Different Shades of Faith

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Different Shades of Faith

A cross is a symbol for Catholicism symbolizing the sacrifice Jesus made for humans.

A cross is a symbol for Catholicism symbolizing the sacrifice Jesus made for humans.

A cross is a symbol for Catholicism symbolizing the sacrifice Jesus made for humans.

A cross is a symbol for Catholicism symbolizing the sacrifice Jesus made for humans.

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Throughout the world there are many different religions each with different sets of beliefs and practices.  At the school, there is a huge diversity of religion. At school there are many kids of different backgrounds that each have have their own beliefs; some may be religious while others may not be.   In school the history of religions is learned throughout history class but many lack the actual experience of dedicating themselves to a religion. The following individuals: Omar, Peter, and Sam, are all individuals who dedicate themselves to different religions.

Senior Omar Nasir is a Muslim.  Islam is a religion that originated in Saudi Arabia under the prophet Muhammad, who is believed to be the messenger of God.  Islamic beliefs are based around the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five different acts that are considered mandatory for all Muslims; these include shahada, (confession of faith), salat (prayer), zakat (giving), sawm (fasting), and hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).  Nasir dedicates himself to Islam by praying five times a day and reading the Quran, the sacred text of Islam.

Nasir thinks that his religion has influenced his life in great ways. “It has made me more of a better person in that I am less aggressive and more assertive than before after listening to speeches given at my local mosque and trying to implement some of the teachings,” Nasir said.

Nasir was taught his faith while growing up and was expected to practice it alongside his family.   His family was his main influence in helping to develop his faith in his religion. Despite having learned a lot from Islam, Nasir is still confused with his religion.

“There are some things unclear to me at times but I am able to ask my mosque’s Imam for advice or clarification if needed.” Nasir said.

Senior Sam Siebert is a Lutheran.  Lutheranism is a denomination within Christianity that believes that all humans are saved from one’s sins by God’s work alone.  Lutheranism originated in Germany in the sixteenth century under the Reformation leader Martin Luther.

Siebert’s favorite thing about his religion is the size of the community and the service work they do all around the world. “My religion has influenced my life by being selfless and putting others before myself,” Siebert said.

 “We had just finished repainting a room for a resident who was 93 years old,” Siebert said.  “Her daughter was in tears as she remembers what the house looked like years ago. It brought happiness to my heart knowing that something so small can make a big impact on someone else’s life.”  This act moved Siebart and made an impact on him and his admiration towards his religion.

Senior Peter Bardo is a Catholic.  Catholicism is the oldest denomination  of Christianity, a religion that originated in Israel and is based around the teachings of the Old Testament, in which God has many teachings, and the New Testament where Jesus has many teachings.  Bardo attends church on Sundays with his family and enjoys the friendly community surrounding him at church.

Bardo not only attends church but also used to attend the St. Anne school through elementary and middle school.  Bardo knows many of the members of the community through his experience at the school including his participation on the St. Ann’s basketball team and his experience of being an altar server (an assistant to the priests during mass).

Bardo thinks an important value is to always have faith.  He learned a lot about Jesus throughout his experience in school and church and tries to live his live similarly to Jesus.

“It influences my daily decision making and the way I look at the world along with how I treat others,” Bardo said.  

Religion gives followers values and a way to live their life in the beliefs of the religion. Many individuals of different religions dedicate themselves to their religion’s teachings and try to help others and spread their values throughout the world.  Religions are diverse in many ways, they teach people the importance of dedicating oneself to a set of values and beliefs that do not only concern one’s own circumstances. Nasir, Siebert, and Bardo, are all perfect examples of individuals who are dedicated to their religion and are part of the community who live their life in the way of their religion.  Religion is more than a set of values for individuals, it is a way of living one’s life and reflecting on other factors besides oneself.

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