Ever since I started practicing meditation about a year and a half ago, it has become a subject of regular study for me. After reading countless blogs, books, and listening to recorded talks on meditation, I had found that groups from every religion, not just Buddhism, practice some form of meditation or other. In fact, I learned that meditation was often the one most important part of a religious practice for many sects, whether you were an orthodox Jew or a Sufi mystic.
After having learned this one fact, I found within myself a deeper respect for other religions, even ones which I had regarded in the past as backwards, overly superstitious, or reactionary. I realized that if this one fact about meditation could challenge my preconceptions about what really makes up a religion, perhaps I could find others as well. This is why I have assembled a list of facts which aim to show that religions can’t be put inside a box, and that all of them have wisdom and insight that the world could definitely use.
This list was organized in no particular order:
1. Many Early Christians Believed in Reincarnation
Reincarnation was a widely accepted belief among the early Gnostic Christians. The idea that someone went to heaven or hell based on something they did in one lifetime was a doctrine developed by the Roman Catholic Church, most likely to establish more control over adherents to the religion. After all, if people got more than one chance to get to heaven, the laws of the church would then be rendered meaningless because sinners would get infinite chances to try again.
2. The Buddha Was Probably Not a Vegetarian
3. Jesus Christ is Mentioned 5 Times in the Qur’an more than Muhammad
4. Hindus Can Also Be Atheists
5. Judaism Evolved from a Polytheistic Religion
6. Meditation is not Limited to Eastern Religions
7. New Religious Texts Continue to Be Discovered
8. The Buddha was Canonized as a Christian Saint
9. Islam had the First Theory of Evolution in the 9th Century
10. Non-Jews Can Get Into Jewish Heaven
11. Even With a Literal Interpretation of the Bible, Homosexuality may Not be a Sin
12. The First Buddhist Statues Were Made in the Greek Hellenistic Style
13. The World’s Oldest University was Established by a Muslim Woman
14. The New Testament has a Lot of Outtakes
15. Many of Our Great Scientists were Deeply Religious
16. Wearing a Veil is Not Required in Islam
17. Angels as we Know Them Today are Artist Inventions
18. Islamic Fundamentalism is a Pretty Recent Development