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Hindu by River Ganges

‘I’m not really religious at all’

Then find out the essentials of Christianity here

‘I follow a religion other than Christianity’

How Christianity is hugely different from other faiths

The other major world religions

The essentials of Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism

The ‘Christian’ cults

Mormons,  Jehovah’s Witnesses,  Christadelphians and Christian Science

Groups within the Christian tradition

Roman Catholic,  Eastern Orthodox,  State churches and Free churches

Eastern imports

New Age,  Hare Krishna,  Transcendental Meditation and Yoga

Non-Christian cults

The Moonies and Scientology

If you want broad answers to these and similar questions without wading through hefty volumes, you're in the right place. Just read the following short introduction, then, below it, click the dot by the topic you're interested in.

Read This First

What follows makes no claim to be a comprehensive treatment of this vast subject. It is no more than a brief summary of (1) the main branches of Christianity, (2) the most popular cults and (3) the major world religions.

If you want to dig deeper, you will find at the end a list of books that you can refer to for further details. But to begin with, there are a couple of cautionary points to note.

First, it is vital to distinguish clearly between religious systems and people. For example, I personally have little time for the Roman Catholic Church as an organisation and doctrinal system. I see it as alien to the kind of Christianity taught in the Bible. But I count several Roman Catholics as my personal friends and have no doubts at all about the genuineness of their faith in Christ and the reality of their experience of the Holy Spirit's presence and power.

Some will say, 'But if you reject my church you reject me.' Not at all. You must insist at all costs on distinguishing systems from people. In the end it is people who stand accountable to God, not systems. And it is with people, not with systems, that as humans we relate. We can—and must—warmly accept the one without condoning the other.

Second, Christianity makes exclusive claims. Referring to Jesus, Peter affirms: 'Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved' (Acts 4:12). On that basis there is no salvation through, say, Buddha, Mohammed or the Hindu gods. But that does not mean that those other religions contain no truth at all. Their teachings contain some wise and valid insights into life and the human condition, and acknowledging these could well be a starting point for witnessing to their adherents.

Now make your selection below.

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