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Religious Idols


From Hindu and Christian places of worship




What is an idol?


Our focus


Hanuman Idol


Lutheran Cross



KEy differences



Although religions such as Hinduism and Christianity both have iconography like idols and statues, the use of both of them change drastically as seen with the Crucifix in Christianity and the idols of Hindu deities in temples.


What is a religious idol?

Religious Idols

Idols, or idolatry, is the worship or representation of a deity or God in the form of a physical object. These objects may come in many different forms such as actual sculptures of the depictions of these Gods, or mere objects and shapes that represent a specific meaning pertaining to a religion.

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Hanuman temple

Lutheran Cross

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Key Differences

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  • Our particular example, the Hanuman statue, is used as a way for worshippers to connect with their desired deity. In Hindu mythology, Hanuman is known for his unparalleled strength and his unconditional loyalty to Rama and Sita. Many followers may come to Hanuman in hopes of a fast recovery, or in hopes of family well-being.

An important aspect of Hinduism is that they do not practice the alleged idol worship. Hindu idols represent their deity and pray to it through the idol. As Hindus call it, the idol or murti is the physical embodiment of a deity or God. Hinduism, being henotheistic, has one God who takes many forms and so for Hindus, idol worship is a way to visualize God. They don’t pray to the idol but rather through it in the hope of reaching spirituality. During Pooja, Hindus use the idols to recreate the practices shown in the Hindu Upanishads.

Karya Siddi Hanuman Temple

Hanuman Idol

Preston Meadow Lutheran Church

Christianity's Start

Christianity, being a monotheistic, revolves around the life and teachings of Jesus Christ who was said to be sent by God as a messenger. The story of the Christian religion is written in the Holy Bible with stories of the birth, life, and death of Christ. An iconic symbol of the Christian religion is the cross, or Crucifix, which represents the crucified Jesus. Many churches have the physical idol of the Cross and Crucifix behind the altar.

Preston Meadow Lutheran Church

Purpose of the Cross

The Cross serves as a reminder of the sacrifice that God made of his own son, Jesus Christ, for humanity and provides a purpose for the followers of the religion. Unlike other religions’ idols, the Cross isn’t involved in too many actual religious practices such as sermons and communion.

Compare and Contrast

Well for one the use of idols and objects in Hindu and Christian religions are very different. In Hindu tradition, the idols are used for the worshippers to reach God. They perform practices on the idol in the hope that their prayers will be answered, often wishing for well-being or wealth. However, the use of the Crucifix is different from the use of the Murtis in Hindu temples. The Crucifix serves as a reminder of the sacrifice that God made of his son, Jesus, for humanity and provides reason for worshippers.