Religions in India and Japanby Rit Nosotro
The religion of a country indirectly determines the country's internal politics and external world involvement. Compare and contrast the religions of Japan and India.
In Asia, religion is incredibly important. The cultural tradition holds a stronger influence than laws passed by secular governments, such as outlawing India's caste system. The government supposedly gave all the castes equal rights but it is still seen in the smaller villages, and there is an unspoken prejudice against the lower classes.
For over ten centuries, India had two major religions that were practiced: Hinduism and Islam. About 80% of the country was Hindu, and the rest was made up of Islam and other religions foreign to India. But in 1947 India was split along religions lines to form the Muslim nation of Pakistan by Britain, which was ruling India at this time.
Religion controls the way Indian's dress, the food they eat, who they marry,
and their profession. This fatalism is a direct teaching of the "Law of
Karma". Karma is determined by the amount of good deeds a person did in
their past life. Accordingly, Hindus believe they deserve whatever they have
in their reincarnated life. They continue to die and be reborn until they have
good enough karma to reach Heaven and live in eternal bliss.
Because of their belief in reincarnation, Hindu people have a great respect for living things. Reincarnation is the belief that when someone dies they are reincarnated into another being. The status of this "new being" depends on their karma. The people believe that someone can be reborn into an animal or even a bug! This is one reason the sect of the Jains sweep their path and wear dust masks lest they involuntarily kill an ancestor. For the Hindu, cows are especially sacred. Cows may be found roaming the streets and people will starve to death before they would kill it for meat.
Although Hinduism recognizes hundreds of gods, they believe in three principle divinities. These are the creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe. The fatalism of Hinduism has brought the nuclear power of India to the brink of mutual destruction against the neighboring nuclear power of Pakistan.
In the past few centuries Islam has become an increasing power. India has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Muhammad is the founder of Islam. He claimed to be God's last prophet. He claimed to have visions of the angel Gabriel and created a religion from it.
Japan is another country where religion has a strong effect on the culture. The major religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shintoism. The Japanese people claim to be Shinto, and register at the local shrines to celebrate births and weddings. Funerals are handled by the widespread practice of Buddhism. Since each of both of these religions lack truth to explain the reality of mankind's condition, they tend to mutually compliment each other's gaps. The main reason for so many pious people work so diligently at both religions is because they think it betters their chances of getting into a Heaven of eternal bliss.
The belief from Shintoism that placed the emperor as a god was manipulated by the Japanese military to inspire imperialism that led to kamikaze pilots and a national path toward self destruction in order to protect their "god". Fortunately, General Douglas MacArther had the Japanese Emperor go on the radio which effectively ended his deity status.
The religions of China and Greece are also
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Map Graph of Indian Religions Drawing of a ying-yang Original Source Document of a Shinto prayer Focus on Facts Biography of Muhammad
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