If you have ever pondered the differences between world religions, Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions by James A. Beverley is the resource you need.
The term "Religion" is defined as "set of beliefs adhered to by a group of people." In our contemporary society, religion is man's attempt to reach, organize, or please a god. This includes "Christianity" as a religion; however, not all religions are counted in "Christendom," which is the Christian church collectively.
This is a reference with a clear Christian view of all religions, listing an initial overview, origins, and key individuals (with profiles), major events and headlines, and time lines and glossaries.
Each chapter in Nelson's ends with a brief summary and lists groups that oppose that particular religion with reference to other research material (both print and electronic) should the reader want to pursue further research.
There are 19 chapters which include: Baha'i, Branch Davidian, Buddhism, Christian Science, Christian Sectarian Groups, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, New Age, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Satanism, Scientology, Sikhism, Unification Church and Witchcraft.
Of particular interest is the Christian response to: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Kabala, New Age, and Witches included at the end of the respective sections. More information is included in the four Appendices that follow as well as an extensive index.
As expected, Jesus holds a place of respect in many world religions; however, as noted in Nelson's, Jesus is listed only as a man, teacher, and/or leader. None but Christianity view Jesus Christ as immaculately conceived, God incarnate, Creator of all things who offers the free gift of salvation and eternal life.
This is a key resource for not only Pastors and Bible Teachers but for the lay people as well. Many people who claim a religious affiliation would do well to read the history of these religions in Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions. If every member of every religion researched the history of their particular religion, these religions would have far fewer members.
Highly recommended for reading and reference.