World ReligionsChristianity and Islam are, without doubt, on top of every comparison. The enormous distribution of Hinduism based almost entirely on the high population in India.
Surprising: In the last few decades, the popularity of Buddhism and people unaffiliated with any religion has been rising constantly.
Also remarkable: Minor but independent religions, which are not based on Christianity or Islam, can almost only be found in the eastern and southern parts of Asia.
|Religion||Distribution||Worldwide percentage||Total worldwide|
|Local chinese beliefs||China (18%), Hong Kong (49%)||3.2 %||250,800,000|
|Shinto||Japan (79%)||1.3 %||99,540,000|
|Taoism||East Asia, Southeast Asia||0.9 %||74,190,000|
|Chuch'e||North Korea (64%)||0.2 %||16,700,000|
|Animism||Africa, Asia||0.1 %||9,482,000|
|Jainism||India (0%)||0.1 %||5,630,000|
|Spiritualism||Brazil (2%), Tokelau (0%)||0.1 %||4,715,000|
|Caodaism||Vietnam (5%)||0.1 %||4,678,000|
|Shamanism||Mongolia (3%), North Korea (16%)||0.1 %||4,253,000|
|Chondoism||North Korea (14%)||0.0 %||3,506,000|
|Bahaism||Asia, Oceania||0.0 %||3,341,000|
|Voodoo||Benin (17%), Haiti (2%)||0.0 %||2,489,000|
|Mayans||Guatemala (9%)||0.0 %||1,540,000|
|Hoahaoism||Vietnam (1%)||0.0 %||1,365,000|
|Yazidism||Western Asia, Western Europe||0.0 %||1,063,000|
|Kirants||Nepal (3%)||0.0 %||931,000|
|Badimo||Botswana (6%)||0.0 %||155,000|
|Maori||New Zealand (1%)||0.0 %||67,000|
|Mana||Sao Tome and Principe (2%)||0.0 %||6,000|
|Modekngei||Palau (9%)||0.0 %||2,000|
|Inuits||Greenland (1%)||0.0 %||1,000|
Definition of "world religions"The term is not clearly defined. Roughly speaking, it divides different faiths into independent religions. But this already raises the question as to what one regards as an independent religion. For example, the gods of Greek and Roman mythology have many things in common. Also, in today's Christianity, there are striking similarities with Islam, Judaism and Yazidism. In fact, all four religions go back to the monotheistic faith in progenitor Abraham. Here the concept of the world religion is used as subdivision into separately directed or interpreted religions, where the origins clearly differ from others.
Characteristics of DeitiesReligion is a collective term that at first only states that its followers believe in something supernatural and supersensual. In most religions, these are one or more gods or at least holy beings, like souls, ancestors or spirits. Prophets or shamans often act as mediators or "diplomats" between humans and supernatural beings. The worship of a deity is not important here. For example, Buddhism does not know a god, but orients itself towards an "awakened" human being by trying to awaken oneself through meditation and ethical behavior. Also, numerous other Asian religions are based on such a philosophical teaching. Due to their lack of deity, these religions are often also called worldviews.
The oldest religions date back to the Middle Paleolithic, which dates back about 120,000 years. Grave goods and cave paintings were found from this time period that suggest the worship of the supernatural.