In This Biography
Religious Leaders and Founders, Beliefs and Places of Worship
Who Is A Religious Founder?
A religious founder can be understood as the first person that started a religion and introduced it to the world. As such, founders of religion act as guides and examples to followers.
Here are the founders of popular religions
Founder: Jesus Christ
Place of worship: Church
Jesus was conceived by Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from where he will return. Throughout his life, he is believed to have given religious teachings and performed several miracles.
When being crucified and rising again, the belief of Jesus being the Son of God was confirmed for Christians. It is believed this act saved all humanity from eternal sin. This is why Easter is commemorated every year, with church services, prayers, and fasting for Lent.
Beliefs of Christianity
- Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
- Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. They also believe that God sent his son Jesus to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins.
- Christian believe that there is only one God, but there are three elements to this one God – God the Father, God the Son, and The Holy Spirit.
- Christians believe in Crucifixion in which God gave his life to resurrect people from their sins and rose again on the third day which is called the Resurrection.
Founder: The Prophet Muhammad.
Place of worship: Mosque
The prophet, Muhammad ibn Abdullah was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of the world religion of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, divinely inspired to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.
Muslims believe that Islam has always existed and was revealed to them through a number of people called prophets which means ‘messenger’. However, due to a man called Muhammad being God’s final messenger, he is seen as the fundamental founder of Islam.
Muhammad is so important and highly regarded by Muslims that whenever his name is mentioned, Muslims say Peace be upon him.
Prophet means ‘messenger’. Therefore,
Beliefs of Islam
- Muslims believe that there is only one God.
- As per Muslim beliefs God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to the proper way. Jesus, Moses, and Abraham are respected as prophets of God.
- Muslims believe that Muhammad was the final and last Prophet.
- Muslims base their laws on their holy book Quran and the Sunnah.
- There are five basic pillars of Islam. They are – declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once.
Place of worship: Synagogue
For Jews, Abraham is seen as the one from whom all Jews are descended. Abraham is the father of Isaac and grandfather of Jacob, who is renamed Israel and whose 12 sons represent the tribes of Israel. For Christians, Abraham is seen as the “father of the faith.
Beliefs of Judaism
- Jews believe that God appointed Jews to be His chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behavior to the world.
- Jews believe that there is only one god with whom they have a covenant.
Place of worship: Temple
Unlike most religions, Hinduism has no specific founder. As the world’s oldest religion, its beliefs, traditions, and customs were founded by people living along the Indus River in SouthEast Asia. Since the partition in 1947, the Indus River has been located in Pakistan, not modern-day India.
Beliefs of Hinduism
- Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth governed by an individual’s karma. Karma here refers to the set of behavior and actions during routine life.
- Hindus believe that soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on the karmas of a previous life.
Founder: Siddhartha Gautama
Place of worship: Monastery, Buddhist temple.
With around 535 million followers worldwide, Buddhism remains one of the most popular religions. Its founder is believed to be Siddhartha Gautama.
Siddhartha was born into a royal family in Nepal and lived within the palace walls for most of his life. Here he was kept away from the struggles of life such as death, illness, and aging. Siddhartha’s birthplace is thought to be Lumbini, and remains a major site for Buddhist followers and also tourists in Nepal.
After marrying and having children, he realized it was time to leave the palace and explore the other side. Here he saw three men. One was old, one was ill and one was merely a corpse of a man who had died.
Next, Siddhartha saw a holy man dressed in rags with only a begging bowl in his hand. Despite owning nothing but the bowl, he looked relaxed and peaceful.
Siddhartha was struck how someone with nothing could be so content.
These four sights were a turning point for Siddhartha. He wanted to know if there was more to life than sickness, old age, and death so he decided to let go of his wealth and discover this for himself.
He dressed as a monk before going to meditate under a Bodhi tree. Here he made a promise to himself: he wouldn’t rise again until he found the truth. As he stayed there, sitting, he thought carefully about the past, present, future, and the four sights he saw when he left the palace.
Time passed and eventually, he realized there was a way for people to end their pain and sadness. Within this moment, he became wise and enlightened.
Siddhartha began to teach people about what he had realized and people began to call him Buddha or ‘teacher’. He taught them the Four Noble Truths.
Teachings and Beliefs of Buddhist Religion
- Buddhist believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. The path to enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation, and wisdom.
- Buddhists believe that life is both endless and subject to impermanence, suffering, and uncertainty. These states are called the tilakhana, or the three signs of existence. Existence is endless because individuals are reincarnated over and over again, experiencing suffering throughout many lives.
- It is impertinent because no state, good or bad, lasts forever. Our mistaken belief that things can last is a chief cause of suffering.
- The path to enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation, and wisdom.
Founder: Guru Nanak
Place of worship: Gurudwara
It is believed that Guru Nanak began Sikhism, one of the world’s most common religions. Sikhism has an estimated 700 – 800 thousand followers in the UK and 23 million around the world.
Of the 10 Sikh gurus, Guru Nanak was the first and was born in 1469 in a small town called Talwandi in India, about 40 miles from Lahore (now modern-day Pakistan).
Sikh traditions teach that his birth and early years were marked with many events that showed he was special. This includes his first job as a shopkeeper in Sultanpur. To visitors, Nanak would often share his ideas about how to love and follow God to people. In response, people in the village started to call him a ‘Guru’, which means ‘teacher’.
Beliefs of Sikhism
- Sikhs believe that the way to lead a good life is to – keep God in heart and mind at all times, live honestly and work hard, treat everyone equally, be generous to the less fortunate, serve others.