While Christianity is about 2,000 years old, Sikhism is a relatively newer religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent in the fifteenth century. Both religions are monotheistic but their rituals and practices are very different.
|Place of origin||Roman province of Judea.||Punjab, in an area which was partitioned into modern-day Pakistan. Sikhs are now predominant in Indian-Punjab.|
|Place of worship||Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings.||Gurdwara for congregational worship. Anyone may enter a Gurdwara, however-no matter their faith, caste, or skin color. Personal worship can be done in any place at any time. God resides in everything and everyone.|
|Practices||Prayer, sacraments (some branches), worship in church, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, communion.||Daily prayers. The three pillars of Sikhism are: a) To remember God at all times which includes being thankful to God for what you have been given, b) To live your life honestly/with integrity and c) Sharing what you have with those less fortunate.|
|About||Christianity broadly consists of individuals who believe in the deity Jesus Christ. Its followers, called Christians, often believe Christ is "the Son" of the Holy Trinity and walked the earth as the incarnate form of God ("the Father").||A Religion spread by 10 Gurus to preach to worship one creator|
|Time of origin||Approx. 33 AD.||1469 AD.|
|Religious Law||Has existed among Catholics in the form of canon law.||No necessary laws but a sikh may follow the 3 rules of their life such as 1)Naam Japna (remember/meditate on God) 2)Vand K Shakhna (give to those who need it) 3)Kirat Karna (earn by honest means).|
|Confessing sins||Protestants confess straight to God, Catholic confess mortal sins to a Priest, and venial sins straight to God (Orthodox have similar practice) Anglicans confess to Priests but considered optional. God always forgives sins in Jesus.||As the Divine light is in all of us, God already knows of our "sins". We are to pray to God for God to forgive us and cleanse us. Only through God and doing Good Deeds in God's name in a way that God is pleased can we obtain salvation-escape from sin|
|Symbols||Cross, ichthys ("Jesus fish"), Mary and baby Jesus.||The Khanda ☬|
|Sacred Texts||Christian Bible (includes Old and New Testaments). What is considered canon may vary slightly by sect/denomination. Some groups, like Mormons with the Book of Mormon, have other important books, too.||Adi Granth. Nihang Sikhs regard Dasam Granth and Sarbloh Granth also as sacred, but orthodox Sikhs consider them true but lesser. Janamsakhis provide stories of the gurus' lives.|
|Important Tenets||The Ten Commandments, John 3:16.||Rehat Maryada, 52 Hukams of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.|
|Revered People||Varies by sect/denomination. Saints, the Pope, cardinals, bishops, nuns, church pastors, or deacons.||Gurus, bhagats, sants, gursikhs.|
|On Women||Varies. Some Christians view women as equal to men, while others believe women should be subservient to men. Clothing and health choices (e.g., birth control, abortion) may be restricted. Old Testament advocates stoning adin some cases.||Equal to men.|
|On Race||All races generally viewed equal in modern Christianity. However, Bible passages on slavery were used to support the practice in the past in the U.S. The "curse of Ham" was sometimes thought to be black skin; modern interpretations reject this.||All are equal.|
|On Clothing||Conservative Christians dress modestly; women may cover their heads, wear long skirts or dresses; men may wear dress clothes that do not show the chest, legs, and arms. More moderate or liberal Christians generally reject such clothing restrictions.||Wear the 5 Ks (kangha, kara, kachera, kirpan, kesh)|
|On Food/Drink||Though the Old Testament of the Bible says certain meats should not be consumed, Christians usually feel this information does not apply to them (in the New Testament) and so eat what they want to eat.||Do not drink intoxicating drinks, vegetarianism encouraged, eating animals killed ritualistically is forbidden.|
|View of Jesus||God in human form, "Son of God," savior. Death by crucifixion. Most, though not all, of Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, was taken up into heaven, and will return during an apocalypse.||A very holy messenger of God.|
|Goal of religion||To love God and obey his commandments while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel so that others may also be saved.||To merge with and have the greatest relationship with God possible. To love and obey God unconditionally. Guru Nanak Dev Ji stressed that we should not be afraid of God's wrath, but instead be afraid of not receiving the full benefits of God's love.|
|Human Nature||Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of sin. By knowing right and wrong Christians choose their actions. Humans are a fallen, broken race in need of salvation and repair by God.||People are essentially good; the divine spark within them needs only to be fanned into a flame of goodness. Sinning is following the veil of illusion "Maya". Karma is unavoidably paid f you sin.|
|Rites||Seven sacraments: Baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, matrimony (Catholic and Orthodox). Anglicans: Baptism and Eucharist. Other denominations: Baptism and communion.||Amrit Sanchar (Being Initiated into the Khalsa. Equivalent to baptism.).|
|Branches||Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant.||Udasis – An order of ascetics & holy men who follow Guru Nanak's son Baba Sri Chand. Sahajdharis – who are clean shaven but have chosen the path of Sikhism & eventual baptism. The Khalsa, who are baptized and follow the traditional practices of S|
|God's role in salvation||Humans cannot save themselves or ascend on their own to a higher level. Only God is good and therefore only God is able to save a person. Jesus came down from Heaven to save mankind.||God is generous and loving. mankind will reincarnate until he becomes a Sikh and achieves paradise.|
|View of other Abrahamic religions||Judaism is regarded as a True religion but incomplete (without Gospel, and Messiah) Islam is regarded as a false religion, Christianity does not accept the Qur'an as true.||All faiths will get what they work towards. Sikhism does not condemn others to Hell or say if you are not Sikh you are eternally damned. Sikhs prays for "Sarbat Da Bhala", meaning the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of differences.|
|View of Animistic religions||Paganism is Heathenism. Witchcraft is communication and interaction with demons, fallen evil angelic beings. These have no real interest ultimately, in helping their worshipers. Demonic possession is common.||Sikhism respects animistic religions.|
|Names of God||God, Gud, Gott, Deo, Dios. Jehovah, YHWH, Eli Elohim, Allah, (depending on language Christians are of every language and culture around the world)||Waheguru, Ik Onkaar, Sat Nam, Akhal Purakh.|
|Legislation||Varies through denomination.||Panj Pyare, (Akal Takht is meeting place)|
|Followers||Christian (follwers of Christ)||Sikhs|
|View of other Dharmic religions||N/A||Sikhs respect other Dharmic religions.|
|Use of statues, images||some denominations regard It as forbidden and Idolatry. Anglicans and Lutherans allow pictures but forbid venerating them. Catholics encourage pictures and statues and venerate them. Orthodox encourage pictures and venerate them.||Forbidden.|
|Direction of Prayer||Catholics and Orthodox usually face Jerusalem in their prayers but it is not considered necessary, but recommended. God is present everywhere recent reforms have prompted many Christians to not face anywhere in their prayers.||Sikh's reject the notion of fixed direction of Prayer as God is everywhere.|
|Marriage and Divorce||Explained by Jesus in Mathew 19:3-9 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Therefore what God has put together let man not seperate.'||One can marry peacefully and take Laavan (wedding prayer) in Gurudwara but if personal differences occur they can take divorce.|
|Saints||Catholics and Orthodox venerate very Holy people as Saints. Most Protestants do not do this.||The Sikh notion of a saint or prophet is called a guru, meaning one who can offer salvation, and deliver a soul from darkness into light (Sanskrit: gu = darkness, ru = light).|
|Views about other religions||No other religion leads to God. Judaism being a unique exception, Jews viewed as ignorant of the Messiah.||All religions are equal, 15 of the legendary saints in sikhism (Bhagats), in the Sikh Guru, have came from different religions and reflect its universality.|
|Belief of deities||Only One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.||There is one God whom is without form.|
|Original Languages||Aramaic, Common (Koine) Greek, Hebrew.||Punjabi|
|Number of Adherents||An estimated 2.1 billion, largest religion in the world.||A estimated 30 million, fifth largest religion in the world.|
Contents: Christianity vs Sikhism
edit The concept of Heaven and Hell in Christianity vs Sikhism
edit Heaven and Hell in Christianity
Christians believe that God created human beings to live with Him eternally. Resurrection of all people; judgment; eternal life in heaven or hell. Heaven is God's abode. Salvation is finally received and fully realised when people go there and be with God individually. Many Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, but for a few it is a mixed matter. Hell is the bottomless pit unto which God cast away Satan after his rebellious acts against God. The people who are not close to God and reject him will be judged and be separated from God forever.
Another theory is that before judgement day, Satan's home is here on earth where he is busy deceiving and destroying. On judgement day Satan, the fallen angels, his followers and the people that did not commit to God the creator will be sent to hell.
edit Heaven and Hell in Sikhism
Sikhs believe that through good deeds, worship of God, helping the poor, and living a pure life, you can join God in Sach Khand (Sikh concept of Heaven). It is a Sikh's goal to end his own suffering, and join God.
Heaven: Known as Sach Khand. Salvation is finally recieved when a Sikh unites with God, master and creator. Sikhs believe that all religions are paths to God, but must follow their religions truthfully.
Hell: Hell is a mixed matter in Sikhism. Mainstream Sikhism believes that Hell is the cycle of rebirth over and over again. Unless one finally reaches God, he/she must go through 8.4 million lives (different life forms) to become human again and get the next chance to reach God. Yet other Sikhs believe Hell is a real place, and the wicked are sent there.
edit Further Reading
For further reading, there are several books available on Amazon.com on Sikhism and Christianity:
"Christianity vs Sikhism." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 24 Nov 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Christianity_vs_Sikhism >