The Middle East can be referred to as a diverse region of the world. It consists of some of the longest as well as most famous cultural and chronological dealings all through human history. Most of these developments have been crucial to the humankind development. Today this development has resulted in a huge and diverse human civilization. A clear understanding of the religion followed by the population in the Middle East and the cultural differences that exist will be a great help in knowing the place and its people well.
When obtaining knowledge about religion followed in the Middle East and the ethnic differences that exist, it is crucial to know about common terms “Sunni” and “Shi’a”. Muslims belonging to the “Sunni” and “Shi’a” group are not interchangeable. The concept is very similar to the vast difference between the terms “Arab” and “Muslim”. Arabs are actually a part of an ethnic group. They are not a part of a specific religion.
This can be justified by the fact that the Arabs have known their existence in this world before Islam was founded. In fact, Arab Christians and Arab Jews have also been a part if this world for a long time. The staunch believers of Sunni and Shi’a adhere to the principles of Islam. However follow the religion and its principles in a different way from each other. These differences have lead to extreme violence between the two groups.
It is imperative to understand that all Arabs do not follow Islam. The Middle East is a culturally diverse region of this world, both in terms of history and religions. Arab Christians are spread throughout the area including in northern Africa, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine Syria, and Jordan. Christianity is not the chief religion in these areas. However, followers of Islam are referred to as Muslims. Judaism is a third main religion followed in the area. There are also various other religions that make up for the rest of the belief structures.
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