A lot of religions have risen and fallen in the world till now. Many of them are widely accepted, while some continue to stir up controversies due to their strange and unusual beliefs. Read through this SpiritualRay article to know about some of the strangest religions around the world.
Did you know…
… that Mami Wata is an African religion which believes that the water spirit of the same name will take a human form and abduct people from bars or markets, and release them only if they vow to be sexually loyal to the spirit.
Religion has a long history in the world. In fact, right from prehistoric times, we have evidences of some or the other form of religion followed by humans. Religion is essentially a set of beliefs that forms the very basis of one’s life. For believers, it is a singular force that shapes their lives and also sometimes, tends to change the entire course of their lives. There are hundreds and thousands of religions practiced around the world, and most of them believe in divine intervention in the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the universe.
Numerous religions have risen and fallen since the ancient past, and many of them have managed to survive the ravages of time and grown tremendously. Despite the fact the each religion has its own unique set of moral codes and beliefs, it is interesting to note that all world religions unanimously preach universal peace and goodwill.
Apart from all the mainstream religions, which we all know or have at least heard about, there are a number of religious traditions/movements whose beliefs and practices are a little strange and bizarre. Let’s take a look at some of the strange religions practiced around the world.
The world is full of unusual things, and religion, as one of its important aspects, cannot be far behind. There are numerous unusual and weird things which are established by the tenets of various religions. Many times, some things seem really questionable, but just because they are established by a religion, people tend to take them at face value. This is true, even in case of mainstream religions, leave aside the strange and unusual religious traditions, which are followed by some people. Nevertheless, here are some of the weirdest religions in the world, which will surely make you sit back and give a serious thought to the limitless imaginative capacity of humans.
❉ Established by a Frenchman Claude Vorilhon in 1974, Raëlism is the second-largest UFO religion in the world, after Scientology.
❉ A UFO religion is essentially a faith, wherein the main belief pertains to the existence of extraterrestrial life and their interactions with humans.
❉ Claude Vorilhon claims to have been contacted by aliens, who took him to the planet called Elohim, where he not only negotiated human-alien relations, but also met Jesus and the Buddha, along with some other religious prophets and messengers.
❉ The aliens named him ‘Rael’, hence the name Raëlism. There are two principal beliefs that the Raelians have:
- that about some 25,000 years ago, the aliens created humans from their DNA in one of their labs and
- in the year 2025, the aliens will visit the city of Jerusalem
❉ As of today, Raëlism claims to have around 30,000 adherents.
❉ The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation situated in the South Pacific Ocean. Tanna, one of the islands on this archipelago, has a small village named Yaohnanen, the people of which believe that the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, is a divine being.
❉ One of their ancient lores says that a pale-skinned son of the mountain spirit would cross the seas and travel to a distant land, where he will marry a very powerful and wealthy lady.
❉ The villagers of Yaohnanen believe that this, so-called pale-skinned son of the mountain spirit, is none other than Prince Philip, who would soon bring prosperity to their nation.
❉ Notably enough, the Prince Philip Movement is one of the cargo cults, whose main aim is to acquire material wealth from developed nations.
❉ Today, the Prince Philip Movement has about 5,000 followers in the Republic of Vanuatu.
❉ This religious movement is largely inspired by the Star Wars monastic cult, the Jedi who, with the aid of their mystical power, that they call the Force, and their weapon the light saber, strive to protect the universe from wars and conflicts.
❉ The Jedis wear hooded outfits and flaunt fake, light sabers.
❉ They call themselves monks and/or knights, who can control and use the force for the well-being of humanity.
❉ Jediism incorporates an admixture of Buddhist and Tao beliefs, alongside some medieval war practices.
❉ The Jedi Code proposes that
‘There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force’
❉ In 2012, Jediism was the most selected alternative religion in England and Wales with as many as 176,632 adherents.
❉ This, yet another UFO religion founded in 1954, by George King, aims to combine alien wisdom with yoga, and generate a powerful energy in order to help humanity.
❉ Their motive is to prevent our planet from destruction, by building good relations with the aliens.
❉ They take some of their principles from Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, and believe that Jesus, the Buddha, and Krishna were, in fact, aliens who thrived for the betterment of humankind.
❉ One of the most famous claims ever made by the Aetherius Society was that they were informed by the aliens about the Chernobyl disaster four hours in advance.
❉ The religion claims to have some 650 followers.
❉ Founded as the Church of the Creator by an American religious leader Ben Klassen, in Florida in 1973, Creativity is a non-theistic and ethnocentric religious movement.
❉ The beliefs and teachings of this religion have been termed as racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian.
❉ They believe that the white race represents all the goodness in the world, and that the white people should only work for the betterment and advancement of the white race. In other words, they believe in total white supremacy.
❉ Moreover, they also preach that no white man should work for the cause of the blacks, as the blacks are a blot on the white race.
❉ The movement also denies the existence of Jesus, and thus do not believe in any of the biblical stories.
❉ It is today, classified more as a hate group, rather than a religious movement.
❉ Pana Wave is a Japanese religion, founded by a lady called Yuko Chino, in 1977, in Tokyo.
❉ The religion extracts its basic elements from Christianity, Buddhism, and several other New-Age doctrines.
❉ A major aim of the religion is to spread awareness among the people regarding the hazards posed by electromagnetic waves which, according to their founder, are responsible for changing climatic conditions and the overall deterioration of the environment. But, this is not why the religion is one of the strangest ones.
❉ They believe that the distribution of so many devices releasing electromagnetic waves among the people, and more specifically among their followers is, in fact, an evil conspiracy of the communists to kill their leader.
❉ So, the adherents of the religion dress up in white attire, cover their mouths and noses with white masks and drive white vehicles, in order to protect themselves from electromagnetic waves.
❉ More recently, they made news with their claims about an approaching doomsday, which obviously never came true.
❉ The religion is believed to have some 1,200 adherents in Japan.
❉ This primarily African-American religious movement was founded in 1979, in Miami, by a man called Hulon Mitchell Jr., who became popular by the name Yahweh ben Yahweh.
❉ The followers of this religious group believe that the real Israelites are not the people who reside there currently, but blacks. So, they must return to their supposed homeland.
❉ The followers believe that Yahweh ben Yahweh is the Son of God.
❉ Like the Creativity Movement, this is also a racist religion in that they believe that blacks are the chosen people of God, whereas the whites are the real devils.
❉ After the death of their founder, the number of adherents decreased to a large extent, however, there are still reportedly a large number of followers of this faith.
❉ The Church of All Worlds (CAW) was founded by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and his wife Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart in 1962.
❉ The current headquarters of the church are in Cotati, California.
❉ Largely inspired by Robert A. Heinlein’s sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land, this neopagan religion aims to awaken the powers of Gaia, Mother Earth and to unite her with all her children, by the medium of a small tribal community, which is dedicated to the faith.
❉ Their mythology is based primarily on ancient Greek myths, but also encompasses the realm of fairies, angels, and other supernatural beings.
❉ One of the most recent developments with respect to the church is the founding of The Grey School of Wizardry, which is inspired by the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that appears in the Harry Potter series.
❉ On 6th October 1986, this new religious and spiritual movement was founded in Japan, by a man called Ryuho Okawa.
❉ The main aim of this newly found religion was to spread happiness among all human beings.
❉ Okawa believes that he is the reincarnation of Lord El Cantare, the supreme God and the savior, who exercises highest authority and total control over the world.
❉ The religion believes that angel Gabriel will visit Bangkok in the next 50 years.
❉ They also believe that aliens will land on earth in the next 300 to 400 years.
❉ Currently, Okawa has his own political party in Japan, which claims that North Korea wants to attack and control Japan.
❉ The Church of Euthanasia is a politico-religious movement founded in Boston, Massachusetts by a software developer named Chris Korda.
❉ The church’s website claims that they are “a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth.”
❉ The four principal pillars of the church are suicide, abortion, cannibalism of the already dead, and sodomy.
❉ It stresses on saving the planet by killing oneself.
❉ They made news after the 9/11 attacks with their online footage of a hardcore pornographic video combined with scenes of the World Trade Center collapse.
❉ More recently, in 2003, following a suicide of a 52-year-old woman by reading instructions on “how to kill yourself” on their website, the church has been facing legal action.
Studies tell us that there are about 4,200 different religions, followed by people throughout the world currently. Apart from the ones listed above, there are several other weird religious traditions followed across the globe. The beliefs and practices of some of them are so strange and unusual that most of us might not even contemplate that people can actually believe and adhere by such bizarre things. The world is a strange place, and we never know what new idea we may stumble upon the moment we take our next step.