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Officially authorized, usually brief statement of the essential articles of faith of a religious community, often used in public worship or initiation rites. Creeds are most numerous in Western traditions. In Islam the shahada declares that only God is God and Muhammad is his prophet. In Judaism early creeds are preserved in Hebrew scripture, and later creeds include the Thirteen Principles of Faith. In Christianity the Nicene Creed was formulated in AD 381 to exclude Arianism, and the Apostles' Creed was drafted in the 8th century from earlier baptismal creeds. Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and modern movements of Hinduism also possess creeds; in other religions faith is confessed chiefly through liturgical expressions.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on creed, visit Britannica.com.