Report: Religious Life on Planet Earth

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Religions on earth takes such a wide variety of forms that it would be impossible to summarize them all, and even though not all of them believe in a personal God, Deity or Supreme Being, they all have their own scared texts or writings that they believe to be divinely inspired, such as the Bible, Qur'an or Bhagavad Gita. In addition, they all have prophets, mystics, teachers and holy men like Moses, Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha who are thought to have been sent to earth to show humanity the proper path to enlightenment, salvation and morality. All of the prayers, rituals and symbols used by these religions are also too numerous and varied to list. Their prophets, teacher and sacred writings also explain certain metaphysical and epistemological issues such as the origins of life and the universe, why evil and suffering exist in the world, and how to attain salvation, heaven or Nirvana after death. Some like Buddhism and Hinduism maintain that the soul exists through many lifetimes in various forms, while Christianity, Judaism and Islam believe that the soul only exists in the body once, and then spends eternity in heaven or hell. Finally, religion and morality are also used a means of social control on earth, to instill certain norms of behavior on their young and society in general, deviations from which are punished. Islam and Christianity are the two largest religions, for example, with over a billion followers for each, and both the Bible and the Qur'an describe God's

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