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Learn About Sikhism

A Sikh temple
A Sikh temple

Some adults in India are upset because too many boys are getting haircuts! Sikhs follow the religion of Sikhism. Many Sikhs live in Punjab, a state in India.

Traditionally, Sikh men and boys wear turbans and do not get their haircut. But some youth are rebelling against these traditions.

Another Sikh Tradition
Sikhs celebrate special occasions by reading their holy book, called “Guru Granth.” Each member of a reading team takes a turn reading for one to four hours until the book is finished. A complete reading takes about 48 hours. Try reading a book or books from the New Testament for 15 minutes, taking turns with several other people.

A Sikh Celebration
Sikhs celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak, the man who started Sikhism around the time Columbus traveled to America. In 2013, the celebration will occur on November 17.

Pray that Sikhs will learn about God’s love for them.

Learn more about Sikhs from the chart below. Find a coloring page of Sikh symbols in the “Coloring Pages” booklet under “Other” in the Downloads section.

Comparing Sikh and Christian Beliefs

Sikhism
Christianity
Founder
Guru Nanak, a man born in the 15th century Jesus Christ
House of Worship
Gurdwara Church
Holy book
Guru Granth The Holy Bible
Symbol
A Sikh man wears five symbols of his faith: long hair, short pants worn under other clothing, a steel bracelet, a small sword, and a comb. The cross is a Christian symbol. It symbolizes Christ’s death on the cross, a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
Beliefs about God
Sikhs believe in one god that is seen as more of a “force” than a person. They believe their god is not personal and does not love them. Sikhs believe that all religions really teach the same thing and that there are many ways of reaching their god. Christians believe in the God of the Bible. God is a loving heavenly Father, and humans can have a relationship with Him. Christians do not believe that all religions are means to reaching God (John 14:6). Christians believe that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can know God.

Confucius’ Birthday

People in China celebrate the birthday of Confucius on September 28th. Learn more about Confucius from the chart below.

Comparing Confucianism and Christianity

Confucianism
Christianity
Beginnings
Confucianism was started by Confucius, who lived in China from about 550 to 479 B.C. Confucius did not claim to be a god, but after his death, some of his followers worshipped him. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, His followers were first called “Christians” in the days of Paul (Acts 11:26). Christians follow Christ and worship Him as the Son of God, who came to save the world (John 3:16–17).
Books
Respected writings include The Analects, a collection of sayings made by Confucius’ followers, and five books called The Five Classics. Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Teachings
Confucius did not talk much about God or about human’s relationship to God. Instead he mostly tried to teach people how to get along with each other. The Bible teaches about God’s love for people and about how God reconciled people to Him through His Son Jesus. (See Romans 5:8–11 and 2 Corinthians 5:18–21.)
Sin
Confucianism teaches that people can be good by their own efforts if they just follow rules of good conduct. The Bible teaches that humans have a sin problem that can only be solved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Influence
Not many people today would call themselves “Confucianists.” However, the teachings still have a strong hold on many in Asia. Self-discipline and other Confucian teachings may have helped many Asians become successful by worldly standards. Pray they will also seek knowledge of God’s eternal standards. The percentage of Christians in countries where there is a strong Confucian influence is as follows: China 7%, Japan 2%, Vietnam 8%, South Korea 32%, North Korea 2%.

Comparing God in the Bible and Allah in the Quran

Allah in the Quran
God in the Bible
The Word
Muslims believe Allah revealed his word to a man named Mohammed through an angel. The words were written down in the Muslims’ holy book, the Quran. God’s Word is a person, Jesus Christ, who reveals God to us and provides believers in Him a way to become children of God (John 1:1–14).
The Father
Muslims do not believe Allah is a father to humans (Quran 5:18). The Quran does not say that Allah seeks to redeem those lost in sin, or that he loves sinners (Quran 4:107). God is a loving heavenly Father. We love Him because He first loved us, even while we were sinners. He sent Jesus to save us. (See Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 6:18, and I John 4:19)
The Son
The Quran, which is the word of Allah, says only liars say Allah has a son (Quran 37:152). Many verses in the Quran say Jesus is not the son of Allah. Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:16, Matthew 3:17).
Judgment
Muslims believe Allah will judge people and will approve only those who have done enough good deeds (Quran 7:8,9). God is perfect. He can accept nothing less than perfection. But all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. Jesus’ death on the cross allows us to be forgiven and accepted by a perfect God (Romans 3:21–26).

Comparing Beliefs about Heaven in the Quran and the Bible

The Quran (the Muslim holy book)
The Bible
Getting to heaven
Muslims believe the good deeds they do in their life will be weighed on Judgment Day. People who have done enough good deeds will go to heaven, or paradise. No one knows how many good deeds are “enough” (Quran Chapter 7, Verse 8; and 23:102, 103). Trying to “be good” is not enough for salvation. No one is righteous enough to deserve to go to heaven. Salvation is by the grace of God for those who believe in Jesus. (See Ephesians 2:8,9 and Romans 3:10.)
Marriage in heaven
Wives will enter heaven with their husbands, according to the Quran (Quran 43:70). Jesus said, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30, NIV).
Earthly pleasures
Muslims believe they will enjoy fine food and drink, nice clothes and jewelry, and good companions in heaven (Quran 18:32). The Bible says that people in heaven will no longer be hungry and thirsty. There will be no more crying or pain because “the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 7:16,17 and 21:4, NIV). Things will not be as they were during their life on earth.
Heavenly joys
Muslims believe they will enjoy the same things in heaven that many people enjoy on earth. Christians believe “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NIV). They believe that following Jesus brings more than earthly kinds of rewards. Believers in heaven will enjoy fellowship with God forever, serving and praising Him (Revelation 7:15).

The Religion of the Pharaohs and Egypt Coloring Pages

Ancient Egyptians did not worship the one true God. Read about their beliefs in the chart below. Photocopy and color the Egypt coloring pages shown below the chart.

Ancient Egyptian Religion
Christianity
God Historians believe ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, though not all were worshipped in the same area or time period. One ancient king is said to have worshipped only one god, but it was not the God of the Bible. Christians believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Followers The ancient religion died out little by little as Christianity spread in Egypt. In recent times, some non-Christians outside of Egypt have taken an interest in Egyptian gods. (These gods are false gods according to biblical beliefs.) Some New Age followers in the U.S., for example, now honor Isis, an Egyptian goddess. More than 2 billion people in the world today call themselves Christians.
Holy Book No single book was considered holy. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a collection of spells and magic that supposedly helped the dead deal with the afterlife. Christians believe the Holy Bible is the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
Afterlife Many archaeologists believe rulers had the pyramids built to serve as their tombs. They believed they could enjoy material possessions after death. Their bodies were preserved as mummies because they believed preserving them would help their soul survive properly. In heaven believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)
Salvation Egyptians believed they would be judged after their death for their deeds done on earth. One belief was that the dead person’s heart would be weighed with a feather on the other side of the scale. If the heart was heavy with evil deeds and weighed more than the feather, the person would not have a good afterlife. Doing good deeds is not enough for salvation. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.) Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Egypt