1 Southwest Asia s Prominent Religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Sunni & Shia)
2 Standards SS7G8 The student will describe the diverse cultures of the people who live in Southwest Asia (Middle East). c. Compare and contrast the prominent religions in Southwest Asia (Middle East): Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. d. Explain the reason for the division between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
3 Southwest Asia s Prominent Religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Sunni & Shia)
4 Monotheism Judaism, Christianity, & Islam are prominent religions practiced in Southwest Asia. 90% of the region s population practices Islam, 4% are Christian, and 2% follow Judaism. Followers of each practice monotheism, a belief in one god. What else do they have in common?
6 Similarities They all originated in Southwest Asia. Each can trace their roots to Abraham as the father of their faith. Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world for Jews and Christians, and the third holiest city for Muslims. All three have an important messenger, book of teachings, and holidays.
9 Judaism Judaism began around 1800 BCE when God spoke to Abraham. Jews believe that they descended from Abraham and Sarah, the first people to worship Yahweh (God). Abraham lived in the city of Ur along the Euphrates River (in what is now Iraq).
10 Abraham s Journey
11 Moses Moses is considered a great prophet (a person who receives messages from God). Moses led Israelites out of Egypt and away from slavery to Israel. Jews believe that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, a code of moral law to live by. The Ten Commandments are found in the Jewish holy book called the Torah, which are the written laws of the Jews.
13 Jerusalem The Israelites (now called Hebrews) claimed the city of Jerusalem and built a holy temple there. Between BCE, Roman invaders captured Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Today, the only remaining part of the temple is the Western Wall, known as the Wailing Wall. It is one of the most sacred sites recognized by the Jewish faith.
14 Western Wall
15 Prayers & wishes stuck into cracks of the Western Wall
16 Diaspora Jews were forced out of Israel and moved to many places all over the world. This is called diaspora, or spreading out of Jews. The Jewish people did not return to their homeland until the modern state of Israel was created in 1948.
17 Judaism There are over 15 million followers worldwide. Jews worship in synagogues and temples. They believe that a messiah (savior) will lead them to the Promised Land. Jews believe in justice and righteousness. What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor.
18 Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem
19 Holy Book The sacred book is called the Tanuch, and it is a collection of writings compiled over a period of time. There are three parts to the book: 1. Torah this is the most sacred part, it contains what Moses delivered to the Israelites 2. Eight books of psalms and proverbs 3. Talmud writings on Jewish law, history, and folklore
20 The Torah
21 Holidays Hanukkah celebrates a victory where the Jews were able to keep their religion after being captured by Greeks. Jews were able to keep the Temple lit for 8 days despite only having enough lamp oil for 1 day. Passover celebrates the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt.
22 Holidays Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Jewish new year. Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement (asking for forgiveness of sins). It is the holiest day for Jews. No work is allowed on this day and much of the day is spent in synagogue. Many Jews fast during this day.
23 Prayers at the Western Wall during Yom Kippur
25 Christianity Christianity has its roots in Judaism. Christians believe in Jesus, a carpenter who began to travel and teach new ideas about Judaism around 30 CE. He believed that the old laws of Judaism should be replaced by a simple system based on love and kindness.
26 Jesus Jesus performed miracles and after people saw the results, they became followers. He laid his hands on people and could heal them. Jesus used parables (stories that teach lessons) to link his teachings to people s everyday lives. Jesus soon gained a large following.
27 Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890
28 Messiah Jesus was not popular with Jewish leaders. They did not want him to threaten their power and had the Romans arrest him. Jesus was crucified at the age of 33. Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven three days later. They saw the Resurrection as a sign that Jesus was the Messiah (or savior). This date, 33 CE, is the beginning of Christianity.
29 Christians There are about 2.1 billion Christians worldwide. Christians are grouped by many denominations. Examples include Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. All denominations of Christians follow the teachings of Jesus. Christians worship in churches and chapels.
30 St. Peter s Basilica, Vatican City (Built from with Michelangelo among the architects)
31 Holy Book The Bible is the main holy book for Christians. It consists of: 1. The Old Testament -- contains the Ten Commandments 2. The New Testament -- about Jesus and his teachings
32 Gutenberg Bible 1450s (The first printed book)
33 Holidays Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and is observed on December 25th. Easter celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus.
35 Islam Islam began around 622 CE in Southwest Asia. In Arabic, Islam means surrender to the will of Allah (God). Followers of Islam are called Muslims, and the founder is Muhammad. Muslims believe that there is only one god (Allah) and that Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet of Islam. Other prophets include Abraham, Moses, &
36 The Kaaba at al-haram Mosque (Mecca, Saudi Arabia) is the center of Islam.
37 Muhammad In 610 CE, Muhammad was an Arab merchant in Mecca who was concerned about how rich merchants refused to help the needy. He went to meditate on this in the Cave of Hira. While there, Muhammad received a message from the angel Gabriel, the messenger of Allah. Muhammad became known as a prophet of Allah, and he continued to receive messages until his death. These messages form the basis of Islam and were eventually written into the Qur an (the Muslim holy book).
38 Muhammad Eventually, others began to listen to Muhammad s messages and this angered Mecca s rulers. They threatened to kill Muhammad, so he & several hundred of his followers fled to nearby Medina. Muhammad became a political and spiritual leader in Medina. Eventually, all of the Arabian Peninsula came to accept Muhammad s teachings and turned to Islam.
39 Followers Muhammad died in 632 CE, but Islam continued to spread. Muslim armies conquered empires throughout Southwest Asia, Northern Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula (Europe). Today, there are 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. 1 in every 5 people in the world is Muslim. It s the second largest religion in the world (behind Christianity).
40 The Kaaba at al-haram Mosque during the start of Hajj
41 Holy Book The Muslim holy book is the Qur an (Koran). It states how people should live their lives. It describes the Five Pillars of Faith (obligations all Muslims must fulfill in their lifetime).
42 Reading the Qur an
43 5 Pillars of Faith (the main duties of Muslims) 1. Daily prayer, 2. Giving to charity, 3. Belief in and submission to one God (Allah), 4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan, 5. and a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca once in a lifetime.
45 Holidays Ramadan celebrates the time when the Qur an was revealed to Muhammad. It s the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and lasts for days. Muslims fast during daylight hours during this month. Prayer, reading the Qur an, and charity are important parts of
46 Boys reading the Qur an at a mosque during Ramadan
47 Government Unlike the other religions, in Islam the Qur an gives instructions on how laws should be enacted. The governments of Muslim countries follow the Shari'a, or religious law. This creates a theocracy, a type of government in which religious leaders are in control.
48 Sunni & Shia
49 The Split After Muhammad s death, followers fought over who would be his successor and become the next leader. This fight caused Muslims to split into two groups: 1. Shi a 2. Sunni
50 Shi a Shiites believe that the supreme leader (called the Caliph) must be a blood relative of Muhammad. Roughly 10% of the world s Muslims are Shi a. This branch of Islam is found mostly in Iran and some parts of Iraq. This is the religion of most Persians (ethnic group in Iran).
51 Sunni Sunnis believe that the supreme leader (Caliph) does NOT need to be related to Muhammad. This is the major branch of the religion, representing about 90% of the world s Muslim population.
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