Iaecm | India Association of East Central Michigan

Religion

About Indian Religion

Religion in India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. India is a Secular State by the 42nd amendment act of Constitution in 1976.The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and custom; the Constitution of India has declared the right to freedom of religion to be a fundamental right.

Today, India is home to around 90% of the global population of Hindus. Most Hindu shrines and temples are located in India, as are the birthplaces of most Hindu saints. Allahabad hosts the world's largest religious pilgrimage, Kumbha Mela, where Hindus from across the world come together to bathe in the confluence of three sacred rivers of India: the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the Saraswati.

According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres to other religions (Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths).


Hinduism

Hinduism is an Indian religion, or a way of life,Hinduism is an Indian religion, or a way of life, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition," or the "eternal way," beyond human history. Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Śruti ("heard") and Smṛti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics.Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita.Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is also a strong Hindu tradition of the questioning of this authority, to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition.

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Sikhism

Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469–1539) was the founder of Sikhism. The Guru Granth Sahib was first compiled by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev, from the writings of the first five Sikh gurus and others saints who preached the concept of universal brotherhood, including those of the Hindu and Muslim faith. Before the death of Guru Gobind Singh, the Guru Granth Sahib was declared the eternal guru. Sikhism recognises all humans as equal before Waheguru,regardless of colour, caste or lineage.Sikhism strongly rejects the beliefs of fasting (vrata), superstitions, idol worship and circumcision.


Christianity

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who is the focal point of the Christian faith. It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followersor 33% of the global population, known as Christians.Christians make up a majority of the population in 158 countries and territories. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization.In India most Christians reside in South India, particularly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa. There are also large Christian populations in the North-east Indian states. Christianity in India was expanded in the 16th Century by Catholic Portuguese expeditions and by Protestant British and American missionaries in the 18th century.

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Islam

Though Islam came to India in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders in Malabar coast, Kerala, it started to become a major religion during the Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent. Islam's spread in India mostly took place under the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Mughal Empire (1526–1858), greatly aided by the mystic Sufi tradition. Islam is the second largest religion in India, with 14.2% of the country's population or roughly 172 million people identifying as adherents of Islam (2011 census)