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Faith Diversity Essay

This paper will look and examine four diverse faiths: Christianity, Buddhism, Rastafarianism and Islam spiritual perspective on healing. In Christianity, prayer is a way that a person can stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. Health is viewed by having a strong spiritual relationship with the Lord and living one’s life by the word of God. Buddhist need a balance of health both mentally and physically in order to achieve optimal health. They way that they are able to restore health would be by practicing healthy dietary habits or meditation.

Rastafarianism view on health as a balance of the mind, the body and the soul achieved with a more holistic approach like prayer and herbal treatments. Lastly, Islam reaches ultimate purity by having a clean body and soul. They must cleanse often and pray often. Religions differ in many ways; they could have a different sacred books, have different deities, or have different views on how to live a full life, ultimately they want the same thing, to have their faiths respected and incorporated into the care they are receiving. Introduction

Throughout the world, there are thousands of distinctly different religious affiliations. In the United States alone, there are “approximately 313 religions and denominations” (All Religions and Denominations in the US, 2008). This paper will examine four diverse faiths Christianity, Buddhism, Rastafarianism and Islam. It will look at the philosophy of these four faiths when having care provided to them. It will specifically look at the spiritual perspective on healing. It will examine the critical components of healing for these faiths.

Along with looking at these diverse faiths, this paper will look at what is important for people who are receiving care from health care providers whose views differ from their own. Christianity The Christians were the first people to start “the world’s first voluntary charitable institutions” which were hospitals (Trangelder, 2007). The reason that they started these hospitals is because they wanted to help the poor and those that were sick and dying (Trangelder, 2007). Health care and Christian belief go hand in hand. One of the most crucial components in healing is prayer. The Christians hold prayer in very high regard.

They feel that prayer has the ability to make them better. In the book James 5:14-15(English Standard Version) it states, “Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up”(Biblegateway, 2001). Along with prayer, the bible mentions many ways that a person can stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. Ultimately, the way to stay healthy is by having a strong spiritual relationship with the Lord and living one’s life by the word of God.

Buddhism The Buddhist has a different holy book then the Christian faith. There sacred book is called Tripitaka. This holy book mentions that the only way to be truly healed is to be healthy in mind and body. Western medicine focuses on curing symptoms to treat medical problems, but the Buddhist see this only as a short term fix. In order for one to be healed one must also treat “the spiritual aspect of the disease and its mind-based causes and remedies must be the primary considerations”(Buddhism, Medicine, and Health, n. d. ).

Buddhist feel that possible reasons for illness or disease would be ” 1) an imbalance of the four elements (earth, water, fire, and wind), 2) irregular dietary habits, 3) incorrect meditation methods, 4) disturbances by spirits, 5) demon possession, and 6) the force of bad karma” (Buddhism, Medicine, and Health, n. d. ). They way that they are able to restore health would be by practicing healthy dietary habits, meditation, paying respect to the Buddha, repentance, reciting mantras, reciting the Buddha’s name and using the dharma as medicine” (Buddhism, Medicine, and Health, n. d. ).

By doing this they would be able to find a balance physical and mentally and find long-term health. Rastafarianism Like the Christians, the Rastafarians sacred text that they pray to is the Bible, but the difference is how it is interpreted. The Rastafarians also feel that the head or God incarnate is Haile Selassie. He was a former Emperor of Ethiopia (Griffith, 2009). In Rastafarianism health care “takes a holistic approach to healing; they believe that the concept of health extends to three spheres: the mind, the body and the soul (though sometimes the psychological and spiritual can sometimes be categorized

together)”(Rastafari and the Environment, 2012). They cure illnesses by use of home remedies or tonics rather than visiting a doctor. Rastafarians” disown western influences of ideology, diet, lifestyle and religion in favor of belief systems and practices of African origin, which emphasizes the use of natural ingredients and tools”(Rastafari and the Environment, 2012). Islam For the Islam, their sacred text is the Quran. In the Quran, unlike the Christians, Muhammad is the prophet sent to Earth to pass the word of the Lord, Allah.

The Muslims feel that good health is one of the ways to get to “heaven”. In the Quran, it has teachings that show people how to protect his or her health and live life in a state of purity (Muslim Health Network (n. d). The single most important thing for this faith is prayer. Muslims perform it five times a day. “The obligatory prayers provide a good means for the circulation of blood, breathing and general suppleness of joints” (Muslim Health Network (n. d). Along with prayer they must cleanse after prayer, have a healthy diet, fast and refrain from intoxicates.

Despite these religious differences in the United States, people’s only wish is to have their religious views respected and honored if possible. No matter if healthcare providers spiritual beliefs differ from those in their care, patients want their faith to be incorporated into the care that they are receiving. The Christian philosophy as written in the book of Luke 6:31 (English Standard Version) ” And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them”(Biblegateway, n. d. ).

This goes in line as all people would like to be treated, no matter how different spiritual views might be. In conclusion, the author learned that although many religions differ ultimately they want the same thing, to have their faith incorporated into the care they are receiving. Religions differ in many ways, they could have a different scared book, have different deities, or have different views on how to live a full life. Medication, chanting or prayer can help achieve inner peace to ultimately reach health inside and out.

? References Biblegateway (2001). James 5:14-15 ESV – Is anyone among you sick? Let him call – Bible Gateway. Retrieved from http://www. biblegateway. com/passage/? search=James+5%3A14-15&version=ESV Biblegateway (n. d. ). Luke 6:31 ESV – And as you wish that others would do to – Bible Gateway. Retrieved from http://www. biblegateway. com/passage/? search=Luke%206:31&version=ESV Buddhism, Medicine, and Health. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. blia. org/english/publications/booklet/pages/37. htm Griffith, J. K.

(2009). THE RELIGIOUS ASPECTS OF NURSING CARE (4th ed. ). Vancouver, B. C Muslim Health Network (n. d. ). Islam & Health. Retrieved from http://www. muslimhealthnetwork. org/islamandhealth. shtml Tangelder, J. D. (2007). A Christian Perspective on Healthcare. Retrieved from http://www. reformedreflections. ca/faith-and-life/chr-perspective-healthcare. html Rastafari and the Environment (2012). Natural Healing and Medicine. Retrieved from http://caribbeanreligionuvm. wordpress. com/category/natural-healing-and-medicine/


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