So how do we choose good and make sure we don’t stray to the dark side? “In the Middle East the population of Christians used to be about 20 percent; now it’s 5 percent.” Here are five facts you should know from the report about persecution of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa: 1. Even now in the 21st century, no one is sure of the Yarsanis’ true number, but it’s believed to be around one million.[2]. Originating in Egypt but now scattered in small communities in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, the Druze are a reincarnation sect who believe they will be reborn after death. Because of this, generation after generation of Yazidi has suffered ongoing persecution in their ancestral home of the Nineveh Plains of Iraq. Founded in 14th-century Iran, this guarded religion believes in reincarnation and still holds its rituals and ceremonies in secret. 10 Interesting Theories Of Evolution You Have Never…, 10 Terrifying Serial Killers You've Never Heard…, 60 Stunning Images of The Middle East That Will Make…, 10 People You've Never Heard Of Who Changed The World, 10 Strange Societies You've Probably Never Heard Of, 10 UFO Encounters That You've Never Heard About, 10 Best Radio Hoaxes You've Never Heard Before, 10 Creepy Ghost Animals You've Never Heard Of, Top 10 Bad Movies That Wasted Great Concepts, Top 10 Crazy Ways To Get Free Food In The UK, Top 10 Lesser Known Examples Of Man’s Cruelty, Top 10 Bizarre YouTube Scandals That Shocked Everyone, Top 10 Bizarre And Shocking Board Games That Actually Exist, Top 10 Signs We’re Embracing Cyberpunk Technology, Top 10 Ridiculously Expensive Golden Objects, Top 10 Cryptids Easily Explained By Real Animals, Top 10 Times The West Said No To Free Speech, 10 Mysterious Religions Practiced In The Shadows, 10 Monotheistic Gods You’ve Never Heard Of, 10 Biblical Miracles With Alternative Explanations, 10 Times Christians, Jews & Muslims Rescued Each Other, 10 Peculiar Questions Decided By Church Councils, 10 Scientific Hints Of Possible Higher Beings, 10 Theories on the Origins of the Valentine’s Heart, 10 Ways The Bible Was Influenced By Other Religions. But there is one strange peculiarity that can help you spot one of this religion’s adherents: According to Yarsani religious text, men must grow and keep a mustache, a tradition that still carries on today. Published on March 6, 2019 March 6, 2019 by admin. THE MAIN RELIGION IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES. The Middle East is comprised of many different ethnic group, is religiously diverse as well. In Gnosticism, God is known as the Monad, or “The One,” and the belief exists that the material world is evil and that the only way to salvation is through discovering the “secrets” of the universe.[9]. The Constitution of India officially recognizes 23 official languages. [7] For centuries, some adherents to other religions have wrongly claimed that the Yazidis’ Peacock Angel is actually the Devil and, therefore, that Yazidism is a Devil-worshiping cult. Now centuries old, they are still practiced by devoted worshipers who, despite persecution, have ensured that their ancient ways have been passed down from generation to generation. Research indicates that close to 94% of Middle East's population belonged to Islam. The Role of Religion in the Middle East. Religion: The major religion of North Africa and the Middle East is Islam and there are substantial numbers of Jews and Christians who also live in these countries. Some suggest that the Shabak are descendants of the Qizilbash Army, a fierce 13th-century Shia force. Middle Eastern religion, any of the religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices developed in the ancient Middle East (extending geographically from Iran to Egypt and from Anatolia and the Aegean Sea to the Arabian Peninsula and temporally from about 3000 to 330 bc, when Alexander the Great conquered much of the area). At their peak, the Samaritans once numbered three million. In return, the state was to protect and respect the Druze community and religion. A real mixing pot of a religion, the Shabak are a people who live in Northern Iraq and whose beliefs and society have been inspired by the faiths and cultures that surround them. In the last few years, Yazidis have been making headlines around the world, but for horrifying reasons. The religion of the Middle Ages, as characterized by historian Peter Brown, was about “the joining of Heaven and Earth.” As Christianity spread throughout Europe in the Early Middle Ages, the Latin Catholic Church dominated official and proscribed religious … “Where these groups survived was often the most remote places.”[1]. Muhammad was responsible for the spread of religions of Islam in Mecca, during 570 AD Muhammad is believed to be the founder and chief prophet of Islam and the source for the Quran. Linguistically the Middle East is diverse. Established in the 19th century in Iran, the Bahai faith is a baby compared to the region’s other religions. In the modern era, … Living on Mount Gerizim in the troubled Palestinian West Bank, Samaritans (yes, that is where the phrase “Good Samaritan” comes from) are an ancient people trying to hold onto their ancient past. Decades later, this deal still stands, and up until recently, Israel even had its own Druze infantry unit. Their holy book is even called the Samaritan Torah, but they believe modern-day Judaism is not the true version. Known as the “People of Truth,” Yarsanis regard the Sun and fire as holy and seek oneness and purity in life. the two largest religions in the world: Christianity and Islam, plus Judaism) originated in the Middle East. A merging of religions, Ali-Illahism combines Shia Islam with the rites of ancient Middle Eastern belief systems like Zoroastrianism. His names means “ highly praised.” Medieval religion developed as a hybrid of pagan beliefs and practices and Catholicism, eventually dominating the everyday lives of peasants. Middle East Religion Facts. ISIS extremists have mercilessly targeted the ethno-religious group, attempting a full-scale genocide campaign against them in Iraq, killing and enslaving thousands of Yazidis. But the Middle East is far from homogenous. If Bahaism is the baby of the Middle East, then Zoroastrianism is the granddad of the group. Speaking Arabic, Farsi, and their own language, Mandraic, followers revere John the Baptist as well as other well-known biblical figures such as Adam, Abel, and Noah. [4] They believe in one all-knowing God, known as Ahura Mazda, or the “Wise Lord,” and core Zoroastrianism beliefs such as in a heaven and hell have influenced and been copied by Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Like Islam, selling or drinking alcohol is forbidden in the Bahai faith, and worshipers are expected to fast for 19 days each year during March. And their origins are just as mysterious. For example, stores would be closed on Saturday in Israel because that is the Sabbath in the Jewish religion. Racial and ethnic harmony varies from peaceful in Syria to contentious in Israel. The Middle East is a geographical and cultural region located primarily in western Asia, but also. Islam has developed in four major periods in the Middle East: foundations ( 622 – 750 ), institutional formation ( 750 – 1050 ), classical period ( 1050 – 1800 ), and modern transformation ( 1800 –present). Iraq3. Yarsanis have been persecuted for centuries in Iraq and Iran, seen as nonbelievers by religious extremists. Little was known about the religions of the city-states of W Asia until stores of religious literature were uncovered by excavations in the 19th and 20th cent. Bahrain2. The Middle East is also home to small numbers of Hindus and followers of the Druze religion. Pretty impressive stuff, but this is not so surprising, considering what the Bahai teach—the importance of unity and equality for all and that every religion in the world has worth. The spread of Islam is closely linked with the history of the Middle East as the converts established some caliphates with their own laws based on Islamic law. Lebanon7. Want to know the number and percentage of religions in The Middle East. A mysterious religion to many in the Middle East and little-known throughout the world, Ali-Illahism holds the belief that God has been incarnated on Earth throughout history and that Ali—the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad and successor to him according to Shia Islam—is one of those incarnations. Early Christians often referred to themselves as Gnostics, with Christianity possibly evolving out of Gnosticism. Many people living in India write in Devanagari script. Arabic is the chief language except in Israel, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. However, Gnostics don’t define themselves as Christians. While religion is an important factor in the Middle East, it’s not the whole story. From the Christian perspective, religions were born in the Middle East. What Is The Middle East And What Countries Are Part Of It? Some countries in the Middle East are less religious than parts of Europe. Descended from the Hebrews, the Samaritans speak ancient Hebrew and worship in a synagogue. These lands were considered for 700 years as the center of Christendom and were perceived as a region that needed to be rescued from the unbelievers. Most people think the Middle East—a transcontinental region arguably stretching from Egypt through Iran—is a uniformly Muslim place, with a small pocket of Jews in Israel, and scattered Christian communities around parts in close proximity to the Mediterranean. Middle Eastern religions, religious beliefs and practices of the ancient inhabitants of the Middle East. Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women Maps of the Modern Middle East: Middle East Religions In fact, it is a misconception that the majority of people in India speak Hindi. Jordan5. In fact, the Bahai community believes that Krishna, Moses, Muhammad, Jesus, and Abraham were all messengers of God but claim that the latest of these messengers is (unsurprisingly) their religion’s founder, Baha’u’llah. Islam is the most practiced religion across the region, although this can vary by country. But while nine out of ten people living in the Middle East nowadays identify as Muslim, it hasn’t always been that way. There is no official language in India, according to a Gujarat High Court ruling in 2010, though Hindi is the official language of the government. Yemen. Born in the heart of Persia over 3,000 years ago, Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. History, Religion. Despite this, Bahais continue to be persecuted in many countries, especially Iran, where they are declared as apostates of Islam by Islamic leaders.[3]. Often persecuted, forced to assimilate, and treated as second-class citizens, they now number just 250,000. Zoroastrians fundamentally believe that Earth is a battleground between good and evil and that every person has a responsibility to choose good. During this time period in religion it is believed Muhammad was born. “The Middle East was quite a bit more lawless for quite a lot of time, and that’s partly how these groups survived,” author Gerard Russell explained. According to a 2012 WIN/Gallup poll, 33% of Lebanon and 29% of the Palestinian Territories said … Israel4. Arabic, a Semitic language, was originally spoken only in the Arabian Peninsula but spread with Islam. Read about more religions who may not have known about on 10 Mysterious Religions Practiced In The Shadows and 10 Monotheistic Gods You’ve Never Heard Of. But it’s not all rivers and roses. Sunni Muslims are more like Protestant Christians. In 2014, the median level of religious hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa reached a level four times that of the global median. The hijab fashions in Muslim nations find their origin in the Koran’s prescriptions for modesty among women. As a matter of fact, throughout history, primarily the Crusades but also other wars in the Middle East emerged due … A peaceful religious community, Yazidis believe in one God who has entrusted the world to seven angels—the leader of which is the Peacock Angel, called Melek Taus. By proceeding to use this page you approve our Cookie policy. They have had an enduring influence on Western civilization. Jesus and his apostles lived in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the region. The Christian presence in the Middle East dates back, of course, to Jesus Christ during the Roman Empire. The Middle East is the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all monotheistic religions that grew from the same tradition. And this 3,000-year-old faith does not limit good deeds to just fellow humans; its religious teachings make it clear that nature must be protected and looked after. The Middle East is the birthplace of the world’s three largest Abrahamic religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—and has been the site of numerous religious wars, such as the brutal Crusades. In fact, Zoroastrianism has even been described as the world’s first ecological religion. Indeed, there are very fundamental differences—for one, many Gnostics believed the world was created not by God but by an evil entity called Demiurge. Interestingly, many Gnostic writings were, unlike many other religions, written and influenced by women. 1. United Arab Emirates13. And it really took off. India has 28 states and seven territories, according to the World Health Organization. It is used by both Muslims and Christians. I’m a professional writer and journalist who has been reporting, writing and traveling around the world for several years. Originating in the third century, Mandeanism is a secretive and private religion born out of the marshlands of what is now Southern Iraq. Historically barred from marrying outside of their religion and struck down by genetic disease, their population has now reduced to fewer than 1,000 people. Little was known about the religions of the city-states of W Asia until stores of religious literature were uncovered by excavations in the 19th and 20th cent. Apart from being the largest religion in the Middle East, it is also one of the largest religions in the world. They don’t really focus on Imams and believe in maintaining a more direct line to God than the Shia. Three major religious groups (i.e. It was founded by a religious prisoner who believed he was a prophet. Though many … But it's been far from a unified presence. Their holy book is written in Turkomen, they drink wine and practice confession like Christians, and they make pilgrimages to Yazidi holy sites as well as Muslim ones.[10]. The history of religious conflict in the Middle East carefully leaves out periods of coexistence The exodus of Christians from the Middle East is real and tragic. Religion is one of the most powerful defining forces of a culture. Others believe they were refugees from Anatolia. Why Middle East Studies. The young Iranian declared himself Baha’u’llah (meaning “Glory to God”) and, with it, started one of the newest religions in the Middle East. Middle Eastern religions, religious beliefs and practices of the ancient inhabitants of the Middle East. SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST NUMBER POPULATION OF JEWS Which subregion has the lowest number population of Jews?THE MAIN RELIGION IN THE MIDDLE EAST Which is the main religion in The Middle East?THE MAIN RELIGION IN THE MIDDLE EAST Which is the main religion in The Middle East?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST PROPORTION OF MUSLIMS Which subregion has the lowest proportion of Muslims?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST NUMBER POPULATION OF MUSLIMS Which subregion has the lowest number population of Muslims?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST PROPORTION OF JEWS Which subregion has the lowest proportion of Jews? Qatar10. The Shabak are a spiritual lot, believing God’s wisdom can be obtained through ritual meditation led by a mystical leader or spiritual guide called a pir. [6] They are also a very philosophical lot, admiring philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato alongside far more familiar religious superstars like Jesus and Muhammad. The Middle East is at the center of everything, and is home to many ethnic groups which don't always get along. The Middle East and North Africa - total population: 341,020,000 Jews - population: 5,617,080 Jews - percentage: 1.65%/span> 2. We use "Cookies" for better user experience. Today, Gnosticism is a loosely defined faith that has historically been made up of a diverse array of groups (Mandeanism is one), many of which differed from each other in their customs, traditions, and structure. Saudi Arabia11. Living a nomadic life on small islands or man-made floating platforms in their massive swampland home of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, Mandeans have passed down their religion for generations alongside their master skills in boat-building. In the 21st century, the Bahai faith is claimed by some as the only religion in the world that has grown faster than the general population in every United Nations region in the past century. Like Muslims, Yazidis pray five times a day, but unlike their fellow Muslims, Yazidis face the Sun when praying, except for a noon prayer when they must face their holy site of Lalish in Northern Iraq. [8] Facing the North Star during prayer, Mandeans are devout pacifists and hold the belief that only God is allowed to take someone’s life. World peace, the Bahai say, will only be achieved when the people of the world unite under one universal faith. The most widespread religion in the Middle East is Islam. As the battle for religious dominance of the region raged on centuries ago between the big three, other religions were sprouting up throughout the Middle East, from believers in reincarnation in Egypt to marsh-dwelling John the Baptist worshipers in what is now Iraq. But while nine out of ten people living in the Middle East nowadays identify as Muslim, it hasn’t always been that way. Middle East's Muslim population accounts for roughly 20% of the world's Muslim population. Well it’s quite easy, say Zoroastrians: You just need to become a Zoroastrian! Shia Muslims are similar to Roman Catholics in Christianity. The Middle East is the birthplace of the world’s three largest Abrahamic religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—and has been the site of numerous religious wars, such as the brutal Crusades. Here are six facts about religious hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa: 1 As a whole, the region continued to have the highest levels of religious hostilities in the world. Mary Magdalene is thought to have been one of them. In many ways, Zoroastrians ascribe to a view of life that is akin to the idea of karma—do good deeds for the world, and you will be rewarded. In Pew’s 2011 survey, 94 percent of respondents in Pakistan said they identify first as Muslims rather than Pakistanis. While this article treats only … Syria12. [5] This is no surprise; Ali-Illahism is thought to have been born in the “Land of the Lurs,” or Luristan in Western Persia. The prayer ritual, which involves wearing a sacred shirt, should never be performed in front of non-Yazidis. One of the things that the Middle East is known for is its religious diversity. They also find some safety in their secrecy. That 2,000-year presence has gone uninterrupted since, especially in the countries of the Levant: Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Syria—and Egypt. They have a strong clerical presence via Imams and promote the idea of going through them to practice the religion correctly. But with religious persecution and decades of conflict and strife in the Middle East, Mandeans now number just 60,000 to 70,000 people—with only a few thousand still living in their beautiful, boggy ancestral homeland. Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East - E-Book - The Intifada of 2000-2001 has demonstrated the end of an era of diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kuwait6. The style of peacemaking of the Olso Accords has been called into question by the facts on the ground. Unknown to many, a few of them have, against all odds, survived. But like many other minority religions in the Middle East, life for the Shabak has not been easy. Very few people have heard of Yarsanism, and it’s no wonder—the Yarsani (also known as Kakai in Iraq) are a secretive bunch. As a minority religion, they have survived centuries of turmoil in the Middle East by forging political partnerships with more powerful and dominant groups, a tactic some Druze communities continue to this day. HOLISTIC. 1. Many major religions originated in this region, and those religions include Christianity, Judaism and Islam, among other religious beliefs that have been formed there. Smaller minority religions, such as the Baháʼí Faith, Druze, Alawites, Manichaeism, Sabianism, Bábism, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Gnosticism, Yarsanism, Samaritanism, Shabakism, Ishikism, Ali-Illahism, Alevism, Yazdânism and Zoroastrianism are also present in the Middle East. List of religious populations in The Middle East The Middle East includes Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine/Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Lebanon. COUNTRIES WITH THE SMALLEST PROPORTION OF MUSLIMS Which country has have the lowest proportion of Muslims?COUNTRIES WITH THE SMALLEST PROPORTION OF CHRISTIANS Which country has have the lowest proportion of Christians?THE MAIN RELIGION IN JORDAN Which is the main religion in Jordan?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST PROPORTION OF CHRISTIANS Which subregion has the lowest proportion of Christians?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST PROPORTION OF UNAFFILIATED Which subregion has the lowest proportion of Unaffiliated?THE MAIN RELIGION IN LEBANON Which is the main religion in Lebanon?THE MAIN RELIGION IN JORDAN Which is the main religion in Jordan?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST PROPORTION OF MUSLIMS Which subregion has the lowest proportion of Muslims?COUNTRIES WITH THE SMALLEST PROPORTION OF HINDUS Which country has have the lowest proportion of Hindus?COUNTRIES WITH THE SMALLEST PROPORTION OF UNAFFILIATED Which country has have the lowest proportion of Unaffiliated?THE MAIN RELIGION IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES Which is the main religion in Palestinian territories?SUBREGIONS WITH THE LOWEST PROPORTION OF HINDUS Which subregion has the lowest proportion of Hindus? Clinging on in their holy mountain just a few miles from Jerusalem and embroiled in one of the longest conflicts in the world, the present-day Samaritans are also an extraordinary anomaly in the Israel/Palestine conflict—they hold both Israeli and Palestinian passports.[1]. Palestinian territories9. While, over time, Mesopotamia became Iraq, Anatolia became Turkey, and Persia became Iran, a few vestiges of their fascinating history have remained intact—some of it in their little-known minority religions, carried over from century to century. Oman8. The origins of this covert faith are still disputed, but it is thought by some to have originated in Alexandria, Egypt, and may have preceded Christianity. In fact, Druze leaders in Israel signed a deal in 1956 called the Covenant of Blood that made military service in the Israeli army compulsory for young Druze men. 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