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Religious Pluralism.

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Introduction

Alicia Bobbitt Essay 8 11-23-03 Religious Pluralism A major feature of religious geography is no single religion dominates the world. Authorities from many faiths have historically said theirs is the best way and only way but in reality new religions and new versions of older religions continue to spring up and then divide, subdivide, and provoke reform movements. Christianity claims the most members of any global religion, but Christianity is not a monolithic faith. There are thousands of forms of Christianity being professed. The migration, missionary activities and refugee movements, religions have shifted out of away from their country of origin. It is no longer easy to show a world map and say this country is assigned to a particular religion. In Russia there are not only Russian Orthodox Christians but also they have Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, shamanists and members of new religions. In the United States there are now a sizeable amount of Russian Orthodox congregations. Buddhism arose in India but is now most pervasive in East Asia and popular in France, England, and the United States. Islam arose in what is now Saudi Arabia, but there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in any other country. There are also large Muslims populations in Central Asia and growing Muslim population in the United States. ...read more.

Middle

Interfaith Movement Boundaries between religions are hardening in many areas, there has been a rapid acceleration of interfaith dialogue. It's the willingness of people of all religions to meet, explore their differences, and appreciate and find enrichment in each other's ways to the divine. This has historically has been a difficult approach but many religions have made exclusive claims to being the best or only way. Religions are quite different in their external practices and culturally influenced behaviors. There are doctrine differences on basic issues, such as the cause of and remedy of evil and suffering in the world, or the question of whether the divine is singular, plural or nontheistic. Some religions claim to be superior which are difficult to reconcile with other religions' claims. For instance the Qur'an acknowledges the validity of earlier prophets as messengers from God, refers to Prophet Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets" (Sura 33:40). This description has been interpreted to mean that prophecy was completed with the Prophet Muhammad. If he is believed to be the last prophet, no spiritual figures after he passed away in c. 632-including the Sikh Gurus and Baha'u'llah of the Baha'is- could be considered prophets, though they might be viewed as teachers. Christians read in John 14:6 that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life; no on comes to the Father but by me." ...read more.

Conclusion

To make pluralistic dialogue more effective people must have openness to the possibility of discovering sacred truth in other religions. Interfaith Initiatives People of all faiths have started coming together to put their hearts together. Ecumenical conferences involved pairs of related religions that were trying to agree to disagree, such as Judaism and Christianity. Now larger numbers of interfaith organizations and interfaith meetings draw people from all religions in a spirit of mutual appreciation. In 1986 The Pope John Paul II invited one hundred and sixty representatives of all religions to Assisi in honor of the humble St. Francis, to pray together for world peace. In 1990 a great assembly of spiritual leaders of all faiths with scientists and parliamentarians took place in what until a few years ago would have been the most unlikely place in the world for such a gathering-Moscow, capital of the previous atheist Soviet Union. The final speaker at that event was Mikhail Gorbachev, who called for a merging of scientific and spiritual values in the effort to save the planet. There has been meetings of special interfaith throughout 1993 that were held around the world to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. In all religions themselves the basis for harmony, for all teach messages of love and self control rather than murderous passions. ...read more.

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