Just the facts on religion.

Glossary of Religion

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abhaya mudra
Buddhist hand gesture representing fearlessness.
Advent
four Sundays before Christmas; Nov. 30 - Dec. 24
Allah
Strict monotheism. One God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian Bibles
begging bowl
Bowl used by Buddhist monks to collect alms from laypeople; also has symbolic significance.
Ganesha
("Lord of Hosts"). Also Ganesha, Vinayaka, Ekadanta, Lambodara, Siddhadata, Vighnaraja. God of wisdom and good fortune, represented with a pot belly and the head of an elephant. Ganesh has been one of the most popular Hindu gods since medieval times and is claimed by all sects as their own. As the remover of obstacles, he is invoked before religious ceremonies and worldly undertakings.
golden fishes
(Sanskrit suvarnamatsya). Buddhist symbol of good fortune, fertility and salvation.
Great Schism
The division between Eastern and Western Christendom, which occurred in 1054 AD.
Greatest Name
One of the main symbols of the Bahá'í Faith, a calligraphized Arabic rendering of Yá Bahá'ul 'Abhá ("O Glory of the Most Glorious").
Hanukkah
(Hebrew, "dedication"). Also spelled Chanukah. An eight-day holiday beginning on 25 Kislev (mid-December) that commemorates the revolt of the Maccabees in 164 BCE and the miraculous oil that burned for eight days.
kosher
Anglicized form of Hebrew kasher ("fit") indicating a food or object fit for ritual use.
lotus
The flower that is rooted in the mud but blooms pristinely above the water represents non-attachment to the world in Hinduism and Buddhism.
mezuzah
(Hebrew, "doorpost"). Small parchment of Torah verses placed on the doorpost of Jewish homes in obedience to Deut. 6:9.
mitzvot
(Hebrew "commandments"). Commandments; religious actions (singular mitzvah). Sometimes used more generally to refer to any good deed.
Om Mani Padme Hum
Tibetan Buddhist mantra praising the "Jewel in the Lotus."
Ramadan
The ninth month in the Islamic calendar, for the duration of which Muslims fast during the daylight hours to commemorate the giving of the Qur'an.
Sabbath
The Jewish day of rest from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset.
sadhu
A holy man who has renounced the material world to devote himself to spiritual practice. He wanders from place to place and owns nothing. A female sadhu is a sadhvi.
Tibetan Book of the Dead
A text that describes in detail the stages of death from the Tibetan point of view.
Veneration of Saints
no in Protestantism; yes in other branches
Vesak
The birthday of the Buddha and the most important festival in Buddhism, celebrated in May.

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