No matter how large or widespread a religion might be, there are bound to be a ton of facts surrounding these belief systems that are surprising. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, it can be interesting to learn more about the histories and rules of these religions. Dive into these details to discover a few religious facts that might be new to you.

Modern Wicca Is a Relatively New Concept

According to recent statistics, more than 800,000 Americans identify as Wiccan. Though this religious movement utilizes traditions that stretch back thousands of years, the modern concept was actually birthed a few decades back. The British anthropologist and archaeologist Gerald Gardner founded this pagan-based belief system in 1954 as a way of tapping into esoteric and occultist philosophies. The religion gained popularity in the United States during the counterculture movement of the 1960s and has continued to grow in the years since.

Catholics Acknowledge Countless Patrons Saints

Though a monotheistic religion, Catholicism actually pays homage to a variety of important individuals who have exemplified the teachings of Jesus. Many Catholics will pray to specific patron saints when they are in need of help or guidance. A great example of this is Saint Anthony. When a person loses something of importance or value, a prayer to Saint Anthony is said to provide assistance in finding the missing item.

Not all Patron Saints are as practical as Saint Anthony, however. Some of the stranger saints include Saint Barbara, the patron saint of fireworks, and Saint Drogo, who represents the unattractive people of the world.

Mormons Avoid Coffee at All Temperatures

As a whole, those who identify as Mormons do not usually consume drinks like coffee or tea. While outsiders often take this to mean that Mormons cannot drink caffeine, this is not exactly the case. While some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints avoid caffeine altogether, many simply refrain from drinking hot beverages that contain caffeine like tea and coffee. In order to get a fix of caffeine, people who follow this religion will often indulge in cold refreshments like soda.

Interestingly, those who identify as Mormons will usually not drink iced coffee. This is viewed as a health-based decision, as there are a few studies that suggest coffee can lead to sickness and other complications when consumed in large quantities.

Certain Medical Treatments Are Forbidden in Some Religions

Most people are willing to go to any measures necessary when it comes to taking care of their health. Interestingly, there are several religions that restrict followers from taking part in specific medical practices. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a popular example of this, as their faith forbids them from the common medical practice of blood transfusions. Followers of this religion believe that receiving the blood of another will deny them eternal salvation. Another example can be found in Christian Scientists, who often will not accept any modern medical treatments.

Hanukkah Celebrations Involve More Than Eight Candles

Whether connected to Judaism or not, many people around the world know that lighting candles on a menorah is an integral aspect of celebrating Hanukkah. While this practice takes place over the course of eight nights, with a candle being added to the menorah each night, many people do not realize that more than eight candles are involved in the process. New candles are typically used each night along with a “shamash,” the candle used to light the others. In total, an average group is likely to use about 44 candles throughout their annual Hanukkah celebrations.

A World of Fascinating Religions

Currently, there are more than 4000 religions recognized around the world. While you might not have time to learn the details of every single belief system, gaining insight into the practices and rituals of popular religions can help you become a more knowledgeable and well-rounded person.

Category: Religion

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