Discovering the Sacred Texts of Hinduism: Do Hindus Have a Bible? - Patheos

Discovering the Sacred Texts of Hinduism: Do Hindus Have a Bible? – Patheos

Are you curious to know if Hindus have a Bible? In this article, we will explore the question and shed light on the religious texts and scriptures followed by Hindus. Hinduism is a complex and diverse religion with a rich history and a wide range of beliefs and practices. While Hinduism does not have a single holy book like the Bible in Christianity, there are several sacred texts that hold immense significance for Hindus. Let’s delve into the world of Hindu scriptures and discover the role they play in the lives of Hindus.

Do Hindus Have a Bible?

Hindus do not have a single holy book like the Bible in Christianity. However, Hinduism has a vast collection of sacred texts and scriptures that hold deep spiritual and philosophical significance for its followers. These texts provide guidance, moral teachings, and insights into the nature of reality and the path to spiritual enlightenment. Some of the most significant Hindu scriptures include:

  • The Vedas: The oldest and most revered Hindu scriptures, composed in Sanskrit, contain hymns, rituals, and philosophical discussions.
  • The Upanishads: A collection of philosophical texts that explore the nature of reality and the self.
  • The Bhagavad Gita: A part of the epic Mahabharata, this text is a dialogue between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna, discussing the nature of duty, morality, and the path to liberation.
  • The Ramayana: An epic poem that tells the story of the prince Rama and his quest to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

These texts, along with many others, form the foundation of Hinduism and provide a rich source of spiritual and philosophical wisdom for its followers.

What is the Hindu holy book called?

The main sacred text in Hinduism is called the Vedas. The Vedas are the oldest Hindu scriptures and contain hymns, philosophy, and guidance for rituals. The Vedas are considered śruti, meaning revealed scripture. There are four primary Vedas – Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda.

The Rig Veda is the oldest and most important Veda. Beyond the Vedas, there are additional Hindu scriptures called the Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Bhagavad Gita that are also revered by Hindus.

What is the Bible for Hindu people?

Hindus do not consider the Bible as their sacred text. The Bible is the main holy book in Christianity, not Hinduism. Hindus revere the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures as sacred revelations but do not ascribe divine origin or authority to the Bible.

Some Hindus may read the Bible to understand the beliefs of Christians, but they do not view it as the word of God for Hindu people. The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana are the “Biblical” texts for Hindus.

Do Hindus believe in a holy book?

Yes, Hindus believe in many holy books and scriptures. The main Hindu sacred texts are the Vedas, which are the foundational Hindu scriptures containing hymns, philosophy, and ritual instructions.

Beyond the Vedas, Hindus also revere the Upanishads, Puranas, epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and the Bhagavad Gita as holy texts. These scriptures contain spiritual and philosophical teachings central to Hinduism.

The Vedas are considered śruti – that which is heard and revealed, not written by man. Other Hindu scriptures are considered smriti – that which is remembered and passed down. Together these texts provide guidance for Hindus.

Do Hindus believe in Jesus?

Most Hindus do not believe that Jesus was the divine Son of God or savior as understood in mainstream Christianity. However, Hindus generally respect Jesus as a holy spiritual teacher. Many Hindu scriptures make no direct mention of Jesus.

The Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Vedas and other primary Hindu texts predate Jesus and do not affirm or deny his divinity. Modern Hindus may view Jesus as one of many incarnations of God or as an enlightened guru who attained oneness with the Divine like other yogis and sages.

Jesus’ teachings on love, forgiveness, and service resonate with Hindu values, though his exclusivist claims are at odds with Hinduism’s pluralism.

Do Hindus pray like Christians?

Hindu prayer and Christian prayer have some similarities but also key differences. Both faiths use structured prayer, like Christians reciting the Lord’s Prayer or Hindus chanting Sanskrit mantras. Bowing, kneeling, and closing of eyes may be observed in both Hindu and Christian prayer.

However, Hindus also emphasize physical movement and yoga poses as part of devotion, unlike Christian prayer. Hinduism lacks institutionalized weekly prayer services comparable to Christian Sunday mass. Private, individual prayer at home shrines is more common for Hindus.

Hindus also pray to multiple deities, not just one God. The goal of Hindu prayer is moksha (liberation) whereas Christians pray for forgiveness and blessing. Overall, the styles reflect differing theologies though some rituals appear similar on the surface.

Do Hindus believe in Allah?

No, Hindus do not believe in Allah as understood in Islam. Allah is an Arabic word for God used in Islam to refer to the singular, omnipotent creator and supreme deity. Hindus believe in Brahman, the universal soul or supreme reality in all things.

However, Hindus worship multiple manifestations of Brahman, often visualized with human-like forms and referred to as “gods” or “goddesses”. But these beings are not separate from the eternal Brahman.

Hindus believe in many deities who are incarnations of Brahman, not just one supreme Allah. The Islamic conception of God as a distinct supreme being separate from creation conflicts with Hindu philosophies of an all-pervading divine essence.

Who is the main God in Hinduism?

Unlike Christianity or Islam, Hinduism does not have a single supreme God that is universally worshipped. Hindus believe the divine exists in every being, so there are multitudes of gods representing different incarnations and aspects of the one supreme reality called Brahman.

However, among the most widely revered Hindu gods are the Trimurti or triple deity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the creator, Vishnu preserves the cosmos, and Shiva destroys evil.

Vishnu and his avatars especially Rama and Krishna have the largest followings, but all gods are manifestations of the same universal divinity. There is no single supreme “main” god, though some Hindus elevate their chosen deity as supreme.

Do Hindus believe in the same God as Christians?

No, Hindus do not believe in the same singular, personal God as conceived in Christianity. Christianity worships an omnipotent, omniscient, anthropomorphic God who created the universe. Hinduism sees the divine as Brahman, an all-pervading, formless principle manifesting in countless energies and deities.

For Hindus, even the gods are ultimately part of this impersonal, infinite unity. Hindu deities are avatars rather than distinct beings. Christians believe in one true God, the Father eternally existing with Jesus (Son) and the Holy Spirit.

Hindus believe in Brahman existing as everything in the universe. So while both faiths see God as supreme, all-powerful and benevolent, their conceptions differ significantly on the nature and form of this divinity.

Which is the most powerful religion in India?

Hinduism is by far the most widely practiced and powerful religion in India. According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of Indians identify as Hindu. The next largest religious group are Muslims at 14.2%. Hinduism has been the dominant religion and way of life in India for over 4000 years, from ancient times until now.

Politically, the Hindu nationalist ideology exerts tremendous influence. The economically and politically dominant groups in India are mostly Hindus. Hindu temples, festivals, beliefs, and practices pervade almost all aspects of Indian culture and society.

While India is secular, Hindus have more institutional, social and political clout than any other religion. The profound and all-encompassing influence of Hinduism makes it the most powerful religion in India.

How many Hindus converted to Christianity?

There are no definitive statistics on the total number of Hindus who have converted to Christianity in India and globally. However, Christianity remains a minority religion in India, practiced by only around 2.3% of the population as per the 2011 census.

Conversions of Hindus to Christianity occurred most substantially during the colonial era with missionaries from Europe and other parts of the world. But the numbers were relatively small compared to the overall Hindu population.

Estimates suggest no more than a few million Hindus globally have converted to Christianity from its origins until now. Conversion efforts continue through evangelism but have not substantially increased the proportional Christian population in India. Most Hindus remain practicing Hindus or become irreligious rather than convert.

What is the strongest religion on earth?

There is no definitive way to objectively determine the “strongest” religion on earth currently. Number of adherents, global distribution, and socio-political influence are some factors used to assess a religion’s strength.

Going by population, Christianity could be considered the strongest with around 2.3 billion followers globally or 31% of the world. Islam comes second with 1.8 billion adherents or 24% of the world. Hinduism is third with over 1.1 billion followers and concentrated strength in India. Going by political power, both Christianity and Islam form the majority religions in many powerful nations.

However, the influence of predominantly Christian countries seems to be declining as Asian nations grow stronger. All major world religions – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism – wield spiritual, cultural, and socio-political clout in some form. So one cannot objectively single out one as undoubtedly the “strongest” currently.

Who is the No 1 religion in the world?

If going by number of adherents, Christianity is the largest religion in the world today with approximately 2.3 billion followers constituting about 31% of the global population. Islam comes second with around 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world’s population. Hinduism is third with over 1.1 billion adherents constituting 15% of the world’s population.

Other major world religions include Buddhism (7.1%), folk religions (5.9%), Judaism (0.2%) and others. Christianity has the most global spread and followers from diverse ethnicities and nationalities. However, Islam has seen faster growth rates comparatively.

Overall, Christianity remains the world’s largest religion as of 2023 if going by total number of adherents. But all major religions have significant global representation and influence making any one the definitive “No 1” debatable.

Which religion is growing quickly?

Islam is growing faster than any other major religion in the world today. According to Pew Research, from 2015 to 2060 the Muslim population is projected to increase by 70% while Christianity grows by 34% – mostly due to differences in fertility rates and median age. Islam will go from 1.8 billion adherents to nearly 3 billion in 2060 based on current trends.

While Christianity will also grow in absolute numbers, its share of the global population will decline. Islam will rise from 24% to 31%. The growth is attributed to high birth rates in Muslim majority countries in Africa and Asia.

Factors like conversion, secularism, interfaith marriages and immigration patterns also affect growth rates. But statistically, Islam is poised to become the largest religion by 2100 if growth continues based on fertility projections.

What is world’s oldest religion?

Hinduism is the oldest religion that is still widely practiced today. Hinduism originated in India thousands of years ago. The exact age is unknown, but Hinduism’s historical roots trace back more than 4000 years making it the oldest of the major world religions.

Unlike other faiths, Hinduism has no single founder or precise starting point. It gradually emerged out of the cultural and spiritual practices of ancient India as far back as 2000 BCE. It assimilated various tribal religions like Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktism, etc.

Historians consider the Vedas, composed around 1500 BCE, to represent the origins of Hinduism as a recognized faith. Other ancient religions like Zoroastrianism, Shintoism and indigenous African and American spiritual traditions still exist but do not have as many active practitioners globally.

Which religion is more in world 2023?

In 2023, Christianity remains the religion with the most adherents worldwide. There are estimated to be around 2.3 billion Christians globally making up about 31% of the world’s population. Islam comes second with 1.8 billion followers constituting 24% of the global population. After that, Hinduism is third largest with approximately 1.15 billion followers or 15% of the world’s people.

Other major religions include Buddhism (7%) mostly East Asia, indigenous folk religions (6%) concentrated in Africa and Asia, and Judaism with about 15 million believers. Though Islam is growing faster than Christianity, Christians still outnumber Muslims globally as of 2023.

India and Nigeria are home to the largest non-Christian religious populations. But Christianity remains the most widespread faith worldwide as of the current global religious demography.

What religion will be in 2050?

Based on demographic projections by Pew Research Center, Christianity will still be the largest religion in 2050 with around 2.9 billion followers globally. However, Islam is expected to grow faster than any religion between 2015-2050 due to higher fertility rates in Muslim-majority countries.

The Muslim population is forecast to increase from 1.8 billion to 2.8 billion by 2050, making Islam likely the second largest religion. Hinduism will retain third place with 1.4 billion followers by 2050, while the number of religiously unaffiliated is expected to shrink as a share of the global population.

Buddhism, folk religions and other faiths will collectively represent around 16% of the population. While the exact numbers may vary, current trends suggest Christianity and Islam will remain the predominant religions worldwide come 2050, with Islam narrowing the gap in adherents.

Where is Christianity growing the fastest?

Currently, Christianity is growing most rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Pew Research, the Christian population in sub-Saharan Africa increased from less than 10 million in 1900 to over 500 million in 2019. Several factors have driven this growth – high fertility rates among Christian Africans, conversion of animists to Christianity, and Christian evangelism activities.

The Pew Center projects that by 2060 over 1.3 billion Christians will live in sub-Saharan Africa, making it an undisputedly Christian-majority region. Other fast-growing Christian populations are in Asia, Oceania, and the global South.

Christianity is generally declining in Western Europe and North America due to lower birth rates and secularism. It also faces restrictions and persecution in parts of the Middle East and North Africa. But sub-Saharan Africa shows the most statistically significant explosion in Christian believers currently.

How many Hindus convert to Islam every year?

There are no definitive global statistics on the number of Hindus that convert to Islam annually. However, the available data suggests the numbers are fairly low. According to Pew Research, around 90% of the Indian population will remain Hindu by 2050 due to factors like higher fertility rates among Hindus and low rates of conversion to other faiths.

India has a Muslim population of around 195 million currently. Some news reports estimate 1000-7000 Hindus may convert to Islam in India annually, mainly for matrimonial reasons. Globally, around 5-10 million Hindus are estimated to have converted to Islam over the centuries.

But yearly conversion numbers remain minimal compared to the over 1.1 billion Hindus worldwide. This is partly due to Islam’s prohibition on proselytization in countries where it already predominates, unlike active Christian evangelism. Overall data shows low rates of Hindu conversion to Islam currently.

Which religion converts most to Islam?

Currently, most converts to Islam globally come from Christianity. According to 2015 figures from the Pew Research Center, around 130,000 Christians convert to Islam each year, compared to roughly 30,000 Muslims leaving the faith annually.

Factors driving conversion include interfaith marriages, the activist efforts of Islamic preachers and favourable demographics in which Muslims have higher fertility rates.

Countries like the United States and parts of Europe see more Christian conversion to Islam. Christianity and Islam share some religious roots, making conversion a bit easier compared to other faiths in these regions.

By comparison, very few Hindus, Buddhists or folk religion adherents convert to Islam worldwide each year – likely less than 5000 in total annually. So statistically, Christianity contributes the most new converts to the global Muslim population each year.

Which Hindu king converted to Islam?

Some notable Hindu kings and rulers who converted to Islam include:

  • Raja Dahir of Sindh – Defeated by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE, ending Hindu rule in Sindh.
  • Raja Jaichand of Kannauj – Opposed Prithviraj Chauhan and assisted Muhammad Ghori’s invasion of India in 1192 CE.
  • Raja Nanda of Bengal – Conquered by Bakhtiyar Khalji and converted to Islam in 1202 CE.
  • Malik Kafur – A Hindu convert and one of Alauddin Khilji’s generals who led multiple invasions of southern India in the 1300s.
  • Raja Ramsingh of Garhwal – Converted on his own will in 1663 CE to get support against an invasion.
  • Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Marwar – Converted in 1679 CE under threat from Aurangzeb.
  • Maharaja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur – Forcibly converted after defeat by Aurangzeb in the 1700s.

While some of these kings converted due to conquest, others did so more willingly for political and other reasons. Islam spread in India through such royal conversions.

Which is the fastest-growing religion in India?

Islam is currently the fastest-growing religion in India, according to Census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center. From 2010-2050, Muslim population in India is projected to grow by 60% increasing from 14.4% to 18.4% of the total population.

Hinduism will grow around 30% in the same period. Christianity is also poised to grow faster than Hinduism at about 40% by 2050. However, in absolute numbers Hinduism will remain the largest religion in India.

Factors driving higher growth of Islam and Christianity include higher fertility rates among their adherents compared to Hindus, conversions, and immigration to India from other countries.

But the Muslim growth rate in India is the highest and nearly double that of Hinduism. So demographically, Islam is poised to become India’s second largest religion displacing Christianity by 2050.

Which religion is shrinking fastest in India?

Jainism is shrinking the fastest proportionally in India according to census data. From 2001 to 2011, the Jain population declined from 0.40% to 0.37% of India’s total population. In absolute numbers, the Jain population decreased from 4.2 million in 2001 to 4.45 million in 2011.

By contrast, the percentage of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs all increased marginally during the same decade. Other smaller religious groups like Buddhists and Parsis also declined proportionally but not as much as Jains.

The biggest factors driving the proportional decline of Jains are low fertility rates, strict adherence to non-violence, lack of conversions, and exclusion of new members outside hereditary Jain families. Jainism also faces competition from other faiths for converts. These demographic factors contribute to Jains shrinking as a share of the Indian population.

Which religion has the highest population in Russia?

Russia’s largest religion is Russian Orthodox Christianity, with over 100 million adherents making up around 71% of Russia’s population. Russia has the largest Orthodox Christian population in the world. After Christianity, Islam is Russia’s second largest religion with 10 million followers or 7% of the population.

Russia also has small populations of Buddhists, Jews and Pagans. Up to 1 million people follow Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism in Russia today. The non-religious population is growing but still only accounts for 13% of Russians.

So Russia remains a predominantly and staunchly Orthodox Christian country despite decades of Soviet atheist rule. The Orthodox church is deeply embedded in Russian culture and society. No other religion comes close to rivaling Christianity in terms of followers and influence in Russia currently.

Which state has more Christians in India?

Kerala has the highest percentage and absolute number of Christians in India according to census data. In 2011, Kerala was 18% Christian, accounting for 6.1 million out of 33 million Christians nationwide.

Other states with large Christian populations are Tamil Nadu (3.7 million), Andhra Pradesh (1.4 million), Nagaland (1.4 million), Karnataka (1.1 million) and Manipur (1 million). However, Kerala remains the heartland of Christianity in India. Historically, Saint Thomas brought Christianity to Kerala in 52 AD. Missionaries also focused evangelism efforts on the coastal state.

Kerala’s large Christian population is attributed to relatively high rates of fertility, education and health compared to other religious groups. Christianity also spread widely across the state without much resistance. Overall, Kerala is Christian majority while neighbouring Tamil Nadu has the second largest community.

Which country has most Christians?

The United States has the world’s largest Christian population with over 243 million Christian adherents making up about 73% of the total American population as per 2022 data. Second is Brazil with over 172 million Christians or 81% of the country’s population. Mexico comes third with 116 million Christians or 87% of its population.

Other nations with over 100 million Christian citizens include Russia, Philippines, Nigeria and China. Regionally, Europe has the most Christians collectively at 563 million. However, Christianity has been declining in Europe.

The Americas have the next largest concentration of Christians at over 623 million. In total, Christians make up the majority religion in 158 countries worldwide. Considering absolute numbers, the United States remains home to the single largest national Christian congregation globally as of 2022.

Who brought Christianity in India?

Christianity first reached India around 52 AD when St. Thomas, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, arrived on the Malabar Coast to preach the gospel. This makes St. Thomas the first Christian missionary to India. However, mass conversions did not occur until the arrival of European colonial powers from the 15th century onwards such as the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British.

Portuguese missionaries were the first to make inroads starting in 1498 by converting fishing communities in coastal areas of Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc. Later, British, Dutch and French missionaries evangelized further inland during the heyday of colonialism from the 1700-1900s.

So the early arrival of St. Thomas sowed the seeds of Christianity in India, which much later blossomed through systematic missionary efforts of various European colonists in India.

How many churches are in India?

There is no official census data on the exact number of churches in India currently. However, the Church of North India estimated there were around 26,000 churches across India as of 2005. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India approximated there were 10,000 Catholic churches alone in 2010 excluding other denominations.

Various Christian organizations estimate there are 25,000-30,000 Protestant churches and 10,000-15,000 Catholic churches in India. Given the growth of Christianity from 19 million to 28 million between 1991-2011, the total number of churches in 2023 is likely in the range of 40,000-50,000 congregations countrywide.

Southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka account for the majority of churches. Tens of thousands of various Christian places of worship now dot the Indian landscape.

Which is the biggest church in world?

Currently, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Completed in 1626, St. Peter’s has a total surface area of 5.7 acres and length of 730 feet. Its dome soars 435 feet high. The basilica can accommodate 60,000 people.

Other massive churches include the Seville Cathedral in Spain spanning 424,000 square feet, Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil covering 452,000 square feet, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London with 223,000 square feet area, and Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil covering 215,000 square feet.

However, St. Peter’s dwarfs them all in sheer size and grandeur. Its massive dome and expansive interior make St. Peter’s Basilica the largest church building in the world currently.

Are there any Christians in China?

Yes, China has a Christian population estimated to be around 67 million currently, which would constitute about 5% of China’s total population. A significant portion of Chinese Christians are Protestants who converted in the 19th and 20th centuries with the arrival of missionaries and Christian groups from Europe and America.

There are also around 12 million Catholics in China who practice under the state-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Persecution under Mao Zedong’s Communist rule drove Christianity underground for decades but it has resurfaced and grown since the 1980s.

However, China remains largely non-religious or practices folk religions, Buddhism and Taoism. Christianity is a minor religion but has tens of millions of devout followers in China today, mostly Protestants along with millions of Catholics.

Who started church in India?

The foundations of Christianity and the first church structures in India date back to around 52 AD when St. Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, arrived on the Malabar Coast in Kerala and converted some locals. St. Thomas is credited with building India’s first churches using wood, although they have not survived.

The St. Thomas Christians trace their origins to his missionary work. However, from the 16th century onwards, European colonizers were responsible for establishing more concrete church structures and growing Christianity across India beyond Kerala.

In 1504, Portuguese missionaries built what is considered to be the oldest standing European church in India, St. Mary’s Basilica in Goa. The Portuguese, Dutch, French and most prominently the British built churches in enclaves they controlled to cater to colonial Christian populations.

Where did Jesus go in India?

There is no conclusive historical or archaeological evidence that Jesus visited India physically during his lifetime. Some legends suggest Jesus spent his “lost years,” between ages 13 and 30, in India learning Buddhist and Hindu philosophy.

The text “Jesus in India” by Russian journalist Nicolas Notovitch claimed Jesus visited India from ages 13 to 29. But this account is widely disputed as a hoax. Claims have also been made of Jesus’ tomb in Kashmir. However, most scholars agree there are no credible historical records of Jesus traveling to India.

The closest he may have gotten was Persia and Mesopotamia. While Jesus may have been exposed to some Eastern and Indic ideas, it is unlikely he actually journeyed to India. The origins of his teachings were decidedly rooted in Judaism rather than Hinduism or Buddhism based on scholarly consensus.

Is Christianity growing in India?

Yes, Christianity has been steadily growing in India over the last few decades. As per 2011 Census data, the Christian population increased from 19 million in 1991 to 28 million in 2011, rising from 2.3% to 2.3% of India’s population. Evangelical groups have driven most of this growth, especially in south Indian states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Conversions to Christianity occur across caste groups but more prominently among lower caste communities looking to escape stratification. Pentecostalism and Charismatic movements have gained followers as well. Socio-economic upliftment through education is another driver. Estimates suggest 30-35 million Christians in India currently.

Factors like higher birth rates among Christians versus Hindus also contribute to the growth. Overall, Christianity is poised to become India’s third largest religion in coming decades overtaking Islam’s growth rate.

Where is oldest church in the world?

The oldest standing church is believed to be the Dura-Europos church in Syria constructed between 233-256 AD during the rule of Roman Emperor Alexander Severus. Located in Dura Europos, an ancient city on the Euphrates river, the church’s ruins were discovered in 1930s and reconstructed.

The Etchmiadzin Cathedral (Armenia, 301-303 AD) and the Church of the Nativity (Bethlehem, 4th century AD) also have claims as some of the world’s first churches.

However, the Dura-Europos church is considered the oldest intact church building archaeologically proven to date. Its reconstructed remains can still be seen. In terms of oldest churches still in continuous use, that distinction belongs to the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia built around 301-303 AD under ruler Tiridates the Great.

What was the first church in Africa?

The first church in Africa was the Cenacle of the Apostles, built around 42-62 AD in Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria had one of the earliest Christian communities established. The Cenacle Church was reputedly founded by St. Mark and constructed on the site of a building used by Jesus and his apostles.

Archeological evidence confirms the Cenacle Church existed in the mid-first century AD, destroyed later in the 4th century. Other very old churches in Africa include the St Anthony’s Monastery in Egypt (c. 330-350 AD) and the Byzantine Basilica of Tipasa in Algeria (4th century AD).

Ethiopia’s famous rock-hewn churches at Lalibela were constructed starting the late 12th century. So while Christianity took hold across Africa centuries ago, the Egyptian Cenacle Church represents the very first congregation on the continent.

Which church is the true church?

There is no consensus among Christians on a single “true church.” The Roman Catholic Church asserts itself as the one true church dating back to Peter. The Eastern Orthodox Churches also claim continuity directly from the early apostolic church. Some Protestants believe their various denominations collectively form the true church based on scripture alone.

Others see the true church as the body of all believers regardless of affiliation. Mormons believe their church was restored after centuries of apostasy. Exclusivist attitudes that only one church is the fully true church tend to come from more conservative groups.

More liberal and ecumenical Christians emphasize unity in Christ over divisions in doctrine or history. Ultimately, beliefs about what constitutes the “true church” differ widely based on how biblical authority, apostolic succession and church history are interpreted.

What is the first religion in the Bible?

The earliest religion referenced in the Bible is that of Adam and Eve having direct relationship with God in the Garden of Eden. God interacted directly with the first humans and gave them instructions to follow like not eating the forbidden fruit.

This primordial, simple monotheistic faith predated all the complex religions that developed later on earth. After the Fall and expulsion from Eden, polytheistic pagan religions began to emerge like those of Abraham’s ancestors who worshiped idols and nature gods.

During Abraham’s time circa 2000 BCE, God established a covenant with him to worship the one true Creator alone, rejecting idolatry. Out of this arrangement emerged the foundations of Judaism. Moses later codified these laws and moral codes to establish the religion of the Israelites described extensively in the Torah books of the Bible.

What religion was Jesus?

Jesus was ethnically Jewish and practiced Judaism throughout his lifetime. He was born into a Jewish family descended from the House of David and raised in the Jewish faith reading the Torah and Prophets and observing Jewish customs.

During his ministry, Jesus functioned like a rabbi teaching the Jewish people within their tradition even while challenging certain religious authorities. He saw himself as fulfilling the mission of the Jewish Messiah to come, not abolishing Judaism itself.

However, after his death, his followers began to differentiate their faith in Christ, eventually forming Christianity. But during his life, Jesus remained an observant, practicing Jew upholding all 613 commandments and going to synagogue on the Sabbath as mandated in the Torah that all Jews were required to follow at the time.

What religion came before Christianity?

Judaism emerged centuries before Christianity, making it the direct predecessor to the Christian faith. Judaism originated around 2000 BCE with Abraham and the Hebrew patriarchs and became a structured faith with laws and practices codified in the Torah by Moses around 1300–1200 BCE.

Christianity did not begin until around 30 AD with the ministry of Jesus and the establishment of his apostolic church. Jesus and his original disciples were all practicing Jews who observed Jewish laws and festivals. After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, his followers began recognizing him as divine and drifted away from Judaism.

The Church was established as Christianity spread across the Roman Empire by the 4th century AD, becoming completely distinct from Judaism. So Judaism predated Christianity by over a thousand years as the template of monotheism that Christianity adapted.

Which is the newest religion in the world?

The newest major world religion is the Baha’i Faith founded in 1863 by Baha’u’llah in Iran. Baha’ism has an estimated 5-7 million adherents worldwide. Other recent religions include:

  • Cao Dai – Founded in Vietnam in 1926, combining religions. 4-6 million followers.
  • Rastafarianism – Formed in Jamaica in 1930s based on Christianity and Ethiopian movement. 700,000-1 million adherents.
  • Scientology – Developed in America in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard. Around 50,000 followers currently.
  • Wicca – A neo-pagan witchcraft religion formed in England in the 1950s. Up to 1 million practitioners today globally.

Additionally, ISKCON or Hare Krishnas were founded in 1966 in USA by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and have 500,000 followers. And Mormonism traces its roots to 1830 in America with 16 million current adherents. So Baha’ism stands out as the newest significant world faith that transcended its roots to grow globally in less than 200 years.


In conclusion, Hindus do not have a single holy book equivalent to the Bible in Christianity. However, Hinduism encompasses a vast collection of sacred texts and scriptures that hold deep spiritual and philosophical significance for its followers.

Discovering the Sacred Texts of Hinduism: Do Hindus Have a Bible? - Patheos

These texts, such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Ramayana, provide guidance, moral teachings, and insights into the nature of reality and the path to spiritual enlightenment. The diversity and richness of Hindu scriptures reflect the multifaceted nature of Hinduism itself.

So, while Hindus may not have a Bible, their religious texts play a vital role in shaping their beliefs and practices. Consider reading other articles we wrote about culture like >>>>> What do Hindus Believe Happens After Death? to learn more.