Religion is an organised system of belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe. There is no culture recorded in human history which has not practiced some form of religion. As with many cultural advancements and inventions, the early civilizations like Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China were the birthplace of religion.
Religion, then and now, concerns itself with the spiritual aspect of the human condition, gods and goddesses, the creation of the world, a human being’s place in the world, life after death, eternity, and how to escape from suffering in this world or in the next. Every nation has created its own god in its own image and resemblance.
South Asia is made up of seven nations: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. The main religions followed in South Asian countries are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Bahaism are also there with a lesser number of followers.
Hinduism is one of the most prevalent religions of the South Asia. There are thousands of temples worshiping different gods and goddesses are found in the region.
South Asia is home to a large Muslim population. One third of the world’s Muslims live in South Asia, which has become a major source of Islamic ideas and organizations across the world.
Sikhism arose out of Hinduism as a reform movement in the 16th century. It stresses that people can escape rebirth by meditating on God’s name.
Christianity is a religion that arose about 2,000 years ago in Palestine among Jews, who believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God, the creator of all things. Christianity is practiced by Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant religious sects.
Buddhism is a religion that arose as a reform movement in Hinduism in the 5th century BCE. Its founder was Siddhartha Gautama, who believed that suffering was inherent in all life.
Religion has the potential to reach the core of a person; it is extremely personal which is why respect by all humanity is necessary if we are to live on the same planet. All of us have our own ways of following a religion. Every human being need not adhere to a conformed practice or behavior. There are also the atheists who do not believe in any religion at all and governed by the logic of reason. No matter which religion it is, the message of love and universal brotherhood is inherent in every religion, region and culture.