Faith Facts

Here you’ll find facts about various faiths. Please share your own facts through social media using #FaithsofMU!

Facts About Judaism

  • The basis of Jewish law is the Torah, which consists of five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These are the same as the first five books of the Christian Bible.
  • Judaism has three main denominations: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform.
  • Any educated member of the Jewish community can lead a worship service, though this duty usually falls to a rabbi.
  • The Jewish calendar is based on the phases of the moon, making for a 354-day year. To compensate for seasonal shift, a leap month is added every 2–3 years.
  • The holiest days of the Jewish calendar are Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah typically occurs in September or early October, and Yom Kippur eight days afterward.
    Image result for star of david
    The Star of David
  • The use of the Star of David (or Magen David, meaning “Shield of David” in Hebrew) as a symbol of the Jewish faith is relatively recent. It was first adopted as an official symbol by the Jewish community of Prague in the 17th century, and was almost universally adopted by Jewish communities by the 19th century.

Facts About Islam

  • The word “Islam” actually translates to “submission” or “surrender,” as adherents of the faith are supposed to surrender to the will of Allah. “Muslim” translates as “one who submits/surrenders.”
  • Allah” is the Arabic word for “God.”
  • The primary tenets of the faith are called the Five Pillars of Islam:
    • Shahadah: A statement of faith all Muslims recite at least one time in their lives.
    • Salat or Salah: A daily ritual prayer of faith done five times a day.
    • Zakat: A tax paid to benefit the poor or those in need.
    • Sawm: A fast done during the month of Ramadan.
      Muslims gather at Mecca in 2008
    • Hajj: a pilgrimage every Muslim must do at least once in his or her life, if he or she can afford it, to the Holy city of Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage begins on the seventh or eighth day of the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and ends on the 12th day of that same month.

Facts About Christianity

  • The central figure of Christianity is Jesus Christ, a Jewish craftsman and later preacher who was born during the reign of Roman emperor Augustus Caesar. Christians believe that Jesus is the literal son of God.
    The Celtic knot is a common symbol used to represent the Trinity.
  • One of Christianity’s primary doctrines is that of the Trinity, which states that although there is one God, that God is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (also known as the Holy Ghost).

Sources:

Christianity Fast Facts. CNN. September 19, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/world/christianity-fast-facts/index.html (accessed October 29, 2019).

Islam Fast Facts. CNN. August 28, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/world/islam-fast-facts/index.html (accessed October 29, 2019).

Jewish Calendar, The. Timeanddate.com. https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/jewish-calendar.html (accessed October 29, 2019).

Jewish Holidays. Hebcal. https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/#major-holidays (accessed October 29, 2019).

Judaism Fast Facts. CNN. August 30, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/world/judaism-fast-facts/index.html (accessed October 29, 2019).

Star of David. Encyclopædia Britannica. May 7, 2019. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Star-of-David (accessed November 12, 2019).

Trinity, The. BBC. July 21, 2011. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/trinity_1.shtml (accessed October 29, 2019).

 

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