As a man who was born into an atheist family, I've never frequented any place of worship before. The closest I've ever come to any religion was walking past the local Roman Catholic Church on my way home from school (I lived in New York, not South Carolina). The only personal religious experience I've had was going to my best friend's First Communion in this same Roman Catholic Church. At the time, I didn't understand what the true purpose of it was, only that we were going to get to party afterward. .
Despite having a Church in the middle of town, religion wasn't something the town emphasized. It was commonly thought that religion and prayer should not be included in the schools. Therefore, unless your parents introduced you to religion, it was normal to have atheistic views. That's why it was a major change for me going from a small town in New York to Charleston, South Carolina. After living here three years now, one thing has certainly become apparent: Charleston is a thriving religious community. It's not only plentiful, it's also diverse. For this paper, I thought it would be interesting to become knowledgeable about three different religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. I chose these because they are usually the most commonly discussed religions in the media. I thought that, by understanding these particular religions, I would be better acquainted with many recent controversial debates.
Christianity is the most popular religion in the world. It is estimated that 2.2 billion people are affiliated with Christianity . However, not all of them believe in the same interpretation of the Bible (the sacred religious text of Christianity). There are many different denominations. I chose to observe St. Michael's Church, an Anglican Church, located at 71 Broad Street in downtown Charleston. I chose to go to the 8:00 AM Sunday service. As previously stated, the sacred text of Christianity is the Bible, which is considered to have been written by man, through inspiration from God.