Religious Beliefs Unit 25 Task 2

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Religious beliefs for early years

Christianity
Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with over 2 billion believers. 42 million Britons see themselves as nominally Christian, and there are 6 million who are actively practising. Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They believe that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins. One of the most important parts in Christianity is that Jesus gave his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rising from the dead on the third day (the Resurrection). Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God: God the Father, God the Son and The Holy Spirit. Christians worship in churches and their spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers at church the Christian holy book is the Bible. The Christian Bible has two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the original Hebrew Bible, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, written at different times between about 1200 and 165 BC. The Hebrew Bible has 39 books, written over a long period of time, and is the literary archive of the ancient nation of Israel. It was traditionally arranged in three sections. The New Testament books were written by Christians in the first century AD. The New Testament books were written by Christians in the first century AD. The New Testament has 27 books, written between about 50 and 100 AD, and falling into two sections: the Gospels, which tell the story of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John); and the Letters (or epistles) - written by various Christian leaders to provide guidance for the earliest church communities. Throughout the year there are lots of holy days that Christians celebrate for different reasons, for example Easter because Easter Sunday is the peak of Holy Week. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy. Although the date of Easter changes each year, and several other Christian festivals fix their dates by reference to Easter. Churches are filled with flowers, and there are special hymns and songs. But not all Easter customs are Christian; some, such as the Easter Bunny, are pagan in origin. Also Christmas, Christmas is marked on the 25 December every year (7 January for Orthodox Christians). Christmas is a Christian holy day that marks the birth of Jesus, the son of God.

Judaism
Judaism is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which also includes Christianity and Islam. ‘There were around 13.1 million Jewish people in the world in 2007, most residing in the USA and Israel’ http://www.bbc.co.uk. According to the 2001 census 267,000 people in the UK said that their religious identity was Jewish, about 0.5% of the population. Judaism originated in the Middle East over 3500 years ago. It was founded by Moses, although some Jews trace their history back to Abraham. Jews believe that there is only one God with whom they have a covenant. For all the good that God has done for the Jewish people, they keep God’s laws and try to bring holiness into every part of their lives. Judaism has a rich history of religious text, but the central and most important religious document is the Torah. The Torah is the first part of the Jewish bible. It is the most important document of Judaism and has been used by Jews for centuries. The Torah scrolls are entirely handwritten in Hebrew by a scribe on parchment from a kosher animal, this is usually a cow. It can take up to 18 months to complete the whole process from the preparation of the animal skins to the writing of the final words. Great accuracy is needed when the scribe writes the scroll. If he makes any mistakes it can make the whole scroll invalid. The completed scroll is known as a Sefer Torah from sefer which is the...
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