Religion Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Religion is one of the most powerful pieces of the human experience. Come and learn about what religion is, some of the most common types, as well as how religion has played a part in our world's history.

What is Religion?

What is the meaning of life? How did the world begin? Where do you go after you die? A person's answers to these questions are likely reflective of his or her religion. Religion is very difficult to define, but it basically refers to what you believe about human beings' relationship to a higher power (or God). Religion teaches you a set of practices to live by, such as being kind to others, telling the truth or praying. Many religions have different traditions, like attending church or temple, celebrating religious holidays or wearing specific clothes.

Something that all religions have in common is that they are based on faith, which is being confidently sure about something even if you cannot see it. There is no concrete proof that one particular religion is correct, so people have to turn to faith in order to practice their religion.

Many religions encourage prayer

Types of Religion

Did you know that there are thousands of different religions in the world? This means that people of a different religion might have different beliefs than you do. Here is a brief explanation of some of the most popular religions:

  • Christianity: This is the largest religion with about two billion followers. Christians believe that there is one loving and forgiving God. They believe in a sacred book, the Holy Bible, and that God came to the Earth as Jesus Christ. Their focus is to live by the teachings of the Holy Bible and to build a relationship with God. Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter as primary holidays.
  • Judaism: Jewish people believe that they were chosen as people of God. They believe in a holy book called the Torah and are still waiting for God to present himself in human form, also known as the Messiah. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah and Passover and eat a special diet that honors their religion.
  • Buddhism: Buddhists do not worship any gods, rather, they believe in the dharma, which explains truths about the universe and nature. Buddhists believe in reincarnation, meaning that people are reborn after death. Their goal is to find inner peace by letting go of all earthly desires (money, success, fame, etc.)
  • Islam: Muslims believe in one God, Allah. They believe that everything that happens is because of Allah, both the good and the bad. It is of the Islam belief that if you do good deeds, Allah will be merciful towards you. Islam is the second largest religion in the world.
  • Hinduism: Hindus believe in multiple gods and goddesses, as well as reincarnation. They believe in karma, which is the belief that your actions in your previous life determine how you are doing in your current life.

A Buddhist temple

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