Which Is World’s Oldest Religion?

Humans can be differentiated based on various aspects such as their nationality, physical features, and socio-economic background. Globally, people can also be identified based on their religious beliefs. The debate whether or not religion is needed in a modern world can go forever. But the truth is that religion continues to play an important role in providing people a proper identity. Religion can have various definitions, for example, it can be described as a type of software for the human machine.

With so much importance attached to religion, it sometimes makes us wonder which is the oldest religion in the world. To answer such questions, here’s a quick look at some of the world’s oldest religions.

Confucianism – Also referred to as Ruism, Confucianism has its origins in ancient China. It is said to have originated sometime during 6th to 5th century BCE. Confucianism describes various philosophies that can be used to lead one’s life in a fruitful manner. It is essentially a collection of teachings by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher.

Jainism – Traditionally referred to as Jain Dharma, Jainism is an ancient Indian religion. It is said to have originated sometime during 8th to 2nd century BCE. Jainism is guided by three core beliefs of anekāntavāda (non-absolutism), ahiṃsā (non-violence) and aparigraha (non-attachment). Jainism has been guided by 24 leaders, also referred to as Tirthankaras. The first leader was Rishabhadeva, who is believed to have lived several million years ago.

Judaism – A monotheistic, Abrahamic religion, Judaism represents the essence of cultural and religious traditions of Jewish people. It is estimated that Judaism originated sometime during the Bronze Age, around 9th to 5th century BCE. The various theological concepts described in Judaism appear to strongly influence other religions such as Islam and Christianity.

Zoroastrianism – Also referred to as Mazdayasna, Zoroastrianism is an Iranian religion. It is predominantly based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster. Zoroastrianism is said to have started somewhere between 10th to 5th century BCE. Similar to other religions, Zoroastrianism focuses on the interactions between good and evil. It presents a conclusive narrative that good will eventually prevail over evil. Most Zoroastrians currently live in countries like India, Iran and North America.

Hinduism – An amalgamation of various thoughts, philosophies, teachings, concepts, and rituals, Hinduism is believed to be the oldest religion in the world. It is estimated to be in existence anywhere between 15th to 5th century BCE. History of Hinduism is so vast and diverse that it would take several years to understand its full scope and meaning. Hinduism is also referred with other names such as Sanātana Dharma or the eternal dharma. Hindu is not just a religion, but more of what’s right and what’s wrong as well as a complete way of life.

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