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Portal:Religion

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Introduction

Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.

There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.

The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief.

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Prince Hanzoku terrorised by a nine-tailed fox
Credit: Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as his messengers.

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In the news

5 January 2020 – 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis
In a session boycotted by most Sunni Arab and Kurdish representatives, the Council of Representatives of Iraq accepts a resolution to expel U.S. troops from Iraq. (Reuters)
26 December 2019 – Freedom of religion in Montenegro
Hundreds of protesters, mostly consisting of supporters of the pro-Serbia opposition bloc, march in Podgorica, Montenegro, to protest a proposed law that would require religious communities to provide proof of property ownership from before the creation of Yugoslavia in 1918. Protesters claim the law unfairly targets the predominant Serbian Orthodox Church. (Reuters)

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Constantine I
Constantine I commonly known as Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Christians of Byzantine tradition) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor.

Constantine is best remembered in modern times for the Edict of Milan in 313, which bestowed imperial favor on Christianity in the Empire, for the first time.

Constantine is also remembered for the Council of Nicaea in 325; these actions are considered major factors in the spreading of the Christian religion. His reputation as the "first Christian Emperor" has been promulgated by historians from Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea to the present day, although there has been debate over the veracity of his faith. This debate stems from his continued support for pagan deities and the fact that he was baptized very close to his death.

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