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Religious Beliefs On Afterlife Essay

583 words - 3 pages

Religious beliefs on the afterlife
Christianity
Whilst there are different orthodox Christian beliefs, Catholics, Protestants, the Baptists and other Christians, the core of Christian belief about the afterlife is that there is an afterlife. How we behave will determine where in the afterlife you will eventually end up. That there is a hell for the wicked ones, especially the Catholic Church still teaches that hellfire is for eternity and there is heaven for those who behaved well. Also, the Catholic Church claims there is an afterlife state which is between heaven and hell the Catholic Church calls ‘purgatory.’ The theological teaching is that after a time of purgation, the spirit will eventually be progress and will go to heaven. There are other Christians, the Protestants, who do not accept purgatory. Catholic ...view middle of the document...

It is possible for an Orthodox Jew to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven, or that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes, or that they simply wait until the coming of the messiah, when they will be resurrected. Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist. 
Islam
According to the tenets of the Muslim faith, death is the complete end of physical life and the beginning of a period of rest until the day of resurrection when Allah judges the living and the dead. Many Muslims believe that the righteous are able to see visions of God after death and that the wicked see visions of hell. Except for these possible visions of heaven or hell, Muslims believe the soul remains in a kind of "soul sleep" until Judgment Day. When the Day of Judgment arrives, everyone is judged according to their deeds in life. Many Muslims believe that non-Muslims can attain heaven only after a period of purification in the fires of purgatory.

In the eighth century, a mystical sect of Islam began which merged the mystical traditions of the Greeks, Buddhists and Hindus with traditional Islamic faith. Concepts found in Sufism can be found in a great many near-death experiences which have been reported. The Sufi masters teach that, after death, a person judges himself thereby bringing about their own heaven or hell. Sufism is known as "the Way of the Heart" and the "Way of the Pure." It is a means by which one can move from the lower level of self to ascend to the Divine Light that penetrates the entire universe. This light concept is common to many other religions as well as the near-death experience. According to Sufi tradition, there are many ways to ascend, but the essence of the path to God is to find yourself. As the Sufi saying states, "Know yourself, know your Lord."

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