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by Dr Zakir Naik

Religions of the world can be broadly categorized into Semitic religions and non-Semitic religions. Non-Semitic religions can be divided into Aryan religions and non-Aryan religions.

Semitic religions

Semitic religions are religions that originated among the Semites. According to the Bible, Prophet Noah (pbuh) had a son called Shem.

The descendents of Shem are known as Semites. Therefore, Semitic religions are the religions that originated among the Jews, Arabs, Assyrians, Phoenicians, etc. Major Semitic religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All these religions are Prophetic religions that believe in Divine Guidance sent through prophets of God.

Non-Semitic religions

The non-Semitic religions are further subdivided into Aryan and non-Aryan religions:

Aryan Religions

Aryan religions are the religions that originated among the Aryans, a powerful group of Indo-European speaking people that spread through Iran and Northern India in the first half of the second Millenium BC (2000 to 1500 BC).

The Aryan Religions are further subdivided into Vedic and non-Vedic religions.

The Vedic Religion is given the misnomer of Hinduism or Brahminism. The non-Vedic Religions are Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.

Almost all Aryan religions are non-Prophetic religions.

Zoroastrianism is an Aryan, non-Vedic religion, which is not associated with Hinduism. It claims to be a prophetic religion.

Non-Aryan Religions

The non-Aryan religions have diverse origins. Confucianism and Taoism are of Chinese origin while Shintoism is of Japanese origin.

Many of these non-Aryan religions do not have a concept of God. They are better referred to as ethical systems rather than as religions.

Reference:http://www.irf.net/irf/comparativereligion/index.htm

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