Many religious symbols mean different things to different faiths. However, some have a more rich history than others. I will be looking at 3 religious symbols, the Cross (Christianity), The Cresent Moon (Islam) and the Yin & Yang (Chinese).
The Cross is one of the most well-known symbols of religion due to the fact that Christianity has over 2.4 billion followers or 33% of the global population,. This means that a lot of people see the cross where ever they go. Most Citys around the world will have a cross scattered around it. Be that in a church or houses of followers. During the first two centuries of Christianity, the cross was rare in Christian iconography, as it depicts a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution and Christians were reluctant to use it. In its place, they used The Staurogram. The staurogram was first used to abbreviate stauros, the Greek word for cross in very early New Testament manuscripts such as P66, P45 and P75, almost like a nomen sacrum (Sacred Name), and may visually have represented Jesus on the cross. It was known also as the Tau-Rho, and the Monogrammatic cross. The Cross which Christianity uses today wasn’t actually the symbol until the 4th century of the existence of the religion. Today Many see the cross as a symbol of atonement and remind Christians of God’s love in sacrificing his own son for humanity. It represents Jesus’ victory over sin and death since it is believed that through his death and resurrection he conquered death itself.
The Star of David is not as big as it other counterparts in the Abrahamic religions. These being Islam and Christianity. The faith had has only a fraction of the followers with 15 Million+ in 2016. It is a generally recognized symbol of modern Jewish identity and Judaism. Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles. The Star of David was never a uniquely Jewish symbol, although it had been used in that way as a printer’s colophon since the sixteenth century. A Star of David, often yellow, was used by the Nazis during the Holocaust to identify Jews. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, there initially were different local decrees forcing Jews to wear distinct signs (e.g. in the General Government, a white armband with a blue Star of David; in the Warthegau, a yellow badge, in the form of a Star of David, on the left breast and on the back).
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one incomparable God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world’s second-largest religion and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique, and has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example of Muhammad (pbuh).
The star and crescent symbol was the emblem of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, and gradually became associated with Islam in late 19th-century Orientalism.
Many people see Pagan and think of Devil worshippers how by definition a Pagan is a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions. Meaning that many unknown religions that can have perfectly good beliefs.
The Pentagram/ Pentacle
Many people think about the Pentagram/Pentacle and think about devil worshippers, however, this isn’t strictly true. There are two types of the pentagram and it is based on the placement of the actual star. The first pentagram was actually called a Pentacle and it used as a symbol for Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism. It’s used for protection as in the famous Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram as well as in other rituals. It is said that the five points of the pentagram/Pentacle represent the five elements: Fire at the lower right, Earth at the lower left, Water at the upper right, Air at the upper left, and Spirit at the top. However, if the pentagram is turned upside down then it is the sign of some satanic religions.
This is the symbol of two snakes wrapping around a knife or blade and is seen on Baphomet which many people believe is what Satan looks like in human form or is a deity/Idol of Satanists.
Two fingers on the right-hand point up and two on the left-hand point down, meaning “as above, so below”. These words and the accompanying gesture are familiar to occultists. They are drawn from the ancient works of Hermes Trismegistus, whose writings became popular during the Renaissance and Reformation. The phrase is also used in relation to science, the universe and God, but Levi wrote that, by making the gesture, his Baphomet “expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice”.