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The Afterlife According to 8 Different Religions

 Whether or not you believe in life after death, there certainly are a lot of people who do. Most of our world's religions have vastly different ways of looking at the afterlife, which in turn ends up shaping entire nations and cultures in very different ways. Below, you'll find 8 of the world's lesser-known religions, and exactly how each of them perceives life after death.
1. Jainism
There are around 4 million followers of Jainism in the world today. They believe in the existence of multiple gods and in continual reincarnation until they achieve a state of liberation. Liberation can be achieved through causing no harm on Earth and by striving to avoid bad karma. Those who do not achieve liberation are required to continue through cycles of rebirth, and some of them may even need to traverse eight different hells before being reborn. Once liberated though, the soul will finally rest beside the gods.
2. Shinto
According to ancient Japanese legends, the dead enter a dark subterranean place called Yomi, where a river separates the living from the dead. Regardless of their behavior in life, all of the dead end up inhabiting this shadowy realm, however less virtuous people may turn into spirits called Kami after they die. That's why followers of Shinto adhere to a number of purification rituals over the course of their lives.


3. Han Folk Religion
Followers of the Han Folk Religion believe in a tranquil existence after death, which can be achieved through participating in particular rituals, and by showing a great deal of respect to their ancestors. Upon death, if one is deemed to have lived a life that was virtuous enough, then the god Ch’eng Huang will allow them to dwell with the immortals in paradise. However, if their life was deemed to have been too decadent, then they would be sent to serve a stretch in hell, followed immediately by a rebirth.
4. Zoroastrianism
People who follow Zoroastrianism believe in a benevolent god called Ahura Mazda and an evil deity known as Angra Mainyu. They believe that after death, a person may either enter heaven or hell, depending on how well they led their life. To get to their destined afterlife, they must first cross the Chinvat Bridge. For virtuous people, this bridge presents only a minor challenge. However, when a sinner tries to cross, the bridge will sway perilously, will end up becoming as narrow as a razor, and a terrifying woman will mercilessly torment them as they try to get to the other side. Falling off the Chinvat Bridge will result in a stay in purgatory, before returning back to the bridge for another attempt.
5. Rastafarianism
Rastafarianism started out in Jamaica during the 1930s, but its followers have spread out all over the world since then. Rastafarians believe that the once Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, was their god incarnate, and still continue to believe so even after his death in 1975. Believers of Rastafarianism are said to experience immortality through reincarnation. They also believe that heaven lies within the Garden of Eden, which according to them is located in Africa.
6. The Aztec Religion
The Aztec people believed in quite a number of extraordinary deities, and had many different festivals, which were dictated by the Aztec calendar. They also believed that not everyone who died would end up in the same place. Most people ended up in a place called Mictlan, where the dead had to face many challenges over a period of about 4 years before they could finally rest. On the other hand, people who were killed by drowning or lightning ended up in Tlalocan, which was a paradise that was ruled over by Tlaloc, the rain deity. What's more, fallen warriors or women who died during childbirth were believed to transform into hummingbirds, instead.
7. Juche
The newest religion on this list, Juche is a religion that's reserved exclusively for citizens of North Korea. Juche adherents worship North Korea’s first dictator, Kim Il-sung, his son, Kim Jong-il, and his wife, Kim Jong-soko. This religion was fashioned in a very similar mode to Christianity, with these 3 people representing a holy trinity, much like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that Christians believe in. Followers of Juche believe that they will spend eternal life with their great leader after death.
8. Epicureanism
Epicureanism is a religion that predates Christianity by approximately 300 years and still continues to be followed today. Followers of Epicureanism believe in the existence of a number of gods, but claim that all of these gods disregard humanity entirely. Their defining principle is that everything, including the gods and the soul, is made up of atoms, and this is why they don't believe in any afterlife whatsoever.

Source: therichest
Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Cover Image: pinimg
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