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Comparing Catholicism, Buddhism and Christianity

Demonstration of basic knowledge of world religious traditions by creating a conversation/story that illustrates mastery of concepts from different world religions:

- Demonstrate knowledge of the respective faith traditions (perceive similarities and differences in doctrine, ritual performance, and historical contexts among world religious traditions)
- Two (preferably three) different faith traditions should be used to reveal similarities and differences in matters of: style of worship, doctrine, general worldview, etc.

Solution Preview

Having lived in Catholic Brasil, Protestant America and Buddhist Thailand over the course of my life I will be able to provide significant insight into these three faiths.

What do you worship?
- American protestant - I worship the God of the Bible. He alone is worthy of worship. It is wrong to worship idols made by humans, nature including plants and animals and people either historical or contemporary.
- Brazilian Catholic - I worship the God of the Bible. Whether I worship Mary and the saints or not is a hotly contested issue. I do pray to Mary and I try to gain the favor of various saints by lighting candles in their honor, conducting pilgrimages and at times praying to them.
- Thai Buddhist - Buddhism is more of a philosophy of life as opposed to a religion. I don't believe that I worship anything. I seek the Buddha's guidance in my daily affairs. I bow and pray to statues of Buddha. I have statues of Buddha in my home. I also have statues to Hindu gods since Buddhism is an offshoot of early Hinduism and many Hindu gods have found a home in Buddhist minds.

How do you worship?
- American Protestant - I can worship God in private at any time that I want to. I can pray directly to God asking His guidance, asking for forgiveness of my sin and thanking Him for providing for my needs. Formal worship is held at church typically on Sunday morning. In formal worship we meet as a group of people. Churches in America can range from several hundred to tens of thousands of people. In a typical meeting we will have announcements, public prayer, public singing, a message by the pastor, we collect an offering for church expenses and for community outreach projects and we generally close with a prayer. The congregation is pretty involved in the religious service through public reading, singing and other participation.
- Brazilian Catholic - My formal worship ...

Solution Summary

This solution is a comparison between Catholicism, Buddhism and Christianity described from the 1st person perspective of a follower of that religion. Specific issues addressed include doctrine, rituals, practice and historical context and origin. Over 1,300 words of original text based on the author's personal experience of living in Brazil, America and Thailand or also from personal study and career as a professor of religion.