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Which Are the Oldest Religions in the World?

A statue of Buddha that is used in Buddhism - an early religion that is still practiced today.
Hindu Goddess Artwork.
Many people in the world practice the Muslim religion.
The Roman Catholic Church is seated in Vatican City, which was built atop the spot where St. Peter was crucified in AD 64 or AD 67.
A statue of Confucius, the founder of Confucianism.
Though the focus of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage, the shrine that contains the Black Stone in Mecca, known as the Ka'aba, actually predates the founding of Islam.
Judaism is among the most ancient of religions.
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The oldest forms of worship in the world are ancestor worship, shamanism, and animism, which are thought to date back to at least around 300,000 BCE. The oldest religions that are still widely practiced are are Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism all came from India, while Judaism originated in Israel and Taoism in China. Shintoism, a Japanese spiritual practice that is still practiced today, dates back further, but is not strictly speaking a religion. Other very old forms of worship include pantheism, Zoroastrianism, and Confucianism.

Early Forms of Worship

Pre-organized forms of religion generally centered on rituals, ancestor worship, shamanism, and animism. Ritual burials are speculated to have occurred up to 300,000 years ago, and were almost certainly practiced since at least 100,000 BCE. Ancestor worship also played a major role in pre-organized worship, and was found throughout the world. Shamanism, the practice of a selected person going into an altered state of consciousness to communicate with spirits or animals, was also widely practiced, and is thought to be evidenced by cave paintings dating back to 320,000 BCE. This was closely connected to animism, the belief that all things have a soul or spirit.

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As cities began to develop, god and goddess worship became more common. Around 35,000 BCE, many figurines shaped like women began to be created, which are thought to have been used in a form of goddess worship. Shinto practices began to develop in Japan around 14,000 BCE, though they weren't codified until the 8th century CE. In 9130 BCE, the first known man-made temple was built, called Göbekli Tepe. It was apparently used in shamanistic or animistic worship.

Organized Religions

Polytheism

Polytheism is the belief in many gods and goddesses, and was practiced by a number of societies, including the Sumerians, Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, Ancient Romans, Ancient Chinese, and Celts. Though all of these societies worshiped differently, polytheistic religions do tend to have similar types of deities, like creator deities, water deities, mother goddesses, and love deities. For instance, Isis was a mother deity in Ancient Egypt, while Ninsun served a similar role in Sumerian culture, as did Gaia in Greek culture. Similarly, the role of the water deity was played by Mazu in China, Poseidon in Greece, Neptune in Rome, and Lir in the Celtic tradition.

Hinduism

Hinduism is the oldest organized, the third largest, and the major religion of India. It has no known founder, as it was organized from a variety of traditional beliefs from different cultures and mythologies. The roots of Hinduism are thought to date back about 5,000 years. Hinduism has two great theistic movements: the cult of Vishnu called Vaishnavism, and the cult of Shiva or Shaivism. It advocates commitment to dharma, an ideal way of life. Hindus, or believers of Hinduism, believe in karma, or the force of one's actions, and reincarnation, or the passage of a soul from one body to another body.

Judaism

The religion of the Jews, Judaism is considered the matrix for Christianity and Islam. With a history of over 4,000 years, Judaism is based on monotheism, the belief in one God. The Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament in Christianity, is the fundamental source of Jewish belief, notably its first five books collectively called the Torah or Pentateuch. Judaism follows a system of law, called Halachah, which regulates personal values, family relationships, social responsibility, and civil and criminal justice.

Buddhism

Buddhism is the religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha or the awakened one, in the 6th century BCE. It was the most successful religious movement derived from Hinduism and eventually spread throughout India and other Asian countries. Buddhism can be divided into two main branches: the more conservative Theravada, or "Way of the Elders," and the diverse and liberal Mahayana, or "Great Vehicle." Buddhist teaching is centered on the Four Noble Truths: suffering or duhkha, desire as the cause of suffering, suffering can end, and existence of a way to end suffering.

Jainism

Jainism is believed to be founded by Mahavira in the 6th century BCE, though Jains regard him as only the last of the Tirthamkaras, or 24 founders of the religion. The philosophy of Jainism is centered on the belief that every living thing has a soul, and thus it promotes non-injury to all life-forms. Jainism is divided into two sects: the Svetambara and the Digambara. The Svetambaras wear white clothes, while the Digambaras go naked. Jain monks, however, commonly wear cloths over their mouths to prevent them from unconsciously breathing in and accidentally causing injury to a living thing.

Taoism

Taoism is thought to have been founded around the 3rd or 4th century BCE, which is when the primary text of Taoism, the Daodejing, dates back to. The author of the Daodejing, Laozi, may have lived around the same time as Confucius, the founder of Confucianism. Those who practice taoism try to live in accordance with the "way" or dao, which is the completely indescribable source and flow of everything. Main concepts in Taoism are wu wei, which is the process of doing things effortlessly or non-intentionally, and the "Three Treasures," which are compassion, moderation, and humility. This religion is connected with many physical practices, like qigong and tai chi, as well as the concept of yin yang, which is the belief that opposites are actually completely interconnected.

Other Religions

Other very old religions include Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, mystery cults, and paganism. Zoroastrianism is thought to have been founded around the 6th century BCE, and is notable for being one of the first religions to use the concept of the struggle between good and evil. Confucianism, which is more of a philosophy than a religion, was founded by Confucius in the 5th century BCE. It posits that there is an ideal structure and hierarchy of the world, and that people have a moral obligation to fulfill their roles in that hierarchy.

Mystery cults took place primarily in Ancient Greece and Rome, and involved the secret, usually ritual worship of specific gods and goddesses. Notable mystery cults included the Eleusinian mysteries, which centered on the goddesses Demeter and Persephone; the cult of Isis, which was centered on the Egyptian goddess Isis, and later other similar goddesses; and the cult of Cybele, who was a mother goddess figure.

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anon936593
Post 165

I strongly believe that Hinduism is an oldest classic religion in the world. Every religion has their inventor, but in Hinduism there are none any one. Because Hinduism created by God (Parampita parmeshwar).

It is true as per history and other religions activity and faith.

anon936591
Post 164

Of course, the very real and legitimate religions of West Africa have been completely ignored.

anon346818
Post 162

The writer does not understand about Hinduism. The world "Religion" and its Hindu world "Dharma" are not the same. Dharma refers to natural characteristics. Like King Dharma is Rajdharma means "Be governance for the citizen", a judge is Nayaya Dharma meaning, "Best Justice". A lion who kills every day to eat is following its Dharma, but when it starts killing animals more than required, then it becomes Adharmi -- not following its Dharma.

There are six philosophies in Indian system. The two important one are Sankara's Adaityavad or non-duality, which says that creator and creation are same, meaning our soul is part of the Supreme. Everything is part of this Brahma. Most Hinduism is based upon this. The other one is Ramanuj Daityavad (Duality). Abrahmanic religions follow this, which says God and humans are separate. There is also one philosophy which says there is no God, but just the material world.

Now since nobody has seen God, and nobody has any rational proof, there is the concept of "Panth" -- in English called a Path. Vaisnaism, Shavism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. are actually "Panth" in India. It is the British who called them religions based upon their world view. There is always religious debate going on between these "Panth", but there is a saying that all paths lead to thee. just like all rivers end in sea. Because of this, Hinduism has no problem in believing every religion. Like I can worship Ishwar, Jesus, Allah, Buddha or any new form anybody proposes. How can I say that your God is not correct when nobody has seen God? Whenever people say that this book is revealed by God, we all know they are written by man, as there are so many mistakes in it, and God doesn't make mistakes.

Param Brahma(Supreme/God) is described as Nirakar (No shape), Nirgun (No property), Na Adhi (No Start), Anant (No End), Everywhere, Conscious and always in bliss. (sat-chit-anand). There are two types of worship in India: sagun (with form like idols ) and nirgun (without form). The supreme Brahma is considered to be divided in three parts, also called a trinity: Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (Destroyer). The whole world is considered cyclical; the circle of creation and destruction continue forever. The most important belief is that God was incarnate on the earth from time to time to guide the creatures. Vishnu’s job is to maintain the Dharma so it is Vishnu who was incarnate. There are ten incarnations of Vishnu. If you see all the incarnations, they have occurred according to evolution: sea animal to land animal to human. Mastya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), varha (boar), Narasimha (Half man-Half Lion), Vaman (dwarf), Parshuram (man), Ram (man), Krishna (man), Buddha (man) and Kalki (yet to come). Also, there is the concept of "Sakti" (Energy). It is considered feminine. Without "Shakti," nothing can move. Like the word "shiv" comes from "shav" (corpse) and Shakti (energy). You will find female forms of worship which represent this Shakti. Shiv is also represented as Ardhnaresvar (half male and half female), to denote both male and female energy.

Then there is the concept of Maya (illusion), that the world is illusion created by our senses and is not the reality. The movie “The Matrix” is based on this. There are 108 Upanisad (books) also called Vedanta which discuss all this.

There are four steps for salvation:

1. Bhakti Yoga (devotional yoga): All religions fall into this first step. You worship Jesus, Allah or Krishna, and it is personal devotion. It is to cleanse ourselves from all bad things and make our souls pure. Truth, compassion, love, etc. -- all these things are developed inside. Mainly, look inside.

2. Karma Yoga (Service): Once you have cleaned yourself from the inside, you look at the society and other creators. You do selfless work to help them. You take care of the sick and old. You take care of animals, air, water, the forests and almost every creation of the God. The important thing is to be selfless. You don't expect anything for your help, not even thanks.

3. Raj Yoga (Eight fold Yoga - physical exercise, mental exercise, concentration, will, etc.) Here you enter the state of Samadhi (total bliss) -- being one with God. Remember, you can't feel the God with your five physical senses, because if we could, then science would have found God.

In the Samadhi state, all your physical senses are closed and you are one with God at a super conscious level. Now, when all the senses are closed what is the difference between Krishna or Jesus? It is emptiness and nothing of material concepts really matter at this state. For example, what about a person whose five senses are not working, who is blind, deaf, dumb, can't smell or feel touch? Does it matter if you shout Krishna, Allah or Jesus in front of him?

4. Jyan Yoga (ultimate knowledge of God): This is the last stage when you have felt the God and you know about him/her. You understand more deeply. You understand that this world is just a Maya (illusion ) of your physical senses and you are not separate from the Param Brahma. This is final salvation.

I have given examples using Ishwar, God, Jesus and Allah to explain my belief system. People may or may not agree with me and that is fine.

anon340796
Post 161

What about aboriginal dreamtime? It's over 60,000 years old.

anon336235
Post 160

I came across this page and I must say that while some of the posts were very well written, others were just plain biased.

I was born a Hindu, and I respect the culture and traditions that were passed on to me. At the same time, I had the privilege of living in a modern society in which I socialized with people from various races.

1) I have met amazing people, regardless of their race or religion.

2)I have also met incorrigible, low-handed and disgusting people, regardless of their race or religion.

3) Religion itself is pure. Men have corrupted it. It does not matter whether it is Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or any other religion. The fact is we people have corrupted it. The Hindu scriptures never ever said that men should abuse women, yet in India, there are men who behave like animals.

Likewise in Islam, the teachings did not say that men can have up to four wives if they so desire it. According to very staunch Muslim friend of mine, the Prophet Mohammad only allowed that because of a war that drastically reduced the population. Likewise, Christianity does not teach pastors or priests to be pedophiles, yet they exist.

Does it matter which religion is the oldest? Does it even matter whether my religion is better? Frankly, my race is "human" and my religion is "humanity". I believe in God as the almighty, the creator. I believe that it is a force so vast that we are but a fraction of it. That is enough for me.

Do not see religion as a be-all and end-all. The main purpose of the religion is to help guide you in living a fulfilling life. There is nothing to prove, and we must look past that, for our blood is red, regardless of our skin color. Our genitalia is the same regardless of skin color or religion. The last time I checked all men, regardless of religion, are born with one penis, except for the unfortunate born with deformities.

We require water and food for sustenance, regardless of our religion. We want to love and be loved, regardless of our religion. We are the same, and yet most people have taken religion that was meant to unite people, and turned it around to fulfill their selfish desires.

I have seen extremists from all religions and they are the same. They are weak and pathetic cowards who use God as an excuse to exact hate, misery and vengeance on innocent people.

I apologize for being extremely long-winded, but my point is, we are all humans and there is only one religion and that is humanity. All God wants of us is to love ourselves and the people around us the way we love him.

anon329818
Post 158

IRRC Taoism as a religious movement really took off about the third century AD. Also, most Chinese do not consider Confucianism to be a religion. Confucius himself often refused to talk about god(s) or souls or afterlife.

A number of scholars of Confucianism in ancient China were outspoken atheists, and the rituals practiced by its followers can be attributed to Chinese folk religions that predate Confucianism.

anon327137
Post 157

It is a widely accepted fact that the oldest monotheistic "revealed" religion is Zoroastrianism. This does not necessarily make it the best, but it did influence all the major religions that followed. Hinduism and Buddhism, it seems, were developing alongside in South Asia but did not influence the western religions.

anon324564
Post 156

Welcome to Interfaith. It's nice to see geeks breaking in to the practice. Interfaith has one over-arching principle: "Follow one, respect all."

I have been active in interfaith dialogue for almost 30 years. It is good to share your beliefs and hear the beliefs of others and look for common ground rather than focus on differences.

There is nothing more wonderful about interfaith than hearing your own beliefs and even religious experiences expressed by a person of a different faith. The goal is understanding one another, not necessarily agreeing with one another, and certainly not converting one another.

The real magic of interfaith is being able to make friendships that enable us to transcend our differences and transform our vision of each other and our worldview from a house divided into one family under God. It really happens, just be kind, loving and patient. We are here to learn and grow together, not fight or win a battle. Be well.

anon312960
Post 153

The failures of religions.

Christianity (Protestants, Catholics, etc.) Note that these are crimes of the past: Far too aggressive. The Catholics basically enslaved the Native Americans and forced them to believe in Christianity, and the Protestants were no better, with branches such as KKK or the extremists in the Waco incident, Well, Christianity is far better than it used to be, but still constantly has some discrimination, such as against homosexuals.

Islam: Sort of tolerant of other religions but still unfair to other non-Muslims, and also have extremists like Taliban or Al Qaeda, and Islam is just too extreme, and women deserve more freedom (at least Christians finally gave women freedom, while Islam has barely changed)

Hinduism: Treat women like dogs, so they aren't that good on that, but they don't really go aggressive against other religions. For example, Hinduism disagreed with Buddhists, but did they go around slaughtering them like Catholics did to Protestants?

Buddhists: I really don't know. They are extremely pacifist, but I think that is their one failure. They usually are peaceful and fail to stand up to other religions, like when the Taliban blew up a big statue of Buddha in Pakistan; the Buddhists only condemned them. Plus Korean Buddhism collapsed to Christianity within 60 years, being reduced from a majority to 40 percent of the population.

anon307927
Post 152

The oldest shaman grave in the know world is Dolni Vestonice Czech Republic.

carrie888
Post 150

Buddhism is a religion, but I can guess why you thought this because the religion that they believe in tells them in the story of creation, that it doesn't matter how the gods created the earth and that it only counts if they believe and worship or not.

And it does count as a religion because of worship. They don't just think about the religion. The worship is physical and includes praise. I like the fact that you thought about this as a philosophy. It is very clever to think deeply.

anon291186
Post 148

First I must tell you Buddhism is not a religion; it is a philosophy. Further it does not force you to believe like Christianity or Islam.

anon283665
Post 146

How can someone claim to be a good person ask for religious tolerance when they can give none? Have respect for all religions and beliefs. Yours are no better no worse. All religions come from a previous one -- it's called evolution of religion so cheers to those who think there is only one way of believing.

anon277395
Post 145

God does exist. I don't think he represents any earthly religion in common. The way I visualized “God is by asking myself few different questions.

1. Who could have created or invented the stars, planets, solar systems, galaxies, and many billions of other objects and things around the universe? Answer: only a God.

2. If related to this planet, who could have brought life in all different kind of forms as well as nature? Answer: only God.

However, when people talk about religions, the main question is:

1. What religion is really true in notion, and substance with proof that they represent “God” in this planet? The answer to this question is: “none.”

2. Why?

Because all religious scriptures are made by humans or people who tend to use their imagination to write wonderful or horrible stories in order to influence people to do whatever their rules say in their holy scriptures. In some religions, they dedicate themselves to write most deceptive things by saying that they have been, seen, or heard the word of “God”. However, none of them have proof of these miracles or things that supposedly happened thousands of ears ago. Many will tell you then that you must believe in their scriptures and writing to manipulate your life into some lies that they currently preach around the world.

Some of these religions send their people to die for their cause in the name of their God, and some of them had obscene rituals. For whatever reason, humans are most deceptive and false. It would have been nice to find a true religion that would represent God with true facts, but there is no a single one in the whole world. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about Indian belief and religions, Jewish religions, Hindu religions, or any other religion. The fact is, all religions represent the imagination of some ancient people or elders trying to manipulate and control people’s behavior within their communities and abroad.

Most of the time religious beliefs are used to fulfill the spiritual belief and the unknown, supernatural things that we cannot explain by giving us or leading us to think like their scriptures. However, in my opinion, “God” or the “Gods” that make up the universe are not represented by any of the current religions, until the day that God shows up on the planet Earth and tells us otherwise.

In my mind, I think there is more than one God. However, I have no name or form on how to describe him and other lower level gods. I think that the universe was created by some form of super-intelligent God or more helpers. It is logical to think this way, because when I looked at the different religions, they tend to diminish god powers in human imagination and belief.

Some people say that God came from two people. But people can never explain how a female and male grow up and maintained themselves alive on the planet earth full of different animals capable of destroying them. Furthermore, some religions are monotheistic, but failed to explain how two people can reproduce themselves in the beginning of time without having sex with their own brothers and sisters.

Some other religions do not authorize more than one marriage or union, but they tend to forget how the first two people on earth procreated their own species. Furthermore, no one can really explain where all the different species, colors and languages came from with facts. There are only theories.

Some scriptures talk about the whole world being under water for a full year and that only their ship with animals and people in it survived. Again, they lie about this because the same people that came out of their ship and animals could not represent every species and human race on this planet.

The fact is, we cannot even explain where all the races came from and their origin. That’s why I think that too many people in this planet just want to have hope for the unknown and supernatural. It is all in their imagination and the imaginations of the elders, prophets and priest who wrote scriptures to organize spiritual rites and routines capable of giving them influence, power and manipulation over people, communities, and nations.

Probably the only good thing that came out of writing scriptures are the ethical and moral values that can be taught and passed to our children in order to avoid chaos, and bad people’s behavior.

anon277391
Post 144

All religions are a fake. They are the pure imagination of the ancient people who created different methods of religion to control and manipulate their tribes, villages and communities surrounding them. The fact is that no one can truthfully say they have seen, talked or been with God or any demi-gods. If we looked at the way the different ancient religions, as well as new religions, are conducted, they are conducted with the intentions to bring hope and spiritual values and ethical values to the people through their teaching and mind manipulation.

So far, no one really knows in this world what religion is the right one or what religion really represent "God". In my opinion, all religions were created with the intentions to manipulate, control and teach religious values to unify people in the areas of spiritual rites, rituals and with the intention to control people's behaviors within their communities against chaos and bad behavior. It is true that we all hope for something better in our lives, and that we all want to get to know a real God and not a God that, by religious teaching, is only found or met after death.

Many people throughout history have created different religions and ways to serve and pray to the unknown for whatever reasons. However, no one has a single proof of truth in their writings or holy scripture, as they called it. If people would start using their critical thinking properly, the only answer is that there is a possibility of a God and many demi-gods that helped him create and maintain the universe's stability, design and creativity through some form of unknown sciences and intelligent capabilities. Sometimes, I look at the human race or people acting like children, without the notion of true knowledge. For example, what religion can say that they saw "God" and why do all the religions want to fight against each other for so-called holy scriptures and belief without having a single notion of whether what they are teaching is true or not?

By now, people should know when priests, bishops, pastors, elders or any other person conducting religious rituals and prayers is telling the truth or not. If we look into history very closely, there is not a single time that any so-called God has been seen in this world. No one really has any proof about it. It is just pure writing and teaching of different ethical values and imaginary situations that people in the past wrote in their holy scriptures to maintain hope, manipulation, and belief in things that have never been real.

Everyone likes religion, even me, but I know that every religion can be run for few hundred years and then disappears just as well and be just part of history after a while. Some religions are used by the people to make money, just like it was a joke and some type of job. People are easy to command and manipulate with deception, stories and lies that cannot be proved because they supposedly happened thousands or hundreds of years ago.

In my opinion, the day that I see "God" walking down the street that will be the day that I will believe anything these preachers are telling us. For the moment, everything is pure deception coming from all different religions with the intention to influence, manipulate and force people to do and believe in supernatural lies that none of them can really prove at the moment.

srt1969
Post 143

@Raz: First, Hinduism doesn’t teach us to abuse any religion!

Second, I don’t know whether you follow Islam or not, but it’s neither you nor I who should make a statement to be accepted unanimously without taking the views of majority of the women of Islam across the globe to endorse your point that “The present Islamic rules/practices and law give enough freedom to women.”

There are illiterates and anti-socials in almost every religion and community and we must not talk about what they do since they are ignorant about both religious ethics and laws. They lack values. That’s the reason laws are there: to punish them in the interests of the society. But if the law itself is defective, such acts will go on as long as the defects exist.

Draupadi, as understood by you to have prostituted to five husbands at once, is nothing but ignorance again.

I have never blamed any religion. I just made a sensitive remark on the present principles/practices going on in Islam about women’s emotions.

To me, capital punishment for rapists doesn’t say anything great about a religion.

Thanks for reading this post.

Raz
Post 142

@srt1969: Hinduism is probably the worst place to be for a woman.

Islam is the world's most organized and clean religion. It encourages personal hygiene as well as practical measures to prevent lewdness and corruption in society. It does not oppress women and if anything, it is the only religion that has considered women as equals, not just reproduction machines.

Cultural interpretations and mostly Asian/middle-eastern cultural practices oppress women. Almost every culture has oppressed women's rights, but Islam has given women plenty of rights and equality.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the polytheist faith of Hinduism. It portrays their gods as mothers, but are openly hypocritical regarding women. The women are considered the lowest of the low and females are even killed upon birth to prevent dowry payments later in life.

I will admit that there are rules in Islam that say what a woman must and must not do. But there are rules in every society that some outsider could see as oppressing. The Masai tribe in Africa allows a women to practice polyandry. In the west, if a woman were to do that, she would be considered a slut. Also look at the ancient Hindu story of Draupadi, which depicts how this woman is prostituted out to five husbands at once. Where do you draw the line and say to your woman that one man is enough? If you did put in some boundaries, would you be oppressing their rights? You sure would be!

But it's a necessary precaution to protect the physically and emotionally weaker sex. It's better for the society to put some limitations and preventative measures in place to make better living for everyone. It might appear a bit biased that women have so many rules, but that's the way it is to create harmony and a better functioning society. Simply compare the rape statistics for Saudi Arabia to America. That's enough to prove my point.

Don't get carried away with the woman's right debate just because most of us were born in a feminist society. It will consume your whole life and women will always complain for more rights until they take your house, car, children, money and even your dog.

Women are are equal to men in Islam. There are even clear rules on divorce settlements so that they are not left with nothing or so that they don't take everything, like they do in the west. Women are entitled to their inheritance and also their dowry, which in Islam, the man pays his wife.

However, Islam does make a clear distinction between their roles in society. While women cover up in hijab, men must keep a beard (as per Sunnah traditions). But most men don't keep beards and here in the west most women don't cover, so we're even.

Every image I have ever seen of Mother Mary has been depicted with her wearing a veil. Why is it then, that when a Muslim woman covers up, she is considered oppressed? She can marry, do business, work, travel and have a family of her own. How many of those things can a veiled up nun do?

People can't tolerate the fact that Islam is so perfect and it's a system that works. Most people I know who have given up on putting down Islam have either left it alone for good or converted.

Don't blame the religion when the problem is with the people following it.

Khadija (Radi Allahu-anha), the wife of Prophet Muhammad, was a successful business woman. Aisha, the last wife of the prophet, has been the source of wisdom for thousands of Hadith (teachings of the prophet). There have been many other dignified women in Islamic history. Just two of these examples are enough to indicate that in Islamic society women are free to do business and also educate people with knowledge.

A couple of points to ponder: Mary is treated only as a woman who gave birth to Jesus in the Bible. She was 10-15 years old when God made her pregnant. She is given no credit for her hardships, and instead her son is praised like a god. The Quran dedicates an entire chapter to her as a woman who faced challenges and encourages us to be pious like Mary.

The concept of a dowry is very common in Hindu India, and unfortunately, even some misinformed Indian Muslims are now practising it. In Islam, a dowry is paid by the husband to the wife, so that if he were to leave her, she would have something. She has to agree to the amount. She is entitled to keep her own income and has the rights to share her husband's income. This ensures her worth and that she isn't just used and divorced.

Hinduism has the practice of Sati, which requires are woman to self immolate on the funeral pyre of her husband. This has repeatedly been outlawed (even by the British Raj) but is still practised in secret. This is a direct part of the Hindu faith, if it were a divine religion, such a ridiculous law wouldn't be there in the first place. Widows in Islam are allowed to get married to whom ever they want. Prophet Mohammed's first wife was a widow 15 years older than him.

Note also the burning of women by Christians in the 15th century for being witches. Women have never been burned in Islamic history. In my opinion, Sati is single-handedly the most disgusting act ever in human history. What right does anyone have to do this to a woman?

Rape is punishable in the bible: Deuteronomy 22:28-29. If a virgin is raped, she is forced to marry her rapist and he is never to divorce her. The rapist is to pay a small fee to the father of the girl.

The Quran, surah An-Nâs 4.119: “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will...” Enough said.

Arranged marriages are normal in Hindu Indian society. See my reference above for what Islam says about marrying someone. If they don't agree, they are not for you! Please don't be ignorant and say Muslims force arranged marriages. It's the culture that forces arranged marriage in Muslim societies.

Rape is punishable by capital punishment in Islam. It is usually debated that Sharia law makes it impossible to prove rape. However, with all the necessary precautions taken (hijab etc.) rape still occurs. Rape occurs in all societies, but Islam is the only religion to put in preventative measures as early as 1,500 years ago.

Most people would argue that Sharia requires four male witnesses to prove rape or the rapist to admit his guilt. However, this was because it was absolutely necessary to prove this in ancient times because someone's life depends on the evidence given. Since rape would occur in a non-public form, it's usually impossible to prove.

There is always justice in true Islamic societies and Islamic courts have been able to extend the laws beyond Sharia to allow for victims to prove rape with modern 'rape kits' for testing victims. The old preventative measures are still in place; the hijab is still considered a form of protection. At least date-rape is a non-issue in Muslim countries. Hope you enjoyed reading. Enjoy your lives. God bless you all.

srt1969
Post 141

This is one of the most exiting articles/debates I have ever come across concerning religions.

I am a Hindu and I firmly believe that it's only Christianity and Hinduism among the three most popular religions where women's emotions have never been ignored or abused as a matter of odd principles and finally making them law, as in the case of Islam.

The principles of Islam need to be amended for Islam's existence in this earth.

anon275890
Post 139

Since this place is to say your opinion, I will say mine and before anyone starts to bark, remember it is my opinion and you don't have to agree, and it does not make me wrong because you don't agree.

I will start by saying that I am not a religious person because I truly believe religion and God are so far from each other it's become a joke. The white Europeans came to the U.S. with their Christianity, forced it on people and those who did not convert were tortured or killed. They came and committed genocide all over the place especially in the Caribbean and all in the name of Jesus Christ and the King and Queen, the most racist people in the planet.

Christianity felt if you were not white you had no soul. The KKK are Christian. The Catholic church is full of pedophiles and white Americans still send their kids to mass and their schools. Christianity is no better than the Muslims they hate and envy for their oil and money. Everyone knows women are not worth what a man is in Muslim countries but they are not different than the Jewish woman who walks behind her man.

Jews are very arrogant people. Being from NYC, you can't help but get to know their ways and they really do believe they are superior. They really believe that they are the chosen ones. A god that has favorites? The same people who supposedly lied and had him killed because they thought no way was their leader a poor carpenter? If there really is a God, we are in trouble because he is nothing nice. There are so many religions in this world and they all feel theirs will get them to paradise and only theirs.

Look around you at the Catholic Churches; they are so beautiful and have luxury galore. Look at the mosques. While their people die of hunger in the Middle East, they build and spend millions on their mosques. You can all keep your God because the God I choose to believe in is a good god and all he expects from me is to do the right thing for myself and others and animals. Why do we need disgusting church leaders to teach us that? That is something you learn at home.

All these heads of churches are full of crap. They are just as greedy as the next rich man. But what is sad are the people who follow them. Listen to your gut feeling, your conscience -- that's god! All this intellectual crap between you for what? You are going to believe what you are going to believe. I don't care how smart you are.

Raz
Post 137

I was done with this post, but anon271994 tempted me to come back and make a last response. Please read this. I can assure you it will be an exciting and intuitive read.

First of all, your response, anon271994, was a very polite, diplomatic and intellectual response; I appreciate that.

However, as you admit, you were a bit harsh with the Qur’an references, especially that one notorious verse related to killing of non-muslims (kafirs). You were polite, but very subtle with your insults.

To answer your question whether I read the Qur’an or not. Yes I do and I love reading it. I don’t understand Arabic, but I read it so many times that I know many words and their meanings. The English translation is always handy and I have read the translations too. But I’m not bothered by reading the translations. I read it in Arabic because that’s where the essence is. Its so liberating, fluid and poetic, even to a foreign ear.

You claim you have read it too, but with all due respect, you never understood it and so you were never inspired by it.

If you only pick up Islam’s holy book to find criticism, then you will jump with joy when you find a few verses referring to laws encouraging killing, stoning, lashing etc. The book is full of only good and any bad point about the book is manufactured by masterfully taking verses out of context.

Unfortunately, the Bible and Qur’an have been ambiguous on several verses, so this has been a point of debate not only among non-believers, but also the believers. Sometimes we just interpret things differently. This is why we have Sunni and Shia (Islam) and Protestants and Catholics (Christianity).

Going back to the killing of kafirs (unbelievers). The correct quote is “fight and slay the pagans (or unbelievers) wherever you find them” (Qur’an Surah 9:5). Let’s clear that up. This has been floating around the internet and biased American propaganda stations like CNN and ABC use it religiously to promote invasions and mass killings by US forces in the Middle East. Saying that, “Muslims, Islamists want to kill us” etc.” Rubbish. What Bin Laden did was not Islam, just like what Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City) did was not Christianity. As for Hindus, their actions in Gujarat, India speak for itself. Muslim women were gang-raped in front of their children while their husbands and brothers were slaughtered. In fact, they had sophisticated, computer generated maps labelling Muslim families in the locality. The west largely ignored these government supported groups because they are limited to India and don’t affect Americans or the British.

Now, back to killing the kafirs verse. This verse was revealed at a time when innocent people (Muhammad peace be upon him and his companions) were being persecuted, tortured, killed and their livelihoods destroyed. Basically, the “terrorists of the day,” so to speak, were the pagans and kafirs. The Qur’an, being divine law in a lawless desert, sent down permission to allow innocent (and non violent) Muslims to finally pick up arms and (Common yanks, you all know the answer to this; you sing it to the world) defend this great nation of ours from the threat of terrorism and injustice. they threaten our freedom and our way of life. Almost paraphrasing G.W. Bush there.

There is no point manipulating this and distorting the facts. The Qur’an does indeed contain that verse, but it was a direct command to defend yourselves or face elimination from this world and the extinction of our newly revived religion.

The link from discussing Hinduism in America surprised me too. But I just realized how much damage the USA has done to undermine the Muslim faith. They knew very well, second tier monkey and cow worshipping religions would side with them because they all hate Muslims and are jealous of the resources Allah has blessed them with. Even though the faith of Americans and Arabs is very similar; these brothers continue to kill each other while the communist China stands there growing bigger and stronger.

Now, to my final point, which I have already made in my previous post. Islam is the first religion. It is not the first “recorded” religion to you and me, but it still is the first religion.

The “Islam” that you know of today is nothing more than a revival by the Prophet Muhammad. The religion’s fundamental belief is “La ilaha illAllah” (There is only one God --Allah). This has always been there.

In our time, we say “La ilaha illAllah - Muhammadur-us rasoolullah” (There is only one Allah -- Muhammad is his messenger). During Jesus’ reign, his proclamation was for his people: “La Ilaha Illallah – Isa Ruhullah,” etc. Each prophet claimed there is one god, Allah and I am so and so.

The very thing that the so-called Abrahamic religions came to correct was the deviation that occurred repeatedly. God kept sending messengers to remind man that he is Allah. He is not in fire or idols. He is unseen and his messengers (Noah, Solomon, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad) are bringing them glad tidings and his message of one god.

On the other hand, Hinduism dropped the ball ages ago and refused to accept anything else, and they just became a religion full of songs and dance.

That’s why when someone tells me Islam is 1500 years old, I correct them right away. It’s not. It’s a continuation of an original faith, now appropriately labelled “Islam” so that we can differentiate from our Jew and Christian brothers.

The monotheist faith, believing in Allah, is older than records of Islam, but that is Islam. Islam literally means “submission!”

Some even claim Allah was a “moon god.” Well that’s great, because it proves that prophets came to address that and guide the people back to believing in the unseen god, not an idol. Before some people comment, you should realise that Arab Jews and Christians use the term Allah for God, and even Arabic Bibles use Allah for God.

You say the Vedas mention one god. That’s correct and you can credit Adam and his descendant prophets for that news. The Vedas only contain the scripture and knowledge of one god because Adam gave them that knowledge. He was the first prophet and person. But as his descendants grew and spread, many were manipulated by the devil.

They left their forefathers’ faith. After all, that is what Satan promised God he would do. So man invented, or more accurately, innovated, aspects of the religion and kept veering away from the awareness of Allah. This is why even the oldest Hindu symbol of Om is said to be Allah, in a distorted form.

All religions of the book (heavenly testaments) are God-sent. Otherwise, they are invented by man, e.g., Hinduism, sikhism and Buddhism. Now that you have even read the shahada (up top) I urge you to look into it with an open mind.

anon271994
Post 136

To answer this question, there is no doubt that Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world as the holy scriptures of Hinduism, the four Vedas were composed during the bronze age, (about 4500-5000 years ago)

To Raz (Post 133) and other like-minded "intellects": First, let me forgive you for your ignorance about Hinduism. While I agree with you that many of my fellow Hindus are deeply involved in superstitions, I am a true Hindu and I shall now tell what true Hinduism is all about.

The four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva) are the oldest religious scriptures in the world. The greatness of the Vedas cannot be compared to other religious scriptures. Here's why: Ages before the Torah, the Gospels or the Quran (like a true Hindu, I salute these great holy scriptures of the three Abrahamic religions), the Vedas were written and they clearly speak of one supreme, almighty God.

Some Hindus may be deviant but that doesn’t mean Hinduism itself is deviant, for the Vedas not only preach monotheism but also tolerance and acceptance of all other faiths of God as they explicitly state that all righteous paths (Dharma) lead to Him. Truth and righteousness are the ways to life, not practices, as stated by your Quran itself (Have you read it, Raz? I, a Hindu, have). Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. --Sura 2:177

And so in the Vedas: Just as there is no life without respiration so also life without Righteousness (Dharma) is not worth living as it amounts to mere existence like animals. Righteousness bestows wealth as well as happiness. In fact everything can be acquired through Righteousness. This entire universe sustains itself on the foundation of Righteousness. --Rig Veda3:9:30

The Vedas deal with everything from the sub-atomic (paramaanu) to the cosmic infinite – a multiverse of Universes (yes, you heard me right! Universes or more properly The Existence). Not just a single “Universe” as seen in other scriptures.

Vedic philosophy revolves around the singularity of God. There is no mention of plurality of God in Vedas. Vedic religion is pure unadulterated Monotheism. According to the Holy Vedas, God is one, not many: Verily He is one, Single, indivisible, supreme reality. --Atharva Veda 13/4/20

The Existence is truly the infinite as it contains infinite Universes (Bhramandams) and the only thing greater than the Existence is God Himself. He is the Master of All, the Sustainer of this great Existence.

Oneness of God is the axis round which the philosophy of Vedas revolves. None but God alone reigns and rules over the whole Existence. True kingship belongs to Creator of the cosmos. He alone is the Supreme Sovereign of the Worlds: He is the sole sovereign Of the Existence And of the Universes contained therein. --Rig Veda 6/36/4

Vedic philosophy does not approve of polytheism. There are no gods except one God, who is the Lord of lords. Only He is worthy to be worshipped and fit to be adored: There is only One Who ought to be adored By the people. --Atharva Veda 2/2/1

The Holy Vedas declare that God alone is the unchallenged Lord of the whole creation. All sorts of eulogy, adoration and prayer befit Him only. Man does not deserve to be eulogised and deified by man. The deification of man by man is not permitted by Vedic religion. Therefore, it behooves man to worship the Great Lord of the cosmos only: Adore none else but Providence Who is supreme bestower of bliss And thus thou wilt not suffer; Eulogise Him in congregation And sing songs of His glory repeatedly. --Sama Veda 242

He is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. He is All-powerful and All-pervasive. He pervades, permeates and penetrates all things and all hearts: He, the all-pervasive Pervades all beings Within and without. --Yajur Veda 32/8

God is singular, but his names are plural. All the epithets mentioned in Holy Vedas are ascribed to one God, who is Creator of the cosmos. Shiva, Shankara, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Ganesh, Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, Yama, etc. are the names for one Supreme Being, who is formless, featureless, birthless and bodiless. He is unborn, eternal, immortal and everlasting. He has no agents, no intermediaries, no representatives, no incarnations and no partners. He has neither father, nor mother. He has neither wife, nor sons, nor daughters. He has no attachment. But He is the Benevolent Father of all his children, and imparts equal love impartially to all his creatures. He is kind to all, cruel to, none. His first name is Om. But He is evoked and adored by several other names which are written in the Vedas (and also other scriptures like the Bible and Quran.)

I know for a fact that Allah is a beautiful Arabic name which is a neutral word and means “God.” But, just because the Quran is the so-called “uncorrupted” and final revelation, it doesn’t mean that only Muslims are God’s chosen people.

True Hindus like me don't need people like you to tell me what is right and what is wrong because the Supreme Lord of All Himself revealed to us the path of Truth, Righteousness, and Tolerance ages ago.

There is no mention of idol worship in the Vedas, nor is there any mention of worshipping animals (and especially nothing about the “holy cow”). I hope fellow Hindus are listening too.

So, you can see for yourself now that true Hinduism is monotheistic. We don’t need Muslims, or Christians or Jews to preach to us and say only their religion is true and that only they are God’s chosen people. It is the ideology of Hinduism to accept that all paths of righteousness lead to Him.

While the Quran explicitly states, “Muslims must be like this”, “Muslims must not do this”, “Muslims must do this”; there is no such thing as a “Hindu” in Hinduism or the Vedas! The principles given in the Vedas are for all humanity to follow: O Humans! Eat not any kind of flesh For thou art not carnivorous beasts Thy Lord has forbidden Acts of violence and slaying of the innocent. If so, you verily eat only sin. --Rig Veda 313/7

The above extract clearly shows that animal sacrifice and eating of non-vegetarian food is condemned by Hinduism. That is why many Hindus are strict vegetarians, even though they don’t know why they are so in the first place. It is a sin to slaughter harmless animals, more of a sin to eat their flesh.

The Vedas also condemn many sinful acts such as murder, cheating, etc. There is no casteism in the Vedas. Caste system was invented by the people.

All religions have their flaws, but the greatest flaw I’ve ever seen is in Islam. I was shocked when I read a verse in Sura 9 where Muslims are asked to slaughter people who don’t believe in Almighty God (“Kafirs”).

Murdering people is clearly a sin, Raz. Please tell that to terrorists. If people are non-believers, it is God who has made them so and put a veil in front of their eyes. God will see to them. We are not to interfere with their fate. No human has the right to take the life out of another human. It is a deadly sin. Murder is the most satanic and unrighteous thing to do and I was surprised that the Holy Quran advocates violence. (Please forgive my harshness, but you were equally critical of Hinduism too.)

Finally, it is a sad thing that many Hindus (especially, the poor) have not read the Vedas and their actions (other than unpardonable, mindless superstitions) are only due to their ignorance. But this does not mean that just because a Hindu worships idols, he cannot be labeled a sinner if he loves God, performs his duties and never strays from the path of Truth and Righteousness. Truly, ignorance is the greatest threat of Hinduism. Ignorant Hindus themselves are Hinduism’s greatest enemies, not Muslims or Christians.

Let me conclude with the ultimate message of Hinduism: Universal Brotherhood. We are all God’s children. Let us put aside our differences of religion, gender, race and ethnicity, and think and work together as one people, as humans, for we are all sinners in the eyes of God, not to mention exceedingly insignificant people living in a tiny speck of a planet, if you visualize it from a cosmic perspective. I hope many people read this and remove their misconceptions about one of the greatest religions on earth.

anon271836
Post 135

Raz you are wrong, the Muslim religion is not the oldest one out there. Do your homework before you type something!

anon270038
Post 134

Also there is Gobekli Tepe 13000 years old. When will you all learn, all religion that teaches Good is God.. Drop the O .. Be the O ... Live on our O, (earth)... DNA, Earth our Sun our Universe, leave the words behind, you can feel whats real without the words. You do not need a church, you do not need a book or a timeline, a cross, a priest or a rosary. To fight about any book of creation. Science shows how awesome our creator is, how brilliant and wonderful amungst all things ... to fight does go against all that is Go(o)D. We all need is each other or else we have no meaning, choose what words are good and live them, no matter how ancient, how lost, translated, decoded, for the love of god".

Raz
Post 133

Islam is the oldest religion. It makes logical sense. The religion of god is Islam. I can prove how Hinduism is a deviant religion and how Islam, Judaism and Christianity are truly divine religions. Both the Quran and the bible (original testament) address the issue of idol worship and polytheism by proving and promoting monotheism. The Holy Quran mentions the ascension of 124,000 (about) prophets to spread the true religion; that would’ve taken some time, maybe thousands of years.

The obvious reason for god having to send so many prophets is because, every time a Muslim prophet preached, once he died, people took his ideas, modified the beliefs and reverted to idol worship. There are numerous encounters recorded in the Bible and Quran where people have defied god’s messengers and kept to their own ideology because it works for them. Prophets have even been killed for speaking the truth. Others have been mocked and laughed at by the likes of the people of Sodom and those that turned their back on Noah; they ultimately met with punishment and destruction.

The knowledge initially taught to ancient people was direct knowledge from the god of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Knowledge of stars, earth, moon, sun, elements, plants and animals was passed on to people by the creator himself -- this knowledge only verified by modern technology now has existed since the beginning of recorded religion. It’s very possible that the early descendants of the true believers started recording the prophetic knowledge in text-book and idol form.

Most religions may have deviated from God’s initial teachings because of a failure to record facts accurately. In some cases, the culture in question didn’t have the right resources to records all the facts. In-fact the best example of this is the Maori people of New Zealand. Ancient Maori’s didn’t have a form of writing, yet carved out stories into wood. The stories of their ancestors and their gods is interpreted from these carvings of creatures and people. There is one major risk in this approach of recording facts and ‘interpreting’ them. The stories are spread by word of mouth even though the carvings remain the same. This leaves the stories being told open to the effect of “Chinese whispers”.

To address this issue of text being mistranslated, most religious holy books have been backed by complimentary text. In the case of the Quran, the text is backed by Hadith so that future generations don’t grossly misinterpret the religious text.

If you look at the ancient carvings around the world, they just look like amazing art work. However, if you were around someone that had knowledge of these carvings and they were to give you a guided tour of them, then you would look at those same carvings differently. What comes out of the narrator’s mouth is what shapes your thoughts. The carvings will no longer be just art work, they will have meaning and purpose. This has happened to every idol worshipping religion, where they have taken divine revelation (knowledge of God, numbers, planets, skies, earth’s layers, future prophecies etc.) and recorded them weakly, leaving it open to interpretation. As the people learned more and future generations came, they started adding elements to the base knowledge and recorded the deviated facts. This is how Hinduism started.

The most recent example of something like this (distortion of divine revelation) is the various flavours of the bible. Everybody knows that the priests and kings manufactured their own verses for their personal gain. Religion is easy to break and distort, but fortunately for Islam, this is not happening with the Quran and never will, as God has promised to protect it as a book of all times.

There is also scripture to support the devil educating people; this education was to mislead people. The reason for this is, his greatest mischief is to make people worship anything other than the god. The unseen god. Lord Jesus Christ, master of Mohammed, and friend of Moses. The Devil enjoys centuries of idol worshipping, fire worshipping, stone worshipping and even animal (cows) worshipping. He must be laughing at how he ‘tricked’ people into believing myths and legends instead of God’s messengers.

Maybe India (and hindus) was the earliest to receive gods message from one of Adam’s sons and one of the earliest to deviate and disbelieve? Their history shows belief in fire worship, idol worship and people worship. Didn’t one of Adam’s son worship fire after he killed his brother? Yes he did! Could they be his descendants?

God gave prophets miracles so that they can perform in front of people to get their attention and respect. When people would enquire as to how they can perform this ‘magic’, the prophets would reply that this is the ‘power that Allah has given me, and this is his power alone and he has sent me with a message to you.’ There is only One God. He is lord of the worlds and he is your creator. He is Allah.

Even after Christ came, god had to send Mohammed so that Christians can stop calling him (Jesus) son of god. Jesus could bring the dead back to life, though giving life is only gods ability; its easy to see how people thought Jesus was god. But his duty was to perform miracles to help people and then let people know the true source of the power; which he did without failure. It is delegated power that god gives his messengers so that they may convince people. Only one god should be worshipped, who isn’t human and who isn’t seen, reincarnated or a dependent. Islam is the only religion with this belief; early Jews and Christians share this belief but later were the victim of their religion being distorted.

God gave people numerous chances to believe in him and him alone, not through Ram or Buddha or a son like Christ. He just wants us to believe in him alone, no associations, alone, just him, the Almighty. We are all just servants and will meet out maker one day. Now no Hindu should argue that their religion is the first, its probably one of the first to deviate from God’s true message and believe in Satan’s whispers. Now that you’ve read this, hope you remember this for the rest of your lives.

anon269051
Post 132

@#60: "Religion is Satan's greatest invention."

If you don't believe in religion, why do you believe in Satan?

anon264994
Post 130

No one knows when the end will come.

No God has not yet revealed himself to mankind.

All religion is superstition and a product of

1. Political movements, or

2. Man's inherent arrogance and everyone's innate tendency to think they are special and "chosen," or

3. Demagoguery: A need to control others' thoughts for personal, political or other exploitative aims, or

4. Simple fear of the unknown and a desire to create a salvation from fears of impending doom as a result of witnessing inevitable death in all living things, or

5. Other, as yet not understood factors.

anon262959
Post 129

About the Greeks - they didn't "visit" Africa, they were part of Egypt during the Ptolemy's dynasty (also a big part of the Balkan peninsula).

On the other hand, there are findings of organized religion dating back to 7000 B.C. used by the Thracians.

Referring to India, there are archives of the Thracian Dionysus (there are four Dionysus in historical records) who went to India way before Alexander.

Fact is, you can find a lot of similarities between the two cultures in pre-cultural state starting from letters, gods, names for tools, etc.

There are even older organized religions, for example the Fire Land/South America/isolated hybrid people -- not homo-sapiens. You need to know that we weren't the only humanoids on this planets, there were others that didn't survive and some of them had cultural identities too. Period. The problem is all of these facts above are known in the scientific world, but are not comfortable and thus not popular.

anon261862
Post 128

But if you were to ask Abraham if he were the first monotheist, he'd say, "no". -- Tollie

anon261386
Post 127

I have noticed no mention of Zoroastrianism, from which both Hinduism and Hebrew share common beliefs. The ancient Egyptians also had a very early religion.

anon261115
Post 126

Its true that Hinduism is oldest, however it did not have the name "Hinduism" or "Hindu" and also it was not a religion (I mean to say it's much different from other religions).

Hinduism was followed in India mostly. I don't know why, unlike other religions, we did not try to spread, invade or invite others to Hinduism. However, the Muslims invaded India for spreading of their religion and converted some Hindus to Muslims forcibly. They destroyed our temples, ruled or nation and converted people.

Later, the Christians came in. However, I don't think they used tools to convert people. They have a different tactic. But Hinduism should not mind this. Because all Hinduism says is no matter who you are (I didn't say no matter what religion you are) always do good, don't hurt anyone and always trust God.

anon260935
Post 125

There is no doubt that hinduism is the oldest religion.

anon260709
Post 124

Hinduism is the oldest. Period.

anon258312
Post 123

I think Hinduism is the oldest one.

Its true that it does not have written evidence, but still if you see the vedas they will take you back to an era which you could not even imagine.

When people killed other great people for their discoveries in astrology, Hindus were aware of those facts from the ancient time.

For example, we have been worshiping and praying to the nine planets for thousands of years.

The originator of this religion is not even traceble as it is a very old religion whereas, we can easily trace out the originators of other religions.

anon257863
Post 122

Well, I must say it's a good article but everyone knows that paganism is the oldest religion in the world. While it's still new to some, it dates back as far as the first human existence when they prayed for rain, fire, and water, as well as a good hunt for food. They prayed to many gods and goddess for a better way of life and good health.

anon255267
Post 121

It is true and hands up to your presentation sir. I am also doing such kind of research regarding Hinduism and evolution.

anon248608
Post 120

While looking at people's comments, I feel it a war of words going around. Prior to Hinduism, Brahmanism was practiced. Yes Judaism and Brahmanism have their footprints where every one says we were before, but if we look at our past we would know people used to practice wrong things in the name of religion/God. Right from Judaism were powers were restricted to the most high. In Hinduism, there were a few Brahmans who exploited the poor. In Islam, we still have people who practice Jihad, etc., Also apologies but it's humans who have finally written these holy books. No religion is ready to accept these changes. What we follow are human words, not what God really wanted us to do. What I feel is that we need to read all the books carefully. The big problem is people read the beginning and go on to the middle, but forget to read the end.

"Love" is the biggest religion in every book, right from King David, Abraham, Moses, Indus valley, Lord Krishna, Ramayana, Mahabharata,Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, etc. The biggest problem is we miss those words of learning in these books and we capture others. Everyone down came on this earth to show you how to live in peace and spread love.

We live in a world of science where we are just a drop of water in the ocean of galaxies. In fact, science can explain just 1 percent of existence which, when researched ahead, breaks down the laws of science. There comes a new research, new theory, etc.

Religion is the same DNA cell broken down further. You reach somewhere to another research, but are actually nowhere or have a temporary conclusion. If you are confused with the above, think how confused are we.

Spread love to people around you, cheer the sad, help the needy, stand against crime and criminals, be someone's hope. That's what people understand is religion. Your savior will bless you.

anon246329
Post 119

Please understand that the 24th Tirthankar or great teacher of Jains, Lord Mahavir, was born some 200 years before the Great Buddha and the fact that there were 23 tirthankar before Mahavir is enough to tell how old Jainism is and we cannot say it was established at the same time as Buddhism!

anon244235
Post 118

The truth is bitter, but yes it hurts. That's why you see so many people commenting against No.12.

The problem with the west is, it all looks rosy and great on the outside. But really it's rotten inside.

anon241539
Post 117

I would like to ask about the info that is being posted on this site. After reading most, I do not see any info being cited. By this, it tells me that all info placed here is of that person's opinion or thought.

anon241499
Post 116

As far as Hindu Dharma is concerned (there is a huge difference in b/w religion majhab or dharma.)

It dates back one million years and is established, while proofs are there to establish rigveda was there 20,000 years ago. Another thing is, by the account of the bible or the kuran, adam and eve are 5,000 years old in history, but the fact remains that human civilization dates back a thousand years. Even Indian civilization is about 6,000 years old, and the theory of evolution is a known fact, so sorry, but the bible and kuran theory and stories are all lies.

Apart from this, the Hindu dharma tells the story of evolution. It tells us the tale of adam (Manu) and noah too, but unlike the bible or kuran, the Vedas have logical and scientfic proofs. For they say there are over 84lakh lifeforms and now research in 2011 has established that. Christians and Muslims killed Galileo when he said that earth revolves around the sun. It’s a well established fact in the Vedas and Hindu literature and we all know that.

Even in 786 the word written over kuran when viewed in the mirror is the arabic meaning of “OM” -- supreme self in Hindu Dharma. And the Buddha Sikh and Jain are part of the Hindu Dharma. They are meant to correct some practices that started against the very meaning of dharma.

If you see and know about the geographical history of earthm you will get to know that africa and india were joined once, and in the southern part of India and africa, we saw the first man. Even now, indian islands like andaman have jarawa tribes similar to african ones.

Indian kings ruled from europe to south east asia. I think you don’t know of chandra gupta, who defeated Alexander the Great and made him run away for life. And at the end when Alexander was dead, his successor married her daughter t to chandragupta maurya in written chandragupta filled the city of mesopotamia with gold.

Samrat Ashoka (or chand ashoka as he killed millions of people to expand his kindom’s boundary) was the grandson of Chandragupta maurya.

India lost itself to islamic invaders, as you see in history. Their last king, Pritvirajchauhan, married a girl of the same gotra which is considered to be unforgiven, as people born in the same gotra were considered to be brother and sister. This resulted in continuous fight within kingdoms for over two decades and the girl’s father helped Islamic invaders to seek revenge from him.

The fact ism hindu dharma has lost its roots. Despite being peaceful, its history is filled with blood.

ChanDawn
Post 115

My answer isn't even about the age of religions or their staying power. It's kind of about the "love" comment.

I think emotions are our enemies. Positive emotions leave the door open for negative ones. Humans base most of their plans and life ambitions on an emotional expectation -- an emotional payoff. Religion has become a foundation of moral crime and punishment, but I do not believe that is what it started as.

If you read the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, they are all history books. Many of the stories are parables, but I think they were designed to withstand time.

The stories were not meant to be literal and if you think about it, there is no greater psychological instruction book than a religious tome. The unfortunate thing is that we all started out as one and we may all end up alone.

anon235339
Post 114

What about atheism, because we are one kind of ape and no other apes follow religion, so as we developed we made strategies to make people believe us and do what we want. So the early people made religion and told people if they do anything the the the religion originators don't like, the "the god" will punish them.

So more living creatures are "atheist" on this earth and humans are just only 10 percent of them, so stop fighting and learn something from nature.

anon229956
Post 112

Islam started way back from the time of Adam, Noah and all other the Prophets. They all carried the same message, from God, since it started. Muslims must believe in all the Prophets from Adam to Muhammed. Muslims also believe in Jesus and Abraham. and that Muhammad was his last prophet.

anon228793
Post 111

The Baha'i Faith is the newest religion. It began in 1844, after Christianity and Islam. There are about 6 million Baha'is in the world today. It is the second most widespread religion (Christianity is the first). Baha'is believe that Adam was the first known prophet, but that there were prophets before Adam that we have no current record of.

anon228678
Post 109

@anon24750: You are right. I used to tell the same to my muslim friends.

anon228274
Post 107

@anon123989: Dude, if you are not aware of ramayan, it was written 50,000 years ago and the was the middle period of hinduism, and hinduism started before anything. I'll give you the dates. Go from bottom to top for the most recent period.

Years: 4-Kaliyuga: 432,000; 3-Dvaparayuga: 864,000; 2-Tretayuga: 1,296,000; 1-Krtayuga: 1,728,000.

These are the four periods of earth's age gone through. We are currently in the 4th yug. This is the last. When these years end, earth will be destroyed by god again to rebuild it. Now go and search which is the oldest religion....

anon226782
Post 106

Can anybody tell me which is the most orthodox and fanatic religion in consideration with people?

anon225009
Post 105

To Post 12: If India was the richest nation on Earth, why couldn't it defend itself from a handful of Dutch and British invaders?

Also, it's well established that the first humans evolved in Africa, and migrated over time to the rest of the world.

anon223701
Post 104

Hinduism is millions of years old. Carbon dating proves this.

anon212634
Post 103

In the end, the only religions that will stand are those famous ones and have many people as followers. They are Catholic and Muslim. They also fight each other over who is the most powerful will survive. Good luck to all religion followers. No one can save you, even your faith or your religion.

anon212445
Post 101

Adi sanatan devi devta dhram (creation to 2500 years) was the oldest religion established by god (supreme father) himself (created deity in his own image of the same divine virtues of himself) 5,000 years ago.

This was followed by Islam (abraham), buddhism (buddha),christianity (jesus), sanyas dhram adishankracharya), muslism (mohammed) and sikhism (guru nanak) respectively. All other religions are branches.

anon209299
Post 100

@ #98 - I'm a Pagan. Paganism is everywhere if you know where to look. Unfortunately some people refuse to open their eyes to what's around them, instead preferring to cling to the ideals their mommies and daddies and religious leaders teach them. Narrow minds make for narrow lives.

anon202711
Post 99

Christianity and Islam are only dominating because of conversion (forced or bribed). It's common knowledge.

anon202707
Post 98

People need to understand the difference between tribalism and religion. where do you see paganism these days?

anon188964
Post 97

The Vedas of India are the world's oldest scriptures. They were given by God at the beginning of creation and passed down by oral tradition for ages until finally written down "more than 5,000 years ago". They were written in Sanskrit which is considered by linguists and scholars to be the oldest language and just as the Vedas are the original word of God and "root" for all other religions that came later, so was Sanskrit the "root" language of all languages that came later.

Unlike all the other religions on the planet, Vedic religion has no "human" founder, or ordinary man behind it. It was founded by God Himself and is called "Sanatana Dharma", the "eternal religion". In India there are temples thousands of years old and there are caves with Vedic texts and pictures referred to on the walls dating back ions. The Bible says "God created the heavens and Earth", but the Vedas tell you how.

The Bible says "love God with all of your heart", but the Vedas tell you who God is and how to love him "bhakti". People in India respect all other religions and people, but too bad it isn't returned, as many prefer to make bigotry a part of theology. All beings are part of one great family and we are all brothers and sisters. This is taught in the Vedas. Real religion is unity and love with God in the center, not division, bigotry or hate.

tweed
Post 96

wasn't it the philosopher Gordon Sumner who mused, "Men go crazy in congregations they only get better one by one. Yeah yeah yeah"?

anon171249
Post 94

I'm not convinced! I think that when man was first here they believed what was truly in their hearts and were about being in tune with earth and nature. It's obvious that in the history behind everything, we all truly believed the same thing even before the vikings crossed the water, and I don't believe it was labeled as a religion. a religion is part of control.

anon169294
Post 92

It's high time for us to think which religion will last to eternity rather then debating which came first. In other words, it's high time to look to future of our religions rather than their past.

anon165950
Post 90

Since Sanskrit is the oldest written language, as far as religion being written down, and as far as organized religion is concerned, it would be Hinduism. It is said that when Rama appeared, according to our calendar, was a million or so years ago (not sure of the exact date, but it's a long time!) And Krishna, God himself according to the Vedic scriptures, appeared here 5,000 years ago. Buddha, about 500 B.C., Jesus, about 2,000 years ago. If you go through the different religious book and study this question deeply, you will find out that Hinduism is the oldest religion of the world. There are no dates and facts, but its history is dates back more than 50,000 years.

anon163640
Post 87

it does not matter what religion you are. it's the person inside that matters. agree?

anon163484
Post 86

hinduism is oldest religion in the world.

anon162797
Post 85

I doesn't matter what religion do you come from. What's important is how strong is your faith towards your God by doing good.

anon162508
Post 84

I agree totally with 83. My parents were catholic fallouts who simply taught me morals and the most important being honesty, not just to others but really to myself.

So today be honest with yourself and you *may* find religion as a whole is segregating us even further, not bringing everyone together. Just think.

anon161903
Post 83

Religion is for those who can't come to terms with reality. Reality is that we (humans) are ignorant to the mysteries of the universe. The worst thing we can do is create an idea of how it all started and say it is true. That's just creating a lie. Even if it is for a good cause, it usually brings violence and segregation. No one knows the truth nor ever will. Food for thought: Do good because it is good, not because you'll be rewarded or punished for your deeds.

anon161816
Post 82

I am catholic. i believe in god, creatures, earth and the universe. i respect every person's religion. It doesn't matter which is the oldest religion or newest, but the majority religion is Christianity around the world. There are about 2,199,817,400 Christians; 1,121,516,000 of them are Catholic; 381,811,000 are Protestants; 82,586,000 are Anglicans; 433,096,000 independent. About 1,387,456,500 people are Muslim; 875,726,000 Hindus; 385,609,00 Buddhists; 22,927,500 Sikhs and about 14,956,000 Jews.

Azar
Post 81

According to the academic site CAIS-SOAS, the oldest religion in the world (monotheist) is Zoroastrian which dates to around 1700 BCE. The date apart from the religious texts is also confirmed by linguist and historical records. Apparently, many elements exists in Judaism were borrowed from Zoroastrian religion, were adopted during the reign of Cyrus the Great when he freed the Israelites from the Babylonian captivity in 6th century BCE!

anon156122
Post 79

i also read from somewhere that the first flight was from India, three or four years before the successful flight in 1903.

anon152123
Post 77

@#75. dating back to the 1750s India was one of the world's richest countries. They controlled more than half of the world's trade and money through textiles, jewelry and agriculture until the English interfered and crushed them through war and killing off the weavers and farmers. that is why India is so poor today. so that England can control more trade. it's a proven fact.

anon151513
Post 76

I only know one thing: The oldest religion in the world is the religion of "Love". Love is everything.

The best description of the being of God, is Love. Love is the soul of all nature, and the divinity in man. Love is the highest good, the highest truth and the highest beauty, and it unites in itself the basic processes of the three normative sciences: ethics, logic and aesthetics. Love is the supreme virtue. It is the mainspring of all other virtues.

So just love, love and love. Sujit B.

anon149019
Post 75

@ # 12: Dude take a break and get a life..

If you seriously think the later part of your post is true and India is so great, why is it no more than a third world nation? Where is the do no harm when you have people starving and going without clean drinking water?

I do believe that what religious practices came first will be debated until the end of time. Although some of you may believe it started in Africa, I doubt that. Like civilization, only a civilized nation could produce a higher learning and understanding.

Look at Africa's people. Look at India's people. Each struggle for even clean water. Maybe I missed something, but if they are so intelligent and civilized, why are they starving? and don't blame that on some higher government official, or corruption. -- and enabled people are destined to starve and will turn to cultist religious practices, which keep them down.

I don't know for fact which religion came first.

I know I was created and did not crawl out of some murky bog water. after reading your post I have come to realize, that is all I really need to know.

anon148302
Post 74

and before people walked the earth, there was no religion. so, atheism is the oldest.

anon147675
Post 73

actually, what does the oldest religion mean? is it from when it was created? then many dead civilizations religions that are also dead, like the inca (that is over 10,000 years old) would be the oldest, or do you mean the oldest still practising the religion? then there are few. we have hindu, but it's not oldest. we have paganism which is older than hindu and vedic (before hindu became hindu) and then we have a religion that both worship the Earth and the Sun but i can't remember the name. but similar religions have existed all over the world.

but back to paganism. it has existed around 5000-4000 bc. this is the oldest that is still active that i know but my knowledge doesn't extend to the religions in africa.

anon145633
Post 72

No mention of Zoroastrianism?

anon144541
Post 71

Every religion had got it's first man and woman. Some say it was Adam, some say it Abraham and Hinduism says it's Manu.

And if you go according to every respected religious book, then it makes a good population of people at that time which consists of Adam, Abraham and Manu.

With respect to every religion who say christianity or islam is oldest. Well, I want to say that Jesus Christ who was the founder of Christianity was born in some other religion house. Same for Islam founder also.

So it means that both the religion founders were born in some other religion and that means their respected religion came after their birth religion.

So it means their religion is not oldest one.

Same goes for other religion founders, while Hinduism didn't have any founder. The religion had its followers due to the belief in almighty or the power which runs this universe from millions of millions years before.

Even Prophet Muhammad had described RAM(one of the hindu goddess) as IMAM-E-HIND.

Religions are made to make people love and to believe in One God, not to quarrel for its existence.

anon144161
Post 70

I guess doing all your research is not required to give an answer? Prior to all these religions there were the Druids, Celts, and other pagan religions before any type of christianity even was thought of.

Christianity is what caused the crusades, which were a group of people killing others because they were different. So before posting and just not admitting that a religion before christianity that was peaceful beautiful and loving. Truly loving and still is today.

"Harm none, do what thou will." Harm none. Well, think about it, learn more before you dismiss a religion that has been here long before the christians and will outlast them because we won't kill everybody because they are different.

So please do all your research before answering. You mostly likely have pagan blood in you. Most people do and just don't admit to it. Oh one more thing: all the christian holidays came from Pagans. Yes including Christmas, or Yule.

anon142444
Post 69

i can't believe no one knows about the religions of africa, which are far older, and depict the earliest understanding of monotheism, the trinity and knowing thyself. It's a shame everyone knows the copies, but not the original. We must be doomed to failure.

anon139116
Post 66

As above so below. So why not believe that we come from a God Father and a God Mother?

It makes more sense than the idea that God is only a Father. In fact if any thing God should be a Mother. Nonetheless is the female and male principle that is present in just about every creature in this world. So which religion believes this? That to me should be the first religion.

Learn
Post 65

Facts are nothing but facts, though are still useful to us. It is very close to the truth but it can't never be the truth. All you can do is to live as human. Do your responsibilities as a human. Love your family, your country and yourself because whoever God do you know, whatever religion do you have, it must be certain that you are confident enough that what you did is right.

I think God will understand us because our life is not enough to know all the things in this world from the beginning until to the end. Many discoveries are made and changed the fact we must be thankful to them. Respect you all.

anon138340
Post 62

No doubt HInduism is the oldest religion in the universe, earlier it was called as Vedic religion. Its culture is the greatest of all and its language is oldest, called Sanskrit, which means refined language and scientific.

This great religion has four yugas and each yuga has lakhs of years, so it is very very difficult to know the exact date of its origin. If we take Ramayana which is falls under The Hra yuga it goes back to nearly 50,000 years ago, so Vedic religion is millions of years old.

It is like a big tree -- all others are branches of it.

Vedic scholars are well versed in maths, science, astrology etc., This is the only religion and culture in the world still it is alive and it will. it can. --nzfv

anon138299
Post 61

Hazrat Adam(AS) considered the first man of the world who was a muslim. He built the 'Kaaba' in Mecca first, which is the symbol of Islam.

Hazrat Noah(AS) is the first prophet of Islam according to Quran and old testament of Bible. He was also the grandchild of Adam and Eve. He died before the Babylon civilization, which is the oldest civilization of the world.

Hazrat Muhammad(SA) is the last prophet of Islam. Surprisingly he was the not founder of Islam. Islam started from Adam and Eve. According to the old testament of Bible and Quran, Islam is the first religion of the world.

anon136962
Post 60

Religion is Satan's greatest invention.

anon135508
Post 59

For those who believe that Hinduism is not the oldest organised religion in the world, I have got something for them.

Look up Dwarka and read about it, especially the "Submersion into the Sea." It's not 1500 BC. Proofs are there for early harrapan i.e 5500 bc

Research mehrgarh and Indus valley civilization. Read about "Yuga" which shows millions of years of Hindu faith, though valid proofs are still needed.

P.S. No offence. I respect every religion but when you're talking about facts, talk facts. This site needs to update its data and resources before posting.

anon133329
Post 58

Ok I am an Indian and I am sorry for the attitude of 12. Please don't believe all Indians or all Hindus think that way. Someone put it correctly - those people who brought happiness to the world by sharing their knowledge, by inventing, discovering or serving humanity in any way. They were so humble that they would have attributed their success to the almighty and never taken credit for it and certainly they would have wanted everyone to benefit from it.

Yes invasions were not right but none of us are in a position to explain why such things happen. Injustice has been done to many races, to many countries and many people and we can't do anything about it.

Someone still needs to discover the mystery of our being.

anon130210
Post 54

A religion that ultimately had been sent down and still will remain the fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. Many people regard Islam as being very similar to Christianity. This is true because the Bible is one of our holy books, and so is the Torah. We would have followed the Bible and the Torah but the people at the time changed the text and meaning, so both were incomplete and impure.

So Allah(god) sent down the Quran through prophet Muhammad(saw) in a bid to save humanity once and for all. Isa(Jesus) and Musa(Moses) are one of the 25 prophets of Islam

We oppose terrorism. I believe in no god except Allah, and prophet Muhammad(saw) is his messenger.

anon123989
Post 52

@ anon 20618: We are talking about the oldest organized religion.

It's funny how people do not even know that the oldest religion is not hinduism. in botswana africa in 2010, archaeologists uncovered the oldest religion artifacts and rituals. The given time frame is 30,000 years before hinduism.

anon120771
Post 50

Hinduism is a culture "Sanskruti" as referred in Devanagari, and hence it is above all other religions.

anon120034
Post 49

yes hinduism is the greatest and oldest religion. the rest today are copying loads of stuff from them, from astrology to indian food. If you have any doubt read nostradamus centuries till the end. the end will reveal the truth.

And yes, india would have been the richest country if british and moguls did not steal their riches. i have read almost all the scriptures and books of india. i like travelling to various countries. even though I was born catholic. I believe details about jesus Christ from the age of 12 to 30 is missing from the bible. the bible is not complete.

anon113913
Post 47

yes, Hinduism is the oldest Because the people of bali and indonesia are still practicing hindu.

anon113476
Post 46

It's funny how people do not even know that the oldest religion is not hinduism. in botswana africa in 2010 archaeologist uncovered the oldest religion artifacts and rituals. The given time frame is 30,000 years before hinduism.

anon110558
Post 44

My comment goes to No.12: My fellow citizen, thanks for your comments. Everything above was true, except for the last few lines of the comment, hoping you're a Hindu. Never undermine anybody, never hurt people's sentiments, tolerance is something which our religion teaches. More often than not, people get carried away when emphasizing things. So play down you emotions (again something which our religion teaches).

anon106651
Post 43

I believe that before you post something and put you out there and the way you believe online for others to see, be secure and happy to believe in something. There are so many people lost with no beliefs in the world because of popularity contests.

I am happy every morning when I wake up because I get to do a new day. We humans as a whole get so caught up in the newest, latest, and greatest things that we don't actually and truly stop and thank a stranger for their part in crossing our path just because or give freely of ourselves just to do it and see what happens. No, most humans do good deeds with the underlying thoughts that, the deed will get me closer to their god. If that’s your driving force to do good deeds then you're not allowing the youth of the world see anything other than buy me, buy me, buy you and that is not what we want. We want them to learn true compassion. That is the oldest religion or belief in my own opinion. Because in my mind I don't see the cave men and women having the evolved consciousness that we do regardless of the name, or place we pray. I see them frolic, play, hunt and survive. In doing so they slowly evolve because of compassion.

Example: Cave man stubs his toe makes a loud sound and cave woman rushes to see. Instinct pulls her to him and cave baby sees cave man and woman’s compassion and evolves into today’s humans.

I believe that all the writings and teachings and myths and stories passed down from generation to generation are part of a history that we all share and if you need a god and a devil to help you justify your personal values then keep that to you and if your neighbor is happy doing the right thing because they want to and don't believe as you do then don't force yourself on them, because that is not truly compassion. Not only that but would you like it if they did that to you? If we as humans want to check our levels of compassion just ask yourself that question.

Our behaviors teach our youth and if there is and hope for them we need to show great compassion just like the humans in the history books that so many humans worship (Lugh/Lieu, Krishna, Osiris, Horus, Buddha, Jesus, and etc.).

I use the word human in place of people because to be Human you must love and be compassionate.

anon105860
Post 41

No. 12 is historically and factually *very* incorrect.

Mathematics, the decimal system, the number system, zero, algebra, irrigation system, and the 1st ancient city all came from Mesopotamia (Babylonians, Assyrians, Akkadians, Sumerians, Jews, Persians, Egyptians), not India!

The first civilization in the world came from the Middle East (Sumeria). The first astronomers, mathematicians, and the oldest religion came from Mesopotamia. The first city was in the fertile crescent, in Mesopotamia.

Please get your facts straight.

The oldest religion in the world is polytheism.

Mesopotamians were all polytheists, except for Jews.

anon102279
Post 39

In the modern era you have labourers, politicians, businessmen and teachers .In Hindu's sanskrit language they called it a caste system. It wasn't intended to suppress anyone.

anon100500
Post 38

India also invented the caste system, against which members of the lower caste(s) are fighting to this day.

anon99363
Post 37

I for one agree with 17 (and others sharing the same sadness and I am also an Indian), that 12 is blinded by his own ignorance.

I have researched this subject on the oldest religions being practiced for some time and all i can say is that Hinduism is the oldest religion being practiced in current times, and the fact is, it has evolved over the time.

If based on when a religious text was written, then hinduism is oldest currently practised religion, but, as soon as you start looking into when the religion changed by more than 50 percent, it is whoever shouts the loudest.

Uthiya First
Post 36

Do you all know the world's oldest religions are: Hinduism 1500BCE; Judaism 1800 BC; Paganism (e.g.Witchcraft)a.k.a. Celtic 1000BC; Buddhism 624BC; Jainism - born same time as Buddhism.

World's newest religions: Christianity 30CE; Islam 610CE

Do you all know why religion exists in this world?

It is for creating a guideline for human beings to follow; to create peace around the world at the time; to create a better civilization; to make humans aware of bad and good.

From my view: All these religions have a bigger similarity! All these religions are only for one purpose and that is moral education.

So what is the profit of fighting among different religions and arguing that their religion is the perfect one among others?

Let's live together in peace and make this world as close to heaven as we can.

anon96489
Post 34

it's funny how all major religions have a superior being. For the indians it is brahman, but no one can really explain what that is. the earlier version of brahmin is based on abraham, which predates brahman, only in history brahman is a concept equal to yahweh, and is the same meaning to a superior God of creation.

Only with brahman there is no connection with what you are worshiping, whereas with yahweh you can have a personal relationship, hence the whole of earth's creation is for his glory.

He sent jesus on his terms, his only son, which we can only understand as a part of the only true God. it's like God sending a part of himself in order for us to understand him. jesus felt everything we felt -- all the emotions -- and no other God has had that connection with humans.

As far as history is concerned, no one predates adam and eve, the beginning of genesis and the beginning of human history, cain and abel, then noah and henceforth from then on, where people changed the faith to suit their human need and worth but ultimately very wrong.

Daltenboy
Post 33

Yes, No. 12 but, the question is not what is the oldest continuous civilization in the world. It is, what is the oldest religion in the world.

Now, my opinion is that believing in a higher power is the oldest religion in the world. Because back then there was probably no name for it. But it has evolved as civilization has, and spread. So there is no particular religion that is the oldest, since all religion came from the same place: the belief in a higher power.

anon94420
Post 32

N0. 12 is right about everything,

India would still be the richest country in the world right now if muslims and the Britishers hadn't invaded them.

But these people won't consider that and they will just go on with their crap. i mean non-Hindu people.

anon93861
Post 30

Hinduism is not a religion in a strict sense. It's only a collection of beliefs. Because people in different parts of India, all living under the banner of Hinduism follow completely contradictory practices.

In rural areas, the dead are considered as gods by Hindus. The old rulers' lives have been written as epics.

By the way, what we call Hinduism is a good collection of true principles. Many of the beliefs are basically science, but in the name of religion so as to make the uneducated people follow them.

anon93186
Post 29

No 12. Thanks for the great information. I am an Indian and a Hindu and I really did not know that much. But I am disappointed with the way you presented that knowledge. Especially at the end.

Remember brother, one thing that our Hindu religion teaches us and in fact, every religion, is to love and respect all. Our greeting "Namaste" says everything when we meet anyone. It means I bow to you and I respect you, because you are part of this universe and hence a part of me.

So Namaste to you but I hope you will not repeat these mistakes in future. Take care.

anon91131
Post 27

Abraham wasn't a jew my friend. The name judaism didn't come until judah, one of Jacob's son established the kingdom of judea. This was probably a couple of hundred years after abraham. Abraham never heard the name "jew" or "judaism" or "judea".

anon89728
Post 26

For monotheistic religion, I'd say either Zoroastrianism since carvings, historical records can probably be verified to be 3,000 years old or older. Or Judaism, probably just as old, throw in Buddhism too.

For polytheism it's hard to tell but probably somewhere in the Middle East; Sumerian and Akkadian Gods or possibly far east Asia.

Animism or shamanism may be the oldest of all religions and it's probably how most of them started.

anon86768
Post 25

Hindus are the oldest people on this earth. Their strength lies in unity. They are now in one country and will remain one. And it's true, according to the prophecy of Nostradamus, that they will dominate the world.

They are unique in world because of learning the nature and knowing it. They are most familiar with nature laws and superpower techniques. All medicine, scientific methods, principles and languages derived from them or their culture.

It does not matter what you are, but ultimate fate is fixed. They will accept by nature because they know it, love it and they follow it.

anon83561
Post 23

- anon53843- your rantings have nothing to do with the question "Which Are the Oldest Religions in the World?" And actually you're wrong on several points. I've been to India. I wouldn't boast too hard, if I were you.

msleeding
Post 22

Yes religion is important. it is important to have faith in something when there isn't anything else that is good. personally the after life is not that important to me. as of now i am living and i am happy, and that is what i think is important.

be good to people, share your wealth that kind of thing. I'm wiccan, so one of my beliefs is to do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt others. i don't see why the age of the religion matters as long as you agree with it and it does not infringe on your own morals i believe it is the the right one for you. Go be positive, pass it on.

nanayawoware
Post 21

The Greeks visited North Eastern Africa and described the "mdju netjer" as the "sacred carvings". In their language they called the mdju netjer "ta hieroglyphica".

When we visit Egypt today, some use the term hieroglyphics and some say "Metu Neter". The people themselves referred to the writings as "words of the gods" around 3200 BCE. When they turned to worship the gods, their devotions face Mt. Kilimanjaro in East Africa.

The predynastic period ends in 2700 BCE at the beginning of the Old Kingdom era. Hence, organized religion in Egypt is older than Hinduism or Judaism.

anon59939
Post 19

anon58843: Thanks for your comprehensive reflection on Indian contribution to the world's culture.

Your tone however ends on a somewhat nationalistic theme. Is it not true that we all share the earth? Is it not equally true that the long history of India would mean it would participate in the cycles all cultures on earth go through when they capitalize off of trade?

So is it not true that India would be quite lonely without the contributions the rest of the world has made to India during its trade history?

After all since India did decide to trade, with material, knowledge and culture did it not also benefit from the trade which brought the colonization that happened to everyone in the path of trade?

When you polarize with "us and them" and compare your better traits and not your blemishes, do you not expose your deep feelings of being a "victim"? Is "victim" how you want us to see your lovely India?

anon57353
Post 17

hey no. 12 i am an Indian. i'm very glad you shared a lot of info about what indians did, but also very disappointed that at the end you started being rude to others. we are the oldest, but that doesn't mean that we can talk rubbish about others. i'm sad brother, that you said something like that. god bless us and everybody else.

anon55380
Post 15

I think the essenes and wisdom of all of these religions are the same. Predating one before the other will not help you experience the Love to which they point. Love your fellow beings = Love God.

anon55343
Post 14

I born hindu/buddha but am a free thinker.

It doesn't matter who is first and who is second.

If you are so religious, go and weigh your good and bad deeds with those who never pray at all but did more charity and act more human and respect all living things. Cheers, Benni. Malaysia

amypollick
Post 13

No. 12, I don't think there is any dispute about the contributions Indians have made to world civilization. It doesn't have much to do with the world's oldest religion, though.

The United States was once a group of British colonies. On 4 July every year, we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The English wanted America badly. That's why we fought a rather nasty battle over it. Let me suggest you read up on the American Revolution.

While India has made great progress in many areas since winning its independence in 1947, it, like every other country, has its problems. It isn't a perfect place.

I suggest you turn your energies into making your country the ideal place to live before you start denigrating someone else's country. No one in this thread has said an unkind word about India.

anon53843
Post 12

First of all read this: 1. India is the world's largest, oldest, continuous civilization.

2. India never invaded any country in her last 10000 years of history.

3. India is the world's largest democracy.

4. Varanasi, also known as Benares, was called "the ancient city" when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C.E, and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.

5. India invented the number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.

6. The world's first university was established in Takshashila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

7. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans. Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast regaining its rightful place in our civilization.

8. Although modern images of India often show poverty and lack of development, India was the richest country on earth until the time of British invasion in the early 17th century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by India's wealth.

9. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindhu 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH. The word navy is also derived from Sanskrit 'Nou'.

10. Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun: (5th century) 365.258756484 days.

11. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians.

12. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10**53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BCE during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera 10**12(10 to the power of 12).

13. IEEE has proved what has been a century old suspicion in the world scientific community that the pioneer of wireless communication was Prof. Jagdish Bose and not Marconi.

14. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

15. According to Saka, King Rudradaman I of 150 CE a beautiful lake called Sudarshana was constructed on the hills of Raivataka during Chandragupta Maurya's time.

16. Chess (Shatranj or AshtaPada) was invented in India.

17. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. Over 125 kinds of surgical equipment were used. Deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity is also found in many texts.

18. When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization).

19. The four religions born in India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, are followed by 25 precent of the world's population.

20. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

21. India is one of the few countries in the World, which gained independence without violence.

22. India has the second largest pool of scientists and engineers in the World.

23. India is the only country other than the US and Japan, to have built a super computer indigenously.

If India hadn't invented "Zero" then all you people wouldn't be fighting on the internet and computers because it requires Binary language.

India was the richest empire on the earth util the British Empire. These Britishers looted us and made their country prosperous (If we weren't the richest country then why did these Britishers invade India only? And why not your so-called America?)

Indian mathematics teachers are considered the best in the world and you Americans kids need a calculator to even calculate 5*5.

Your own president Mr. Barack Obama said American children to beware of Indian students.

anon49048
Post 9

In terms of religion the sequence of evolution is polytheist > monotheist > terrorists.

anon44578
Post 8

It has to start with written text. No one knows exactly how long ago the Hindu faith was conceptualised. It is almost certain that it would have had an oral tradition which predates the Rig Veda which is 1700 BCE. The oral tradition would pre date Abraham, the father of the Jews, with whom the religion began. The written tradition begins with Moses 1300-1150 BCE

anon26748
Post 6

mohenjo daro

anon26441
Post 5

Hinduism, which dates back to 1,500 BCE yes that's correct, but still the glaciologist and all researchers are unable to find the origin of arians. The new research shows that the principle we studied or known till now is wrong and its mislead by old rulers, actual thing is yet to discover. Researchers says Hinduism is older than 1500 BC they found some of the proofs at the cost of madura city which is now under the sea. it was mentioned in vedas which is older than the 1500BC so now researchers are in confusion. so till now research is come to an conclusion that Hinduism is oldest culture...

anon24750
Post 4

Do you have proof? I think all religions have a God in mind and most likely our only God and 1 god only. People these days believe too much and do not look at being a out right good person but instead try to be a better faith. We are all human and don't forget where we came from. By the way I am Catholic but I would not try to prove that my religion and thoughts are right or exact, I just try to be a good person. CHEERS!!!!!!!

anon20618
Post 2

I'm not Jewish, but I know the old testament and Jewish thought quite well and I think Jews would tell you that Judaism began with Abraham around 2000bc-1500bc and not with the writings of Moses. Moses was the first to record their history and beliefs, but their beginnings started with Abraham.

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