Religion has been part of the human subcontinent for about 50,000 years now. Sorry to burst your bubble, but religion is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. The first religion to have ever existed is a tie between Hinduism and Animism. And that’s not even the interesting part here!
What’s interesting is how similar the Hindu and Animist beliefs are.
Today, there are over 4200 religions on planet earth. Human religions, to be politically correct. Each built upon its own values and beliefs, continuing with its distinct rituals and practices across all aspects of the modern human. From naming a child to marriage to wedding rituals, and even to burial/cremation, religion plays a massive part in all of it.
Here are some of the famous religions of the planet. Top ten! The eleventh one is bound to come in as a hot and sizzling surprise.
🛐 Place of Worship
First up is this generic representation of religion; a religious place. One that could have different backstories, and potentially house any religion.
It can either be a place that is said to have sheltered a deity, or a prominent, physical place in their journey. It could also be a bricked confinement where people identifying with their religion(s) congregate.
Since 🛐 is a general reference to religion at large, it’s at equal disposal of all religions, if at all you were to describe “equality of religion” on virtual platforms.
Satanists, you’re invited to the party too. Screw the haters.
Though ✝️ is called the ‘Latin cross’, it is observed and revered as the crucifix. It embodies the sacrifice of the Christian deity, Jesus Christ. Hence, ✝️ speaks louder and clearer as a symbol of Christianity, than that of just a Latin cross. My savior died on that, for my sake!
A Russian variant of the same cross and the branch of Christianity it follows is the ☦️ Orthodox Cross. However, ☦️ came into the scene only during the 1500s, while ✝️ has been around much longer.
Each religion associates itself with a universal symbol that’s also used to recognize and refer to these religions in a more general sense. The ideology behind each religious symbol varies.
Here, ☪️ suggests the cyclical observation of Muslim festivities, events, and important days. All these specificities are based on the Islamic calendar that’s dependent on the moon and her phases.
Hinduism is a religion of one faith, but 330 million holy figures. An intriguing bit about this faith is that there’s no grounded evidence regarding its origin. There are stories, myths, legends, etc., but no clear history.
🕉️ is a Sanskrit letter that’s strongly associated with Hinduism. Believers hold this symbol as not just divine but also powerful and deeply meaningful. The om or aum, in itself, is believed to the sacred sound of oneness. A vibration rippling one with the universe.
🔯 Dotted Six-Pointed Star
Albeit this symbol is among the ‘religion symbols’, 🔯 does not have a religious line. In other words, this emoji does not symbolically replace the reference to any particular religion, unlike the other symbols on this list.
But, this emoji does associate with two things; a religion and a country. Uh, what now? Was it not a religious symbol?
Even though 🔯 is not a mainstream religious symbol, it does have a reference in Hinduism. The reason why it’s not ‘mainstream’ is that very few associate this symbol with Hinduism. Heck, many don’t even know it exists.
🔯 also represents the Indian cultural art form of Rangoli. Thus being a symbol of Indian tradition too.
Buddhism is the fourth religion on this list as it’s the fourth biggest human faith.
However, it’s Buddhism’s place on this list is debatable since there’s no involvement of a god in this path. It’s more an inner spiritual journey. It talks of one goal, the only goal; enlightenment. The very basis of Buddhism explains why this religion is an effective magnet for many atheists.
Along with karma, Buddhism upholds dharma to be the pinnacle of all values. The wheel of Dharma, or ☸️ symbolizes the teachings of Buddha that set the foundational principles for the religion. It reminds followers of not just the destination but the journey too.
Although people sport the turban as a fashion statement, it’s a universal dress code or rather a headgear in Sikhism. Thus, making 👳♀️ Woman Wearing a Turban and 👳♂️ Man Wearing a Turban valid symbols of Sikhism in this context, especially in the absence of a “Sikh emoji”. 🧕 headscarves also are an alternative.
Sure, many Sikhs don’t wear the turban, and many Christians don’t wear the rosary either. They’re nothing but universal symbols for their respective faiths.
Shintoism is a Japan-based religion. Like Hinduism, Shintoism too holds no clear record of its genesis. The religion has no religious text/book/scripture either.
Shintoism is based on animistic principles. The belief that god or ‘kami’, in this case (the universal energy) exists in every bit of the planet is the basis of this religion. In fact, there are instances where Shintoists have even worshipped mountains.
Beauty and divinity in everything.
☯️ Taoism/Traditional Chinese Religions/Confucianism
Most religious symbols on this list are products of significant events that happened within the premises of those religions.
Taoism and Confucianism stand out that way.
☯️ is the sacred symbol of the religions mentioned in this section. The reason behind this symbolic specificity (☯️) lies in the belief system of these paths.
Each of these religions believes in an omnipresent duality, and the yin yang ☯️, describes that belief perfectly. It explains co-existence, interdependence in every form and phase of life. Including other philosophies. Like darkness and light or good and bad.
Before representing Israel, a dominant Jewish country, ✡️ symbolizes the religion itself, Judaism. There’s another emoji that directly refers to this religion; the 🕎 Menorah. However, this religious motif only signifies festivities within Judaism rather than the religion itself.
Many Abrahamic beliefs in Judaism run parallelly with that of Christianity and Islam. In fact, the mentioned faiths and a couple of others outside the emoji list fall under the Abrahamic umbrella of religions.
⚛️ Atom Symbol
There are two broad and distinct analogies to this symbol. One, it could suggest science, but that’s just hilarious. That would just make science a religion. lol.
Two, and on a reasonable note, ⚛️ could symbolize atheism. Not stating that atheists are staunch believers in science or otherwise. But, given the existing symbol of American atheism, ⚛️ seems like a palpable suggestion to represent atheism on the whole.
The whole world’s whitewashed after all, ain’t it?
☮️ Peace Symbol
If all of humanity were to follow a single religion, we’d totally recommend this. Peace. That’s all that we need and ironically, that’s all that we lack.
Having religions and associating with them is not the problem. Killing someone else’s freedom to freely associate with the religion of their choice, is.
We all love the religious path we choose for ourselves. It resounds with us like nothing else. Now, if we were forced to believe all that to be a lie and shoved to follow a different path that hardly resonates with us, then we’d be furious AF. The same goes for everybody.
Religion is a wonderful creation of humankind. It’s the classified array of differences of something that’s always existed. In other words, religion is just a harsh front given to spirituality. Which is why they’re often confused to be the same, when in fact, they’re not. They never have been.
While religion is blissful for just the people following it, spirituality is blissful for the follower and everything around her and him. Spirituality is not an exclusive experience like religion, it’s a large, massive, living and breathing entity of inclusiveness. That’s the difference and the only difference.
Anyhoo, if you want to represent religion virtually, we hope these emojis help you. But if you want to represent spirituality, then words would do.