AP World History : Religions 1900 to Present

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Religions 1900 To Present

Due to the missionary efforts of Spanish and Portuguese missionaries, most of modern-day __________ is __________.

Possible Answers:

South America . . . Protestant

South America . . . Catholic

North Africa . . . Islamic

North America . . . Catholic

North America . . . Protestant

Correct answer:

South America . . . Catholic

Explanation:

The Spanish and Portuguese empires divided South America between themselves in the late fifteenth century (through the Treaty of Tordesillas). The missionary efforts of Spanish and Portuguese missionaries in the subsequent centuries led to the conversion of the population of South America to Catholicism. Today, Latin America is overwhelmingly Catholic.

Example Question #2 : Religions 1900 To Present

Which of the following religions does NOT have historical Chinese origins and/or crucial founding ties to Chinese culture?

Possible Answers:

Taoism 

Buddhism 

Hinduism 

Confucianism 

Falun Gong 

Correct answer:

Hinduism 

Explanation:

Typically, whenever religion is discussed in regard to China, mention is made of “the three teachings.” The three “teachings” refer to Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism – three religious faiths which either originated in or took their first crucial hold in ancient China. To this day, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism are the three most frequently practiced patterns of faith in the modern Chinese nation. China also has a long history of minor but enduring folk religions; such beliefs are difficult to quantify, as they vary extensively from location to location, but they are usually practiced in various places across the rural countryside and often incorporate elements from each of the various “three teachings.” The current Chinese government, although officially secular in nature, is mostly quite tolerant of a variety of religious beliefs and practices, provided that religious leaders do not overtly preach any sort of political message alongside their spiritual one. One native Chinese faith, known as Falun Gong, has recently been outlawed by the Chinese government for preaching what the Communist Party of China claims are anti-CPC political messages. Most human rights scholars and political scientists, however, object to the CPC’s reasoning; instead, it appears that the CPC has banned Falun Gong due to the religion’s recent massive growth in popularity and the emphasis upon human rights and equal democratic treatment advocated by the group’s many adherents.

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