World Religions for Kids
Our students often ask: What is the difference between religion and philosophy?
Difference: I've read many explanations, but the ones that make the most sense to me describe the difference as:
Religion is belief based on faith. Religion believes before seeking a reason.
Philosophy is belief based on human reason. Philosophy seeks a reason before believing. To learn more about philosophy, click here: What is Philosophy?
Religion in Ancient Civilizations for Kids
The Gloomy Gods of Ancient Mesopotamia
Ancient Animal Head Egyptian Gods
Ancient Troublesome Greek Gods
Ancient Adopted from Everywhere Roman Gods
Ancient Chinese Religion: Kitchen God, Dragons, Ghosts, and Ancestors
American Indians US and Canada Religions
Myths for Kids - retold by Lin Donn
Growth of Major World Religions for Kids
Many schools around the world teach a civilizations unit on religion called: Three World Religions. (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). All three religions trace their origin to the covenant (or deal) God made with Abraham, that God would make them a sacred people and give them a land. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all share this Abrahamic heritage, and are often referred to as being Abrahamic religions. But that unit leaves out, most probably due to classroom time limits, two very important world religions that are not based on Abrahamic heritage - Hinduism and Buddhism.
In this section of our site, we will briefly explore these five major world religions. This site does not discuss nor wish to discuss who is right and who is wrong. It is simply the study of five major world religions, and the impact those religions have had on world civilizations. As you will discover when you click on the links below, all five of these religions have much in common, although on the surface they do appear to be quite different.
Judaism - belief in one all powerful god, the creator of the world, no kids. This god communicates to believers through prophets, and rewards good deeds and punishes evil deeds
Christianity - belief in one all powerful god, but also a belief in a trinity - the father (God), the son (Jesus), and the holy spirit who make up "three persons" or one god
Islam - belief in the oneness of god (no gender, no body, no kids - just one all powerful force, with no human similarities)
Comparison Chart: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (inview)
Hinduism - belief in many gods. Many Hindus believe there are 330 million gods, but would be hard pressed to name them all. Some Hindus believe there is only one god, while others believe there are 33 gods. The reason the number of gods varies is because different ancient Hindu scriptures give different numbers. The common answer of how many gods in Hinduism is 330 million, with 33 of them being major gods. But not every Hindu would agree with that.
Buddhism - belief in no all powerful god who created the world and has eternal life. Buddhists follow the teachings of Buddha (a human who lived long ago) and believe in supernatural spirits who help guide you to better follow these teachings, with the goal of becoming the best person you can be.
Comparison Chart: Hinduism and Buddhism (Donn)
Online Free Interactive World Religion Games:
World Religions Free Online Interactive Games for Kids (flash games have been removed)
Philosophy for Kids
Confucianism - an ancient Chinese philosophy that is still studied today; it is a way of behaving. It has many rules that dictate how people should behave so they do not behave in the wrong way.
Taoism (explained with the help of Winnie the Pooh) - an ancient Chinese philosophy that is still active today; it is a way of thinking. Taoists believe if you think about things in the right way, you will be much happier.
Greek Philosophy - achieving wisdom through questioning
For Teachers: Free Use Lesson Plans & Classroom Activities
Written by us:
The Three Doctrines & Legalism Lesson Plan. Buddhist, Taoist, Confucius, Legalism - How would each behave when faced with the same problem, modern problems that the student might face today? With handouts.
The Three Teachings Learning Module
Written by other teachers: MANY World Religion Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities
PowerPoints: Free use PowerPoints about World Religions
Interactive Games: World Religions Interactive Games & Activities for Kids