RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS AND PRACTICES
Although much of the material in this chapter is
not specifically required by Occupational Stand-
ards for the RP, it is provided to the student for
background knowledge in order to assist the RP
in performing the requirements of the rating.
Religion has been defined as the attitude of individuals to the power(s)
which they conceive as having ultimate control over their destinies and inter-
ests. Most religions are organized systems of belief based on traditions,
teachings, and codes of conduct. Some religions emphasize how persons
should act toward God; others emphasize relationships between persons.
Religious traditions found throughout the world celebrate, through religious
ritual and ceremony, the events which are considered to be among the most
important in the human life cycle: birth, the attainment of adulthood,
marriage, and death. These religious traditions, beliefs, and institutions also
serve as a source of strength and psychological and spiritual support to
individuals during periods of crisis.
Religions develop within particular historical and cultural traditions;
and, as a part of a specific cultural and historical stream, they change as
cultures change. Religion also influences the culture and setting in which it
developsthus there is a give-and-take relationship between religion and its
Religion has been one of the most powerful forces in history. Millions of
people have died for their religious beliefs and many nations have gone to
war to spread or defend the faiths of their people. Throughout recorded
history, there has never been a people that did not have some form of
Throughout history, religion has been closely related to government, The
Christian church dominated all of Europe during the middle ages and often
controlled state policies. Between the 700s and the 1200s, Moslems con-
quered most of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain and spread their
religion, Islam, throughout these lands. The Thirty Years War began in 1618
as a civil war between Roman Catholics and Protestants in the German
states. The partition of India into the states of India and Pakistan in 1947
resulted from. religious differences between Hindus and Moslems.