In the United States, we celebrate Christmas with our Christian friends, wish our Jewish friends "shanah tova" for Rosh Hashanah, and our Muslim friends "Ramadan mubarek" during Ramadan. Unless you have a conversation with a member of each religion, you may not know much more than a few basic facts.
Regardless of your religion or lack of, you will want to take this quiz to find out how accurate your knowledge is and learn a few things to share with your friends. After all, Scientology is more than Tom Cruise and Rastafarianism is practiced by more than just Bob Marley. You may be surprised at how much each religion has in common, so let's celebrate the similarities and embrace the differences.
Are you a religious scholar? Test your knowledge of world religions with these questions!
The longest reigning pope was Pope Pius IX. He was pope for 31 years, 7 months and 23 days.
Devout Muslims pray toward Mecca five times a day. At least once in their lifetime they also attempt to visit Mecca.
Rosh Hashanah is referred to as the "Jewish New Year." It is the first two days of the month of Tishri. These days usually fall in September or October on the Gregorian calendar.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are called the Abrahamic religions because the Prophet Abraham is recognized as a common forefather. Judaism believes the Prophet Abraham is the ancestor of the Israelites. Islam believes Abraham's son, Ishmael, is the ancestor of the Arabs.
The term nirvana literally means "becoming extinguished." Buddhists use it to refer to the elimination of hatred, desire and ignorance.
The Roman Catholic Church makes up most of the total. It accounts for 1.1 billion members.
The Buddha was born in the 6th century. He was born in Lumbini, which is modern-day Nepal.
The pope is in charge of both Vatican City and the Holy See. However, the former refers to a physical location and the latter refers specifically to the government of that location.
There are over 900 million Hindus worldwide. The majority live in India and Nepal.
Muslims believe that the Quran collects revelations Muhammad received. When Muhammad was 40 years old, he received the first one. He continued to receive them until his death.
The Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament tells the story of Earth's creation, while the New Testament tells the story of Jesus and Christianity's beginnings.
During a typical week, the Torah is read on three days: Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Additionally, it will be read on holidays, even if that holiday does not fall on one of the aforementioned days.
Muhammad founded Islam. In 570, he was born in Mecca. In 622, he was forced to emigrate to Medina, Saudi Arabia with his followers.
Rabbis guide other Jews through Torah study. The word rabbi is Hebrew for "master" or teacher."
The Arabic word Imam means "leader" or "pattern." An Imam leads the five daily prayers, which make up the Second Pillar of Islam.
In Hinduism, karma can occur across lifetimes. Something a person does now may not see a reaction until he is reborn. Hindus call the process of reincarnation samsara.
Practitioners of Shinto believe in kami, which is loosely translated into English as "spirits." Kami can be forces of nature and the essence of existence.
Sikh tradition states that Guru Nanak founded the religion in the late 15th century. The first 10 leaders of the Sikh religion have the title Guru.
The main principles of Taoism involve unity and opposites. The yin-yang symbol symbolizes the belief that the world is made of complementary forces, such as light and dark.
Jehovah's Witnesses publish two magazines: The Watchtower and Awake! Both are available in over 200 languages.
The Rastafari movement began in the 1930s. Former Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie is important to the movement. Some Rastas regard him as a prophet, while others view him as the second coming of Christ.
In Santeria, Orishas are spirits. Followers of Santeria believe that rituals, such as eating with the spirits, need to be practiced for the spirits to continue to exist.
Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons believe that Joseph Smith received the information in the Book of Mormon from an angel called Moroni.
Scientologists believe that auditing helps them achieve spiritual enlightenment. Someone undergoing an audit is called a preclear.
The Pew Research Center found that not everyone who self-identifies as an atheist is irreligious. Based on the center's research, 26 percent of atheists say they are spiritual and 3 percent say they are religious.
Confucianism is not considered an organized religion. Rather it is considered a world view, political ideology, a scholarly tradition and a way of life.
Mosques may look different. However, each one has a mihrab, which is shallow recess in a wall indicating the direction of Mecca.
A bar mitzvah does not rely on having a special ceremony. A boy has one once he turns 13. At that time, he is considered an adult in Judaism with all the corresponding rights and obligations.
Ramadan lasts approximately 30 days. At the end, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
In Judaism, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. The name means "Day of Atonement." The day is spent in synagogue, praying for forgiveness.
Members of the Roman Catholic Church attend mass on Ash Wednesday. To obtain the ashes, palms from the previous Palm Sunday are burned.
While there is variation in Wiccan beliefs, most Wiccans believe in the Goddess and respect nature. Practitioners can be lone witches or belong to a coven, which usually have 10 to 15 members.
Easter ends Lent, which is a 40-day fasting period. Many Easter traditions predate Christianity and come from pagan times.
Currently, Tenzin Gyatso is the Dalia Lama. He is the 14th Dalai Lama. The first and second Dalai Lamas were given the title posthumously.
All Christian denominations use it as a visual identifier. It is simultaneously a symbol of suffering and one of salvation.