6 Oldest Religion Before Christianity & Islam
Originated from Indus River Valley, modern- day Pakistan. Hinduism is often considered the oldest existing religion still practiced in the world today. While this may be true, it’s important to note that Hinduism does not have any particular founder or a single text, but instead combines several ancient traditions and beliefs. The oldest scripture of Hinduism is the Rig Veda, which is believed to be about 3,500 years old. However, archaeologists have found bull and cow motifs, which are sacred animals in Hinduism, dating back to around 7,000 BCE during a time when an ancient civilization inhabited the area near the Indus River. Today, Hinduism is practiced by about 900 millions of people around the world, but primarily in India and the surrounding countries.
Judaism has about 13 million followers worldwide. It originated from Southern Levant, now modern-day Israel, Palestine and Jordan.
Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, with the other two religions being Christianity and Islam. The religion was
officially founded by Moses, although Jewish history can be traced back to Abraham, who is considered to be the ancestor of the Jewish people. While Judaism has many important and sacred texts, its most important religious document is the Torah, which is part of a larger text known as the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible.
Modern Judaism can be separated into three movements : Orthodox Judaism, which is the most conservative and retains nearly all traditional practices and rituals; Reform Judaism, whose followers retain their Jewish identity but take a more liberal and relaxed approach to many beliefs and practices; and Conservative Judaism, which lies in the middle and takes a moderate approach to Jewish practices.
Although Zoroastrianism was officially founded in the 6 Century BCE by the prophet and reformer Zoroaster, through archaeological evidence, the religion’s roots may date back between 1,200 – 1,500 BCE. At one point in history, Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world and served as the official religion of Persia from 600 BCE to 650 BCE. Zoroastrians believe in one God called Ahura Mazda and contrary to popular belief, are not fire worshippers,they believe that fire represents God’s light or wisdom.
While Zoroastrianism is a fairly small religion by comparison, it shares many central concepts with major religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Having about 200,000 followers. Originated from Ancient Persia, now modern day Iran.
This religion originated from Japan with a population of about 4 million followers.many people believe that Shinto did not officially begin until after Buddhism was introduced to Japan around the 6 Century BCE, there is recorded history mentioning Shinto’s roots from around 700 BCE , although archaeological records date back further. After Buddhism arrived, many Buddhist elements were mixed into Shinto faiths and traditions, as well as Confucian ones.
The ruling aristocracy eventually combined all three religions and developed Shinto as a way to guide Japan’s people, Shinto was officially designated as Japan’s state religion during the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912). Today Shinto as well as Buddhism is closely tied to Japan’s society and culture.
Unlike most of the other ancient religions, Buddhism can be traced back to one founder, a prince who was born in modern-day Nepal over 2,500 years ago named Siddhartha Gautama, with a huge population of followers numbering to about 500 million followers. According to Buddhist history, Siddhartha Gautama cast aside his luxurious life as a prince after he witnessed the suffering outside the palace walls for the first time. After that, he sat beneath the Bodhi tree (the tree of awakening) and eventually reached enlightenment, thus becoming the Buddha.
Since then, followers of Buddhism practice the Buddha’s peaceful teachings and seek the path of enlightenment for themselves.
Jainism is another ancient religion from India that is believed to have emerged in the 6 Century BCE, around the same time as Buddhism, and shares similar beliefs to both Hinduism and Buddhism. The religion does not have a single religious text to draw from and its adherents believe instead that the truth has been revealed at different times by tirthankara (prophets), who have achieved the highest spiritual goal of existence.
Followers of Jainism believe that there have been 24 tirthankara and that the last of them was Mahavira, who is credited as the founder of Jainism and was also a contemporary of Buddha. This religion is having population of about 4 million.