Religion can be understood largely as an attempt of a group of individuals to understand Existential questions based on a set of cultural practices specific to that group.
They serve as spiritual hubs and have continued to influence life, politics and society in general.Also served as a back bone for civilizations since time immemorial.
Some of the religions around the world are weird in their beliefs and practices,yet have succeeded in fulfilling what is expected of a religion- uniting people because of the belief that they may share.
The Nuwaubians originated as a Black Muslim group in New York in the 1970s, and have gone through many changes since. Eventually, the group established headquarters in Putnam County, Georgia in 1993, which they have since abandoned. Their founder is now in prison after having been convicted on money laundering and child molestation charges. But Nuwaubianism endures.
White people are said in one Nuwaubian myth to have been originally created as a race of killers to serve blacks as a slave army, but this plan went awry. Followers believe women existed for many generations before they invented men through genetic manipulation.
2. Prince Phillip Movement (PPM)
The prince-regent and spouse of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can feel like a king among these people of the Yaohnanen region of the Tanna state of Vanuatu.
According to local legends, the son of an earth spirit travelled far away across the sea to marry a powerful woman, and this man would one day return to the island. After observing how local officials responded and reacted to a visit by Queen Elizabeth, the followers of the movement supposed that this woman’s husband must be the spirit’s son from these legends. PPM followers celebrate the Prince’s birthday on 10 June each year as a full-blown religious festival.
Claude Vorilhons, a French race-car driver, started Raelism and derived it from the honorific name given to Vorilhons, by aliens who abducted him before revealing the true origins of mankind. Claude (or Rael, as he was dubbed) was taken to a distant planet called Elohim by the aforementioned aliens, where he was honoured enough to meet great philosophers and religious thinkers throughout history, including Jesus, Confucius, Buddha and Joseph Smith (the founder of Mormonism). In addition to revealing that life on earth began when humans were created from alien DNA 25,000 years ago, the aliens also informed Rael that the Earth should expect their arrival in Jerusalem in the year 2025.
The Aghori or Aghouri is a Hindu cult that is considered to have split off from the Kapalika order in the 14th Century AD. Many Hindus condemn the Aghoris due to their cannibalistic rituals. Followers of this cult carry a kapala, which is a cup made from a skull! These bizarre people will eat anything from rotten food to animal faeces. In order to achieve the highest citadel of enlightenment, the Aghori will perform horrendously crude rituals. The finality of their rituals is attained from eating the decaying flesh of a human.
The roots of the Aghori date back to ancient times. An Aghori ascetic who went by the name of Kinaram is responsible for the present-day rituals and beliefs of the cult. They believe he is a re-incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Based in Japan, this exceedingly odd group is scared witless by the presence of electromagnetic waves in the modern world, blaming them for climate change, environmental destruction and other worldly ills. This took place in 1994, and there have been multiple publicity-attracting acts since, such as the 2003 attempted abduction of an Arctic seal which had appeared in a Tokyo river. The group reasoned that electromagnetic waves were the cause of this seal’s strange appearance, and that returning it to the Arctic would avert the coming doomsday.
6. Universe People
Like Raelism, this is another alien-inspired religion. This Czech group bases its beliefs on extraterrestrial communications with founder Ivo Benda from 1997 onward. According to Benda, aliens have a fleet of ships orbiting the Earth at any given time, led by a being named Ashtar who watches the people of the Earth, ready to transport good and loyal followers to another dimension. Space tourism enthusiasts might be a huge chunk of their followers.
7. The Church Of All Worlds
The largest neo-pagan religion in the world, the Church of All Worlds was set up in 1962 by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (nice name!) and his wife, Morning Glory (good lord!). Taking its name from Robert Heinlein’s Strange in a Strange Land, followers worship the Earth itself in the form of Gaea, as well as assorted gods from a range of other religious pantheons (mostly Ancient Greece). Oberon as head of the Church, goes by the title of ‘Primate’, while followers are known as ‘Waterkin’.
Star Wars created several fans, but a religion is just taking it all a bit too far. Most people are aware of the basic tenets of the Jedi from their own viewings of the movies – light side/dark side, intangible force that binds the universe together etc – but there are some who actually follow these beliefs in real life. Jediism has no central organisation, although the Texas-based ‘Temple of the Jedi Order’ has issued a code for believers called ‘The 16 Teachings Of The Jedi’. It’s probably the weirdest, considering that it binds fictional values from a movie series as well as beliefs from Asian religions like Buddhism and Taoism.
9. Creativity Movement
The Creativity Movement is a white separatist organization that advocates ‘Creativity’. The use of the term creator does not refer to a deity, but rather to the followers themselves. The movement is atheistic hence there is no mention of deities and churches. It was founded by Ben Klassen in early 1973. After Klassen’s death, ‘Creativity’ almost died out as a religion until the New Church of the Creator was established three years later by Matthew F. Hale as its Pontifex Maximus (high priest), until his incarceration in January 2003 for plotting with the movement’s head of security, Anthony Evola (an FBI informant), to murder a federal judge.
10. The Bullet Baba’s Motorbike
Not really a religion, but this is the only spiritual movement in the world where idolatry extends to a vehicle. Villagers of Chotila in Rajasthan have erected a shrine for the motorcycle and its dead owner Om Banna, on National Highway-65.
This unusual shrine has a Royal Enfield 350 cc motorcycle as its deity along with the photo of Om Banna, popular as Bullet Baba, who died in a road accident at this very spot. But here’s the supernatural bit – the day after the motorbike was taken under police custody, the vehicle reappeared at the crash site. According to locals, it has happened several times and now several people visit the concrete pedestal where it now stands covered in garlands and holy threads. It is worshiped along with the picture of the former owner, as well as tree that was near the scene of the accident.
11. Aetherius Society
This is basically a combination of a bit of Christian dogma with Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish beliefs, mixing them all together with a healthy dose of ufology (study of UFOs and extraterrestrial life). The 650 or so members of the Aetherius Society strive to prevent the total annihilation of the Earth. They claim multiple disasters have already been prevented through the use of prayer and ‘Spiritual Energy Batteries’, which hold within them healing energy generated by psychic abilities. They are still waiting for the ‘Next Master’, who’s apparently some kind of Mega Jesus, descending from the heavens in a flying saucer and possessing great magical powers.
12. Happy Science
Japanese businessman Ryuho Okawa founded the religion after quitting a career in finance in New York. On a mission to bring peace and happiness to the world, he does this in part by supposedly channeling the spirits and teachings of various religious figures and prophets. According to him, Archangel Gabriel will touch down on Earth in the future and in the city of Bangkok, of all places.
13. Church Of Euthanasia
More a protest movement than a true religion, this particular church still uses sermons as one way to spread its message, which is that overpopulation necessitates that people take measures to actively reduce the number of humans in future.
‘While the group does not condone murder, they do promote their only commandment – “Thou shalt not procreate” – encouraging believers and others to engage in suicide, abortion and non-procreative sexual acts. “Save the Planet, Kill Yourself” is one of their most famous and controversial slogans.