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Monotheism is the belief in a single deity.
The best known monotheistic religions are the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Other monotheist religions include some sects of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Eckankar, Baha'i and Sikhism. Monism and deism are also predominantly monotheistic since they posit that all things are one, and that one is "god".
Similar in practice but distinct are monolatrism, which is an individual's acceptance that other gods exist but only one is worthy of worship, and henotheism, which is the idea that other gods exist and that one person's god is not better than anyone else's god(s).
Whilst Christianity is often considered a monotheistic religion having the one god, there are some who think that it is a matter of debate how "monotheistic" Christianity really is.
 Polytheistic Argument
The most wide spread and common versions appear to have three gods - the father, the son and the holy spirit. Indeed, in many medieval Muslim communities, Christianity was tolerated, but only as long as there was no promotion of the doctrine of the Trinity. However, for theological reasons which are - admittedly - rather complex, this trinity are counted as one. It's a "mystery".
Other Christian denominations also often accuse Roman Catholics and Orthodox of polytheism because of the practice of venerating saints. They especially point to the position of the Virgin Mary - she is the mother of Christ, has (in Catholicism) been assumed into heaven, and is the recipient of vast numbers of prayers. As a result, these other denominations claim that she is obviously a goddess in all but name, and have been known to bash Catholics as "Mary-worshipers".
After that we have uncounted numbers of angels. They have their own hierarchies and are sometimes believed to be sent to interfere in human affairs.
On the other side there is Satan who has his own band of servants and also interferes in human affairs and is prayed to by some people.
So, while the Christian Pantheon is undoubtedly less populated than, say, the Greek one, it is hardly monotheistic. It must also be remembered that, in general, modern polytheists regard their multiple gods as really being different embodiments of one supreme god - a concept very similar to the trinity in Catholic Christianity.
 Monotheistic Argument
However, opponents of this position contend that it is essentially based in a double misunderstanding of the concepts of "god" and of "worship". In particular, saints (and angels) are not worshiped in the same sense as God is, but are rather said to be "venerated". In theological terms, the difference is between latria, or in Latin adoratio, which describes the worship of God, and (hyper-)dulia, or veneratio, which refers to the honoring or veneration of saints and other worthy people. A 2012 article in Free Inquiry magazine revealed how ancient Hebrews attempted to remove polytheistic notions from the original Hebrew scriptures, yet many remain in the Christian Bible.
 Tripartite Argument
The "Trinity" concept has many historical precedents, particularly within the Greco-Roman tradition, where tripartite deities such as Hecate are well known. A tripartite deity is essentially one god with three aspects or "faces". The perception of god in the Christian tradition could accurately be described as a tripartite deity, with the aspects of Father, Son and Spirit.
Christians generally reject this description, but within the realms of comparative religious studies and amongst some theologians, the term is widely regarded as an appropriate description of the "Trinity" concept.
Islam is generally regarded as a monotheistic religion. Whilst accepting Jesus as a prophet of the Abrahamic god, Moslems do not accept his divinity, and thus have no concept of "Trinity". Although technically forbidden by the Qu'ran and several hadith, the veneration of saints in Islam is extremely common, particularly in countries with a strong Berber culture, such as Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, and also in Egypt, where there there is a strong and long lasting Coptic tradition of sainthood "inherited" by Egyptian Muslims.
Satanism comes in both theistic and atheistic flavours. Theistic Satanists who worship Satan as a divine being, would strictly speaking also be regarded as monotheistic, though it is rarely regarded as such. Since theistic Satanism uses Abrahamic mythology for the basis of aspects of its own beliefs, it could be argued that Satanism is also a cousin of the Abrahamic religions, though both Satanists and Abrahamic adherents tend to reject this view. This situation is further confused by the fact that some Satanists use theistic imagery to personify and interact with an atheistic world-view, such as Setians.
Atenism is the belief in the Egyptian solar deity, Aten (Re was actually the sun itself, whilst the Aten was the rays that touch everything and everyone). It was introduced during the reign of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh, Amenhotep III. His son, Akhenaten (his name was originally Amenhotep IV) effectively turned the Aten into the chief god by (pretty much) outlawing all other deities in the Egyptian pantheon, and making the entire country follow a monotheistic religion (initially, Akhenaten made it a henotheistic religion, but it turned monotheistic in his later years). Atenism is the first monotheistic religion recorded.
 Varieties of monotheism
There is a distinction between inclusive monotheism and exclusive monotheism. Inclusive monotheists believe in one ultimate deity, but they are willing to accept many different gods as being different names, forms, aspects, emanations, representatives, servants, etc., of this one ultimate deity. Inclusive monotheism is compatible with polytheism; worship of many different gods is seen as a way of worshiping the one God indirectly. By contrast, exclusive monotheists believe that all gods other than their own are false gods, either non-existent, or demons masquerading as Gods, or so on. The worship of other deities is seen as sinful. Historically, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have adopted the exclusive monotheist position; the majority today still are exclusive monotheists, but some liberal Christians have turned to inclusive monotheism instead.
- ↑ Paulkovich, Michael B. (2012). "A Tale of Two Tomes". Free Inquiry 32 (5): 39–45.