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How many religions are there in this World?

Updated on January 13, 2015

Just too many to count !

There are probably as many definitions for the term "religion" as there are religions, but the definition that is most used is; "Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life."

Explaining 'religion' -An old East Indian tale:

Once upon a time a king gathered a few men who were born blind. They were asked to describe an elephant after each one was presented with only a certain part of the animal. To one the king presented the head of the elephant, to another the trunk, to another its ears, to another the leg, the body, the tail, tuft of the tail, etc. The one who was presented with the head said: "The elephant is like a teapot!" The one who was presented with the trunk said, "The elephant is like a snake." The one who touched only the ears thought that the elephant was like a fan, the others said that it was a pillar, a wall, a rope, a brush, etc. Then they quarreled among themselves, each thinking that he was the only one right and the others were wrong. The obvious truth is that the elephant is a unity of many parts, a unity that they could not grasp in their ignorance.

Thus, to narrow the scope, included here are the great monotheistic (a doctrine or belief that there is only one deity) religions, Eastern, Neopagan, and a wide range of other faith groups, spiritual paths, ethical systems; and beliefs about the existence of God(s) and Goddess(es).

Funny, this list may generate some angry zealots out there that will say they don't judge others, but in the next breath will be insistent on excluding some religions from the christian group, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholic Church, the Mormons as well as some other denominations.

Christianity is dealt with in greater detail than other religions simply because 75% of North America identifies themselves with that certain religion. There is no implication here that Christianity is superior or inferior to other religions, only that Christians outnumber the next largest religious group, Judaism and Islam, about 40 to 1 in the U.S. and Canada.

  1. There are about 21 major world religions today with many new religions popping up and saying they are the best religion. About 1 billion people do not profess belief in any religion, and that number is growing.

  2. 1. Christianity 2.1 billion
    2. Islam 1.3 billion
    3. Secular/Irreligious/Agnostic/Atheist 1.1 billion
    4. Hinduism 900 million
    5. Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    6. Buddhism 376 million (see also buddhism by country)
    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. Bahá'í Faith 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. Neopaganism 1 million
    20. Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    21. Rastafari movement 600,000

Two religions, that are related to each other, and did not show up on the radar I initially used for this blog are Amish and Mennonite. The Amish Waylay. Amish Weddings. My Amish Client. Amish buggy rides. [VIDEO]

The Amish (/ˈɑːmɪʃ/ AH-mish; Pennsylvania Dutch: Amisch, German: Amische), sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann.Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.

The Mennonites are a Protestant group based around the church communities of the Christian Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland (at that time, a part of the German Holy Roman Empire). Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The teachings of the Mennonites were founded on their belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, which they held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. Rather than fight, the majority survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their radical belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism (opposition to war and violence).


1. The Church of Scientology was established in 1954 and is based on the teachings of American author L. Ron Hubbard.

2. While the Church of Scientology claims it has over 10 million members, its critics argue that it has just about 500,000 members, mostly in the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.

3. Scientology is a successor of founder Hubbard’s earlier self-help system called “Dianetics,” which was first published in 1950. Its publication is considered by Scientologists to be the seminal moment of the 20th century.

4. The precursor of Scientology was called “Dianetics.” It was initially designed as a new psychotherapy and was not expected to lead to a new religion.

5. The basic tenant of Scientology is that man is “basically good and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows, and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.”

6. The fundamental principles of Scientology are 1) man is an immortal, alien, spiritual being called a thetan, 2) his experience extends well beyond a single lifetime, and 3) his capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

7. The complete structure of the practice of Scientology is called “The Bridge to Total Freedom.” The levels of progression are Pre-clear, Clear, and Operating Thetan. Pre-clear, is the initial stage where a member undergoes a therapy session called “auditing.” A member is a “Clear” when, after the auditing sessions, he or she is free of negative emotions. The ultimate level is the Operating Thetan, which is where the participant is in control of life, thought, matter, energy, space, and time.

8. The Scientology cross is a major symbol in the religion. It is similar to the Christian cross, but has an additional 4 diagonal rays between the horizontal and vertical arms. The eight points of the cross symbolize the 8 dynamics in Scientology: 1) The Self, 2) Creativity, sex, and procreation (family), 3) groups, 4) humankind, 5) all life forms, 6) physical universe, 7) spirituality, and God, infinity, or the Supreme Being.

9. Scientologists believe that souls have lived on other planets prior to living on Earth. A person cannot progress until “aberrations’ from previous lives are cleared.

10. Scientologists believe that L. Ron Hubbard discovered their religion through scientific methods, not by revelation.

11. In his therapy sessions, Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard used the word “clear” from early computer science. Hubbard felt the human mind was similar to a computer that needed to be “cleared” of flawed data.

12. Scientology is a contraction of the Latin scio, “knowing,” and Greek logos, “study of.” In short, Scientology means “knowing how to know.”

13. Scientologists eliminate self-destructive behaviors by cleansing their minds of bad memories called “engrams” through therapy sessions called “audits.” Specifically, founder L. Ron Hubbard defined an engram as “a mental image picture of a moment of pain and unconsciousness.”

14. Once Scientologists eliminate negative memories through therapy, they are “clear.” Once clear, they then attempt to move through many levels of understanding associated with “Operating Thetans” (OTs), who are believed to be able to control the world with their minds.

15. One of the most significant criticisms of Scientology is that members must pay significant amounts of money to participate in “audits,” or therapy sessions, in order to advance to new levels of understanding.

And how about Islam ?

Think on it:

Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem

Hindus living with Christians = No Problem

Hindus living with Jews = No Problem

Christians living with Shintos = No Problem

Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem

Confusians living with Baha'is = No Problem

Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem

Jews living with Atheists = No Problem

Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem

Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem

Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem

Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem

Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem

Christians living with Jews = No Problem

Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem

Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem

Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem

Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem

Confucians living with Hindus = No Problem

What's more important: how you treat others, or your religion?

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      We are all born atheist until someone influences you to believe what they believe. Considering how gullible humans are, it is rather easy to sway our thinking. So the reality is, your religious beliefs are almost always those of the people who got to you first, usually your parents or guardians. Since I was raised baptist, I like to think of myself as a born again atheist.

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thanks raja for your visit. So you could say, logically, with age comes superiority, wisdom, intelligence and it certainly had enough time to 'weather' the storms of history.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Which religion is best no one can answer. But all treat Hindus as religion but Hinduism is not a religion its the way of life. But to my no surprise all religions have loop holes hence I can't say which religion is best.

      But I can say Hinduism is oldest one all. Its much much older.

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      No, we're all one now and we will remain all one then, as well as when we incarnate. All together now!

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thank you, Path, for your time and the well-put verse of your comment. You are not alone in your thinking, thank God. (pun intended) And you are not alone any other way either .... far from it.

      You'd do well to check out my hub page here titled: 'HOMO-SAPIEN to HOMO-GALACTIC' .... the book advertised there, 'Avatars of the Phoenix Lights' was a mind-blower for me and set me straight for my spirit or sole. It set the stage for the others that follow by the same group of authors and channels.

      And it all starts with an opened mind, heart, and an imagination.

      "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." .......literally !

    • profile image

      Path Uncertain 

      5 years ago

      With so many Religions in the world why is it that each one claims to be the only truth. I get really tired of religions having so many subcategories just to fit their own life needs so that they can sin a little bit. What would happen if all religion didn't exist? Why is it so hard for everyone in the world to just be a good person and not have to live each day to defend what they work for from others who want to take it from them. Do we really need to continue these Wars that are primarily started because of Religions claims over land, entitlement and other nonsense. What if we all just lived to be awesome to each other, worked together to progress our evolution and knowledge. We the human populous are drowning in negativity that it inhibits growth towards a better future. Is there an almighty being who is controlling everything? Who really knows. One thing I do know is that we are all stubborn people that need to wake up and learn to work together before we all destroy ourselves with negativity that is building up in this hate filled world we are struggling in.

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Bless you, Moon. Thank you for stopping by and comment. The best to you and your family. It's all the Golden Rule to me.

    • profile image

      Moon Mani 

      5 years ago

      I think that Islam is the best. I'm very proud of me because I'm Muslim.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Man made gods & religions, god did not the only religion is discipline yourself” Worship the living god” with humbleness of spirits & purity of heart.

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      To say you do, and do you do, is different, no matter what any book says.

      A book is a book, your life is how you live. How do you treat the people who don't agree with 'your' book? That is the question? And I'm not asking it, so don't answer me. Answer to yourself.

    • profile image

      Jason Monin 

      6 years ago

      I think it is funny how it says on the poll if your religion is more important or to treat people the way you want to be treated (which is a Christian principle, Matthew 7:12) so me being a "Christian" which do I vote for?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i know that religion is important to deal about which religion is the right way so think carefully to deciede where you belong

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thank you dear kafsoa, and you have one, and that is the extent of it. All the many religions, but we still have our Spirit, that is the same!

    • kafsoa profile image


      8 years ago

      So complecated! A very formative hub, what a spirit you have John :)

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Like, bad as in bad, or like, bad as in bad ? Like.

    • ChristineVianello profile image


      8 years ago from Philadelphia

      This it bad, I have not heard of most of these religions?

    • johnwindbell profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      In essence, they are, for themselves. It's when they say and believe theirs is better, is when the wars start.

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Donna Lichtenfels 

      8 years ago from California, USA

      Dear Johnwindbell,

      Amazing when the zealots each think they speak to the only real god...


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