The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice. This theory began in the 18th century with the goal of recognizing the relative levels of civility in societies.
In world cultures, there have traditionally been many different groupings of religious belief. In Indian culture, different religious philosophies were traditionally respected as academic differences in pursuit of the same truth. In Islam, the Quran mentions three different categories: Muslims, the People of the Book, and idol worshipers. Initially, Christians had a simple dichotomy of world beliefs: Christian civility versus foreign heresy or barbarity. In the 18th century, "heresy" was clarified to mean Judaism and Islam; along with paganism, this created a fourfold classification which spawned such works as John Toland's Nazarenus, or Jewish, Gentile, and Mahometan Christianity, which represented the three Abrahamic religions as different "nations" or sects within religion itself, the "true monotheism."
Daniel Defoe described the original definition as follows: "Religion is properly the Worship given to God, but 'tis also applied to the Worship of Idols and false Deities." At the turn of the 19th century, in between 1780 and 1810, the language dramatically changed: instead of "religion" being synonymous with spirituality, authors began using the plural, "religions," to refer to both Christianity and other forms of worship. Therefore, Hannah Adams's early encyclopedia, for example, had its name changed from An Alphabetical Compendium of the Various Sects... to A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations.
In 1838, the four-way division of Christianity, Judaism, Mahommedanism (archaic terminology for Islam) and Paganism was multiplied considerably by Josiah Conder's Analytical and Comparative View of All Religions Now Extant among Mankind. Conder's work still adhered to the four-way classification, but in his eye for detail he puts together much historical work to create something resembling our modern Western image: he includes Druze, Yezidis, Mandeans, and Elamites under a list of possibly monotheistic groups, and under the final category, of "polytheism and pantheism," he listed Zoroastrianism, "Vedas, Puranas, Tantras, Reformed sects" of India as well as "Brahminical idolatry," Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Lamaism, "religion of China and Japan," and "illiterate superstitions" as others.
The modern meaning of the phrase "world religion," putting non-Christians at the same level as Christians, began with the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. The Parliament spurred the creation of a dozen privately funded lectures with the intent of informing people of the diversity of religious experience: these lectures funded researchers such as William James, D. T. Suzuki, and Alan Watts, who greatly influenced the public conception of world religions.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the category of "world religion" fell into serious question, especially for drawing parallels between vastly different cultures, and thereby creating an arbitrary separation between the religious and the secular. Even history professors have now taken note of these complications and advise against teaching "world religions" in schools. Others see the shaping of religions in the context of the nation-state as the "invention of traditions."
Religious traditions fall into super-groups in comparative religion, arranged by historical origin and mutual influence. Abrahamic religions originate in West Asia, Indian religions in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia) and East Asian religions in East Asia. Another group with supra-regional influence are Afro-American religion, which have their origins in Central and West Africa.
One way to define a major religion is by the number of current adherents. The population numbers by religion are computed by a combination of census reports and population surveys (in countries where religion data is not collected in census, for example the United States or France), but results can vary widely depending on the way questions are phrased, the definitions of religion used and the bias of the agencies or organizations conducting the survey. Informal or unorganized religions are especially difficult to count.
There is no consensus among researchers as to the best methodology for determining the religiosity profile of the world's population. A number of fundamental aspects are unresolved:
|Religion||Number of followers
|Christianity||2.4||Abrahamic religions||Middle East|||
|Islam||1.8||Abrahamic religions||Middle East|||
|Hinduism||1.1||Indian religions (Dharmic)||Indian subcontinent|||
|Buddhism||0.52||Indian religions (Dharmic)||Indian subcontinent|||
|Folk religion||0.4||Depends on the region||All around globe|||
The following are medium-sized world religions:
|Religion||Number of followers
|Falun Gong||80–100||Chinese religions||China, 20th century|||
|Sikhism||30||Indian religions (Dharmic)||Indian subcontinent, 15th century|||
|Judaism||14.5||Abrahamic religions||Levant (Middle East)|| |
|Korean shamanism||5–15||Korean religions||Korea|||
|Caodaism||5–9||Vietnamese religions||Vietnam, 20th century|||
|Bahá'í Faith||5–7.3||Abrahamic religions||Iran, 19th century||[nb 1]|
|Tenriism||5||Japanese religions||Japan, 19th century|||
|Jainism||4||Indian religions (Dharmic)||Indian subcontinent, 7th to 9th century BC|||
|Cheondoism||3–4||Korean religions||Korea, 19th century|||
|Hoahaoism||1.5–3||Vietnamese religions||Vietnam, 20th century|||
|1970–1985||1990–2000||2000–2005||% change 1970–2010 (40 yrs)|
|3.65%: Bahá'í Faith||2.65%: Zoroastrianism||1.84%: Islam||9.85%: Daoism|
|2.74%: Islam||2.28%: Bahá'í Faith||1.70%: Bahá'í Faith||4.26%: Bahá'í Faith|
|2.34%: Hinduism||2.13%: Islam||1.62%: Sikhism||4.23%: Islam|
|1.67%: Buddhism||1.87%: Sikhism||1.57%: Hinduism||3.08%: Sikhism|
|1.64%: Christianity||1.69%: Hinduism||1.32%: Christianity||2.76%: Buddhism|
|1.09%: Judaism||1.36%: Christianity||2.62%: Hinduism|
|1.09%: Buddhism||2.60%: Jainism|
|across 40 yrs, world total 2.16%|
|0.37%: unaffiliated (inc. atheists, agnostics, religious but not affiliated)|
The 1991 Census of India was the 13th in a series of censuses held in India every decade since 1872.The population of India was counted as 838,583,988. The number of enumerators was 1.6 million.2001 Census of India
The 2001 Census of India was the 14th in a series of censuses held in India every decade since 1871.The population of India was counted as 1,028,737,436 consisting of 532,223,090 males and 496,514,346 females. Total population increased by 182,310,397, 21.5% more than the 846,427,039 people counted during the 1991 census.Ambala district
Ambala district is one of the 22 districts of Haryana state in the country of India with Ambala town serving as the administrative headquarters of the district. It borders district Yamunanagar to the east, district Sirmaur and district Panchkula to the north, district Mohali and district Patiala to the west, and the district of Kurukshetra to the south.Druze
The Druze (; Arabic: درزي darzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz; Hebrew: דְּרוּזִי drūzī plural דְּרוּזִים, druzim) are an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethno-religious group originating in Western Asia who self-identify as Al-Muwaḥḥidūn (lit., "The People of Monotheism"). Jethro of Midian is considered an ancestor of all people from the Mountain of Druze region, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet. It is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.The Epistles of Wisdom is the foundational text of the Druze faith. The Druze faith incorporates elements of Isma'ilism, a branch of Shia Islam, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism, and other philosophies and beliefs, creating a distinct and secretive theology known to interpret esoterically religious scriptures, and to highlight the role of the mind and truthfulness. The Druze follow theophany, and believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul. At the end of the cycle of rebirth, which is achieved through successive reincarnations, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind (al-ʿAql al-kullī).Although dwarfed by other, larger communities, the Druze community played an important role in shaping the history of the Levant, where it continues to play a large political role. As a religious minority in every country, they have frequently experienced persecution, except in Lebanon and Israel, where Druze judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, and doctors occupy the highest echelons of society. Even though the faith originally developed out of Ismaili Islam, Druze are not considered Muslims, although Al Azhar of Egypt recognizes them as one of the Islamic sects, akin to Shia. Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir, whose father al-Hakim is a key figure in the Druze faith, was particularly harsh, causing the death of many Druze in Antioch, Aleppo, and northern Syria. Persecution flared up during the rule of the Mamluks and Ottomans. Most recently, Druze were targeted by the ISIL and Al-Qaeda in order to cleanse Syria and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influence.The Druze faith is one of the major religious groups in the Levant, with between 800,000 and a million adherents. They are found primarily in Syria, Lebanon (where the Druze are considered part of their Muslim population), and Israel, with small communities in Jordan. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon and in the south of Syria around Jabal al-Druze (literally the "Mountain of the Druzes"). The Druze's social customs differ markedly from those of Muslims or Christians, and they are known to form close-knit, cohesive communities which do not fully allow non-Druze in, though they themselves integrate fully in their adopted homelands.East Asian religions
In the study of comparative religion, the East Asian religions or Taoic religions form a subset of the Eastern religions. This group includes Chinese religion overall, which further includes Ancestral Worship, Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism and so-called popular salvationist organisations (such as Yiguandao and Weixinism), as well as elements drawn from Mahayana Buddhism that form the core of Chinese Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism at large. The group also includes Japanese Shintoism and Korean Sindoism (both meaning "Ways of Gods" and identifying the indigenous shamanic religion and ancestor worship of such peoples), which have received influences from Chinese religions throughout the centuries. Chinese salvationist religions have influenced the rise of Korean and Japanese new religions—for instance, respectively, Jeungsanism, and Tenriism; these movements draw upon indigenous traditions but are heavily influenced by Chinese philosophy and theology.
All these religious traditions, more or less, share core Chinese concepts of spirituality, divinity and world order, including Tao 道 ("Way"; pinyin dào, Japanese tō or dō, and Korean do) and Tian 天 ("Heaven"; Japanese ten, and Korean cheon).
Early Chinese philosophies defined the Tao and advocated cultivating the de, "virtue", which arises from the knowledge of such Tao. Some ancient schools merged into traditions with different names or became extinct, such as Mohism (and many others of the Hundred Schools of Thought), which was largely absorbed into Taoism. East Asian religions include many theological stances, including polytheism, nontheism, henotheism, monotheism, pantheism, panentheism and agnosticism. East Asian religions have many Western adherents, though their interpretations may differ significantly from traditional East Asian religious thought and culture.
The place of Taoic religions among major religious groups is comparable to the Abrahamic religions found in Europe and the Western World as well as across the Middle East and the Muslim World and Dharmic religions across South Asia.Education in Israel
Education in Israel refers to the comprehensive education system of Israel. The education system consists of three tiers: primary education (grades 1–6, approximately ages 6–12), middle school (grades 7–9, approximately ages 12–15) and high school (grades 10–12, approximately ages 14–19). Compulsory education takes place from kindergarten through 12th grade. The school year begins on September 1, ending for elementary school pupils on 30 June, and for middle school and high school pupils on 20 June.
Israeli culture views higher education as the key to higher mobility and socioeconomic status in Israeli society. For millennia medieval European antisemitism often forbade the Jews from owning land and farming, which limited their career choices for making a decent living. This forced many Jews to place a much higher premium on education allowing them to seek alternative career options that involved entrepreneurial and white-collar professional pursuits such as merchant trading, science, medicine, law, accountancy, and moneylending as these professions required higher levels of verbal, mathematical, and scientific literacy. The emphasis of education within Israeli society has its modern roots at least since the Jewish diaspora from the Renaissance and Enlightenment Movement all the way to the roots of Zionism in the 1880s. Jewish communities in the Levant were the first to introduce compulsory education for which the organized community, not less than the parents, was responsible for the education of the next generation. With contemporary Jewish culture's strong emphasis, promotion of scholarship and learning and the strong propensity to promote cultivation of intellectual pursuits as well as the nation's high university educational attainment rate exemplifies how highly Israeli society values higher education.Israel’s populace is well educated and Israeli society highly values education. Education is a core value in Jewish culture and in Israeli society at large with many Israeli parents sacrificing their own personal comforts and financial resources to provide their children with the highest standards of education possible. Much of the Israeli Jewish population seek education as a passport to a decent job and a middle class paycheck in the country's competitive high-tech economy. Jewish parents take great responsibility to inculcate the value of education in their children at a young age. Striving for high academic achievement and educational success is stressed in many modern Jewish Israeli households as parents make sure that their children are well educated adequately in order to gain the necessary technological skills needed for employment success to compete in Israel's modern high-tech job market. Israelis see competency with in demand job skills such as literacy in math and science as especially necessary for employment success in Israel's competitive 21st-century high-tech economy. Israel's Jewish population maintains a relatively high level of educational attainment where just under half of all Israeli Jews (46%) hold post-secondary degrees. This figure has remained stable in their already high levels of educational attainment over recent generations. Israeli Jews (among those ages 25 and older) have average of 11.6 years of schooling making them one of the most highly educated of all major religious groups in the world. In Arab, Christian and Druze schools, the exam on Biblical studies is replaced by an exam on Muslim, Christian or Druze heritage. Maariv described the Christian Arabs sectors as "the most successful in education system", since Christians fared the best in terms of education in comparison to any other religion in Israel. Israeli children from Russian-speaking families have a higher bagrut pass rate at high-school level. Although amongst immigrant children born in the Former Soviet Union, the bagrut pass rate is highest amongst those families from European FSU states at 62.6%, and lower amongst those from Central Asian and Caucasian FSU states. In 2014, 61.5% of all Israeli twelfth graders earned a matriculation certificate.As the Israeli economy is largely scientific and technological based, the labor market demands people who have achieved some form of higher education, particularly related to science and engineering in order to gain a competitive edge when searching for employment. In 2012, the country ranked second among OECD countries (tied with Japan and after Canada) for the percentage of 25 to 64-year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 46 percent compared with the OECD average of 32 percent. In addition, nearly twice as many Israelis aged 55–64 held a higher education degree compared to other OECD countries, with 47 percent holding an academic degree compared with the OECD average of 25%. It ranks fifth among OECD countries for the total expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP. In 2011, the country spent 7.3% of its GDP on all levels of education, comparatively more than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development average of 6.3% and as a result has fostered an education system that helped transform the country and rapidly grow its economy over the past 70 years.The Israeli education system has been praised for various reasons, including its high quality and its major role in spurring Israel's economic development and technological boom. Many international business leaders and organizations such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the technology giant IBM have praised Israel for its high quality of education in helping spur Israel's economic development.Flughafen
Frankfurt-Flughafen is a city district of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is part of the Ortsbezirk Süd and is subdivided into the Stadtbezirke Unterwald and Flughafen.
Frankfurt-Flughafen contains the whole airport ground of Frankfurt Airport after which the district is named. With only 218 inhabitants it is the least populated (and least densely populated) district but with 71,500 people employed at about 500 airport companies (2010) it is also the district with the most employees. Due to its statistical anomalies, it also enjoys the highest per capita income in the city. In relation to the area Frankfurt-Flughafen is the second largest district after Sachsenhausen. It is entirely surrounded by the Frankfurt City Forest.
Frankfurt-Flughafen does not lack infrastructure: Within the district are two train stations (Frankfurt Airport regional station and Frankfurt Airport long-distance station), several hotels, a hospital, places of worship for all major religious groups, many restaurants (including Europe's largest McDonald's) and shops.Freedom of religion in Lebanon
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion and the freedom to practice all religious rites provided that the public order is not disturbed. The Constitution declares equality of rights and duties for all citizens without discrimination or preference but establishes a balance of power among the major religious groups. The Government generally respected these rights; however, there were some restrictions, and the constitutional provision for apportioning political offices according to religious affiliation may be viewed as inherently discriminatory. There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice. There were, however, periodic reports of tension between religious groups, attributable to competition for political power, and citizens continued to struggle with the legacy of a 15-year civil war that was fought largely along sectarian lines. Despite sectarian tensions caused by the competition for political power, churches, mosques, and other places of worship continued to exist side-by-side, extending a centuries-long national heritage as a place of refuge for those fleeing religious intolerance.Giulio Prisco
Giulio Prisco, born in Naples (Italy) in 1957, is an Italian information technology virtual reality consultant; as well as a writer, futurist, and transhumanist. He is an advocate of cryonics and contributes to the science and technology online magazine Tendencias21. He produces teleXLR8, an online talk program using virtual reality and video conferencing, and focused on highly imaginative science and
technology. He writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, including science, information technology, emerging technologies, virtual worlds, space exploration and futurology. Prisco's ideas on virtual realities, technological immortality, mind uploading, and new scientific religions are extensively featured in the OUP book "Apocalyptic AI - Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality".Formerly a senior manager in the European Space Agency, Prisco is a physicist and computer scientist. He served as a member on the board of directors of World Transhumanist Association, of which he was temporarily executive director, and continues to serve as a member on the board of directors of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and of the Associazione Italiana Transumanisti. He is also a founding member of the Order of Cosmic Engineers, and the Turing Church, fledgling organizations which claim that the benefits of a technological singularity, which would come from accelerating change, should or would be viable alternatives to the promises of major religious groups.Prisco has been repeatedly at odds with technocritic Dale Carrico who argues that transhumanism is technological utopianism turned into a new religious movement. Prisco agrees but counters that transhumanism is an “unreligion” because it offers many of the benefits of religion without its drawbacks.List of religious populations
This is a list of religious populations by number of adherents and countries.Nabanna
Nabanna (Bengali: নবান্ন, Nabānna; lit: Feast) is a Bengali harvest celebration usually celebrated with food and dance and music in Bangladesh and in the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley. It is a festival of food; many local preparations of Bengali cuisine like pithe are cooked.Organized religion
Organized religion (or organised religion—see spelling differences), also known as institutional religion, is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established. Organized religion is typically characterized by an official doctrine (or dogma), a hierarchical or bureaucratic leadership structure, and a codification of rules and practices.Petroleum Revenue Oversight and Control Committee
The Petroleum Revenue Oversight and Control Committee (Collège de Contrôle et de Surveillance des Ressources Pétrolières) is a Chadian government watchdog committee in charge of overseeing the government's use of petrol reserves and revenues.
The committee is composed of:
one magistrate of the Supreme Court
General Director of the Treasury
National Director of the Bank of the Central African States (BEAC)
four representatives from civil society (one from a local NGO, one from a trade union, one from a human rights organization, and one representative of the major religious groups of Chad, Muslim and Christian), to alternate.Source: Article 6 and 7 of establishing decree.
The committee exercises control over the oil revenues from the oil fields at Kome, Miandoum and Bolobo.Religion in Iceland
Religion in Iceland has been predominantly Christian since its adoption as the state religion by the Althing under the influence of Olaf Tryggvason, the king of Norway, in 999/1000 CE. Before that, between the 9th and 10th century, the prevailing religion among the early Icelanders (mostly Norwegian settlers fleeing Harald Fairhair's monarchical centralisation in 872–930) was the northern Germanic religion, which persisted for centuries even after the official Christianisation of the state.
Starting in the 1530s, Iceland, originally Catholic and under the Danish crown, formally switched to Lutheranism with the Icelandic Reformation, which culminated in 1550. The Lutheran Church of Iceland has remained since then the country's state church. Freedom of religion has been granted to the Icelanders since 1874. The Church of Iceland is supported by the government, but all registered religions receive support from a church tax (sóknargjald) paid by taxpayers over the age of sixteen.Since the late 20th century, and especially the early 21st century, religious life in Iceland has become more diverse, with a decline of Christianity, the rise of unaffiliated people, and the emergence of new religions, notably Heathenry, in Iceland also called Ásatrú, which seeks to reconstruct the Germanic folk religion. A large part of the population remain members of the Church of Iceland, but are actually irreligious and atheists, as demonstrated by demoscopic analyses.Religion in Oceania
This page gives details on the outline of religions in Oceania.Religion in the Marshall Islands
Religion in the Marshall Islands has been primarily Christian since the religion was introduced by Western missionaries since around 1857. The government generally supports the free practice of religion, although the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community has reported some harassment and discrimination.Religion in the Middle East
Three major religious groups (i.e. the two largest religions in the world: Christianity and Islam, plus Judaism) originated in the Middle East. Smaller minority religions, such as the Bahá'í Faith, Druze, Nusairism, Manichaeism, Sabianism, Bábism, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Gnosticism, Yarsanism, Samaritanism, Shabakism, Ishikism, Ali-Illahism, Alevism, Yazdânism and Zoroastrianism are also present in the Middle East.
The smaller, religiously unaffiliated population is forecast to grow 56%, from about 2 million to more than 3 million. Hindus, adherents of folk religions and Buddhists are expected to experience the greatest growth as a percentage of their modest 2010 counts, with each group more than doubling in size by 2050.Religious views on organ donation
Many different major religious groups and denominations have varying views on organ donation of a deceased and live bodies, depending on their ideologies. Differing opinions can arise depending on if the death is categorized as brain death or cease of the heartbeat. It is important for doctors and health care providers to be knowledgeable about differentiating theological and cultural views on death and organ donations as nations are becoming more multicultural.Western religions
Western religions refers to religions that originated within Western culture, and are thus historically, culturally, and theologically distinct from the Eastern religions. The term Abrahamic religions (Islam, Eastern Christianity and Judaism) is often used instead of using the East and West terminology.
Western culture itself was significantly influenced by the emergence of Christianity and its adoption as the state church of the Roman Empire in the late 4th century and the term "Christendom" largely indicates this intertwined history. Western Christianity was significantly influenced by Hellenistic religion (notably Platonism) as well as the Roman imperial cult. Western Christianity is based on Roman Catholicism (Latin Rite), as opposed to Eastern Orthodoxy, from which it was divided by the Great Schism of the 11th century, and further includes all Protestant traditions splitting off Roman Catholicism from the 16th century.
Since the 19th century, Western religion has diversified into numerous new religious movements, including Occultism, Spiritism and diverse forms of Neopaganism.