Religion is one of those topics that can be discussed for ages. Everyone has different views and opinions on it, which could be why even scholars will find themselves at loggerheads when talking about it. The vast range of religions in the world prove how religion is very diverse and is spreading every day as people adhere to their beliefs. Notably, as their beliefs change so would their religions.
Besides the commonly known religions like Christianity and Islam, the content below also explores other types of religions that exist in different parts of the world. Take your time to read through and find out the other religions.
List of religions in the world
Christianity is one of the religions in the world which has countries where the majority of the population follow it. The countries being, Vatican City which has the Roman Catholic denomination. Well, it is the home to The Pope and the smallest country in the world so it is not surprising that they all have one faith. The other country is the Pitcairn Islands which has Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
Christianity has a couple of denominations which include, the Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Protestant, Romanian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox. It is also important to note that Christianity is among the largest religions in the world by membership.
Despite all the different views of the religions in the world, the message behind them all is more or less the same. They all teach love, peace, harmony, joy and happiness.. .
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Islam is the fastest growing religious group according to a study done by Pew Research Center’s. This is because it has the largest number of young followers compared to other religions in the world. At the same time, it is among the dominant religions in the world.
It is one of the other religions with countries that have 100% of the population following the same religion. The countries are Maldives, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia. The denominations that Muslims have are Sunni and Shi’a.
3. Non-religious i.e Atheists and Agnostics
These are people who have no official religious belief. It does not mean that they do not have a religion, they just do not follow a specific one.
Hinduism is said to be the oldest, which came to be around the 15th – 5th century BCE. That’s such a long time ago.
Hindus aim to get salvation or moksha so as to be free. They actually believe in one god but is in different forms.
The word Juggernaut, popularized by Marvel Comics, was taken from Hinduism the Lord Jagganath.
5. Chinese traditional religion
You have probably heard of the Chinese New Year. It is celebrated by believers of this religion.
There is no leader and it has no different denominations. It comprises of traditions and religions that are practised in the Chinese culture. Taoism and Buddhism are some the cultures followed in the Chinese traditional religion.
Buddha means someone who is awake. Buddha has the world’s tallest statues. 3 of them. The country Myanmar, has 582357 Buddha statues, at a place called The Thanboddhay Pagoda, which is a tourist attraction.
Karma plays a huge part in Buddhism where it guides the cycle from suffering to rebirth for every being. They also believe that when someone commits suicide they have thrown away a chance to effect karma.
Buddhists celebrate Buddhist New Year, which in some countries, is celebrated for three days. What an exciting way to kick off the year!
It is believed that Buddhism is one of the first 3 religions in the world.
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People who follow this religion relate it to a certain ethnic group. The cultures of these communities guide them so it differs from region to region. Africa and Asia are the continents with most of the followers to this religion. The reason behind it could be that Islam and Christianity and other religions were introduced in these continents during colonisation and some people chose to remain with their cultural beliefs.
8. African traditional and Diasporic religions
These are two different religions but are grouped into one.
African traditional religions are those observed and followed by the natives of Africa, which have four different groups i.e. the Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, the Khoisan and the Niger-Congo religious traditions.
African Diasporic religions came about when the African traditional religions followed by slaves from Africa in the countries they were taken to, for example, in the US, were combined with the religions being followed in those countries during the time they were taken there. Considering all the religions under this category makes it challenging to pin the exact number of religions in the world.
Sikhs can be identified by the turbans they wear. They do not actually cut their hair. Instead, they knot it on the top of their heads. For this reason, the turbans come in really handy.
Their holy book is the Guru Granth Sahib which has one God who they believe in.
It was brought into existence by Kim II-Sung, the first ruler of North Korea. Juche is the collection of ideas that are direct or preside over Korea. Some of these ideas include self-reliance in the military, politics and economics.
According to Juche, a man responsibility is to make sure they shape how the world ought to be. The well-being of all individuals, which make up a state, is of more importance than the fate of one individual. This particular line is used a lot on TV shows when they want to sacrifice one person so as to save a city or country from planned harm.
Some people view Juche as more of a philosophy than as a religion.
Spiritism was structured by a French educator called Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail.
It talks about how spirits are related to the mortal world i.e. the world of humans. It explains how immortal spirits travel from body to body in different lifetimes. As they do this, they better the original selfs from mistakes they did.
At one point or another, you might have heard, as a joke or not, when you have wronged someone and they wish you to come back to life as a dung beetle or toilet brush or any other degrading thing you can think of. But that is more of reincarnation. The spirits in Spiritism only come back a better them and not in a form that is lower such objects or animals.
Followers of Judaism are known as Jews. Hannukah and Bar Mitzvah are some of the well-known ceremonies associated by Jews.
Jews believe in G‑d who created the universe. He has no helpers like angels, no children like Jesus and no rivals like Satan, hence no hell.
Like Christianity, Judaism starts with G‑d creating the universe in six days and rested on day seven. Similarly, Abraham was chosen. Him and his children would be a special nation living in Israel.
Bahai is one of religions in the world that actually talks about how other religions are important too. It also promotes equality of every human being while living in unity.
The Bahai Gardens, found in Israel, showcase the faith of Bahai. Bahá'ís do not take alcohol or drugs other than medication prescribed by a doctor.
Jainism explains that in order to achieve genuine happiness, aim to live a life that does no harm so that your soul can be saved. Jainisists also believe that all living organisms have a soul. They do not have a saint or god they worship.
Shinto is the traditional religion of Japan. It focuses on bringing together or linking current Japan to its past by performing rituals.
Shintos believe that there is no difference between god and nature.
16. Cao Dai
This religion is probably the most recent one. It originated from Vietnam. It combines what different religions believe in or practise. They believe that there are 68 planets and the followers will go to all the planets before reaching the afterlife. The symbol of the religion is a left eye which they believe is with them everywhere they go.
Zoroastrianism is said to be the oldest religion in the world introduced by Prophet Zoroaster. The model of cars called Mazda came from a Zoroastrian God known as Ahura Mazda.
The air, water,earth and fire are considered pure by Zoroastrians, therefore, they never contaminate them. The holy book of the Zoroastrians is The Avesta written in Avestan language.
Tenrikyo is the only religion came to be by a woman introducing it. Known as Oyasama, the teachings in this religion came from directions she heard from God.
They believe to be genuinely happy, you will need to make other people happy too.
The word pagan came from Christians referring to religions that were not Christianity.
A lot of people usually think that pagans worship Satan where the truth of the matter is that they do not believe there is a Satan.
Unitarian Universalism is all about openness in the way of thinking. People who practise this religion have the goal of searching spirituality and growing in it and have 7 principles that guide them on this.
Did you know this fact about the religions in the world?
Statistics show that ages 60 and above have the fewest number of religious adherents. This could be because they are the least in number. Under 15 ages have the second number of religious believers. A lot of parents prefer to let their children reach an age where they can be able to choose their religion for themselves, so it could be a reason for those statistics. In some cases, there are people who proceed to practice most unusual religions in the world.
Despite all the different views of the religions in the world, the message behind them all is, more or less, the same. They all teach love, peace, harmony, joy and happiness. However, no one knows if these religions are genuine or not. There can be only one truth and it's worth searching for.
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