I was raised by my non-religious parents yet I have always felt the need for spirituality in my life and because I was raised an Atheist no religion was forced down my throat and I would have the unique opportunity to find my own path early in life. Finding that path was a huge struggle.. I started studying religions and eventualy learning about the various religions became more of a hobby, from the big, well known religions such as Christianity and Islam until smaller, less known religions such as Rastafari, Shinto and Zoroastrianism.
So here is the top 5 of odd religions, or rather "the top 5 of odd religions that I have encountered and studied" but that becomes such a mouthfull.
5- Gnostic Christianity
This is definately one of the more interesting religions I've ever looked into. Christianity is the biggest religion and as we know there are many different traditions within this path such as Catholic and Protestant. In the past there were also other traditions that went extinct and these traditions often believed in a whole different kind of Christianity. Things and ideas that would now be called herassy where pretty normal back then. Many Gnostic Christians believe that Jesus was a very important spiritual teacher but not "the son of God".. just as human as you and me. Unlike many Christians the Gnostics read more then just the Bible, other texts such as the Dead sea scrolls and Nag hammadi texts are very important to them and they date back during the time of Christ himself.
Yes I have explored Satanism.. Modern satanism to be more precise, since there are different kinds of paths that are called Satanism. Modern Satanism has nothing to do with worshipping some kind of devil and the devil is seen more as a symbol. I have read the Satanic Bible and other works of Anton Lavey, the founder of Modern Satanism and there are definately things about Satanism that I agree with but no matter how interesting it was reading about it, it wasn't a path for me. The worst thing about Modern Satanism is, at some degree, it's name.. Satanism.. By naming it as such they got a lot of idiotic 'followers' who just call themselves 'Satanist' in order to be cool or to freak out their parents. The biggest sin according to this religion is Stupidity. Nothing in the world is more stupid then teenie rebels and goths who practice a religion because it seems cool, and they tend to be the majority of it's followers.. Making a fool out of those who do practice it seriously.
This religion is growing more rapidly then ever and it has more followers then you think. Jedi temples, schools and forums are everywhere and they are very active aswell. Dispite the fact that Jediism gets bad reputation from non-believers I find it hard to discover anything "bad" about this religion. From the outside it all looks a little stupid.. Guys dressed up as jedi's who are roleplaying and living in a fantasy world.. However if you look deep inside this religion you'll see what it's all about. To a jedi the most important things are; Meditation, Following the Jedi code and helping others. This makes it somewhat similar to Buddhism, or thats how I experienced it. Robes and lightsabers are all items that are merely symbolic. They also believe in the force, seems a little weird but there are other religions believe who believe in something similar, it can be compared with the concept of Chi
2- Religio Romana
Religio Romana is a form of Reconstructionism and reconstructionism means the reconstruction of an ancient religion. Religio Romana, as you can tell by it's name is the ancient religion of the Roman peoples.
There are more types of Reconstructionism such as Celtic reconstructionism, Kemitism (Ancient Egyptian), Slavic Reconstructionism, Hellenismos (Greek). New forms are also on the rise such as Aztec reconstructionism. The populair religion called Asatru is often seen as a Viking/Saxon type of reconstructionism. All these religions are a form of ancient Paganism that believe in multiple dieties.
Religio Romana has quite alot of followers and the religion is pretty complex.
Here it is.. If anyone asks you what you're religion is and you are not in the mood for talking, say it's Matrixism, That'll leave them speechless.
Matrixism is on the number one of my list and it is one of those religions you probably never heard about and it only has a handfull of followers, dispite the fact that it is unknown it is a religion with a coolness factor and learning about it was a great experience. Just like Jediism it appears to be based on the philosophy behind a hollywood movie. The followers believe in "the one" which can be seen as believing in the coming of a future massiah, They also believe that the world we see around us is not reality, not the real world like in the movie and they consider psychedelics to be the most important sacrements (blue pil, red pill)..
So I went looking for a religion that fits me and instead I found myself learning about different religions as a hobby. Some other religions i have studied but that are far from odd are Rastafari and Shinto, to name a few.
So have I found a religion that I decided to follow and practice? Yes.. Buddhism.
No real surprise really, Buddhism was always something that made sence to me. Also since it has no Gods, No holy but only important texts, No leader and since they do not believe in a future devine apocalypse it feels more like a way of life/philosophy then a religion. In my opinion Buddhism is a path that helps me help myself in order to help others in the future.
If you want more info on the religions mentioned above.....
Religio Romana and other reconstructionist religions