Monotheistic and polytheistic powers

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Whether monotheistic or polytheistic, cultures are defined through history.

Dulce Bernal Ortiz, Staff writer

Many cultures and religions exist in our modern day world, and each of those cultures has a god or gods that people pray to and believe in. According to National Day Calendar, there are over 4,000 recognized religions in the world, and more than 3,800 cultures in the world.

Christianity is the largest religion by far, with around 2.4 billion followers. Christians are monotheistic, which means they only believe in one god, who is simply known as God, but, there are other names for him, like Father, Jehovah, and Lord. Christians believe that he created everything, the heavens and the Earth and everything there. Additionally, it is believed that God is divided into three deities: the Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

But that is only one of the three major religions that are monotheistic. The other two include Judaism and Islam. In Judaism, God is known as Yahweh, and in Islam, he is called Allah.

While most people associate polytheism, the belief in multiple gods and goddesses, with ancient religions, there are still some that are practiced today, including Taoism and Shenism (Chinese folk religion), as well as Japanese Shinto, Santeria, many traditional African religions, and some forms of Hinduism. For example, in the Shaivism sect of Hinduism, Mahadeva is the “highest of all gods” as its name indicates, and has powers such as destruction, meditation, yoga, time and dance. Shiva is also another god in Hinduism who has the power to destroy the universe, to recreate it.

Within the ancient cultures that celebrated polytheism, Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology is probably the most familiar. In Greek mythology, Zeus is the major god and forms part of the Big Three, the three most powerful gods of Olympus. As well as being king of Olympus, Zeus is also the god of thunder, which includes his ability to throw lightning bolts, controlling weather, causing rain and huge storms.

In Roman mythology, it is essentially Zeus as well, but in a Roman form, known as Jupiter. On the other hand, in Norse mythology, Odin is the most powerful and wisest god. He is known as the Allfather of the Norse gods and the ruler of Asgard.

These are just some of the different cultures and religions that believe in different gods, but I invite you to research this on your own as well, as there is very interesting information out there. Nonetheless, we should respect other people’s beliefs, even if they are different from ours, as well as having an open mind throughout this process.