AP Human Geography Religion Notes Essay

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Religion Unit Essay Notes
1. Secularism began to arise with the seperation of church and state in Europe. A. Why is this so? (Deblij 207, 222-224) Secularism is the indifference to or rejection of formal religion. The most secular countries today are in Europe. Secularism has become more widespread during the past century due to the rise in democracy. Democratic governments disadvantage the traditional practices of a religion because they offer freedom, whereas other forms of government may force it's population to practice a specific religion. For example, the predominance of Islam in the Middle East can be associated with the influence of Taliban, a militant movement in the area that enforces the Islamic religion. B. How does
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A religious person can serve God by cultivating the land, draining wetlands, clearing forests, building new settlements, and otherwise making productive use of natural features that God created. As the very creator itself, God is more powerful than any force of nature, and if in conflict, the laws of God take precedence over laws of nature.
3. Compare and contrast Sunni and Shia Muslims origins, practices, customs, and beliefs. Adherents to Islam are required to observe the "five pillars" of Islam (repeated expression of the basic creed, frequet prayer, a month of daytime fasting, almsgiving, and, if possible, at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in one's lifetime). The faith dictates behavior in other spheres of life as well. Islam forbids alcohol, smoking, and gambling. In Islamic settlements, the people build mosques to observe the Friday prayer and to serve as social gathering places. But Islam, like all other major religions, is divided - principally between Sunni Muslims (83 percent of Muslims), and the Shi'ites (16 percent of Muslims) mostly concentrated in Iran. The religion's main division between Sunni and Shi'ite occured almist immediately after Muhammad's death, and it was caused by a conflict over his succession. Muhammad died in 632 CE, and to some, the rightful heir to the Prophet's caliphate (area

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