the internet Wikipedia.

The Major Religions:
 
 

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Christianity- Those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazerith of the New Testiment of the Holy Bible. Christians believe that Jesus was and is the son of God on earth and the mesiah prophisized in the Old Testiment. They believe that he is the living Holy Trinity (The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit) making him both man of flesh and blood and the living embodiment of God. Both Devine and mortal. One of the Cornerstones of the Christian faith is that Jesus died on the cross to forgive all mortals, who except him as their savior, of all their sins and grant them enterence into the kingdom of heaven. It should be noted that their are many different churches within the christian faith and each is different, but with the same basic core values above. Christians believe that Jesus was born to a virgin woman named Mary. Some churches accept Mary as the virgin mother of Jesus but do not believe she is not devine. The symbol of Christianity is the Cross as it represents the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Christians believe in a single God but refer to Jesus as God the son. Followers of Christianity follow "the Golden Rule" which is explained well in Matthew 6:14 which says "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you." The basic Golden rule is do unto others as you would have done to you, or love thy neighbor as yourself. Though there are many variants of Christianity (denominations) the bible says in Ephesians 4:6 "We are all one body ...There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all, and in us all, and living through us all."
 

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Judaism- The faith of the Jewish people, Judaism follows the teachings of Moses, Abraham, and God in the Old Testiment of the bible. Jewish people believe in on all powerful God. Although they acknowledge that Jesus of Nazerith was an important part of history, they do not believe that he was the son of God.  The symbol fo Judaism is a Six pointed star also known as the Star of David.

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Hinduism- Hinduism originated India. It is not a centeralized religion, meaning it stems from many beliefs and places as well as the people who practice it. Several Hindu groups have beliefs that have very little in common making it very nearly impossible to identify any universal belief. The practice of Hindu involves a belief in Karma, or the belief of "moral law of cause and effect". The basic idea of Karma is that what is put out into the universe shall return to its sender in one form or another. This usually refurs to positive or negative energy or actions. Due to its decenteralized nature, Hinduism has several Gods and Goddesses or dieties.

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Islam- The Muslim (Islamic) faith began with the teachings of a man named Muhammad in the early seventh century. He was an Arabic religous and political figure who taught that one should submit themselves completly to God. His teachings were recorded in a book called the Qur'an. Muslims do not see Muhammad as the founder of Islam but rather the man who brought back the original faith of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. They believe that over time the original message was distorted or lost and that the true message can only be found in Islam. According to the Qur'an, Muslims should submit one hundred percent to the will of God and follow only his teachings. The muslim faith is a strict one, but one that is very rewarding to those who practice it. They believe in most of the things that the Bible teaches but believe that Christianity has skewed the truth. It should be noted but the primary focus of the Koran is destroying the non believers (i.e. Christians) as the only way to please Allah (God). Some would argue that the Koran is a book of peace, while others say it is a cover to cover book of Death.

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Buddhism- Buddhism is a religion of philosophy. This faith is also known as "teachings of the Awakened One". Prince Siddhartha Gautama was the original Buddha. His teachings lasted for 45 years of his life and after his passing, they spread to other parts of the world. Buddha's teachings were centered on the path to spiritual enlightenment and awakening. According to the Wikipedia "In Buddhism, any person who has awakened from the "sleep of ignorance" (by directly realizing the true nature of reality), without instruction, and teaches it to others is called a buddha. All traditional Buddhists agree that [the original] Buddha was not the only Buddha: it is generally taught that there have been many past Buddhas and that there will be future Buddhas too."

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Shinto- The native religion of Japan, Shinto involves the worshipe of spirits known as Kami. Some Kami are considered actual spirits while others are physical locations and things. An example is that Mount Fuji is considered the Kami known as Amaterasu. Shinto Translated is "The Way of The Gods." Many of the beliefs fo Shinto were influenced heavily by Buddhism. The practice of Shinto involves rituals and methods meant to meditate the relations of people and Kami. Shintoists believe that when some one is born their name is to be added to a Shinto list and after death one becomes a Ujigami or "family spirit". If their name is not on the list when they pass, the family member becomes a "Water Spirit" and this is tied to many misfortunate incidents. The Shinto faith is a very private faith.

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Wicca- A modern and evolution of "the Old Religion" of witchcraft, Wicca is a large part of the Neopeganism movement of modern day. Wicca revolves around several traditional methods of worship using "spells" as a form of prayer. Instead of an "Almighty God", Wiccans believe in the power of "The Goddess" or Mother Earth. They do acknowledge both a God and Goddess, but see them as a polar balance in nature. The central themes of Wicca very depending on the practicioner but usually follow a Karmatic "Rule of Three Fold" and the basic creed "Do as ye will and harm ye none." which is a universial creed of true Wiccan followers. Most Wiccans keep a "Book of Shaddows" that contains ancient lineage secrets, spells, and other incantations. The book is thier centeral focal point and an important part of the development of each Wiccan's faith. Many Wiccan families keep several Books of Shaddows and combine them into a liniage book. Wiccans hold true that the power of the elements around us can be manifested to aide in everyday life. The Wikipedia says: "A key belief in Wicca is that the gods are able to manifest in personal form, most importantly through the bodies of Priestesses and Priests." Wicca is broken into two seperate lines: Liniaged Wiccans, or those who were born into it and have Wicca in their family history or have been initiated into the practice by a wiccan, and Eclectic Wiccans who have not been initiated in, have no real family ties, but adopt the term Wiccan to describe their belief system. Wicca is perhaps the most misunderstood religion.

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Scientology- In 1952, American Author L. Ron Hubbard wrote and published a book called "Scientology". The book was ment to expand his self-help ideas and religous theology. The book was published as a Science Fiction novel, and today several people world wide follow it as a full religion. Some more famous Scientologists include John Trovolta and Tom Cruise. Scientologists believe that a human consists of three parts: The mind, The body, and The Thetan or Spiritual being. The basic fundimental is that the Thetan has survived many life times, and continues to grow with each one. Thetans carry with them the "negative (or bad) energy" from previous lives and during it's current lifetime, a person should try to rid themselves of as much of this as possible. Scientologists use a machine called an E-meter, which passes small electrical currnets through the user, to rid them selves of negative energy, in a sort of confession. During this time the user is often being spoken to by a councelor or "Auditor" who helps them in their path to a "clearer mind". The path to a clearer mind and spiritual perfection comes with the realization that there are several "levels of existance" around us, and when a person is able to attain a certian levial of spiritual perfection within each of these levels, the Thetan is able to grow. The media has ridiculed many Scientologists because of their beliefs such as "Silent Birth", dieting and that the human race was created by an interstellar extra terrestial of all mighty power that sends spirits into volcanos which explode around the world, and the spirits attach to humans causing them to have bad days. The ladder is an example of the Xanu story revealed only to "OT level III" members of the church. Scientologists can progress through the levels and ultimatly reach OT level VII by good acts and large donations to the church of Scientology. The higher level attained, the more truth about the world is revealed.

Where do you fit?

Graph of Major Religions of the world
Graph from Wikipedia-- *It should be noted that these numbers are from 2005 and are disputable.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Although Freedom of Faith celebrates the basic human right of Freedom of Religion, it is important to note that the site creator IS CHRISTIAN and this site contains CHRISTIAN UNDERTONES as well as information on other religions. If you are unsure of your faith and want an unbiased assessment of your faith, please visit the "WHAT IS MY FAITH?" Link in the page menu.

Freedom of Faith welcomes all views and deems none as wrong. Feel free to share your opinion on the "YOUR VOICE" page.



Thank you