Momolianism is a belief system, of the Kadazan-Dusun people of Sabah, formerly North Borneo. The belief is that land is a gift from the creator, the earth is a centre of the universe and that the land connects them to the past, present and future. This system of belief, inherited from the ancestors, was passed down through the Bobohizan, (Kadazan term) or Bobolian (Dusun term) priestesses, and has guided and ensured the survival of the Kadazan-Dusun people, throughout their social evolution from small community of settlers in what was said to be a 10 household longhouse at Nunuk Ragang to the present population of more than half a million individuals (2010 Malaysian Census figure). The term Momolianism itself is derived from word Bobolian.


This belief system has its origin in the first ancestors' interaction with the natural and spiritual environment at Nunuk Ragang the legendary ancestral home of the Kadazan-Dusun. This belief system was an integral part of the Kadazan-Dusun life before the advent of organised religion. Central to Momolianism is the belief that the Kadazan-Dusun live in an environment consisting of the "seen material world" (Pomogunan Tulun) and the "unseen spirit world" (Pomogunan Tosundu). It was most important to ensure continuity of the balance and order between the natural and spirit environment.[1] Some scholars would equate this to animism.

Basic belief

Communications with the spirit world

The Kadazan-Dusun believed that there is as much effort on the part of the denizens of the spirit world to communicate with the denizens of the material world as are the denizens of this material world attempting to communicate with the denizens of the spirit world. This effort at communication gave birth to the office of the Bobolians, categories of members of Kadazan-Dusun people with special gifts and abilities to communicate with the counterpart in the spirit world. The Bobolian's counterpart in the spirit world is known as the "Susukuon" or "reference spirit being". The ability to communicate with each other is described as "kih gimbaran" or "osundu" (in possession of spiritual power). This power is at the same level as another category of members of Kadazan-Dusun people known as "osiou" (in possession of fearlessness in war/warrior). It was for this reason that in past times when the early egalitarian Kadazan-Dusun community faced unprecedented crisis, the Bobolians would provide the spiritual guidance whilst the warriors rendered their warfare services. Gifts and sacrifice play an important part in establishing communication between the material world and the spirit world. To initiate communication, a bobolian has to initially provide gifts to the counterpart spirit in the form of prepared food(boiled chicken flesh and egg) and drink(fermented sweet tapai/lihing). The counterpart spirit or spirits in the spirit world may also establish communication with humans via medium that impact directly on human senses such as hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste. Thus, for example a Kadazan-Dusun on his way to the farm is informed by a spirit of impending danger by the frantic warning call of the "Lokiu" bird (a woodpecker bird) or a "lontugi" (giant millipede) stationary on his or her pathway. He or she would then desist from continuing with her journey.

When the people volate the balance between the two world, bad things will occur to the people world and Bobohizan/Bobolian will be called as the moderator to speak with the spirit world. "Sogit" (animal sacrifies) will be offered to the spirits as a symbol of peace. For example, a man get ill when he cleared a land because he didn't performed the "Adat Mansalud" , a ritual performed by Bobohizan/Bobolian to "ask permission" from the woods spirit to clear the land for farming or to hunt animals in forest. He will be healed if he ask forgiveness and give sogit to the spirit with the help of Bobohizan/Bobolian. They believe that the Kadazandusun world, called "Riniba" (human world) was created and controlled by "Kinorohingan" (god), the mighty spirit that live in "Libabou (heaven)." This entity will punish the human world if the people disobey the "Pantang" (rules) and "Adat" (customs) or did wicked things like "sumbang" (marriage between family members), adultery, "monindaat" (killing other people with black magic). The punishment will be in the form of pestilence, natural disasters and crop like paddy died suddenly. That is why Kadazandusun people in the past strictly follow their Pantangs and Adats and village/clan/tribe chief (Molohingon) will punish any of the villagers or member of the tribe/clan break the Pantang or disobey the Adats (in the form of Sogit, and in some big case, perperator will instructed to leave the village or tied in a raft and thrown to the river). Before that, the chief must ask the "Diwato" (spirit form-messenger of Kinorohingan) with the Bobohizan/Bobolian as a moderator.


The Kadazan-Dusun believed that in the past the community had experienced a unique salvation event. This salvation experience was not for the purpose of easing or to guarantee a place in paradise. It was to ensure the survival of the Kadazan-Dusun race. In that event, Huminodun, a human maiden daughter of Kinoringan and his wife Sumunundu, allowed herself to be sacrificed, her body parts dispersed over the earth to later sprouts as food plants for the people facing extinction during a devastating famine. From henceforth The Kadazan-Dusun people celebrate Huminodun's sacrifice as the Tadau Kaamatan or Harvest Festival thanksgiving to her.

The Name

The name of the Kadazan-Dusun deity is still debated, with some considering Kinoingan or Kinorohingan as just a deified and worshiped human ancestors whilst others think that a more appropriate approached would be to refer to their God as "Minamangun" (creator). This contrasting stand may be the result of influence from members of the community who had embraced other organised religions such as Christianity or the Islamic faith and the need to thread with care so as not to seen to going against their new faith. During the preparation of the first Kadazan-English Dictionary by the European missionary, certain word, including the word for God, were wrongly translated by the translators.[2]

The dead

The belief system of the Kadazan-Dusun has no concept of heaven and hell. The dead were believed to have just passed on to another realm of life and moved to the new home Nabahu or Akinabalu (from the word "aki" meaning "old man"), later officially named Mount Kinabalu. The body of the dead, consigned to burial as immediately as possible (also referred to as "lisok" or hide), to prevent foreign spirit invasion, and the spirit (referred to as "koduduo" or "your second" sent off by vigorous hitting of the floor on which the coffin was laid. On the seventh day a ceremonial "popouli" (to invite home) was conducted to allow for the koduduo to reenter the earthly home so as to enable it to "retrieve any forgotten belongings". This ceremony includes "momisok" or switching off lights so as not to scare off the koduduo. The Bobolian's role in this ceremony is to ensure that the koduduo is properly sent off. In 2015 a major earthquake which caused the loss of several lives occurred at Mount Kinabalu, presumed by Bobolians to have been caused by the misbehavior of several European men and women who stripped naked on Mount Kinabalu's peak. The dead ancestors of the Kadazan-Dusun were said to be angered by the desecration of the home.

Traditional healing

Momolianism is closely tied to traditional healing because all the Bobolians are traditional healers. The process of healing in Momolianism is referred to as "manampasi", which is somewhat akin to salvation, only that it involves a process of ritual "negotiation with denizens of the spirit world" so as to temporarily not accept the koduduo's entry to Nabahu.

Evolution of Momolianism

Momolianism began as a belief system to guide the early small community of settlers life interactions with the highly forested natural environment of Nunuk Ragang. As the environment changed due to human exploitation the belief system also undergo changes to accommodate to new reality of community life.

Forest Phase

The need to evade a crisis of overpopulation at site and over exploitation of the forest resources at Nunuk Ragang led to the introduction of the Minorit (tiny spiritual beings) concept so as to spur migration and dispersal. The Bobolians' advice to the Nunuk Ragang warrior leadership(s) to initiate the abandonment of Nunuk Ragang was fully complied with by the people leading to the migration up the Liwagu Kogibangan (left fork) and the Liwagu Kowananan (right fork) rivers. This point to the strong influence of Momolianism in ensuring continued existence and population growth of the Kadazan-Dusun people.

Paddy Cultivation Phase

After the introduction of paddy planting, the community was subjected to another major crisis involving severe crop failure and consequent famine. This led to the introduction of concept of worship of Kinorohingan and Huminodun (Traditional Tadau Kaamatan festival). This phase of evolution of Momolianism could not have happened at Nunuk Ragang. The Nunuk Ragang inhabitants were not wet paddy planters, but practice vegeculture, i.e. cultivating and propagating the yams, sweet potato and cassava using suckers and cuttings. The Rumanau people ethnic group were the first Kadazan-Dusun to acquire the skill of wet paddy planting. Hence their name "Rumanau" which means "one who cultivate wet paddy".

The Gusi Cult Phase

Worship of Jars began among the Tuaran Kadazan-Dusuns.

The Guritom Cult Phase

Veneration of skulls at Sunsuron. This phase developed in tandem with the advent of the headhunting phase among the Kadazan-Dusun. At Nunuk Ragang the Kadazan-Dusun families, being small community, were at peace with one another and the Guritom was non-existent. The Guritom (house of skulls) at Sunsuron, Tambunan had been removed and the skulls transferred to the Sabah Museum. Another site at Sogindai, Ranau was previously being used as a Guritom. The Guritom Phase came about as a result of the absence of the Law and as an attempt at presenting visual warning to any party deviating from the norm in relationship among the descendants of the Nunuk Ragang settlers.

The Syncretistic Phase

The coming of European influence had a major impact on Momolianism. The largely tolerant Catholic religion, allowed for dual practice of Momolianism and Christian Faith to exist side by side.


  1. ^ Segunda, Patrick (2004)"Biodiversity in Malaysia" in the book The Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment. New York: Routledge. p.180-185
  2. ^ Luping, Herman. (2011) The kinoingan Question in the Daily express 4 September 2011.Kota Kinabalu.

Ali Illahism (Persian: علی‌اللّهی‎) is a syncretic religion which has been practiced in parts of Iranian Luristan which combines elements of Shia Islam with older religions. It centers on the belief that there have been successive incarnations of the Deity throughout history, and Ali Ilahees reserve particular reverence for Ali, the son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who is considered one such incarnation. Various rites have been attributed as Ali Ilahian, similarly to the Yezidis, Ansaris, and all sects whose doctrine is unknown to the surrounding Muslim and Christian population. Observers have described it as an agglomeration of the customs and rites of several earlier religions, including Zoroastrianism, historically because travelogues were "evident that there is no definite code which can be described as Ali Illahism".Sometimes Ali-Illahism is used as a general term for the several denominations that venerate or deify Ali, like the Kaysanites, the Alawis or the Ahl-e Haqq/Yarsanis, others to mean the Ahl-e Haqq.


Antireligion is opposition to religion of any kind. It involves opposition to organized religion, religious practices or religious institutions. The term antireligion has also been used to describe opposition to specific forms of supernatural worship or practice, whether organized or not. Opposition to religion also goes beyond the misotheistic spectrum. As such, antireligion is distinct from deity-specific positions such as atheism (the lack of belief in deities) and antitheism (an opposition to belief in deities); although "antireligionists" may also be atheists or antitheists.

Bahá'í Faith

The Bahá'í Faith (; Persian: بهائی‎ Bahā'i) is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Established by Bahá'u'lláh in 1863, it initially grew in Persia and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception. It is estimated to have between 5 and 8 million adherents, known as Bahá'ís, spread out into most of the world's countries and territories.It grew from the mid-19th-century Bábí religion, whose founder (the Báb) taught that God would soon send a prophet in the same way of Jesus or Muhammad. In 1863, after being banished from his native Iran, Bahá'u'lláh (1817–1892) announced that he was this prophet. He was further exiled, spending over a decade in the prison city of Acre in Ottoman Palestine. Following Bahá'u'lláh's death in 1892, leadership of the religion fell to his son `Abdu'l-Bahá (1844–1921), and later his great-grandson Shoghi Effendi (1897–1957). Bahá'ís around the world annually elect local, regional, and national Spiritual Assemblies that govern the affairs of the religion, and every five years the members of all National Spiritual Assemblies elect the Universal House of Justice, the nine-member supreme governing institution of the worldwide Bahá'í community, which sits in Haifa, Israel, near the Shrine of the Báb.

Bahá'í teachings are in some ways similar to other monotheistic faiths: God is considered single and all-powerful. However, Bahá'u'lláh taught that religion is orderly and progressively revealed by one God through Manifestations of God who are the founders of major world religions throughout history; Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad being the most recent in the period before the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'ís regard the major religions as fundamentally unified in purpose, though varied in social practices and interpretations. There is a similar emphasis on the unity of all people, openly rejecting notions of racism and nationalism. At the heart of Bahá'í teachings is the goal of a unified world order that ensures the prosperity of all nations, races, creeds, and classes.Letters written by Bahá'u'lláh to various individuals, including some heads of state, have been collected and assembled into a canon of Bahá'í scripture that includes works by his son `Abdu'l-Bahá, and also the Báb, who is regarded as Bahá'u'lláh's forerunner. Prominent among Bahá'í literature are the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Kitáb-i-Íqán, Some Answered Questions, and The Dawn-Breakers.


A Bobohizan (Tangaa' Kadazan term) or Bobolian (Bundu Liwan Dusun term) is a high priestess, a ritual specialist and a spirit medium in Kadazan-Dusun pagan rites. The office of Bobohizan or Bobolian, is also the chief preserver of Momolianism, i.e. the philosophy and way of life of the Kadazan-Dusun people.

One of the primary roles of a Bobohizan is to appease the rice spirit Bambaazon during harvest festival or Kaamatan. During the event, she will lead a procession of people from her village through the paddy field under the full moon, to give thanks and to seek a bountiful harvest for the rice-cultivating Kadazan-Dusun people. A Bobohizan also plays a role as a mediator between the spirits and the people. One of the commonest duties of a Bobohizan is to heal and cure illnesses with herbal remedies and rites.

Comparative religion

Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions. In general the comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophical concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics, and the nature and forms of salvation. Studying such material is meant to give one a broadened and more sophisticated understanding of human beliefs and practices regarding the sacred, numinous, spiritual, and divine.In the field of comparative religion, a common geographical classification of the main world religions includes Middle Eastern religions (including Iranian religions), Indian religions, East Asian religions, African religions, American religions, Oceanic religions, and

classical Hellenistic religions.


Ishik or Ishik Alevism (Işık Aleviliği), also known as Chinarism (Çınarcılık), is a new syncretic religious movement among Alevis who have developed an alternative understanding of Alevism and its history. These alternative interpretations and beliefs were inspired by Turkish writer Erdoğan Çınar with the publication of his book Aleviliğin Gizli Tarihi (The Secret History of Alevism) in 2004.


Kaamatan or Pesta Kaamatan is a form of harvest festival celebrated annually in the state of Sabah in Malaysia. It is normally celebrated by the ethnic Kadazan-Dusuns, as well as by other related ethnic groups in the state, and lasts for the whole of the month of May, ending with a public holiday on a date selected by a priestess known as the bobohizan.:417A beauty pageant known as Unduk Ngadau will be held and it ends the harvest festival with a newly crowned Unduk Ngadau in the annual host district, Penampang. The Harvest Festival comes under the ambit of what is known as Momolianism, the belief system and life philosophy of the Kadazan-Dusun. There is also a dance performance called the Sumazau, a singing contest called Sugandoi, a bodybuilding competition, and other arts and crafts performances. Competitions such as hitting the gong and folk sports have also become one of the main events in this festival.

Popular drinks during the festival are tapai and Kinomol, which is a traditional alak drink. Tapai is drunk from a small bamboo vessel known as a sumbiling or from special glasses called singgarung, likewise made from bamboo.


Kadazan-Dusun (also written as Kadazandusun) is the term assigned to the unification of the classification of two indigenous peoples of Sabah, Malaysia—the ethnic groups Kadazan and Dusun.

The Kadazandusun are the largest native group of Bumiputra in Sabah. They are also known as "Momogun" or "Mamasok", which means "originals" or "indigenous people", respectively.

Most of the Kadazan-Dusun tribes believed they are descendents of Nunuk Ragang people.


The Kwijau or Kuijau are an indigenous ethnic group residing in Sabah, eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The kwijau claim descend from the Nunuk Ragang settlers. They reside in the Interior Division within a 12-mile radius to the west and north of Keningau town. Their population was estimated at 7,910 in the year 2000. They are considered a sub-group of the Kadazan-Dusun, as their language is on the Dusunic branch of the Austronesian language family (ISO 639-3 dkr). About 20% of the population embrace the Christian faith in denominations of evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism, the remainder are animist practicing the ancient belief system called Momolianism . They are known for performing the Magunatip, an east Malaysian dance very strongly influenced by the Philippine tinikling .Performed by the young men and women, the dance involves jumping steps that manoeuvre the dancer's feet in and out, so as not to get their feet trapped by 2 moving bamboo poles that are held by another pair of dancers, who beat the poles together and over a shorter length of wood or bamboo, creating an interesting rhythm.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."

A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Malaysian folk religion

Malaysian folk religion refers to the animistic and polytheistic beliefs and practices that are still held by many in the Islamic-majority country of Malaysia. Malaysian folk faith is practiced either openly or covertly depending on the type of rituals performed.

Some forms of belief are not recognised by the government as a religion for statistical purposes although such practices are not outlawed. There is a deep interaction between the Chinese folk religion of the large Malaysian Chinese population, and the indigenous Malaysian folk religion.

Nunuk Ragang

Nunuk Ragang is a site traditionally considered as the location of the original home of the ancestors of the Kadazan-Dusun natives who inhabit most of northern Borneo. The site, nearby a village named Tampias, is located at the intersection of the left (Liwagu Kogibangan) and right (Liwagu Kowananan) branches of the Liwagu River to the east of Ranau and Tambunan in Sabah. The two river branches joined up to flow into the Labuk river and drain out into the Sulu Sea. At the site, and under a giant banyan tree, a settlement referred to as Nunuk Ragang was founded. The giant banyan tree was said to be able to give shade to a longhouse sheltering 10 families in it. The legend about Nunuk Ragang had been passed down via oral traditions to the younger generations. No archaeological dig has been carried out to establish the veracity of the legend. Under the strong influence of the modernisation, with the accompanying strong emphasis on other bigger encompassing cultures, and coupled with the passing of older generation, interest in this heritage will wane and disappear.

In 2004, the quasi-government group Kadazan-Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) set up a memorial near Tampias at the site of what they believed to be the original village. The word "tampias" means "sprinkled" or "dispersed". The memorial was built in the form of a huge fig tree. The association conducts annual pilgrimages to the site, timed to coincide with the inauguration of its paramount chief, the Huguon Siou.

Organized religion

Organized religion (or organised religion—see spelling differences), also known as institutional religion, is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established. Organized religion is typically characterized by an official doctrine (or dogma), a hierarchical or bureaucratic leadership structure, and a codification of rules and practices.


Rastafari, also known as Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. Scholars of religion and related fields have classified it as both a new religious movement and a social movement. There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among practitioners, who are known as Rastafari, Rastafarians, or Rastas.

Rastas refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as "Rastalogy". Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who partially resides within each individual. Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia between 1930 and 1974, is given central importance. Many Rastas regard him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, another figure whom practitioners revere. Other Rastas regard Haile Selassie not as Jah incarnate but as a human prophet who fully recognized the inner divinity in every individual. Rastafari is Afrocentric and focuses its attention on the African diaspora, which it believes is oppressed within Western society, or "Babylon". Many Rastas call for the resettlement of the African diaspora in either Ethiopia or Africa more widely, referring to this continent as the Promised Land of "Zion". Rastas refer to their practices as "livity". Communal meetings are known as "groundations", and are typified by music, chanting, discussions, and the smoking of cannabis, the latter being regarded as a sacrament with beneficial properties. Rastas place emphasis on what they regard as living "naturally", adhering to ital dietary requirements, twisting their hair into dreadlocks, and following patriarchal gender roles.

Rastafari originated among impoverished and socially disenfranchised Afro-Jamaican communities in 1930s Jamaica. Its Afrocentric ideology was largely a reaction against Jamaica's then-dominant British colonial culture. It was influenced by both Ethiopianism and the Back-to-Africa movement promoted by black nationalist figures like Marcus Garvey. The movement developed after several Christian clergymen, most notably Leonard Howell, proclaimed that Haile Selassie's crowning as emperor in 1930 fulfilled a Biblical prophecy. By the 1950s, Rastafari's counter-cultural stance had brought the movement into conflict with wider Jamaican society, including violent clashes with law enforcement. In the 1960s and 1970s it gained increased respectability within Jamaica and greater visibility abroad through the popularity of Rasta-inspired reggae musicians like Bob Marley. Enthusiasm for Rastafari declined in the 1980s, following the deaths of Haile Selassie and Marley, but the movement survived and has a presence in many parts of the world.

The Rasta movement is decentralised and organised on a largely cellular basis. There are several denominations, or "Mansions of Rastafari", the most prominent of which are the Nyahbinghi, Bobo Ashanti, and the Twelve Tribes of Israel, each offering a different interpretation of Rasta belief. There are an estimated 700,000 to 1 million Rastas across the world; the largest population is in Jamaica, although communities can be found in most of the world's major population centres. The majority of practitioners are of black African descent, although a minority come from other ethnic groups.


Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs.The study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief.

Royal Canadian Chaplain Service

The Royal Canadian Chaplain Service (French: Service de l'aumônerie royal canadien) is a personnel branch of the Canadian Armed Forces that has approximately 192 Regular Force chaplains and 145 Reserve Force chaplains representing the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths. From 1969 to 2014 it was named the Chaplain Branch. It was renamed on October 16, 2014.

Rumanau people

The Rumanau are an indigenous ethnic group residing in Sabah, eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo. They are known as the Lobu in the Keningau District near Lanas, and the Rumanau in the Masaum, Mangkawagu, Minusu areas of the Kinabatangan District along the Kinabatangan River, in Sandakan Division. Their population was estimated at 2,800 in the year 1991. They are a sub-group of the Kadazan-Dusun, although their language (ISO 639-3 ruu) belongs to the Paitanic branch of the Austronesian language family.


The Yarsan, Ahle Haqq or Kaka'i (Kurdish: یارسان‎, Yarsan, Persian: اهل حق‎; "People of Truth"), is a syncretic religion founded by Sultan Sahak in the late 14th century in western Iran. The total number of Yarsanis is estimated at around 2,000,000 or 3,000,000. They are primarily found in western Iran and eastern Iraq and are mostly ethnic Goran Kurds, though there are also smaller groups of Turk, Persian, Lori, Azerbaijani and Arab adherents. Some Yarsanis in Iraq are called Kaka'i. Yarsanis are also found in some rural communities in southeastern Turkey. Yarsanis say that some people call them disparagingly as "Ali-o-allahi" or "worshipers of Ali" which labels Yarsanis deny. Many Yarsanis hide their religion due to pressure of Iran's Islamic system, and there are no exact statistics of their population.The Yarsanis have a distinct religious literature primarily written in the Gorani language. However, few modern Yarsani can read or write Gorani (a Northwestern Iranian language belonging to the branch Zaza-Gorani) as their mother tongues are Southern Kurdish and Sorani, which belong to the other two branches of the Kurdish languages. The speakers of Sarli living near Eski Kalak are adherents, as Edmonds (1957: 195) and Moosa (1988: 168) observed. Their central religious book is called the Kalâm-e Saranjâm, written in the 15th century based on the teachings of Sultan Sahak.

The goal of Yarsanism is to teach humans to achieve ultimate truth. The Yarsani believe sun and fire are holy things and follow the principles of equalization, purity, righteousness, and oneness, which leads some researchers to find Mithraic roots in this religion.Yarsanism is barely mentioned in historical religious books as its doctrine and rituals are largely secret. The followers of Yarsanism perform their rituals and ceremonies in secret, but this has not relieved the harassment of many of the Yarsani by Islamic or other governments over the centuries. The followers of this religion say that after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, pressure on the Yarsani community has increased and they have been deprived and discriminated against for over 30 years.One of the signs of Yarsanic males is the mustache, as the Yarsanic holy book Kalâm-e Saranjâm says that every man must have a mustache to take part in Yarsanic religious rites.


Yazdânism, or the Cult of Angels, is a proposed pre-Islamic, native religion of the Kurds. The term was introduced by Kurdish scholar Mehrdad Izady to represent what he considers the "original" religion of the Kurds.According to Izady, Yazdânism is now continued in the denominations of Yazidism, Yarsanism, and Ishik Alevism. The three traditions subsumed under the term Yazdânism are primarily practiced in relatively isolated communities; from Khurasan to Anatolia, and parts of western Iran.

The concept of Yazdânism has found a wide perception both within and beyond Kurdish nationalist discourses, but has been disputed by other recognized scholars of Iranian religions. Well established, however, are the "striking" and "unmistakable" similarities between the Yazidis and the Yaresan or Ahl-e Haqq, some of which can be traced back to elements of an ancient faith that was probably dominant among Western Iranians and likened to practices of pre-Zoroastrian Mithraic religion. Mehrdad Izady defines the Yazdanism as an ancient Hurrian religion and states that Mitanni could have introduced some of the Vedic tradition that appears to be manifest in Yazdanism.

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