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World Religions

The current world population is over 8.1 billion people.

2.5 billion Christians (31% of the world’s population)

1.94 billion Muslims (24%)

1.3 billion have no religious affiliation (16%)

1.2 billion Hindus (15%)

600 million Buddhists (7%)

16 million Jews (0.2%)

450 million practice folk or traditional religions (6%)

An estimated 58 million (<1%) belong to other religions

What do they believe?

(Three largest religions)

  • Islam (Muslims)

- A Muslim is an individual who holds to the teachings of Muhammad (born 570 AD)

- A monotheistic religion; they believe we are obligated to submit to God’s will

- The teachings of Islam come from the Qur’an (written in Arabic). Central Islamic creed: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.” Jesus is acknowledged as a prophet, but he is not the Son of God and he did not die on the cross for our sins.

- “Five Pillars of Islam:” faith, prayer, fasting, giving of alms, pilgrimage to Mecca

- Recitation of prayers five times a day facing Mecca

- The Giving of Alms (give at least 2.5% of their income to the poor).

- The fast which takes place during Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic calendar

- Belief in one God who does not share divinity or attributes with anyone or anything

  • Hinduism

- A mix of Pantheism and Polytheism (over 330 million gods)

- Hindus practice their beliefs, however, whenever, and to whatever degree they want

- Two common beliefs are: Samsara (reincarnation), and Moksha (Salvation)

  • Buddhism

- All of life is suffering

- The cause of suffering is selfish desire

- The cure for suffering is overcoming selfish desire

- The only way to overcome desire is by following the 8-fold path

- Right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration

What is our response?

As followers of Christ, we believe that salvation is only possible through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. Christ bore our sins so that we might be forgiven and cleansed, and because of this gift of grace, we are able to stand in right relationship with God. As Scripture says, no one is able to come to the Father except through Christ (John 14:6). This means that adherents to all of these world religions, as well as everyone who does not embrace Christ as Lord, remains separated from God because of their sin. Therefore, Christ gives us the charge to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20). We are called to humbly yet confidently proclaim the good news that salvation and life are found in Jesus Christ!

Servant Life is committed to providing opportunities for individuals to share the gospel and

proclaim the good news among the nations through short-term mission trips. Servant Life partners with missionaries around the world who are engaging their local communities with the gospel on a year-round basis. The task of planning a mission trip can be daunting, but Servant Life handles all of the logistical details and provides resources to set your group up for success! Servant Life trips are available in the following countries:

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