A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemical, as well as didactic, it is not called a creed but a confession of faith. The term "creed" can also refer to a person's political or social beliefs or is sometimes used to mean religious affiliation.

One of the most widely used creeds in Christianity is the Nicene Creed, first formulated in AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. It was based on Christian understanding of the Canonical Gospels, the letters of the New Testament and to a lesser extent the Old Testament. Affirmation of this creed, which describes the Trinity, is generally taken as a fundamental test of orthodoxy for most Christian denominations. The Apostles' Creed is also broadly accepted. Some Christian denominations and other groups have rejected the authority of those creeds.

Muslims declare the shahada, or testimony: "I bear witness that there is no god but (the One) God (Allah), and I bear witness that Muhammad is God's messenger."

Whether Judaism is creedal has been a point of some controversy. Although some say Judaism is noncreedal in nature, others say it recognizes a single creed, the Shema Yisrael, which begins: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Read more about Creed:  Etymology, Christian Confessions of Faith, Christians Without Creeds, Jewish Creed, Islamic Creed, Non-religious Creeds

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Famous quotes containing the word creed:

    His creed no parson ever knew,
    For this was still his “simple plan,”
    To have with clergymen to do
    As little as a Christian can.
    Francis, Sir Doyle (1810–1888)

    When I was young ... there never was any question about right and wrong. We knew our catechism, and that was enough; we learned our creed and our duty. Every respectable Church person had the same opinions. But, now if you speak out of the Prayer-book itself, you are liable to be contradicted.
    George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)

    Of course, Behaviorism “works.” So does torture. Give me a no- nonsense, down-to-earth behaviorist, a few drugs, and simple electrical appliances, and in six months I will have him reciting the Athanasian Creed in public.
    —W.H. (Wystan Hugh)