Competitive Exams: Major Religions of the World

Major Religions of the World

  • ‘Most Adherents’ Christianity Islam Hinduism Chinese Faith Confucianism and Taoism Buddhism Shintoism Judaism

Some Facts on Religion

  • Among the total population of Muslims in the world, Sunnis constitute five times that of Shia population.

  • Shias are concentrated mainly in Iran, bordering areas of Iraq, some in India, Pakistan, Syria. And Lebanon etc.

  • After the Japan's defeat in the Second World War, Shintoism no longer remained the state religion.

  • In Bali Island of Indonesia Hinduism is still prevalent as a predominant religion.

  • In China a matrix of intermingling of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism seemed to have developed, being true to the Chinese tradition of moulding the foreign influence rather than letting their own society get influenced or moulded by foreign penetrations

  • Among the followers of the Christianity, Roman Catholics may seem to be more widespread in comparison to their Protestants counterpart.

  • There are areas even within Europe where there exists almost a balance between Catholics and Protestants. E. g. Switzerland (48 % Catholics and 44 % Protestants), Germany (26% Catholics and 24% Protestants), Netherlands (36% Catholics and 26% Protestants).

  • In Canada as a whole Catholics are in minority.

  • In USA Protestant population is larger than that of Catholics.

  • One isolated pocket of Roman Catholics does exist in the old world the Philippines.

  • Protestants areas in Europe Great Britain, N. Ireland, N. Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland, N and C Germany, Denmark and Estonia.

  • Protestants predominates among Christians of S. Africa and Oceania.

  • In Europe as one moves eastwards into the former so called Iron Curtain (the virtual boundary between the Western and the Communist World from Trieste to Stetin in Eastem Europe) Russian Orthodox Church predominates, where Russian speaking people dominate.

  • It covers East Europe, Eurasia and the Caucasus.

  • In Ethiopia in East Africa too, the Christians virtually have an independent church.

  • In Europe Islam has its influence in the areas like Albania, Bosnia, and Southern Serbia.

  • In Central Asia apart from tribal faith, Islam is a major religion.

  • Hinayana branch of Buddhism has its influence in Sri Lanka. Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

  • Mahayana school of Buddhism has its influence in Tibet, Sin kiang, Mongolia, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei etc.

Areas dominated by Roman Catholics

  1. Atlantic Europe Ireland, France, Belgium. Spain, Portugal.

  2. Mediterranean Europe Italy, Greece, Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino.

  3. Central Europe Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia.

  4. In Latin America and French speaking Quebec (Canada)

Some demographic features of South Asia

Birth Rate (descending order)

Maldives

Bhutan

Pakistan

Nepal

Bangladesh

India

Sri Lanka

Death Rate (descending order)

Nepal

Bangladesh

Pakistan

India

Bhutan

Maldives

Sri Lanka

Doubling Period (descending order)

Sri Lanka

India

Bangladesh

Nepal

Pakistan

Bhutan

Maldives

Life Expectancy (descending order)

Male

Sri Lanka

Maldives

Pakistan

India

Bangladesh

Nepal

Female

Sri Lanka

Maldives

Pakistan

India

Bangladesh

Nepal

Percentage Urban Population (descending order)

Pakistan

India

Maldives

Sri Lanka

Bangladesh

Bhutan

Nepal