Heaven is a concept of the afterlife (what happens after you die) in many religions. Some people who believe in heaven say that it is a place that is perfect. They believe heaven is where people will go after they die if they have been good. Some people also believe in Hell, which is a place where people will go when they die, if they have been bad. They believe hell is a punishment for being bad. Ideas of Heaven and Hell are not the same in all religions.
In Christianity [change]
According to the Bible, there are different meanings for the word:
- Sky – the atmosphere that covers the Earth. The first time that it rained, it says, God opened "the windows of heaven."
- Outer space – the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.
- The place where God lives and rules eternally. The people called prophets in the Bible, like Isaiah, often spoke of a physical Kingdom of Heaven that will occupy a new Earth, and ruled by God (Messiah) in the flesh himself, where we will have physical bodies that do not die.
The Bible does not have a lot to say about what it looks like. The apostle Paul tells about a vision he had of being taken up to "the third heaven," where he saw and heard things too wonderful to describe. But, much of what Christians believe Heaven to be like comes from the vision that John saw in a vision while praying, including:
- The glory of God is the light (no sun)
- It is about 1,500 miles high and 1,500 miles wide
- Has 12 gates made of pearl
- Walls made of jasper
- Streets made of pure gold
- A river of life
- Trees on each side of the river
In Islam [change]
According to the Koran and Hadith, Heaven is a place of reward for those believers who accept the true faith and practices the teaching of Prophet Muhammad. The eternal life will be perfect, with thousands of types of food and clothing more beautiful than humans could ever imagine. There will also be no sad feelings, stress or pain and related problems of life.
In Paganism [change]
Summerland is the name given by Wiccans and other Pagan (old European religions) to their belief of afterlife (life after death). Commonly, Summerland is as a place of rest for souls or spirits in between their incarnations (life on earth). It is believed to be a place of beauty and peace. It is described as a place of green hills and lush grass. Most believers say that the soul has little memory of Summerland when it comes back into life. The Summerland is also a place for meeting with deceased loved ones. Some believe that, after experiencing many lives, they will stay in Summerland for eternity (always).