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Is there an afterlife? Different religious views on death

by | Mar 8, 2017 | For Families


Death has been a taboo topic, but now people are becoming more open to discussing death.

People are thinking of death more positively and openly. This acceptance of death brings about another question: What happens after death? Different religions have their own beliefs on whether there’s an afterlife and what happens to someone after they die.

Here is a look at some religious beliefs on life after death:


Atheist views on life after death vary depending on individual beliefs. Some Atheists don’t believe in any sort of life after death, but others believe in the existence of spirits, afterlife, or reincarnation.

This ThoughtCo. article sums up Atheist beliefs in spirits as “atheism by itself only excludes belief in gods, not necessarily belief in anything else that might be categorized as paranormal or even supernatural.”


Buddhists believe in reincarnation, the cycle of death and rebirth. Since Buddhists don’t believe in the existence of souls, reincarnation means taking on another body in their next life. Bardo, the intermediate state, is the time between death and rebirth where Buddhists experience different phenomena.

However, being in this reincarnation cycle is considered a suffering experience, and the goal is to escape this cycle by reaching Nirvana. Nirvana is seen as an end to suffering and to some as a heavenly paradise.


Christian belief in the afterlife depends on what denomination they’re a part of, but most believe in the resurrection of Jesus, the existence of the afterlife, and that moral choices you make on Earth affect whether you end up in Heaven or Hell. Catholic Christians believe in Purgatory, a place where the dead destined for Heaven must first go if they need purification for their sins.


Hindus believe in reincarnation after death and that the atman, or soul, receives a new body and life depending on Karma, or good and bad actions taken in their previous life. They believe you can be reincarnated as not only humans, but also animals, insects, and plants.

The goal is to be released from the reincarnation cycle and achieve Moksha, liberation from the cycle. After being freed of the cycle, it’s believed they return to be with Brahman.


Jewish afterlife beliefs depend on the individual’s beliefs. Jews focus more on their life on Earth, but most Jews believe there is an afterlife, but it can come in many forms. Some Jews believe in a reincarnation cycle, while others believe in the World to Come, a heaven-like paradise.


Muslims believe that death is the end of physical life on Earth, but the soul lives on. The soul goes to the Angel of Death to wait for Judgment Day. On Judgment Day, their actions during their time on Earth will be judged to determine whether they go to Jannat, paradise, or Jahannam, Hell.


Spiritualists believe that the afterlife, or spirit world, is a realm where spirits continue to evolve. They believe souls live on and take their consciousness with them. They believe souls can interact with those living on Earth through mediums in the spirit world and physical world.


  1. Ralu

    Wow! really helped thank you

  2. Ruth

    Epicureans believe that when you die all of you dies, including what we might call the soul, and that is the end.

  3. noel

    What if all the religious beliefs of the afterlife somehow connect with eachother


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