Many different religions exist throughout the world. A religion is defined as a system of faith or worship. A religious person believes in a higher power, such as a God or gods. Beliefs vary based on religion.
Religion is a system of behaviors, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics and morals, or organizations. It is to which people regard as holy, divine, sacred, or spiritual.
How Many Religions in the World
It is nearly impossible to determine the exact number of religions worldwide; however, some estimates say there are over 4,000.
World Population by Religion
About 85% of the world identifies with a religion. The most popular religion is Christianity, followed by an estimated 33% of people, and Islam, which is practiced by over 24% of people. Other religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Of course, there is also a large population – about 1.2 billion people worldwide – that are nonreligious or have Atheist beliefs.
Below is each religion's total world population:
- Christianity - 2.38 billion
- Islam - 1.91 billion
- Hinduism - 1.16 billion
- Buddhism - 507 million
- Folk Religions - 430 million
- Other - 61 million
- Unaffiliated - 1.19 billion
The world's largest religion is Christianity, which is practiced by almost 2.4 billion people. Christianity is divided into Eastern and Western theology, and within those divisions, six branches; Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrians.
In Vatican City and the Pitcairn Islands, 100% of the population is Christian. In other nations, at least 93% of the population is Christian. Those nations are:
- American Samoa, Armenia
- East Timor, El Salvador
- Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia
- Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru
- Samoa, San Marino
Islam is the world's second-largest religion. People that practice Islam are known as Muslims. In the Maldives, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia, 100% of inhabitants practice Islam. In these nations, at least 95% of inhabitants identify as either Sunni or Shi'a Muslim:
- Afghanistan, Algeria
- Iran, Iraq
- Somalia, Sudan
- Tunisia, Turkey
There are 50 Muslim-majority countries worldwide, or countries where over 50% of the population is Muslim.
Hinduism is the third-largest religion globally. Hinduism is considered dharma, or way of life. It originated on the Indian subcontinent and is widely practiced throughout Southeast Asia. The four main denominations are Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.
Unsurprisingly, India has the largest Hindu population but not the highest percentage of Hindus. There are 1.053 billion Hindus in India, about79.8% of the population. Nepal has the second-highest Hindu population at 23.5, 81.3% of the population.
Other countries with high Hindu populations are:
Buddhism also originated in India and is based on the teachings of Buddha. Buddhists have unique traditions, values, and beliefs, such as reincarnation.
In some nations, traditional Chinese religions, including Confucianism and Taoism, are practiced. This is most frequently seen in these nations:
Ethic and indigenous religions are practiced in many countries. In Guinea-Bissau and Haiti, an estimated 50% of the population follows one of these religions. Other nations where ethnic and indigenous religions are practiced include:
Unaffiliated or Atheist
Finally, as mentioned, many people are not religious or Atheism. This is mostly seen in nations including Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Japan, where over three-quarters of the population is irreligious. Other nations with a high percentage of people without religion include: