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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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Humanity alone is "sacred".  Human life is the only reality that has a status above that of "created things." - Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, p. 56.

Sacred Writings and Religious Texts
08/19/2019

Undergirding all identifiable religions is some corpus of written material that is generally considered to be somewhere between quasi-sacred and the word of God. Ranking the top religions of the world by the number of their adherents, and including their sacred writings we have:

  1. Christianity, with the Bible as primary, and various secondary texts
  2. Islam, with the Koran as primary and various secondary texts
  3. Hinduism, with the Vedas, Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads generally being primary, with various secondary texts
  4. Buddhism, with the vinaya rules, sutra sermons and abhidhamma interpretations generally being primary, with various secondary texts

These four major religions add up to about 5.4 billion followers out of a total world population of about 7.4 billion. Various forms of agnosticism and atheism account for another 1.2 billion. China has about another 400 million with  some mixture of traditional Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Africa has about 100 million people with religions based on oral traditions.

Other religions with at least a million followers include:

  1. Sikhism
  2. Spiritism
  3. Judaism
  4. Baha'i
  5. Jainism
  6. Shinto
  7. Cao Dai
  8. Zoroastrianism
  9. Tenriko
  10. Neo-Paganism

The single significant factor that sets the Bible aside as different from all these others writings is that the New Testament includes Gospels with extensive accounts and quotations of Jesus, who claimed to be the original creator of the universe.

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