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The Religion of Egypt and India

             Egypt's and India's religious beliefs differed in that among the earliest civilizations of Egypt, polytheistic views were observed in contrast to India's monotheistic views of Buddhism. As its civilization developed, Egypt adapted the monotheistic views and took Islam as its state religion. India, on the other hand, was influenced by the polytheistic views of Hinduism.
             In ancient Egypt, during the era of polytheism, there were as many as 2000 gods .
             and goddesses. Individual kings, workers, priest, merchants, and peasants worshipped all .
             kinds of different gods. For example, Egyptians throughout the country worshipped the .
             God Amun, while other Gods were only worshipped in local areas. Each God symbolized .
             either an abstract element or a characteristic. Gods represented the heavens, storms, evil, .
             justice and truth. According to the Egyptians, the Gods were often represented as part .
             human and part animal. Horus, the sky god had.
             the head of a hawk and the body of a .
             human. Egyptians also believed that the gods lived, died, went into battle, and had .
             human emotions. .
             Egyptians also believed in an after life. They did not believe that death .
             ended the existence of a person. They believed that the after life would take place in .
             somewhere like Egypt. They believed the physical body had to be preserved to allow a .
             place for their spirit to dwell the after life. They also built tombs in the shape of .
             pyramids to house bodies. They often placed The Book of Death, which contained spells .
             and prayers, beside the bodies to protect the dead spirit. .
             In the 1st century A.D the religion of Egypt shifted to the monotheistic religion of .
             Christianity due to the Byzantine invasion. According to Stearns, the Byzantines forced .
             Egyptians to accept and convert to Christianity. He states, "Persian successes in the .
             northern Middle East were reversed in the 7th century, and the population was forcibly .
             reconverted to Christianity" (356).

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