The first question that comes up in our mind is, “What is religion..!!?? How is its classification done?”
Religion is basically a group of people and tradition which shares same historical background like Doctrinal, Cultural similarities, deities, rituals, ethics, philosophy of life and humanity. Religion creates a bond in our society and an ethical code to live with.
Some Religions are not completely unified or monolithic.Most religions among the major religions can be further sub divided into basic subgroups; viz,
“It’s all about Faith and belief”.
The faith groups which no longer consider themselves a sect, school or branch of a major religion, promotes itself and becomes a Religion in itself. When a particular Sect or faith group becomes a religion, it becomes a controversial issue since the new religion is an advancement of major ethics and philosophical values of an already existing religion.
In doing so, the commentators and philosophers forget that the word RELIGION has a broad meaning and cannot be easily created from a particular sect, school or subgroup.
In the end,the main objective of such religions becomes propagating, WORDPLAY and MARKETING!!! Its focus gets shifted from sociological, spiritual, theological & philosophical aspects of life.
Classifying Religion is although not easy, its classification can be done on many facets; viz,
The most important one is Geographical & can be classified with other principles on the sidelines.
The major religions or faith groups can be further classified on behalf of the geographical areas they belong to because most of them belong to an exclusive or specific areas.
Geographical codification, is the most prevalent means of classification; as this classification does not withhold the present status or statistics of religion but adores classification according to the origin of religion, where they have been founded in accordance and where they have been propagated. Some religions have vanished from their place of origin and some have propagated through out the whole world after origin; ex, Buddhism had almost vanished from its place of origin but now it is majorly practiced among in many other geographical regions.Christianity has propagated from its place of origin to the different areas and is followed at its place of origin as well.
Now, according to the geographical areas,religions can be classified into
- MIDDLE EASTERN RELIGIONS
- EAST ASIAN RELIGIONS
- INDIAN RELIGIONS
- AFRICAN RELIGIONS and many more.
The major INDIAN RELIGIONS include HINDUISM, BUDDHISM, SIKHISM & JAINISM along with a large number of Sects of all these religions.
The main sects concealed under Hinduism are
- Vaishnavism (Worshiping of Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Lord and his Incarnations)
- Shaivism(Worshiping of Lord Shiva as the Paramount)
- Shaktism and Smartism
MIDDLE EASTERN religions include ABRAHAMIC Religions and some Iranian Religions. Abrahamic Religion includes
Under the umbrella of Iranian religions we have Zoroastrianism and other minor Religions.
These faith groups and communities descend from the practices of ancient Israelite’s and follow the philosophies and theologies of Abraham and his descanted Prophets. The Abrahamic Religion may also referred as ABRAHANISM,
According to the descants of Abraham, Judaism came first, followed by Christianity and then Islam.
On closer examination, of commonality among these religions many views and ideas of descanted prophets have been found, to conceal crucial differences and secrets.
The most prominent EAST ASIAN religions, include :
The foundations of East Asian Religions lie in SYNCRETISM, i.e, the combination of different beliefs and a blend of thoughts and philosophies (Art & Culture) of different Schools and Sects of some Major Religions and thus unifying it into a Inclusive approach and Faiths of a unified Religion.