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RELIGION TERMS

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Caliph/ Khalifah (Islam) - A word meaning 'successor', applied to the men who were chosen by the community to succeed Muhammad (pbuh) as leaders of the Sunni Muslim community.
Calligraphy (Islam, Buddhism) - Writing as an art form because art forms were banned or frowned upon in Islam. It was also developed in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism.
Canon (Christianity, Judaism) - Written works accepted as normative sacred scriptures. Literally a norm or measuring rod.
Cantor (Judaism) - A trained singer who leads worship in Jewish places of worship.
Catacomb (Christianity) - Subterranean cemetery where Christians once met to worship.
Catechism (Christianity) - Instruction by question and answer as preparation for Christian baptism.
Catechumen (Christianity) - A Christian convert who is being trained for baptism.
Chandala (Hinduism) - The lowest of untouchable Hindu groups.
Chandoa (Sikhism) - The canopy placed over the Guru Granth Sahib.
Chapel (Christianity) - Usually a nonconformist place of Christian worship.
Charn-pahul (Sikhism) - Water is first poured over a Guru's foot and then given to a disciple to drink. Literally a foot washing initiation.
Chaupai (Sikhism) - A four line stanza form used by some of the Gurus.
Chauri (Buddhism, Sikhism) - Made of peacock feathers tied together, or of yak hairs, embedded in wood or metal this is a symbol of royalty or authority. Today nylon fibres may be used. In Sikhism it is waved over the Guru Granth Sahib as a symbol of respect.
Chela (Sikhism, Hinduism) - Disciple of an Indian spiritual teacher. In Sikhism a disciple of the guru, used in the Guru Granth Sahib to refer to Sikhs.
Chitraratha (Hinduism) - King of Gandharvas (having a bright chariot) in the Bhagavad Gita.
Chola (Sikhism) - Clothing of the Gurus. Also refers to the coverings of the nishan sahib at a gurdwara.
Christ (Christianity) - The Greek word for Messiah applied to Jesus whom Christians believe to be the Messiah and the embodiment of a personality of God. Messiah is whom the Jews expect. Muslims prefer prophet instead.
Church (Christianity) - Principally the Christian community but of course each denomination it divides into and each place where it meets locally for worship.
Church of England (Christianity) - Christian Church that is Anglican in England and established in law giving privileges and yet responsibilities towards any citizen.
Church of Scotland (Christianity) - The established Church in Scotland which is not the episcopal Anglican Church but purely Protestant and mildly Calvinist.
Circumambulation (Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism) - Respect and concentration by walking round a person or sacred place. Buddhists go round stupas clockwise, usually three times, affirming the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Muslims go in an anticlockwise direction round the Ka'ba at Makkah. Sikhs at weddings circumambulate the Guru Granth Sahib and this is called phera.
Clergy (Christianity etc.) - People specially ordained or undergone a sacred ceremony to conduct religious services.
Communion (Christianity) - A Christian service originating from the Last Supper, being also the Lord's Supper, Mass or Eucharist.
Confirmation (Christianity) - Rite of full membership of the Christian community coming some time after baptism (whre practiced).
Consecration (Christianity) - An act to incorporate for sacred uses and responsibilities.
Convert (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc.) - One who has decided to come into a faith from another belief system or agnosticism/ atheism.
Covenant (Judaism) - An agreement, especially between God and the Jewish people.
Creed (Christianity) - An agreed collective statement of belief of a believing community.
Crematorium (Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Secular etc.) - A place where the bodies of dead people are burnt and burned.

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