religious symbolismReligions of the World

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As you travel around the world you will come across many different cultures and religious followers. A basic understanding of their beliefs can make your experience more rewarding.

There are some 4,300 religions of the world (according to Adherents, an independent, non-religiously affiliated organisation that monitors the number and size of the world's religions). However, nearly 75 per cent of the world's population practices one of the five most influential religions of the world:

Christianity and Islam are the two religions which are most widely spread across the world. These two religions together cover the religious affiliation of more than half of the world's population. If all non-religious people formed a single religion, it would be the world's third largest.

The world's 20 largest religions and their number of believers (2006):

  1. Christianity (2.1 billion)
  2. Islam (1.3 billion)
  3. Nonreligious (Secular/Agnostic/Atheist) (1.1 billion)
  4. Hinduism (900 million)
  5. Chinese traditional religion (394 million)
  6. Buddhism 376 million
  7. Primal-indigenous (300 million)
  8. African traditional and Diasporic (100 million)
  9. Sikhism (23 million)
  10. Juche (19 million)
  11. Spiritism (15 million)
  12. Judaism (14 million)
  13. Bahai (7 million)
  14. Jainism (4.2 million)
  15. Shinto (4 million)
  16. Cao Dai (4 million)
  17. Zoroastrianism (2.6 million)
  18. Tenrikyo (2 million)
  19. Neo-Paganism (1 million)
  20. Unitarian-Universalism (800,000)