What the Different Faiths Believe,
In a Nutshell
Snack: Peanuts in the shell! We're
not trying to imply or even joke that these religions are NUTS. It's just that
old expression - "in a nutshell" - meaning, the basics and the most important facts
to know about each religion are described here.
As for eating peanuts: they're good for you, but if
you're allergic to nuts, do NOT eat them - choose something else you like.
Opening and eating peanuts -- cracking those soft
shells and getting the nuts out -- it's pure food fun. Nourishing, too - just
like understanding the similarities and differences between these faiths will
nourish your spirit. Enjoy!
Print out one copy of this game for each student,
but conceal the answers, below
Here is a list of six major religions or "belief
systems" of the world. Underneath the list are paragraphs that describe them.
They are NOT listed in order! They are scrambled up! You have to read the
paragraphs and decide which is which.
Write the letter of the descriptive paragraph beside
How well did you do? Answers below - but don't peek!
Cults / Occult Belief Systems:
God is worshipped and the Old
Testament of the Bible is studied.
The 10 Commandments are followed.
Moral behavior here on Earth is the
focal point, with a strong emphasis
equality and social justice.
relates to the good of the
There are many rituals and
pointing back to this religion's
God is good, loving, holy and just.
Most of the mysteries of life are
and it takes special rituals,
secret concepts and sayings to "make
things happen" for you. Only a
get "initiated." There is no personal,
God in the sense that other
a Creator Being. "God" is more often
a force, or a "divine spark" present
especially in nature itself. Humans
on their own. There is no
between "right" and "wrong."
Everything is relative:
what's "good" to one person may be
"bad" to another,
but that's OK; there are no rules
for living. There's no
distinct way to get to heaven and
everybody can go there.
There may be many lesser spirits
sometimes worshipped or "served."
Some cause good and some cause evil.
Ignorance, not sin, is the roadblock
salvation. The world and your self
just illusions, not reality. Life
suffering because we are greedy and
grasping, so to stop suffering, we
to stop craving. Through
and meditation, we can become happy
and unselfish enough to reach
"nirvana," a state of self-less perfection.
There is no defined "God" to
Believers follow the Five Precepts:
including animals; no stealing,
no sex outside of marriage, no wrong
such as gossiping; and no drugs or
There are statues and images of key
and figures in this faith, but they
worshipped, just respected and
God, or "Allah," is worshipped as
all power and majesty, but not as a
of love, who can be known. Instead,
guides, and going to heaven depends
on each person's actions, not
that Allah does personally. To
the scriptures, called the Qur'an,
improve your chances of doing the
things and getting to heaven. A man
named Muhammad who could neither
nor write is believed to have heard
rules for living in 610 A.D., but he
worshipped as God, only honored.
is not the same God described in the
Bible because there is no Holy
Jesus Christ - no trinity of three
in one essence. However, Jesus is
in this faith as a divine being, though
God per se, just a prophet like
Prayers to Allah must be recited
five times a day,
facing a city called Mecca in Saudi
Reincarnation is the chief feature
faith, but the goal of life is to
yourself to escape the endless
and dissolve your personality into
unimaginable abyss, called
Your lot in life is considered set,
fate is predetermined. It's called
You improve yourself by four "yogas,"
"ways": study; worshipping divine
beings; doing good, and meditating.
considered mature to deny yourself
rewards. Some believers revere cows,
monkeys and snakes, and some have
"house gods" they have contact with,
as they believe they acquire
gain whenever they worship things.
But there is no distinct, personal
God is Three Persons in one essence:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Both
and New Testaments of the Bible are
studied. The 10 Commandments are
followed. You get to heaven by
believing that Jesus Christ came to
Earth as a man and let Himself be
to pay for everybody's sins. It is
God's grace and mercy, not your own
that you're saved. You can have a
relationship with Jesus and commune
with Him in prayer. You signify your
by baptism and communion. You don't
have to give money to the poor or
attend worship, but most believers
B: Cults/Occult Religions