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Religions of the Pacific - Research Paper Example

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Religions of the Pacific

Indonesia is greatly influenced by India and has been for the previous 2 two thousand years. India is a nation of Islamic faith and has influenced such believes among the Indonesian population. However, the remaining countries have maintained international isolation in terms of religion. Their beliefs have been greatly influenced by their indigenous culture and the small communities seem to have developed their own specific rituals through out the years. The pacific area is a typical modern example of primal religions; however, a lot of criticism has been put on the amount of intrusion being instigated by the European nations. This interference from Europe has continued to increase throughout the sixteenth century right until the twenty first. The interference has led to the adoption of European cultural beliefs and lifestyle among the locals of the pacific regions. There has been a lot of biasness in the past when reporters wrote about the religious beliefs of people in the pacific. Recently however research has become more neutral and researchers are starting to use opinions of the natives in their surveys. Current research involves the analysis of indigenous beliefs and the impact European culture and religion has had on the people’s lifestyle. It also tries to compare the difference between modern times in the pacific and the way of the life in the ancient times. The three most popular religious beliefs in the pacific include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. This paper will analyze these religions in detail and try to compare and contrast the difference between each of them. Firstly, the paper will analyze Hinduism which is a popular religion among the residents of the pacific region. This religion in the pacific comes under the influence of the Indian subcontinent. The religion is comprised of Shaivism, Srauta and Vaishnavism which are the main traditions followed, there are however numerous other smaller traditions (Flood, n.p). Hinduism is regulated by several laws within the religion which determine the lifestyle members are expected to live. The laws are centered on daily morality and include respecting social norms, dharma and karma (Flood, n.p). The religion is based on intellect and is a combination of philosophical theories. Unlike most religions, it is not based on a strict preset standard of rules. The religion does not have one single founder and was created numerous diverse ideologies. It is traced back to the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India; hence, the general consensus is that Hinduism is the longest existing religion. The religion is estimated to have a following of approximately 1 billion followers which is the third largest congregation after Islam and Christianity. The religion is broadly classified into into four categories which are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shundras (Flood, n.p). The Brahims are the priests and the heads and teachers in the church. The Kshatriyas are the noblemen and fighters (in war situations and protection of the land). The Vaishayas are the businessmen and the Shudras are the working class (Flood, n.p). Hinduism beliefs are a combination of many small traditions hence it is difficult classify it as a solitary religion. It believes in freedom of worship and belief and visualizes the world as a single family with one purpose. This means the religion accepts all views because labeling any religion false would symbolize a separation in identity hence oppose the primary belief that the world is one family (Flood, n.p). The religion is henotheistic, hence accepts the existence of other Gods and each individual has the right to choose the one which he/she believes in and worships. The ...Show more

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Indonesia is greatly influenced by India and has been for the previous 2 two thousand years. India is a nation of Islamic faith and has influenced such believes among the Indonesian population…
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