Perhaps, all will agree that dogs are the best four-footed friends of a man and it is hard to find a devotee of an animal. However, from a religious point of view everything is not so unambiguous. What place do these animals occupy in different beliefs?
Dogs in Orthodoxy
According to Christian beliefs, including Orthodox ones, all are creatures of God. The big sin is a cruel, pejorative attitude towards any living beings. It is quite justified the indignation of believers against the negative attitude of the church towards dogs and their finding in the human dwelling.
But even more terrible sins than cruelty are the highest veneration of someone other than God. However, it is not uncommon for a dog to love, stronger than he feels for his neighbors, with his devotion, ability to help and other positive qualities. Because of such fears, the church has ranked dogs as unclean animals. Many believe that this is due to excessive sympathy for people to these pets.
Opinions about whether or not to keep dogs in the house diverge. After all, many clerics do not just live in a dwelling, but are kept in bedrooms. They believe that the Orthodox can live with dogs in the same house, but putting them on a level with children and parents is a real sin.
Despite the prohibition of finding dogs in the walls of the temple, more associated with their unpredictable behavior, the modern church considers dogs useful and necessary pets. Today you can often hear about shelters for stray dogs, established on the territory of Orthodox churches. Priests teach children to take care of all animals, including dogs.
However, dogs, like other animals, after death can not enter paradise, because only a person possesses the Spirit, a particle of God. The Orthodox can not pray for their pet, they can only ask for a person who can help at a difficult moment. Also, one should not ask God to take care of the soul of a painful or departed pet, since immortality concerns only the human Spirit.
It will be interesting: the life expectancy of dogs .
Dogs in Islam
In this religion, dogs are considered to be "unclean". However, this attitude was not incorporated in the sources of belief, but developed gradually until it became fundamental. In modern Islam, these animals are treated negatively, and sometimes even hostile. It is necessary to clarify that the opinion of two Islamic currents about the impurity of dogs varies. The Shiites support this view, and the Sunnis do not.
There is an opinion that the attitude towards these animals began to change against the background of the conflict of religions - Zoroastrianism and Islam, which took place in antiquity. Then the Muslims seized the territories of the Zoroastrians and began to convert the inhabitants to their faith, naturally, destroying the existing cults, including the cult relating to dogs. Due to flourishing tolerance, the idea arose that dogs are ritual unclean animals. Subsequently, this opinion of the canine has become an entrenched tradition.
In the sacred Koran, dogs are mentioned three times, and each time only in a positive way, but respect for them by all methods was uprooted and over time became only a formality. And this contradicts many hadiths, indicating that all living beings, created by the Most High, deserve mercy and compassion. In one of the legends of Solomon it is said that for their merits the dog and horse proved to be worthy of special favor - to act as an eternal companion of man, occupying second place after people in front of the Divine deity.
According to Sharia rules, the sale and purchase of any dogs (exception is made only for greyhounds ) was prohibited, but it is allowed to give them. The use of these animals is possible only for practical purposes - in hunting, as guards, watchmen, shepherds, and guides for the blind. The content of pets for entertainment - aesthetics or dog fights, is strictly forbidden, otherwise violators are expected to significantly reduce the mercy of Allah.
Manifestation of kindness towards four-legged pets is blamed, so often animals do not receive proper care from their owners. And they, in turn, explain this by the requirements of faith. A person who touches a dog will not be allowed to pray until a full ritual of purification has passed. The Quran clearly indicates a respectful attitude towards these animals, however, most of the followers of Islam have a different opinion on this matter.
Dogs in Buddhism
In Buddhism there is no concept of "supreme god", and followers of this religious trend worship the Buddha and believe in the transmigration of the souls of all beings. The man himself, when he does bad or good deeds, determines his own karma. After death, a person is reborn, and into any being, or perhaps the interruption of rebirth.
Buddhists do not exclude the possibility of further degeneration into an animal, so they consider cruel treatment to be unacceptable, and the offender will significantly spoil his karma and may become reborn in this animal.
Buddha is often depicted surrounded by a different animal, and it is believed that even the most ferocious predators can not harm him. According to the Buddhist faith, animals have worse karma, but having improved it, they get a chance to go through rebirth and become human beings. Such a view leads to the fact that many Buddhists become vegetarians.
But the theory is a theory, but in fact in states with this religion there are a lot of stray dogs, because people often show indifference. They do not offend animals, but they also do not rush to help them, believing that they are to blame for their bad karma.
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Dogs in Zoroastrianism
Probably, this is the only world religion in which dogs are treated with respect and only positively. The dog was called "kind creature" and put on almost one level with a man, she was considered the second holiest living being, after a person. And, in addition, the Zoroastrians believed that dogs have a soul.
Zoroastrians of the Antiquity period left a rich documentary heritage, reflecting how religion treated the dogs, and what role they played in the life of the ancient nationalities of Iran. These pets were associated with the world of the dead, higher forces, ancestors. And such qualities as courage and vigilance enabled the dogs to become real companions of the followers of Zoroastrianism.
The process of feeding dogs is a ritual action, because Zoroastrians believe that the souls of deceased people migrate to the body of dogs. Therefore, the food that is given to them, in fact, is intended for the ancestors. Of course, pets are given all the most delicious and quality, in tribute to the souls of the departed people.
In one of the religious works, it is painted what should be given to the dogs and at what time. In the other, the torments of hell are described, which await those who do not feed dogs and offend them. Dogs receive food first from the hands of the oldest member of the family, and afterwards the whole family starts to eat.
According to faith, dogs not only go through life with a person, but also accompany him after leaving. Dogs are entrusted with an important mission - to stand guard, driving away the otherworldly dark forces. Special vigilance from them is awaited in the hours of mourning, when demons can abduct the soul at the time of its demise. Therefore, during the funeral ritual, a four-eyed dog (with white hair that has black spots under the eyes) must constantly be near the body of the deceased, performing a special rite - to watch and drive away a special demon - the deva of corpse filth.
If death overtakes a woman in childbirth and a child, they lead two dogs, allotted with four eyes, so that they can observe two souls. Often, a person who is on his deathbed is offered a puppy so that the soul can go into it. In addition, pet care equals the withdrawal of a person and requires not only attention, but also the same rites that are used to bury people.
A person is severely punished for causing damage to a four-footed pet. Censure deserves even the feeding of a dog by improper food. If the dog is injured in the process of activity, the damage is compensated by punishment, and for the death of the animal owner, the whip used for horses is brutally beaten. If a person kills a dog, then his entire family is subject to a curse until the ninth tribe, and the mob itself after the demon waiting for crowds of hell demons, but to help him no one will come, because the light forces turned away from him.
But equality with man imposes certain demands on dogs. A dog is also judged and punished if it attacks a person. One bite costs the dog ear, the second dog loses the second ear, then the tail goes, the limbs ... If the dog does not get fixed, the death penalty awaits her.
The different attitude to friends of our four-footed people depends largely on religious beliefs, however, helping one's neighbor and supporting the weak is not condemned by any religion and refers more to human qualities.