In this short writing I would like to talk about the important role that has been played by religions towards human being as the adherents.
The latest news posted by Adherents.com says that the biggest number of religion in the world is Christianity with 2.1 billion adherents, then followed by Islam: 1.5 billion, Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion, Hinduism: 900 million, and Chinese traditional religion: 394 million. And the rest of the world population (around 873 million people) belong to more or less 20 other religions.
The first two major religions, Christianity and Islam are originally derived from Judaism. Thousands years BC Judaism was a strong and prominent religion, ethnic and culture as well in Middle East. Judaism was impeded by the Romans Empire and later on by Nazi. From Jerusalem, in the first years, Christianity slowly spread to Africa, Europe, and other parts of Asia. It encountered lots of hardships coming from Judaism and traditional religions. Yet, it later on rapidly spread throughout the Roman Empire areas under the Great Constantine who ruled for 30 years, 301 days (from 25 July 306 AD – 22 May 337). The development of literacy – hundreds years later – which was, firstly, dominated by the royal people and Christian religious people significantly support the spread of Christianity in Europe and the colonial areas, like America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. So, from the very beginning, the spread of the religion brought along literacy skill that triggered and supported science and technology development which shape cultures and the entire civilization.
Islam as the second major religion also, since the very beginning of its spread, plays a key role in shaping culture and civilization of human being started from Arab. This is proofed by the very first sentence in Al-Quran: “iqra”, means read, learn, and understand. Prophet Mohammad himself supported the people education and civilization trough reading. Later on some talented Moslems diligently developed their literacy skills. Arabs were then known as masters of the spoken word – poetry, storytelling, and memorizing genealogies.
Under the spirit of Reconstructionist, Judaism has played a significant key of supporting the civilization in our modern world thorough education, especially started in late 1920s to 1940s in the USA. It is obviously that the right now modern America is also determined by Judaism in the USA in a good collaboration with Christianity, Moslem, and other religions.
All other religions, even though they are minority, have played a great role in shaping cultures and civilization of human being throughout the world. For example Shinto’s in Japan, and Confucius in China.
In short, all the religions in the world have played very significant role in civilizing and shaping human being culture.
One new insight I have got from this week class is that all cultures and religions are good, because each of them has common ground as moral and humanistic teachings for everybody in this world. There is no single thing is bad in all the cultures and religions. The only bad thing is every person`s mind used to value or appreciate each culture and religion. Facts show that some of the adherents (especially religion) use his/her religion wrongly then mislead others to the wrong way for economic or political reasons. This makes religion frightening.