Asian Religions

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All three of the major monotheistic religions are represented throughout Asia, but the majority of religious people in eastern Asia observe Islam or Buddhism. Buddhism has its historical roots in India, originating with the teachings of the Indian prince Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), but has since abounded into several Southeast Asian countries. Unlike Christianity or Judaism, the main deity in Buddhism is a historical figure and a mortal. He did not create the world, nor purports to explain who created it and how. Rather, he is believed to have reached a rare and transcendent understanding of life, death, and afterlife. Buddhists maintain that all life is suffering and then people must undergo this cycle of being born, suffering, dying, and being reborn: the only way to break oneself free of this cycle is to achieve nirvana.

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