Thursday, January 27, 2022

What Are the 12 Major Religions of the World? A Brief, Easy-to-Understand Breakdown of World Religions


To understand people and the world at large, we must not ignore the study of religion.

Religion has strongly influenced the development of society over time. Cultural norms and official laws are heavily influenced by religious values, and religion is a key part of daily life for the vast majority of the world's population. 

So what are the 12 major religions of the world? Keep reading for a quick theology lesson.

1. Christianity

Christianity began 2000 years ago and is now the largest religion in the world. The religious beliefs of its followers are taught in the Bible. They are largely based on the life and teaching of Jesus and his followers. Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism are the main denominations of Christianity.

Some Christians, such as the Sound of Heaven church, believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of humanity. These groups are known as evangelicals.

2. Islam

Islam is the second most popular religion in the world. It was founded in the 7th century AD by the Prophet Muhammad in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca. The two main branches of Islam are Sunni and Shi'ah. Around 80% of Muslims are Sunnis, and 15% are Shi'ah. Their sacred text is the Qur'an and they all follow five pillars that underpin their religion. 

3. Judaism

Judaism predated both Christianity and Islam. When the Jews left Egypt in the 13th century BC, they began to worship only one god. The sacred text of Judaism is the Torah, which places an emphasis on morality.    

4. Hinduism

Hinduism is the oldest of all the world religions, having originated in modern-day India and Pakistan around 4,500 years ago. There are around 1.2 billion Hindus, making Hinduism the world's third-largest religion. Central to Hinduism is a belief in a divine power that manifests itself in different entities.

5. Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, founded Buddhism in 500 BC. Buddha's teachings aim to help followed achieve enlightenment by understanding that life is suffering and suffering comes from attachment. 

6. Sikhism

Sikhism originated in the 15th century BC in Punjab. It grew from the teachings of Guru Nanak and the nine Sikh gurus who followed him. Sikhs believe that serving fellow humans is how we get closer to God.

7. Jainism

Jainism is an ancient religion and is one of the oldest religions that is still practiced today. It has three main pillars: non-violence, non-absolutism, and non-attachment. 


8. Taoism

Taoic religions focus on the core concepts of spirituality, divinity, and world order. The main religions of this type are Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism.

Taoism was founded in the 6th century BC in China by Laozi. It teaches that life is for achieving inner peace and harmony. Compassion and moderation are very important values.

9. Confucianism

Confucianism was founded by Confucious, who lived in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. He taught self-discipline, respect for tradition, and kindness. It was the official religion of China between 200 BC and 1949 when the communist government banned it.

10. Shintoism

Shintoism is a Japanese religion that focuses on tradition, family, and cleanliness. It is a polytheistic religion and teaches that supernatural beings called kami inhabit all things. 

11. Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is an Iranian religion which is first found in recorded history in the 5th century BC, although it may have been around since the 2nd millennium BC. It developed from the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster, that God's creations are pure and that purity is the way to defeat evil.

12. Traditional African Religions

Traditional African religions are highly diverse. In general, oral traditions like songs and stories are very important. There are over 100 million followers of such religions across 43 countries.

What Are the 12 Major Religions of the World? Now You Know

The world is home to many types of religions, but these 12 make up the majority of the world's religious following. 

If a friend asks you: "what are the 12 major religions of the world?", you have them covered. Share this article with them to spread the knowledge.




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